Hare Krishna (Kalina, Mumbai)

Professional Tennis bad boy Nick Krygios recently created a bit of stir by saying he hated playing tennis and thoroughly loathes his time on the professional circuit. It got me thinking as a “blogger” had recently reprimanded me for not having a “love and joy” for food.

That blogger was probably right. I enjoy a hearty meal just as much as the next man along, but as surprising as this might seem, I don’t really enjoy food. I enjoy writing and food just happens to be something I know a thing or two about. Maybe that’s because I have family in the industry, was taught how to cook at an early age and have had a sufficiently privileged life to have sampled “good” cuisine from around the world. Are there better things I can think of right now than sitting and eating at Hare Krishna Veg Restaurant (or any restaurant for that matter)? Of course there are.

There is an impressive wall mural that catches my attention more than the food at Hare Krishna. It depicts chefs working in a European kitchen. There’s a weird idiosyncrasy about seeing a chap with a moustache flash frying a steak in a copper pan on the right of the mural. I’m not sure how that fits into the concept of Pure Vegetarian restaurant. Clearly, no one else seems as impressed by the art as I am, they are all head down, loading up on Pav Bhajis and other snacks on the small tables in Hare Krishna.It’s a clean enough place from what I can see and judging by how busy the restaurant is, I suspect it has sufficient turnover to ensure food is fresh.

The Paneer Butter Masala is like any other: a ¬†passable, heavy but rather bland dish that is spooned out on some cheap white crockery. The Bhindi is stringy and comes in another heavy cashew-nut led sauce. On a previous occasion I’d tried the Pav Bhaji, which was satisfactory but did come in a gaudy shade of red (think Kim Kardashian lipstick). I don’t get it really, serving me bright looking dishes won’t alter my perception of the food

Is there anything to really appreciate here? Not really. I can cook Indian food as well (not saying a lot). Nevertheless, at the very least I get something to talk about, some thoughts to share in a space (restaurant) that is psychologically familiar. A bit like that “eternal warm blanket” those junkie addicts crave for.

“It’s just what I do, something I know, who I am.”

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