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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.
Mumbai has to be one of the greatest cities considering gastronomy. The city itself is thriving with all sorts of cultures and their food but nothing, I mean nothing, comes close to the exquisite world of regional cuisine. If it’s the first thing you have to do in the city, get your hands on some traditional Maharashtrian fare. Its everything Mumbai is, colorful and vivacious. If you ask your cab driver or your neighbor where to go for awesome Maharashtrian meal, they will point you towards ‘Gajalee’. Out of all the outlets in Mumbai, opt for the one at Amrapali Shopping Center, Juhu in Vile Parle West. The food is authentic here with a touch of Mangalorean seeping in courtesy to the Mangalorean owners. Locals flock to Gajalee whenever they feel like having fried bombil, their most famous dish.
Gajalee thrives on an excellent seafood selection. It is renowned to cook succulent freshest seafood in Maharashtrian way so their food is authentic and superbly prepared. Few North Indian dishes finds their way into the emnu but we recommend, stick to the Maharashtrian side of the menu. Crustaceans are brought straight to your table and the one you choose is prepared for your consumption. Skip the alcohol and sip on a traditional Maharashtrian beverage, solkadi, to go with your starters. Munch on, tandoori pomfret, stuffed crab, fish tikka, sp. oyster masala dry, reshmi kebab, lobster butter garlic pepper and prawns crispy fried. Indulge your appetite further with, sp. clams koshimbir, baby lobster curry, red snapper curry, mutton bhuna gosht, crab green chilly sauce, prawns ambat tikhat, clam masala, butter chicken boneless and bombil masala.
Gajalee is a carnivore haven, however, there are plenty of vegetarian dishes on the menu. Mop up the curries with some traditional flatbreads. Amboli, ghavne, nan, nachani bhakri, onion kulcha, methi paratha would work just fine. The restaurant does lunch boxes for regulars. Caramel custard and kulfi takes care of your sweet tooth beautifully. Prices are quite pocket-friendly, which is a bonus. This outlet is more modern than the others. Their dining room is generously spacious and lovingly sunlit during the day. In the evenings however, the mood changes. It turns intimate with ambient lighting. Gajalee is a huge favorite with families and office goers. If you are in mood for wholesome homely meal then Gajalee has your back. Be warned: they get really busy. It’s better to book ahead.