'It was the best of times and it was the worst of times'
So begins a book with one of the most famous opening lines ever.
Onam is my fav festival of the year, after Rakhi (only because i get gifts on Rakhi instead of giving em) I look forward to the Sadhya every year. This year I was very excited about Onam and in my enthusiasm and with my talent for making things hard for myself, i decided on doing two full fledged Onam meals on the day.
After what was possibly one of the worst mornings i have had in a long, long time, i headed to Matunga for the first one.
Mani's is an old Mallu institution in the once Southie strong hold of Matunga. The original Mani's outlet shuts down on this day and they take over a large dining hall where tables are laid. Since i was in the area already, i was able to make it in by 11.30 and was one of the first ones in, duly photographed and videotaped while eating.. (i pity whoever has to edit that footage)
My banana leaf was not quite the right color i thought, the ones on either side of me were the right shade.
the tamarind chutney and the pickle were a little disappointing.
now, i dont recall all the dishes that were on play but there was banana chips and a sweet banana
the red gravy was the best.
the sambar and white rice was pretty good.
overall, the meal was alright. I was a little disappointed as they were not quite ready for the first few diners. The rasam took a while to come and we got only a spoonful of what was very delicious dahi. There was no chaas on offer either. The pyasam was terrific.
At 250 bucks, the meal is also a touch expensive, compared to whats served by them regularly at half the cost. (chaas, dahi, sambar, rasam) So although not bad it was disappointing in the way it played out. Previous year i was late, this year i was early, perhaps i must try to make it there by 1 pm next year.
Also, for the first time i didnt go bull in a china shop and overdo the meal keeping in mind that i was to do another one later in the day.