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Sadak Chaap: A Glimpse of North-Indian Street Culture in a Corner of South Mumbai

Within a small space in the upmarket Girgaum Chowpatty area in the heritage-induced South of Mumbai, we celebrated summer with affordable North Indian street food.

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Molshree
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Even until the early 2000s, the Girgaum Chowpatty area in South Bombay retained its old charm with its bakeries, buildings, and stores. However, all of that started changing gradually. While some colonial-era buildings and a few generational-old stores stood the test of time, various high-end stores and food outlets also expanded their reach to these areas, replacing many old establishments. One of those lanes that now makes it hard to revisit the old times is Dr. AR Rangnekar Marg in Chowpatty, which we observed with a new perspective while sitting in the newly-opened Sadak Chaap.

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The artwork that adorns the walls of Sadak Chaap in South Bombay (top). The seating area in the outlet (bottom).
Located on the ground floor of the Jethabhai Govindji building, an old residential structure that was in the news for a horrific fire incident in December last year, Sadak Chaap's vibrance stands in stark contrast and offers a fine view of the lane through its glass outlet. A visit on a summer afternoon also infused the outlet with the energetic vibe of summer, with colorful and bright representations of North Indian street food culture adorning the walls. While the posh area of South Bombay buzzed with new coffee outlets and stores, inside Sadak Chaap, we caught a glimpse of North Indian streets bustling with people and local halwais preparing delicacies, especially chaaps, highlighting Sadak Chaap's popularity.

From North to West: Sadak Chaap bringing the flavours of streets

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A platter of Chaaps and drinks that gave a perfect balance to our North-Indian street food cravings.

There could never be a second guess about where to start, and it had to be with the Chaaps. The first to come our way was a customized platter comprising KFC Chaap, Paneer Chaap, Boti Chaap, Tandoori Chaap, and Malai Chaap. Offering vegan and vegetarian options, the outlet didn't fail to impress us with the 'KFC' Chaap, boasting the right crispness and tenderness of mock meat that left our mouths fully satisfied. While the Paneer Chaap was flavorful, the Malai Chaap was nothing short of heavenly with its mushy texture and delicious taste. Devouring these delights, along with seasonal beverages like Mango Lassi and Chaas Masala Green, was a treat, especially as we glimpsed the scorching sun rays falling on the quaint lane outside.

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Chola Kulcha matchesthe North-Indian taste buds here.

As we discussed Sadak Chaap's expansion to Gujarat with the team, Chola Kulcha arrived after a short break, reminding us of the flavors of the North. The dish served was true to its authenticity, with potato-stuffed Kulchas and chole cooked to maintain the perfect balance of spice and flavor. Hungry stomachs are sure to find satisfaction with the feast offered at Sadak Chaap. Another standout was the Keema Pav, which, despite being a vegetarian dish, didn't disappoint. Its rich blend of spices only heightened our craving for more.

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Keema Pav doesn't let you down with its flavours. 

While the Chaap Tikka Biryani might not have been the best choice for us, with the rice turning out to be stale, it was quickly followed by a delightful surprise. We were treated to the sweetness of Goey Chocolate Mud Cake and Vegan Besan Halwa, with the latter proving to be a sugary delight that aroused irresistible temptations within us!

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Amidst the blue and yellow seating, with Hindi songs playing in the background, Sadak Chaap felt like a serene corner during the daytime on the quaint lane of Dr. AR Rangnekar Marg. Across the lane, towards the east, vehicles bustled alongside Girgaum Chowpatty. The proximity of colleges like Wilson and others perhaps attracts college students during the noon, while the team mentions that it becomes livelier with families in the evenings, as residents of this lane and nearby areas come to try it out. Sitting below walls adorned with funky frames, we thought it was a good deal to find an affordable setting in the old and expensive South Bombay, which transports one to the streets of North Indian markets.

Sadak Chaap Sadak Chaap in South Bombay