Growing up in Mumbai with a plethora of Gujarati friends, I absolutely loved the food at their homes. Many of these friends had “Maharajs” or cooks in their home, who cooked for the extended family of parents, siblings, their spouses and kids who all lived under the same roof. Food was abundant, the cuisine vegetarian with the perfect palate pleasing combination of sweet, spicy, sour and salty at the same time.
There is many a restaurant in Mumbai that recreates this traditional Gujarati Thali (plate). For a fixed price, you get to eat unlimited quantities of food, all served at your table. The waiters are incredibly efficient and observant, always watching discreetly to see if something is done on your plate, so they can appear with more.
On my last couple of trips to Mumbai, I discovered Rajdhani. This chain has outlets throughout India and claims to have 72 different rotating menus with 22,464 delicacies from Gujarat and Rajasthan. Never knew you could have that much variety at one restaurant!
Now to our experience. We ate at multiple branches and the food always hit all the right notes. Let me warn you that on weekends, the place has a very very long line, so your best bet of eating with no wait is hitting it on a weeknight. First, a waiter comes by with an urn of water for you to wash your hands. Next you are served an an assortment of appetizers, followed by fresh breads with an assortment of curries, rice and of course dessert. All accompanied by a yogurt drink (chaas) which is the perfect cooling antidote to the spicy, hot food. And when you are done, you can ask for paan for a token price (that sweet betel leaf confection) which is the traditional way to end a meal.
On our many visits, our appetizers included muthias (fenugreek leaves mixed with chick pea flour and deep fired), dhoklas (steamed cakes of rice or chick pea flour) and dahi vada (deep fried lentil balls soaked in a spiced yogurt sauce). The curries are too many to mention and the desserts included rasgulla (milk balls in sugar syrup), moong halwa (a lentil based dessert flavored with cardamom and saffron) and fruit salad.
So, why chose Rajdhani over a plethora of options? First, if you are in Mumbai, you’ve got to try the local cuisine which is so different from what most Indian restaurants serve around the world. Second, for a price of 500 rupees, a couple can eat to their heart’s content. And the final reason is to absolutely go and eat like a local where the locals eat.
To learn more and get enticed, please visit their website at