Oldie But Goodie: Go Go Snacks
Go Go Snacks, a shop that specialises in farsan and Gujarati finger foods, is a Mumbai institution and a landmark unto itself. The Chowpatty-based store is a little under 100 square feet in size (we’ve seen roomier wardrobes) and located in a residential lane off the main road. In our experience however, very rarely does a cabbie need directions to get you there.
Store owner Hemanti Shah set up Go Go Snacks in the early 1970s, as a stall from which she sold homemade pani puri, bhel and sev puri. The shop was shifted to its current location in 1974, and is still managed by Shah, who is 81 but no less enterprising. She also oversees their home delivery service, which operates between Pedder Road and Nariman Point, and a Babulnath-based farsan production unit that only caters to Go Go Snacks.
If you prefer your farsan straight-off-the-fryer, get to Go Go Snacks early (the store opens at 10am daily) when batches of fresh salted wafers, ghee-soaked ghoogras (a deep-fried, crescent shaped savoury pastry stuffed with sweet and spicy mushy peas; see image), crisp pani puris, glossy khandvi, spicy onion-flavoured kurkure, crunchy bajra and methi wadis, and pillow-y dhoklas are delivered from their Babulnath kitchen. Mornings are busiest when regular customers pile into the cramped store. Typically, the pani puri (along with the pudhina water and sweet chutney), ghoogras, and bhel fly off the shelves the quickest. Their best-selling item from December through March however is the undhiyu (a winter vegetable dish mildly sweetened with palm sugar) that is only sold by the kilo and has to be ordered a day in advance.
Shah constantly adds to the Go Go Snacks inventory, which includes sweet and savoury pickles, wet and dry chutneys, taco shells, papads, strawberry- and kesar-flavoured shrikhand, and syrups in flavours such as kala khatta, rose and lemon. We suggest taking plenty of cash when you go by; during all our visits to the store, we’ve always ended up buying more than what we intended. Prices range from Rs10 for a piece of ghoogra to Rs500 for a kilo of undhiyu.