Swati Snacks has been around for 40 years or so now and they have perfected the art of making yummylicious Gujarati cuisine. Its one of the oldest establishments apart from the thali restaurants which serve Gujarati dishes in an A la carte format.
If you are coming here during the weekend, like we did last night, be ready for a waiting time of atleast 35-40 minutes. Some out-of-the-box thinking customers order some starters on the take-away counter and eat them while waiting for their turn to come. Or to avoid all that come during the weekdays and eat at your leisure.
We were shown our table after waiting for exactly 38 minutes. Steel bench and wooden top tables are the order of the day. They have a 3 rows, the tables on right & left rows can seat 4 persons & the middle row can seat 6 persons, so if you are a going in a bigger group be ready to sit separately.
But when you are being served sumptuous food, who cares about the seating arrangement?
The interior is nice and noisy with ambient lighting. We were attended to almost within 2 minutes of seating ourselves.
We had utilised the waiting time to finalise the order and just fired away:
1] Sev Puri - The taste is different from the regular sev puri. The chutney they use is slightly spicy and tangy hence the difference. Wow!
2] Dahi Batata Puri - Run-of-the-mill Dahi Batata puri. It was ok-ish.
3] Paani Puri - They give you a combination of spiced alu, sprouts and boiled chana as a filling for the puri. The paani is spicy and tastes nice.
4] Bajri Khichu - Upma like dish made from bajra rawa and served with a red mild spicy chutney mixed with oil / ghee. Loved the chutney.
5] Pav Bhaji - One of the better Pav Bhaji I have had in a long time. The dominant taste is of the tomato and not the spices. It is spicy but not over-bearingly so.
6] Bajri Uttapam - Their in-house innovation. The Uttapam is entirely made from Bajra and has a tangy taste to it, served with spicy green chutney.
7] Dal Dhokli - WOOOOW is the word that describes this dish. Strips of wheat flour dough added to a typically sweet & mild spicy Gujarati dal and cooked together. Its a meal by itself.
8] Dal Baati Churma - Wheat flour balls, boiled in water and then roasted in a tandoor served with dal, ghee and churma. Churma is the made of the left over dough, fried in ghee, crushed and mixed with jaggery. This dish is srved with a stuffed green chilly, which is just wow! I shamelessly asked for an extra serving.
This dish has its origins in the Malwa region of Rajasthan.
9] Undhiyu with Jowar rotla - Mind blowing Undhiyu, the best dish of the evening. The Undhiyu was not in an "Oil Pool", no over bearing taste of garlic and you could feel the flavour of each vegetable.
10] Kadhi Khichdi with Alu shaak - Khichdi with gujarati spicy & sour kadhi served with mild spicy potato veggie.
11] Pudina Chhas - Creamy buttermilk whipped with pudina leaves to form a killer combination. Loved it!
The service is one of the best I have come across. The orders were brought out and served even faster than I thought considering the crowd they were catering to; maybe they have accustomed themselves to it.
The total bill for all of the above came to Rs.2,290 for 6 people, Rs.380 per head; is a very value for money proposition.
However the prices of some items didn't quite go down well. A Wada Pav is listed for Rs.140 which is 14 times the cost of street price. Agreed that for quality you do have to pay a price but 14 times is exorbitant & also the fact that some of the best Wada Pav in Mumbai is the street side one.
Again this is an individualistic view and nothing against the management, they charge it and they have clients who pay.
I'm coming again and recommending people to visit this restaurant as well.
Thanks for the wonderful food!