My Mumbai: Rahul Akerkar

April 10, 2012 7:55 am by

Name: Rahul Akerkar
Occupation: Chef and restaurateur
Neighbourhood: Colaba

The song that best describes Mumbai: “Yeh Hai Bombay Meri Jaan” from the film C.I.D.

Your favourite Mumbai sound: “Phude tsala, Phude tsala!” on a BEST bus.

Your favourite Mumbai movie: Salaam Bombay.

Favourite Mumbaikar, living or dead: Lalbaughcha Raja, Ganapati bappa morya!

Best way to spend a weekend in Mumbai: Saturday, do the by-lanes of Colaba and Kala Ghoda—browse the many museums, galleries and stores, [then] lunch at Trishna, followed by a snooze. Dinner with friends, then party into the night with music at Blue Frog. Sunday, wake up whenever you do; brunch at Indigo; walk off the calories at Chor Bazaar; swim and sun-downers by the pool; catch a late flick.

To get away from the city you… Take the boat to Alibag

The best view in the city: From my friend Sheena’s home on Walkeshwar Road, looking out across the bay, towards Nariman Point.

Favourite Mumbai restaurant: Thakker Bhojanalay in Kalbadevi.

The one thing in the city you can’t live without: Air-conditioning.

The non-touristy place you’d show out-of-towners: The stunning Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Byculla to catch glimpses of Mumbai’s cultural history.

Favourite place for coffee in Mumbai: Madras Cafe in Matunga for a great South Indian brew.

One restaurant that you would like to see open in Mumbai? One isn’t enough! In sad contrast to similar heaving mega-cities the world over, Mumbai has a serious dearth of quality eateries. You could open a hundred more good restaurants in this city and they’d all do well.

Your favourite Irani Cafe? Used to be Cafe Naaz on Malabar Hill, but now Britannia Cafe in Ballard Estate.

Best street food joint in Mumbai? Head to khao gulli (Marine Lines), shut your eyes and let your nose lead the way.

If you could use only five ingredients for the rest of your life, what would these be? Tolerance, patience, spontaneity, creativity, and adventure.

Name a few items that are always in your larder: Fruits, cheese, cold cuts, bread, wine.

What do you think of Bal Thackeray? A celebrated cartoonist.

What do you hate most about the city? The unruly traffic, taxi and rickshaw drivers.

What do you love most about the city? Its crazy, frenetic pace.

Vada pao or bhel puri? Both great, but wash it down with paani puri.

The last time you called Mumbai Bombay: It’ll always be Bombay!

In 10 words or less, who is Shivaji? A famous architect and civil engineer who gave us our heritage, airport, train station, museum, and many roads.

Mumbai isn’t like any other Indian city because… It really is a vibrant, functioning amalgam of all that is India, despite continued political and religious pressures to the contrary.