A Non-Vegetarian’s Guide To Restaurants In IC Colony




As a suburb, Borivali is generally regarded as a lollapalooza for all things vegetarian, including Mumbai’s best vada pav offering. Most eateries in Borivali are vegetarian friendly with immense potato-entialities and generous portions of paneer chunks. There is no skimping on grated cheese or melted cheese accompaniments.

However, for this ’90s kid whose family was accustomed to a healthy dose of kori rotti, restaurants which offered meat and seafood were held in high regard. Here’s a breakdown of Borivali’s establishments offering lip-smacking, maasahari chow.

For Sea Food

Over the years, several eateries have opened up in Borivali to cater to pescatarians. But two establishments stand out (mainly on account of the nostalgia factor and alcohol availability): Majestic NX and Silver Coin.

Located close to the junction between IC Colony and LIC Colony, Majestic NX is a casual dining restaurant with an outdoor seating area. Apart from their specialities in tandoor, Majestic delivers a sumptuous feast via the Seafood Platter, Jumbo Pomfret, and Fish Fry (Seer fish or Pomfret). With a fresh catch and flavours heavily influenced by Udupi-Mangalorean cuisine, the fare is rich and delectable. To help you make the crucial decision of what to eat, the floor manager (who usually takes the order) gives you a lowdown on what flavours and styles will mesh well with your selection: green masala, red masala, gassi, curry style etc.

Majestic NX, Rakesh Apartments, LIC Colony Road, Vallabh Nagar, Borivali (w), Mumbai 400 103. Phone: 022 2890 8667



A 25-year-old establishment, Silver Coin still maintains the vestiges of the ’90s fine dining restaurants: a doorman and a motorised elephant for kids to sit on. It also has a website that allows you to make reservations and take a quick gander at its food, and it prides itself on its take on Mangalorean specialities. Multiple variations of sea food are available, predominantly in Oriental and Indian styles. From classics such as Meen Pulli munchi to the exquisite Lasooni Machi, trusted Fish Tikka, and Surmai Tawa Fry, Silver Coin has its patrons covered.

Silver Coin, RSK Apartment, Ground floor, Cross Road No 4, IC Colony, Borivali (w), Mumbai 400 103. Phone: 022 2895 1410

For Chicken and Mutton

When biryani is bae-ryani and money is dear, head to Lazeez for your mutton/chicken biryani fix. Smack in the middle of IC Colony, this hole-in-the-wall also has kebabs and tandoor items to offer. Lazeez boasts of succulent pieces of chicken/mutton (doused in a top-secret marinade) enmeshed in a mildly flavoured basmati rice with slow cooked chunks of potato, preferably eaten with their in-house raita. If your plan is a stay-in Saturday with friends, Lazeez can also help you out with a party order.

Lazeez, Shop No-5, Tone Compound, Near IC Church, IC Colony, Borivali West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400103; T: 022 2890 6116


If you’re not too taken up with biryani, walk towards Holy Cross Road for your shawarma fill at Al Falah Shawarma. Apart from the usual Lebanese shawarmas, it also serves Mughlai and Mexican style shawarmas, open shawarmas, and salad shawarmas. While traditionalists might choose to chomp on the classic chicken/mutton shawarma, the masala-craving gourmand can sample the spicy chicken shawarma with a glass of 7Up or Coke.

Al Falah Shawarma, Eugenie Building Apt, Holy Cross Road, IC Colony, Borivali (w), Mumbai 400 103. Phone: 075068 72070

The Fusion Kitchen is a new kid on the block that shows a lot of promise. Couched in the niche of ‘fusion’ food, it matches step with its millennial clientele. The Chicken Paprika is a highly-recommended hot mess of chicken dunked in a cheesy paprika sauce with bell pepper rice and sautéed veggies for accompaniments. The portions are generous and the flavours are spot-on. The Poulet Farci Aux Champignons (beaten chicken breast with a filling and mushroom sauce) is also an excellent bet.

The Fusion Kitchen, Shop No. 1, Opp Veda Building, Off Link Road, Holy Cross Rd, IC Colony, Mumbai 400 103. Phone: 022 3383 6003

For Eggs

If you’re easily egg-cited, head to Café Blue Bliss for their Chorizo Omelette and Scrambled Masala Cheese. The former has generous amounts of the spicy sausage, onion, and bell peppers; the latter is not as spicy as the omelette, but it is tempered well. Bacon and sausages are also available as add-ons. To wash down your meal, the menu offers a vast array of coolers and chilled coffee. For those who are willing to sit down for a hearty meal, this café also offers Mangalore style Pork Bafat, Pork ribs, Sorpotel for mains and Gadbad for dessert.


