The basic idea of having street food makes us salivate! That is something we have grown with, savoring every bite n holding each memories. Those crazy times in childhood when we were mad about anything that even slightly resembled street food – revisited the exuberance again at Shiv Sagar, Janpath.
Street food of Mumbai is completely different from what we get in Delhi. During my maiden trip to Mumbai last year, I became a huge fan of Vada Pav, Kanda Pav and all sorts of *-pav available there. To top it, bhel puri, sev puri, pav bhaji and what not. I so much fell in love with vada pav that I had them for breakfast for every single day of my trip and not just one of them – at times 5 of them at a go. So when I heard about Shiv Sagar opening in Delhi, I was all jazzed up.
Shiv Sagar, a casual dine restaurant, is a very popular eatery in Mumbai. They boast of the Mumbai Street Food on their menu, but they do have regular stuff as well.
Ambiance – The place is beautifully done. Though it a casual dine, the interiors create a noble feat. Plush furniture on both levels, give you ample space to enjoy your food without someone peeking on your table. The lighting is just right and the temperature perfect.
Staff & Occupancy – The staff is ever so courteous. They will give you suggestions of what’s new, what’s famous and even if you are ordering more or less. I went there on a Tuesday afternoon and within minutes of taking seat, it was full. So much so, when I came out, I saw a couple of families waiting! The restaurant managers make sure they visit every table for taking feedback. The service is quick and efficient.
Beverages – They are famous for their fresh juices. And why not! One sip into it and you will know. We were served juice shots of Watermelon, Sweet Lime (Mosambi), Orange and Pineapple in cute test tubes, which offers a unique experience altogether. Remember those days in Chemistry classes when you used to pour and mix some nasty liquids in them. The juices were good. I felt there was a little more salt in Watermelon, otherwise all good, with chunk of fruits coming into your mouth every now and then. They have some mix juices as well – Ganga Jamuna & Maara Maari – the earlier being a mixture of Sweet Lime & Orange with some secret masala and the latter Pineapple + Orange with some other ingredients. You can easily spot out what are the ingredients by having a sip, such is the unique taste of both prevalent in the mixture.
Mumbai Street Food – The specialty is well accounted for. We tasted Bombay Bhel Puri, Bombay Sev Puri, Pav Bhaji, Special Chinese Bhel, and Vada Pav & Special Tawa Pulav with Raita. Bhel Puri is to die for, the perfect concoction of saltiness, sweetness & tanginess. This was crunchy and tangy at the same time. You will fall in love with the Sev Puri too. The perfect blend of tamarind chutney, green chutney spices and melt in the mouth sev. Chinese Bhel is their specialty, but for me it can be avoided. Vada Pav was good, the vada absolutely well done, tasting exactly like the ones in Mumbai, and the pav was soft & moist, painted with green chutney. Served along with are a pickled chili, tamarind chutney and green chutney. I didn’t like the Special Tawa Pulav much because it smelled of raw peas (now this could be a personal preference, so pardon me if you think otherwise), but the Masala tadka Raita served alongside is something I can have again and again. Served chilled, it was way above the best raita I have had. Pav Bhaji is also a must have. Perfectly soft buns, glazed with butter & toasted, and the bhaji was just perfect. The spices were just right – neither smelling nor giving a bland taste.
South Indian – We just tried the Mysore Dosa, served with potato masala, sambhar and 3 chutneys – tomato, coconut and mint. This was again very good – the dosa was crisp and tasted just right, the sambhar was not too spicy and masala was fine too. I think they can improve on the chutneys served alongside as they were not the perfect ones I have had. The mint chutney has too much salt and coconut and tomato chutney can also be improved.
North Indian – We tried Laccha Parantha with Veg Kolhapuri – both served well. The Kolhapuri curry was spicy, as it should be and the Laccha Parantha was perfectly cooked.
Desserts – No meal is complete without these sweet devils! We were offered Shiv Sagar Special Kulfi and Fruit Salad Sundae.
The Fruit Salad Sundae is a bliss for anyone who loves fruits. Served with vanilla & Strawberry ice cream, this is a magic in itself. The star of the show was Shiv Sagar Special Kulfi – now the concept behind the special Kulfi is that they keep changing it. For the day of our visit, it was Pan Kulfi. They also do a rose Kulfi, I was told. I have had Pan Kulfi at many places, but they are pan flavored. This one actually had a pan in it! They prepare a pan with all the usual ingredients, and then the Kulfi is frozen with that inside it. The flavors were out of the world. This is the best pan Kulfi I have had till date. This is a must try.
Overall a good experience with everything reasonably priced.