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4.08 

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3, RN Cooper Hospital Compound, Gulmohar Road, Vile Parle West, Mumbai 400056, MH

+91-22-26247917, +91-22-26243863

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Love at first BITE!!
Oct 22, 2003 11:37 AM 5795 Views
(Updated Jan 18, 2004 02:10 AM)

Food and Presentation:

Ambience:

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It was love at first bite, for sure!


The first time I visited Amar Juice Centre was around five years ago. It was one fine dripping monsoon evening – the hour hand of my wrist-watch inching towards ten. It was mouth-watering love at first bite, so to say! And I have remained hooked since then!


Oh! Let’s not forget history! Well, a slight digression – let’s tackle geography before coming to history…


Where is it?


Bang at R. N. Cooper Hospital Junction at Vile Parle (West), Bombay. Yep, yep, the junction where the road from Irla meets the road leading to Mithibai and NMIMS. It is pretty ideally located for all people of the NM group of colleges, as well as the ‘hostelers’ staying nearby.


Car parking?


Available, with a steward or two – depending upon the traffic and the hour. You can always order from within your car – sitting in the insulated A/C. But I would still prefer the ‘comfort’ of the ‘BLOING CLANG’ noises and overpowering food aroma pampering the sinuses!


The Past?


As is common with all hospitals, a few medical shops mushroomed around the famous R N Cooper Hospital. Amar Medicals was one of them, albeit the largest. Soon, the shrewd proprietor realised that relatives and companions of those admitted to the hospital were pretty weary and starved, the antiseptic environs of the hospital doing enough to kill any appetite. He started Amar Juice Centre nearby, initially serving only all kinds of fruit juices. Gradually he enhanced his repertoire and menu, leading to an almost complete restaurant now.


The FOOD!!!!!!!


AAAAHHHH! The food! My personal favourite here is the ‘humble’ Pav-bhaji. I have to hand it to these guys – they serve the best ever Pav-bhaji I have savoured all my life!


Ultra soft pavs (special bread of western India, to the uninitiated) smoothly fried to the optimum in generous Amul butter on a sizzling tawa, accompanied by attractively mashed bhaji (spicy curry of western India), onion rings, pieces of lemon and that special brown chutney powder that gives it the extra tang. The bhaji itself has a ‘dal’-like feel to it, red in colour owing to the tomatoes, and sporting a bar of Amul butter on top – blithely floating on the thicker bhaji. Add a few onion rings onto the bhaji, sprinkle the chutney powder, squirt a hint of lemon all over. Pull off a piece of the pav, scoop the garnished bhaji with it, and let it just melt in your mouth!


I don’t know about you, but every time I do that, my mind soars like a Prado Land Cruiser on the super-highway!


The standard pav-bhaji comes with 2 pavs; so make sure to pre-order 2 extra pavs per person, so that you wouldn’t need to have a hiatus to this pleasure. Around 35 bucks, this trip to heaven.


Amar Juice Centre is not only about pav-bhaji; it also boasts of a range of vegetarian fare. For a change, try the hot dog (lovingly called garam kutta! :-) ).


You can also try the idlis and the dosas. The chefs also drum up more than a mean pulav. They also have various varieties of fried rice, biryani, etc for the serious rice-lover planning to fill up his / her stomach.


Oh! I forgot to mention! This is a juice centre, isn’t it? Well, the guy never gave up on his core competency – the various fruit juices! He serves them fresh, stocking all kinds of fruits for all to see. There are plain juices, with pieces of fruit in them sometimes – ranging from watermelon, orange, mosambi, chikoo, to dry-fruit (anar, etc). The Fresh Lime livens you up – goes famously well with the pav-bhaji. Prices begin at 20 bucks.


Then there are the milk shakes – many of the fruit in the juices make an appearance here too, with a dash of milk as the base. My fave is chikoo milk shake – so thick, it makes you earn every drop as you drag the nectar through the wide straw! Prices range between 30 and 40 bucks. For 5 bucks extra you get a topping of ice-cream on top of these milk shakes. The ice-cream is generally vanilla, but you can get yummy butterscotch too, on request.


The surroundings?


There is no shortage of space as such, as the restaurant places steel tables and moulded plastic chairs under the awning spread across the footpath (sidewalk). I’m told the local authorities approve of roadside restaurants putting up such awnings and taking over the footpaths as food courts, as these ensure proper maintenance of the place, and prevent squatters and slums from developing thereabouts.


Anyways, the only sore point, if you can call it that, is the close proximity to the junction. Mostly it only adds to the charm – seeing road beauties (I meant the cars :-) ) as you eat, but during rush hours it can be a bit unnerving to put up with the honking.


Final words of wisdom?


Ask me later! On the way there! All this reminiscing has had a tremendous influence on my stomach. Each of my taste buds is going berserk!


Gotta get there fast! Bye guys!


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