Café Blue Bliss, Shop No.2 & 4, Ektha Angan CHS, Holy Cross Road, IC Colony, Borivali (w), Mumbai 400 103. Phone: 077383 20678

If you fancy an anda bhurji or a Chilly Garlic French Toast, Café Jecevel is the place to be. The Local Scrambled (bhurji) is unpretentious with its substantial serving, and the Chilly Garlic French Toast is flavoursome. The Omelette is a big draw too. The big plus about this café is the value for money – large servings that come with unlimited ketchup and mayonnaise at no additional charge.

Café Jecevel, Shop No 1, Sabita Apartments, IC Colony, Borivali (w), Mumbai 400 103. Phone: 075068 19123


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Buy Kulfi By The Kilo At Rajesh Ice Cream

rajesh ice cream kulfi borivali


Amidst the shops selling shoes, fabric, and imitation jewellery in Goyal Shopping Centre is Rajesh Ice Cream, a 35-year-old shop famous for its kulfi. You can buy kulfi by the dozen and by the flavour, or a kilo of the “mix”: an amalgamation of malai, kesar, pista, raspberry, kaju-draksh, mango, and anjeer kulfi.

Rajesh Ice Cream, Goyal Shopping Centre, Opposite Borivali Railway Station, Lokmanya Tilak Road, Sundar Nagar, Borivali (w), Mumbai 400 092; Phone: 022 2880 6432 / 2889 3462


Before the high rises, the golden pagoda, and Mumbai’s first Ikea store, Borivali was just another western suburb. Tourists came to visit the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Gorai Beach, Esselworld, and Water Kingdom. Locals preferred to throng the nondescript Goyal Shopping Arcade. Goyal, as it is popularly known, enjoys special status on account of its proximity to Borivali railway station. A repository of prêt-à-porter, shoes, imitation jewellery, fabric, and lingerie, it houses a hospital and several eating joints as well. And it is also home to the 35-year-old Rajesh Ice Cream.

My father first took me to Rajesh Ice Cream many summers ago. He bought me a chocolate cone while he chose a generic kulfi. This was in the pre-set top box era when the store had advertisements running on Borivali’s local cable channels featuring video footage of overeager customers clambering over the store front for a kulfi candy or slice. For years, shopping trips to Borivali West that involved negotiating the maze in Goyal promised a reward: a kulfi or two from Rajesh Ice Cream. The humble kulfi is an inheritance from the Mughal Empire; rich, creamy, and flavourful, it is an antidote to Mumbai’s sultry tropical climate. Typically made by condensing sweetened buffalo milk, the humble kulfi and its flavoured variants are also a popular feature at Indian weddings.

While the store sells eponymous chocobars (the ice-cream sticks have “Rajesh” monogrammed in cursive), ice-cream cones, and family packs, Rajeshji, the owner, rues the greater demand for mass produced ice cream manufactured by the likes of Unilever and Amul. Still, loyal customers throng to this hole in the wall to buy kulfis by the dozen and by the flavour – malai, kesar, pista, kaju-draksh, raspberry, anjeer, mango, chickoo, roasted badam, sitaphal, and gulkand. There are no sundaes, but you can buy a falooda by the glass. The biggest seller is the malai kulfi, both in candy and slice form. However, it is the roasted badam kulfi that is the real deal and absolute value for money. The nutty richness of the roasted almonds elevate the malai kulfi to something extraordinary.

As I pester Rajeshji for more details, customers are buying kilos of the “mix”: typically an amalgamation of malai, kesar, pista, raspberry, kaju-draksh, mango, and anjeer kulfi. With deft moves and absolute accuracy, Rajeshji cuts pieces from each of these kulfi rolls and places them on butter paper where the “mix” is weighed and then chopped into smaller, bite size pieces. As he takes orders, weighs slices of kulfi and tenders change, he tells me how he was born and bred in Mathura and used to work as an agriculturist. Like most, he came to Mumbai on a mere whim, lured by the wild promise of the city of dreams. Today, his is a family business: he runs the shop in Borivali West and his brother runs a store (with the same name) close to Malad railway station. Every evening, a vehicle laden with kulfi rolls is dispatched from the manufacturing unit in Malad to Borivali.

Over the years, Rajesh Ice Cream has survived ice-cream parlours serving extravagant flavours, gelaterias, and a major fire.

Rajeshji smiles but is dismissive of my suggestion to introduce milkshakes. His hands are full with the kulfi, ice-cream and falooda business and he is unperturbed by the competition next door – a former paan parlour now selling kulfi, ice cream, falooda, mineral water, and milkshakes. With a sense of pride and confidence, Rajeshji assures me that, when it comes to taste, people prefer his store.

