What I Ate (WIA): Taste of Mumbai, Haji Ali

After a brief hiatus, I am back on my beloved blog! Of course, it was a long and difficult journey, having to overcome all sorts of ridiculous obstacles like a faulty internet connection, a new obsession with shopping for weird things from a chinese website (this includes mood rings and fedora hats) and of course, eating all sorts of food cooked by my beloved mom.

Today, I am going to do a post about What I Ate (WIA for short.) It’s not a review of the restaurant itself, but a more detailed review of the food that I ate. The logic behind it is simply this- I believe in second chances. A restaurant may have 9 terrible tasting dishes but 1 saving grace of a dish that makes your visit worthwhile. Or it may have 9 stupendous dishes but 1 dish that makes you blanch. Most of the time, such situations play a role in the restaurant getting a good or a bad review. Let’s also not forget the fact that sometimes restaurants have good days and bad days. I’m willing to overlook that.

My day at Haji Ali, was an amazing one.

It all started on one random evening. I was craving sandwiches, and exhaustive research revealed to me that a tiny shop in Royapettah called Royal Sandwiches was one of the best in Chennai and had close to 150 varieties of sandwiches. It had a 4.7 rating on Zomato, and thats kind of a huge deal. So imagine the crushing disappointment that I felt in my chest as I stared at the closed shutters. It was closed on account of it being a Sunday! 😦

However, I was not to be deterred. The drive from Royapettah to Besant Nagar was one that involved a good bit of traffic and a cow. But we made it to Haji Ali and our table had quite an interesting view…

I guess that's what happens when you go with a fashionista lol.

I guess that’s what happens when you go with a fashionista lol.

We then placed our orders for the food and waited impatiently. I wasn’t very impressed when the food arrived because it didn’t look very different, but the taste is what had me dancing to a whole different tune. The first thing I noticed about it was that it wasn’t piping hot- in fact, it was just the right temperature. Hot, without being scalding. I hate eagerly biting into food that has arrived, only to hurt my teeth and burn my tongue (I have really sensitive teeth). The bread was white and perfectly toasted. I have huge issues when the bread is too hard, but what I loved, is that the sandwich remained soft throughout the time I took to eat it; and that’s a huge deal because I’m a really slow eater.

Look at that beauty.

Look at that beauty.

As you can see in the picture, the sandwich was oozing cheese and I just loved it. I love it when you bite into something cheesy and a long string of cheese follows. It’s so much fun playing with your food like that. Also LOVE grilled sandwiches above all else. What I ordered was a Mozarella veg cheese grill sandwich that had tomatoes, potatoes, capscicum and (of course) mozarella cheese. It had a single tiny chilli next to it on the menu, but the actual food that arrived was really subtly flavoured. Yours truly has been recovering from a mild case of acidity, so it was a really really good option to go for.

My Mozarella Veg Cheese Grilled Sandwich.

My Mozarella Veg Cheese Grilled Sandwich.

Admittedly, the flavouring was so subtle that it was borderline bland. So we went ahead and asked for chilli sauce. Surprisingly the sauce itself tasted really good. That’s rare coming from me because I have this strange hang up because I don’t like tomato sauce or any sauce that’s sweet to taste. We also ordered Masala French fries that day. I’ve tasted masala fries at other restaurants before, and what I was expecting was a bunch of fries with garam masala thrown on top. I was so not expecting what we actually got.

Masala Fries

Masala Fries

What we got, was possibly the poshest version of masala fries, ever. It had no garam masala at all and I was so grateful for that. I could taste salt and pepper and a third flavouring agent which mildly reminded me of Oregano. Thyme, maybe? I dunno.

All I know, is that these fries tasted epic.

So this is WIA

Veg Mozarella Cheese Sandwich
Price: Rs. 95
Rating: 3.8/5
– I would’ve liked the sandwiches to just have a tad bit more flavour and actually give the chilli next to it on the menu, some meaning.

Masala Fries
Price: Rs. 90
Rating: 4.2/5
– I loved how it took three people to finish this bowl of fries. Great taste, but a tad bit stiff. If the fries had achieved the right mix of soft and crunchy, then I wouldn’t hesitate to give it 5 stars.

Price: Free!
Rating: 3.5/5
– I really like restaurants that leave a full jug on your table along with empty glasses. Haji Ali, unfortunately, wasn’t one of them! The water tasted alright, but I hate having to flag down a waiter just for water. Restaurants, please take note.

So that’s WIA at Taste of Mumbai, Haji Ali. Don’t forget to let me know what you think by commenting, liking or reblogging this post. Much love people. Until next time! ❤


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