October 01, 2006

Udaya [Restaurant review]

In the days of one’s miss-spent youth in Chembur, Udaya was one of our choices for an evening out. Simple reasons, really. Dark, dingy, not too much of a mark-up on the beer, and decent chakna. All that a growing lad needs.
Life moves on, and so do we. And a decade-and-some passes. And, one day, one hears that there was this great place for aappams in the former home-burb. Further questioning reveals that it’s a respectable place near the station, called Udaya. Could it be, could it be..? And indeed it turns out that it is. A few years ago, Udaya refurbished itself, getting all bright and cheery. And has developed a reputation for excellent Kerala food. Thanks to early exposure to said cuisine, one’s response to mentions of aapams and ishtew is, very literally, Pavlovian. So, hauling in tongue, one repaired to Chembur forthwith, drinking buddy of one’s youth in tow. Beer was quaffed (purely for old times’ sake, one hastens to assure you), while waiters were commissioned. Obviously, the punjabi/mughlai/chinese sectionn was scorned, and we debated the merits of chicke, fish and mutton. And, in a bit, soft, fragrant aapams arrived, accompanied with a bowl of Irachi Ishtu (mutton stew to you and me). Heretic friend opted for Meen Urukiyathu (fish flavoured very heavily with tamarind) and Neichoru (a rather heavy rice preparation) and then proceeded to tick into my stew. The quantity, fortunately, was enough to survive his depradations, or old friendships be damned, one would have finished his beer. Yes, excellent stew it was. And you know what? The waiter told us that the place had always served Mallu food. I guess we, erm, didn’t notice back then in the day.

~ Peter Griffin

Udaya Family Restaurant
Shrama Safalya Building, Near Railway Station, Chembur, Mumbai 400071
Phone: 25214628, 25218792 (Home delivery available)
Hours: 11.00am-4.00pm - 07.00pm-12.00pm
Cuisine: Kerala. Also Chinese, Punjabi, Moghlai. Serves beer.

Published in Time Out.

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