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The original and the best Gajalee is still the one in Vile Parle. It is meant for locals (a broad definition that covers everyone from SachinTendulkar to Lata Mangeshkar to you and me) and no attempt is made to entice foreign tourists. Though the owners, who live above the restaurant, are from Mangalore, they specialise in cooking the sea food of the Maharashtra coast though, inevitably, the Mangalore influences do creep in. That said, the cuisine is authentic, with attention being paid to both fresh seafood which is flown in daily and to freshly ground masalas made to traditional recipes.
A restaurant that is a combination of excellent food, pleasing welcoming décor and an efficient considerate service is nowadays considered a stuff of dreams but there are still left relics like these who have captured the loyalty of their diners for ages. When asked around Mumbai, one name will echo more than any other i.e., ‘Gajalee’. Gajalee is a lovely family-style dining restaurant that has been an important pillar for the city’s gastronomic community. You are assured this one place of good service and lip-smacking food regardless of the time you visit. In the times when every restaurant is rushing towards glamming up their décor, Gajalee stands tall and proud of its classic old-fashioned image. Its location at Phoenix Mill Compound, High Street Phoenix in Lower Parel is a sought after one and is one of the top dining destinations in Mumbai.
Gajalee’s menu intoxicates the senses of every foodie who is in love with the regional food of Mumbai. Those in dire need of some succulent seafood swimming in tangy curry should head over to Gajalee, for this place is a mecca for seafood fanatics. Their menu although hosts both Maharashtrian and North Indian cuisines, it’s the former one you should concentrate upon. Variety on offer is staggering. Gourmets will have a wonderful time wading through this extensive menu feasting on luscious seafood. Pair a pint of beer with some appetizers like, pudina fish tikka, clams butter pepper garlic, prawns crispy fried, tandoori pomfret, crab stick kebab, bombil fry and chicken masala dry. For a more substantial fare opt for, clam masala, mutton bhuna gosht, sp prawns curry, red snapper curry, stuffed pomfret and crab green chilly sauce.
This place is a serious carnivorous galore. Vegetarians too are given a significant section but the spotlight lies with seafood. Order amboli or ghavne or nachani bhakri to lift up your curries otherwise stick with biryanis. Pomfret lunch box or chicken lunch box are offered to those in a rush. Enjoy a glass of solkadi to truly bring out the flavours. Your sweet tooth can be coddled with, caramel custard, pastry or kulfi. Gajalee sprawls cross two floors, done in an attractive classy way. Soft pastel shades are used to design the space so that effect is soothing and elegant. Modern South Indian art on walls reminds you of their coastal theme. Gajalee is very affordable so indulge freely.