Monday, December 13, 2010

Ruci Papa and the Brothers Sanctum

The place: Shankari Restaurant & Bar
The time: Mostly the nights
The mission: To drink ourselves silly

I remember a couple of years ago when we were still in school a close friend of ours told us about his dearest granddad- Ruci Papa. He was the kind of person unlike any of us had ever encountered before- a true spirit in heart and mind- and we were instantly awestruck by this essence that was Ruci Papa. He became an icon to all of our minds. A blessing in disguise. The shining light in the night sky….(ok ok. Now I'm just overdoing it!). Anyway, the point of this story is our fondness and respect towards Ruci Papa cultivated over time to such an extent that he became a legend. He became one of us- part of the brotherhood, one who we would all drink to, and celebrate like he was right there with us. Ruci Papa has passed on now (god bless his soul), and we will always remember that time for what he gave us- a bond like no other. That bond has carried on- having grown, matured, witnessed the years come and go- through school, college, and now through our professional lives in Mumbai. It's not like we have stopped getting together for our monthly intake of beer either- and thus, I present to you (drumroll begins like a thunder cloud in the distance)- the most perfect hole in the wall (drumroll becomes louder)- our little sanctuary in Andheri (drumroll starts going wild)- our version of that pristine chapel that all little girls dream of  getting married in (drumroll hits boiling point, deafening to the ears, its unbelievable!)- Shankari! 

The first time I introduced the boys to Shankari, it was an instant hit. I actually got the directions all wrong and made Sushant and Shantanu walk in the pouring rain to get there- it was a surprise they didn't kill me for that. But it was all good once they settled into Shankari. We knew from then on it was the start to many a trip there. It became our little haven for all things good, bad and ugly in our lives. The kind of secrets Shankari holds in each of our lives are never spoken of in the outside world. 

Now, the prices at Shankari are as cheap, if not cheaper, than the cheapest cheap places in Mumbai. The drinks are priced around the same level as Janata Lunch Home in Bandra (see our November issue) but the food is definitely easy on your wallet. You can have a bloody good meal for two- inclusive of alcohol, starters, main course- within the 500 Rupee bracket. 
Lets begin with the starters. I would recommend trying either, if not all, of the following: 
1. Masala Papad (of which you can eat PLENTY)
2. The Tandoori Chicken
3. The Achari Kebab (outstanding!)
4. The Tandoori Pomfret (the size can be chosen with the waiter showing you the fish before its cooked)
5. Anything from their tandoor actually hits the perfect spot- even if you're a vegetarian.
I am a personally a big big fan of kebabs- so on most visits I prefer just stuffing myself crazy with them! 

On the main course- we have had the chicken masala with mouth watering butter roti's- which is simply yummy. Even the boiled egg (of which Shantanu is a big fan) tastes pretty darn good there- although its hard to say where one can go wrong with it! 

We have gone to Shankari so many times over the last year we are actually treated as guests of honor there! If we land up unexpected and the place is jam packed (which is on most visits), people are actually made to shift tables just so that we get our spot. All the waiters are fellow south indians so getting along with them has always been a breeze. The head waiter even makes it a point to come up to our table and have a little chat with us every time. We believe in the philosophy that to drink up is to drink cheap, and Shankari is a great place one can just go to with your bro's on a lazy afternoon or after a tough days work at night. So next time your in Andheri, this is one spot you would certainly never want to miss! 


Shankari at a glance

Address: Juhu Kapaswadi, Near HDFC Bank, Juhu Versova Link Road, Andheri (W), Mumbai- 400053

Phone: +91 22 26252481, +91 22 26250807

Our Rating: 10/10!

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