Food Review: Bagelwala
Last November, festival goers at the NH7 Weekender in Pune were seen frequenting a little-known bagel stall that was serving up a selection of vegetarian sandwiches. This March, Sanal Nair, the man behind that stall, which he called Bagelwala!, launched a bagel delivery service by the same name. Last week, Mumbai-based Nair opened a Bagelwala! store, in Bandra. Nair has spent the last few months tweaking his recipe for the donut-shaped bread that is considered something of a culinary icon in New York. The result is a selection of commendably dense and chewy bagels that Nair prepares daily in four to five fresh batches depending on the demand.
The Bagelwala! menu offers a choice of bagels crowned with poppy seeds, dry herbs, sesame seeds, dried cranberries and onions. You can slap on a spread such as cream cheese (plain and flavoured variations of a local brand called Philadelphia Style), Nutella, or peanut butter on to a sliced bagel (priced at Rs90 only) or order a bagel sandwich, of which there are 12 on the menu (our favourite bagel sandwich, lox and cream cheese, is sadly not served here). At Rs350, the turkey and Swiss cheese bagel sandwich is the most expensive item at Bagelwala. The price tag is justified by the generously portioned fillings of sliced turkey, cheese, crisp lettuce, and sliced black olives. We were equally pleased by the quantity and quality of ingredients in the chicken and jalapeno bagel sandwich (Rs220). The plain bagel had an adequately chewy and doughy crust, layered with thick slices of spicy chicken salami, briny jalapeno and chunks of cream cheese. The thick, hard sesame bagel used for the mushroom, corn and cheddar bagel sandwich (Rs120) was too taxing on the jaw and the filling of sauteed mushrooms and corn with mayonnaise was over salted. We loved the Elvis (Rs120), a toasted breakfast bagel schmeared with Bagelwala’s excellent in-house peanut butter and topped with sliced banana.
Bandra’s other bagel purveyor, The Bagel Shop, has the advantage of space over the 300 square feet Bagelwala, which can only accommodate up to 14 people in a cramped setting. While it may not become a refuge for the city’s freelancers who use the very comfortable Bagel Shop more as an office space, Bagelwala will likely gain a loyal following for its reasonably priced and filling bagel sandwiches.
This review was conducted anonymously.Tags: Bagelwala, Food reviews, Restaurants, Sanal Nair
Near the Tarun Tahiliani store
Off Turner Road
Phone022 3378 9960
HoursDaily, 8.30am to 10pm