Mumbai Meals New Martin Hotel

Things I will miss about Mumbai, Chapter 1. New Martin Hotel. Glorious Goan food, and pork chilly i would pillage and plunder for.No frills, no fuss. New Martin hotel has been a refuge for meat lovers and a haven for devotees of Goan food in Mumbai. Spotlessly clean, with five formica topped table in little booths and a dynamic chalkboard menu, this 14 by 14 ft restaurant is the place to go if you want a taste of what I think eating joints in heaven will be like – clean, efficient, to die for.

2015-10-22 12.50.40Off Colaba causeway near strand cinema on strand road is the little hole in a wall restaurant smashing out some of the best dirty pleasures kind of grub I’ve ever had.

martins open street map

The staples have a permanent place on the menu but the specials (which are really special) get bumped off the list as takeaway orders fly out, and customers eat all that they can. So it’s better to get here early for lunch or dinner and take your time ploughing through the menu.

2015-10-22 13.07.51This is not a busy restaurant: it’s like Goa, sleepy, quiet and laid back (well, at least the parts of Goa I like). I’ve never heard the phone ring here but I see plenty of takeaway orders leaving the kitchen. Silence overcomes the patrons as eating is the only thing people want to do here. You go to some restaurants and the a$$holes make themselves known and often make me want to leave. But everyone eating at New Martin Hotel is a clever clogs: for choosing to be here an nowhere else.

2015-10-22 13.14.37Our routine is thus: we go in, we order one dish to share, like a chilli pork with pav (soft Maharashtrian bun). Five minutes later when that’s done we turn our heads to the menu and decide what’s to be scoffed next! And so repeats the cycle till you are left with nothing but the dessert for the day – either custard with the jelly or caramel custard. It may sound plain and boring but it’s just the kind of thick, wrap around, old school dessert hug you need.

2015-10-22 13.06.58Sometimes, while you are engrossed in mopping up that pork sorpotel gravy, the waiter swiftly marks an X next to an item on the menu. A collective sigh of disappointment from the patrons breezes through the restaurant as the kitchen runs out of something you had your eye on next. It’s the kind of place where one could try everything on the menu. But there are some things we keep coming back to: fish curry rice with surmai fry, pork chilli, beef chilli (when it wasn’t banned), fry egg and mince (minced mutton/lamb with scramble egg, onions, chillies, peas), mutton or chicken soup, ham egg and chips, steak and chips, steak and onions and pork sorpotel. I haven’t tried everything on the menu and this afternoon I was tempted by the sausage pulav (had I not already consumed three of the above).

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Sadly there won’t be a next time, we leave Mumbai next Sunday…

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About nonsense girl

Galley slave, qualitative researcher working in development, married my best friend, writing about my life, my family, my dog, TV, Indian culture, astronomy and my garden. www.nonsensegirl.wordpress.com
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5 Responses to Mumbai Meals New Martin Hotel

  1. ganesh gopalakrishnan says:

    I can see the effect the “makan” has had on you . It looks like the menu has bfast,lunch and dinner items 24/7 . You did not take a picture of the boss man Martin or the Goan aunty. So how does sausage pulao taste. All these food bans are not helping anyone so how come “mallu beef fry” still exists .

  2. Thanks Gayatri.

    Really great memories.

    Shweta & self were reminiscing the early days of our marriage when we were fortunate enough to make visits to the New Martin hotel as part of our weekly check off list.

    I noticed that the Steak Onion and chips are still on the menu.

    From the photos its quite evident that they’ve still not succumbed to designs of South Bombay. When we used to dine there, it was a pleasure to see elderly Parsi couples coming there for ‘kheema pav’ or ‘fish curry’ and taking thier time while reading the Mid-Day there.

    How come this was the last visit ?? I thought thaat there still a few more weeks left to go prior to you guys leaving b-bay.

    Ek aur trip banta hai.

    We’ve all got to make one more pilgrimage there once the ‘beef ban’ is revoked.

    • like your confidence re:beef ban. BRoozi and i are leaving next week on the 3rd so this was my last trip. BUt we got plenty packed and in the freezer – pork chilly for lunch today! So martins lives on in my freezer!

  3. mh says:

    Thank you for reminding me of an old hangout. I had almost forgotten this place.

    Was an occasional patron from 1994 to 2008 with short breaks in between when I was away from Mumbai.

    Reminded me of other great Mumbai Joints, like Olympia (nearby on Causeway), Noor Mohammadi(Famous for its Nalli Nihari, Beyond Bhendi Bazaar, with the Chowk named after it!), Brun Maska ex Yazdani’s (By lanes in Fort) and Berry Pulao ex Brittania (off Tiger Gate), Mallu Beef Fry and Porotta with two ‘o’ s and ‘t’s (RIP!) ex Deluxe at Fort!

    All of them were for the proletariat in an otherwise snooty South Mumbai!

    Good luck to you as you move on!

    • I am told you are the expert in these hidden food joints. Olympia’s keema pav is fantastic as is their bheja fry! We are JImmy Boy patrons rather than Britannia… and i’ve not tried Deluxe…i should have consulted you before my imminent departure next week

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