Thali Sweet accompanied by kadio bodio
For Bandra resident Sophia Netto, the month of September meant eight days of festivities, courtesy the iconic Bandra Fair that the suburb hosts annually. Held in four lanes that dot Bandra's Mount Mary Basilica neighbourhood, it celebrates the birthday month of Mother Mary. "You could spend an entire day at the fair. There would be pageants like September King and Queen, games and cane product stalls that everyone would throng to, and all-night long jam sessions by Catholic bands at Mount Carmel's September Garden with an entry fee of `1. We would binge on potato chops, candy floss and kadio bodio, a deep-fried sweet stick of refined flour dipped in sugar. Even black chana would be heaped at stalls," recollects 54-year-old Netto, who offers black chana and kadio bodio as complimentary treats at BKC's SodaBottleOpenerWala as part of the outlet's ongoing festival, Bandra Feast, which recreates the fair experience.
East Indian Pork Sorpotel
In collaboration with chef de cuisine Danesh Vakshoor, Netto has created a special menu comprising East Indian and Goan delicacies. The menu features Mutton Potato Chops (Rs 195), where fried-till-golden breadcrumb crusted mashed potato shell is stuffed with minced meat, and Vegetarian or Chicken Lonvas (Rs 295), cooked with the famous East Indian bottle masala and thick coconut milk. It also stars East Indian Pork Sorpotel (Rs 295) and East Indian Vindaloo (Rs 295) where the pork is marinated overnight and slow-cooked. "Most homes in Bandra would be open to guests till midnight, who would arrive from different parts of the city and beyond to seek blessings at the basilica. I remember my mother making kilos of sorpotel and vindaloo. I've used her traditional recipes for the menu," she adds. End the meal with Thali Sweet (Rs 175), a festival speciality made with coconut semolina and eggs.
The restaurant has also been dressed up with ribbons and balloons that are a throwback to the helium balloons, which were a common sight at the fair. The line-up also includes a retro jam session with in-house DJ Farhan and saxophonist Amar Sukhi on Thursday night, and breakfast housie on Sunday. The idea, says Netto, is to revive the fair's charm. "Unfortunately, it has now turned into an extension of the Hill Road hawking zone," she rues.