The interiors of the shop remain bare basic: permissions from the municipal authorities hang framed below a tube light display of the store’s name. There is a sink in the corner, a pile of ceramic plates, a bunch of spoons and a weighing scale. The original hand-painted sign board has now made way for acrylic red and yellow signage. Over the years, Rajesh Ice Cream has survived ice-cream parlours serving extravagant flavours, gelaterias, and a major fire. The fire left Rajeshji without a store to operate from for about six-seven months. The fridges in the store had to be sent back to the manufacturing unit. But with science and jugaad, Rajesh Ice Cream continued to sell kulfis and ice-cream with a portable container packed with ice, placed on the pavement outside the store.

At Rajesh Ice Cream, there are no soft pitched voices murmuring flavour suggestions. No cartons of flavours in a glass display, gloved hands, fancy café chairs, disposable cups, or time to stand and stare. To borrow an Indian aphorism, the mantra here is – Jo dikhta hai, bikhta hai (“what you see is what you get”).

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Your Guide To Indian-Chinese Restaurants In Malad, Kandivali, And Borivali




Remember the old days when you’d visit a dimly lit restaurant with the entire family and slurp on manchow soup in unison? Or the times you sent the manchurian back with the delivery boy because the dumplings were soaked in gravy despite your instructions to have it served ‘dry’? Well, for some of us, that was last weekend.

There’s been a seismic shift in Mumbai’s definition of Chinese cuisine. But while townies and Bandra-ites debate subtle differences in Sichuan and Cantonese flavours, in the ‘burbs, the greasy, soy-stained, laminated menus of the ’80s and ’90s still exist. The Malad-Kandivali-Borivali belt in particular, is peppered with eateries that serve Indian-Chinese staples in melamine plates with no mention whatsoever of monosodium glutamate.

If you’ve ever put one too many drops of soy sauce into your sweet corn soup or foraged through capsicum, chilli, and onion for that last piece of paneer, read on. This guide is flavoured with nostalgia, budget-friendliness, and a little train travel. It’s delicious!


Uncle’s Kitchen

If you’re inexplicably drawn to heaps of neon orange fried rice served in bright yellow plates, Schezwan everything and the love of the common people, head to Uncle’s Kitchen. The Mith Chowki landmark recently changed location to a nearby lane, but its established popularity ensures a minimum wait of 20-30 minutes for a table on weekends. Crowd-pleasers include Drums of Heaven (chicken lollypops), triple fried rice, and pretty retro sized portions.

Uncle’s Kitchen, Ground Floor, Buena Vista, Sunder Lane, Opposite St. Anne’s School, Orlem, Malad (w), Mumbai 400 064. Phone: 022 2888 1752

Fire Bowl

At Fire Bowl, what you see is what you get. The extensive menu features vibrant pictures of soups, chopsuey and everything in between. You could spend time poring over the menu, or just follow conventional wisdom and order burnt garlic fried rice with gobi manchurian. Eat at the restaurant only if you can slurp your noodles with a gaudy, red-eyed dragon staring you down. Or else choose the efficient home delivery option.

Fire Bowl, Ground Floor, Aruna Residency, Atmaram Compound, Near Dalmia College, Sundar Nagar, Malad (w), Mumbai 400 064. Phone: 022 6504 0002


Lama’s Corner

Lama’s Corner never fails to pack a pungent punch of nostalgia. Red plastic stools? Check. Option of half or full portions? Check. Folding pamphlet menu? Check. Spelling errors on said menu? Check, check, check. The vegetarian menu includes familiar favourites like sweet corn soup, Hakka ‘noodels’, Chinese bhel, plus an entire section dedicated to paneer lovers.

Lama’s Corner, Shop No. 1, Krishna Apartment, Bhatt Lane, SV Road, Kandivali (w), Mumbai, 400 067. Phone: 098214 43899


Unlike the derivative restaurant chains cropping up across the city, this mononymous establishment has an uncomplicated menu with neat columns and year-round discounts that could put online shopping sites to shame. The manchow soup alone is worth the trek to Charkop, but the Singapore rice and Chicken 65 have their fair share of fans. All food is sans ajinomoto.

Wok, Shop 2/3, Plot 118, Ila Apartment, Charkop Sector 4, Kandivali (w), Mumbai 400 067. Phone: 022 2868 6399


Night Evil

As a teenager, every time I walked down LT Road, I would stop to read the bold calligraphic script that declared; Night Evil – “Our only competitors are in China”. While that statement may need corroboration, their confidence is commendable. The mushroom chilly (dry) and vegetarian Manchurian (gravy) are quite good too. Comparatively higher prices and cramped quarters may deter new diners, but old-timers swear by the sizzling chicken Schezwan noodles at the oldest Chinese restaurant in Borivali.

