Cafe Mondegar, also popularly know as 'Mondys' to regulars, is one of the coolest hang outs in Mumbai! On our recent trip back to India, that's where we'd go to cool off from the harsh Mumbai heat! It's warm ambiance - the cool wall cartoons, the popular juke box (that has endless replays of the Eagles song 'Hotel California') and a pitcher of chilled Indian beer... mmmm heaven!Mondegar stands at the lip of Colaba Causeway (a heaven for street side shoppers!) offering blessed refuge to anyone too lazy to bother wading down the entire stretch and being crawled upon by hagglers to sell you cheap stuff. Mondys is more of an all-day cafe than bar; in fact, its alcohol selection is restricted to a selection of beers and now wine. So get a cold one (or a pitcherful of cold ones if you’re in it for the long haul) and soak in the downtown Mumbai buzz. You'l have to squeeze yourself into one of the sardine-like tables and revel in the cafe’s relatively untouched and unchanged interiors, especially the giant mural (loosely about a day in the life of a bustling cafe in Mumbai) by legendary Indian illustrator Mario Miranda.
The Yezdegardis, an Irani family, bought the home of a French sailor named called Monsieur Monde in 1925. Inspired by its Hindi reference ‘Monde Sahib ka Gar’ (Mr. Monde’s house) the Yezdegardis soon converted it to a café called ‘Monde-Gar’. It started off as a typical teahouse that also sold tobacco, foreign liquor, wine, breads and specialties from Iran like saffron, almonds, and pistachios. In time the Yezdegardis have developed an assorted menu influenced by Irani flavors. And today, you can choose from a variety of food, everything from kebabs to burgers, bruschetta, chow-mein, grills, and sizzlers. But through the ages, the house favorite has always been the Pepper Steak or Steak Boti. My personal favorite... the caramel custard, yummm!
Enjoy some of the snap shots i took this last visit to India. Am sure you'l notice the humor in each of the illustrations! Visit my flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/amishadesai/5182115683/ for more pics of Mondys.
|"Apple of my eye, Ms. Big Boobs!"|
|The Taj Mahal|
Mondys is among the last of its breed -- the perfect hybrid of Mumbai’s fast-dying Irani restaurants (chequered table-cloths? Check. Netted chairs? Check) and beer bars. Because it’s been there forever. But most of all, because it’s the sort of place you can buy a beer at noon in without feeling guilty. And god knows every city needs more of those.