Oldest Traditional (Banana Leaf) South Indian Restaurant in Mumbai, Maharashtra

Entrance - A. Rama Nayak Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, Matunga Central Railway Station, Mumbai - 19

Yesterday, I visited one of the oldest South-Indian restaurants in Mumbai – Cafe Mysore, situated near Kings Circle, Matunga East but the restaurant was closed – since the last two months – as told by the nearby shopkeeper.

Today, I decided to visit another one of the oldest South-Indian restaurants – A. Rama Nayak’s Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, situated next to Matunga Central Railway Station, Mumbai.

Yesterday was too tiring. I was driving Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350. There was lots of traffic on road. I almost lost the way to reach Kings Circle but today, I decided to park motorbike nearby Matunga Road Railway Station (western-line) and walk via Z-bridge. It was definitely easy to reach. Google Map on mobile was very helpful.

A. Rama Nayak’s Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding as said is next to Matunga Central Railway Station, on the first floor, above the market. The entry to the restaurant is from the building side lane.

Few steps to the first floor. You will see a display board mentioning 1942 and platinum jubilee year – 2017 and finally the entrance of the restaurant.

At the entrance – an important Covid-19 slogan:

No Mask, No Entry - Covid-19 slogan at A. Rama Nayak's Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, Matunga Central Railway Station, Mumbai- 19

I reached the token counter and enquired about the lunch.

The person at the token counter first took my temperature to be sure I am not having a fever.

250 rupees – He said for the lunch.

Paid. I received a hand-written bill mentioning temperature and table number, where I have to sit and lunch will be served but before that, I was requested to wash my hands.

I followed the advice and then walk towards the table number.

Note: Hand-wash area was neat and clean with liquid soap available. The restaurant and its tables were also very very clean.

A. Rama Nayak Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, Matunga (C. R.), Mumbai - 19

Banana leaf was placed on the table and then the menu was served.

I requested the serving person to enhance my knowledge about the serving items.

Dahi, Sambar, Rasam, Kakdi sabzi, Chana Subzi, Banana Subzi, Pappad, Puri, Roti, Rice (Pure Ghee on top), Achar, Namak and Chaas.

That’s it? May I start eating now? – I question the waiter.

No. More three things to come.

Ok-said I with a smile.

Chawli, Bhindi, Aalu was served.

Before starting lunch I decided to click the photograph of the served food items on a banana leaf – for you – the website visitors.

Lunch (11.12.2020) at A. Rama Nayak's Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, Matunga Central Railway Station, Mumbai- 19

Mount-watering? Isn’t it?

I observed – Waiters were very courteous. Numerous times they visited and asked – anything else sir.

Anyway, I started lunch, and a voice behind – I will give you soft copy of today’s menu. Don’t worry.

And below is the today’s menu:

Lunch Menu (11.12.2020) at A. Rama Nayak Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, Matunga Central Railway Station, Mumbai - 19

That was not the end. In the end, sweet dish was served with varieties of options. I selected – Rasgulla (two pieces).

I was happy with the lunch especially because very rare in big cities you will find a traditional South-Indian way of serving food. Maybe this is an indication from above to start the South-India journey in the coming months.

Anyway, after mouth-watering lunch, the time was to meet the owner to know the History of A. Rama Nayak’s Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding.

A. Rama Nayak (born: 02nd May 1902) at the age of 11 years sailed from Mangalore to Mumbai leaving his village Akkar, nearby Mangalore in Karnataka (known as Madras province during those days), and settled down in Santacruz, Mumbai. He started doing jobs in a couple of Mumbai restaurants and finally in 1942 decided to open his own restaurant because he saw – you can get omelet pav, vada pav, and misal pav but hardly one can get sambar rice especially if the tourist is from South-India. Thus, he started South Indian food at this very location by serving on a banana leaf.

I question: From where do you get so much of banana leaf on daily basis?

He said: Jalgaon (Maharashtra) and Kerala are two places from where banana leaves arrive in Mumbai and then we purchase. 4 Annas was the cost of the lunch or dinner at that time. Nowadays the cost is Rs. 250/-.

I question: Menu items – Today the same as it was in your father’s time?

Yes, no change. The only change is the cost with the time. And please note: The menu also changes daily. for example: Friday we serve Chana, Sunday is Aalu..like this since father’s time.

Covid-19 has affected the restaurant business very hard. The sale is now 25% only in comparison with business before Covid-19. Earlier, the restaurant was open from 10:30 morning till 3 pm and then from 7 pm till 10 in the night but nowadays it is open only from 10:30 am till 3 pm. Earlier, Monday was closed but now from October 1, all days open. We have started home delivery recently. 15% is home-delivery (within 5-6 Kms. by our staff) business nowadays and 10% is walking visitors.

Tough-Time – said I.

For home-delivery download Wefast app. Wefast boy delivers to your address.

We do home delivery only in nearby areas such as: Matunga East/West, Dadar East/West, Sion, Shivaji Park, Mahim, Wadala, Dosti Acres, Bhakti Park, Prabhadevi.

Our work starts at 6 am. By 10 am everything is ready.

What’s your name sir and the person at the counter? – I question.

Myself -Satish Nayak and he is my son – Shashank Nayak.

What about spices? Do you buy it from the market or do you self-prepared it?

Our spices are different from the market. It is self-prepared by us.

Is this your only restaurant? You never thought of opening more branches? – I question again.

My father opened eleven restaurants in Mumbai from 1942 till 1955 but now only four are functioning – Cafe Mysore (Kings Circle), Udipi Air-Conditioned Restaurant, Udipi Idli House (Kings Circle), and this one. Father was titled “Father of Udipi Hotels” by late M. V. Shetty, Gen. Secretary, Federations of Hotels and Restaurants Association.

A Rama Nayak & Sons - Restaurants in MumbaiGreat – said I and Thank you. Will someday visit again this and your other restaurants too for sure. Simplicity – in one word.

It was time to leave but I decided to have a look around.

A statement on the wall makes a customer happier and i.e.., The Owner of This Restaurant also Eats Here.

Do Not Waste - Notice at A. Rama Nayak's Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, Matunga (C. R.) Station, Mumbai- 19Healthy Habits after Eating - Display at A. Rama Nayak Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, Matunga (C. R.), Mumbai - 19Article About - A. Rama Nayak's Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding - dna - Sunday, Mumbai - 16.08.2015And then Satish Nayak ji gave a Handbook About – A. Rama Nayak. Thanks again – said I.

Handbook About A. Rama NayakVisitors, if you want to know more about A. Rama Nayak and his journey, visit the restaurant.

Update

Tomorrow – 14.01.2021 is Makar Sankranti and Pongal in India. There is Sankranti Special Menu at A. Rama Nayak’s Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding. Must try – Pongal Avial and Sakkar Pongal.

Sankranti Special Menu at A. Rama Nayak?s Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, Matunga, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Not only Sankranti Special Menu, but they are also having Til Ladu too.Til Ladu at A. Rama Nayak?s Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, Matunga, Mumbai, Maharashtra

Hope if you guys reading, visit for sure to celebrate Makar Sankranti and Pongal at A. Rama Nayak’s Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, Matunga (Mumbai, Maharashtra).

Update – II

Today – 14.01.2021 is Pongal & Makar Sankranti. I visited A. Rama Nayak’s Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding (Matunga, Mumbai) and had a wonderful lunch on Plantain leaf. The best about them is: that we eat with our hands.

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And I saw a Shlok to Recite before Every Meal.

Shlok to Recite before Meal at A. Rama Nayak?s Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, Matunga, Mumbai, Maharashtra