Night Evil, Hari Darshan, Opposite St. Anne’s High School, Lokmanya Tilak Road, Borivali (w), Mumbai 400 092. Phone: 022 2892 2889

Choi Kim Cuisine

The intricate red and golden wrought iron gateway at Choi Kim acts as a portal, transporting patrons back to the ’90s. There’s obviously an AC section decorated with dragons, hand fans, mandalas and other such tropes. Of course, they have staple Indian Chinese dishes at pocket-friendly prices. Chicken lollypop, spring rolls, American chopsuey – you can have it all. The more contemporary wine ribs and Hunan pork are welcome additions to the otherwise vintage menu.

Choi Kim Cuisine, Ground Floor, Mansi Enclave, IC Colony, Borivali (w), Mumbai 400 103. Phone: 022 2892 8332

Hill View

Though technically in Dahisar, Hill View makes it to this list because it never fails to deliver, albeit a tad late at times. When our family discovered the concept of ordering in, Chinese was our poison of choice, and Hill View the executioner. The restaurant itself is tiny, bare, and has no actual view, but the aroma of paneer chilly and Hunan chicken is enough to ensnare customers. However, it’s the radioactive American chopsuey – orange gravy oozing over the top of a volcano of crumbled fried noodles – that ensures lifelong loyalty to Hill View.

Hill View, Sterling Avenue, Kandarpada, Link Road, Dahisar (w), Mumbai 400 068. Phone: 022 2892 3344

Feature photograph copyright Brent Hofacker –


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Take A Breather At Sanjay Gandhi National Park

SPACE EXPERIENCE PEOPLE FOOD + DRINK VIDEO sanjay gandhi national park sgnp borivali national park


In the northern suburb of Borivali lies the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP). It’s often sneeringly compared to the most famous urban parks in the world, but at 103 sq km of actual forest, SGNP dwarfs New York’s humble Central Park (3.41 sq km) and London’s modest Hyde Park (1.4 sq km). Filled with 1,300 species of flora and fauna, parts of the park date back to the 4th Century BC.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai-Gujarat Road, Borivali (e), Mumbai 400 066. Phone: 022 2886 0389


It’s a pity Mumbaikars forget about this massive forest in our backyard. It takes a leopard venturing into a nearby residential area for us to sit up and take notice of Sanjay Gandhi National Park, aka “the lungs of Mumbai”. But the 103.83 sq km of forest is home to 1,300 species of flora and fauna, ancient Buddhist Kanheri Caves, a butterfly garden, and seven hiking trails. You can go boating on the lake, take a tiger and lion safari, or ride the mini train. The real draw, however, is once the monsoons arrive and the park starts welling up with rivulets and waterfalls. It is perfect for a picnic or a trek.

You’d be trekking through what, in the 4th century BC, was the route between Sopara and Kalyan, important ports that traded with the ancient civilisations of Greece and Mesopotamia. By the 1st Century BC, the Buddhists also made Kanheri their home, sculpting caves out of massive basalt rocks and settling in to create a renowned learning and religious centre.

The forest began its transformation into the park only when the British took over. First, in 1870, the British created the Vihar and Tulsi lakes to supply drinking water to Bombay. In 1942, they added the catchment area of these lakes and acquired some land from Aarey to create the park as we know it. From a 20 sq km park known as Krishnagiri National Park in 1950, it grew to the 68 sq km Borivali National Park in the late 1960s. Then the government added some more land from Thane district and finally christened it Sanjay Gandhi National Park in 1981.

sanjay gandhi national park sgnp borivali national park

How to get there: Borivali is a major station on the Western Railway line, so you could take the train. You can also drive down to Borivali via the Western Express Highway.

You need to purchase tickets for entry to the park, which can be done online. Cars are allowed inside, where there is parking space.

The park opens by 7:30 a.m. Get there early, and you can walk the 7km from the park gates to Kanheri Caves. It will take about an hour and a half or two, and you can break for a picnic lunch. Alternatively, you can also take the BEST bus number 188 Ltd, which plies through the park. The bus trip from the gate to the caves takes just about 20 minutes. The advantage of taking the scenic route or walking is you get to see the weirdly shaped trees, spot langurs en route, or buy the cucumber, raw mango, berries, watermelon, and star fruit that women sell by the road. Remember to keep any food either in your car or safely packed, because if the monkeys can spot it or smell it, they will come for it!

sanjay gandhi national park sgnp borivali national park

Separate tickets are available only for Kanheri Caves, or the mini train (called the Vanrani) that runs through the park, or the 30-minute lion or tiger safari, or a 15-minute pedal boat ride around a small man-made lake. These parts of the park are open from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., and if you plan to spend a whole day in the park, be sure to wind up by then, as the park closes by 6:30 p.m.

You can explore the hiking trails in the park on foot or rent a bicycle, which cost extra and must be booked in advance by calling the Information Centre. If you are a complete SGNP novice, it may be a good idea to go with BNHS or INTACH that organise walking tours of the park. If you are brave enough to camp in the park, the website has details on the kind of tents it offers.

Gandhi Smarak

On your way to the caves, a diversion leads to a quick climb up to Gandhi Tekdi, a small memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi. Take this detour to log more miles on your FitBit, and you’ll be rewarded for your effort with gorgeous views of the forest and the city. Those who don’t want to take the stairs can also drive up to this point.

Kanheri Caves

sanjay gandhi national park sgnp borivali national park

The Kanheri Caves are the highlight of the park. With 109 caves to pick from, it can be overwhelming to cover them all, so stick to the first set of caves that are the best preserved. The caves were built for monks to live, study, and meditate in. They are several viharas, i.e. monasteries, with domed meditation halls, dining halls, and even plinth-like rock beds in the sleeping quarters. Cave 1 is a vihara that seems unfinished. Cave 2 is a series of caves with a stupa and one of the most iconic images of the caves. Cave 3 is a large chaitya hall with intricately carved pillars and a domed stupa inside. There are two imposing Avalokiteshvara statues of Bodhisattva guarding this cave as well as a series of damsels wearing Satakarni jewellery marking it out as one of the most important caves. The views of the forest and the encroaching city from the cave’s vantage point are unbeatable!

A little dhaba outside will provide you with a cool drink or snacks to refresh you before or after you explore the caves.

The Safari

While the big cats can be elusive, the tiger and lion safaris still come highly recommended. Apart from the mini train and pedal boats, these are the most family-friendly parts of the park and also its biggest draw. The lion and safari cages are large enough to simulate a wild landscape, and you can get quite close to the cats from the safety of the buses plying you there. Each ride is 30 minutes long, so if you don’t spot a big cat on your first attempt, you can go again.

sanjay gandhi national park sgnp borivali national park

Every now and then, SGNP seems threatened by the very city it replenishes. An ancient forest so close to you is a privilege few around the globe can enjoy. Reconnecting with SGNP won’t just fill your lungs with clean air and lower your anxiety – it will show you how important it is to have this environmental sanctuary in Maximum City. Don’t wait for the leopards to remind you.


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Tuck Into Delectable Vegetarian Food At Simply Saraswat


simply saraswat vegetarian restaurant borivali west


Simply Saraswat is a vegetarian restaurant in Borivali that serves Saraswat Brahim snacks and thali. The menu is vast, service attentive, and food delicious.

Simply Saraswat, Shop No. 4, Vrajdeep CHS, Chandavarkar Road, Kamdhenu Society, Borivali (w), Mumbai 400 092. Phone: 022 2898 1138


Bhopla Doddak. Loni Pollo. Madgane. The phonetics of Konkani is alien to most, and the distinctive flavours of Saraswat Brahman cuisine are familiar to fewer still.

Come to Simply Saraswat and befriend all the snacks and savouries I have only ever seen emerge from my mother’s kitchen. I shan’t waste words on the Canara-inspired ambience and solicitous service. Let’s talk instead about the food, which I suspect is identical in variety, quantity, and delectability to the owner’s home kitchen.

Go rogue by starting sweet: surnoli is a fluffy dosa made from a rice-poha batter infused with just the right amount of jaggery. Move on to paan pollo, which resembles a neer dosa but isn’t, substituting coconut milk with grated coconut (which sneaks into every course of every aamchi meal). Switch to the succinctly named appe – rice-gram balls cooked in a special mould, accompanied by saambaar and a rich, bedgi mirch-based chutney.

Don’t even blink before ordering the kele phodi: banana fritters anointed with a tamarind-chilli paste and shallow-fried after tossing and turning in rava. If it’s lunchtime, go for the Saraswat thali; I spied bataatya song, a fiery red potato curry fuelled by coconut oil that usually releases tears from eyes and smoke from my ears. Extinguish the flames with moolka – small ghee-fried balls of cardamom-laced banana enveloped in a paste of many flours or patoli, a delicate dessert wrapped in turmeric leaves.

Few places are worth the travel to one end of the city for sampling simple, vegetarian grub. Simply Saraswat is.

Feature photograph by espies –


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