Don’t go to – GOVINDA at Chowpatty for vegetarian food

Today is hopefully the last day I will be forced to eat outside my house as the painters finally put the last coat on the drawing room. Our drawing room forms the core of the house and since all the rooms lead off it, it made sense to do it last. But it also took the longest since it was in the worst shape. But I'm not really grumbling because these past few weeks have given me an opportunity to eat outside as it was impossible to eat at home. The painters did come at around 10 am by which time all of the cooking was over, but apart from the food, we also needed space to eat it in! And I wasn't one for eating standing in the kitchen. But since it was hot and sticky, I thought of going vegetarian. 


GOVINDAS at 7, KM Munshi Marg, Chowpatty, Mumbai

Tel :022 23665567
Tel : 022 23665566
Since I’d heard so much about the original GOVINDAS at Juhu I thought it would be worth trying the miniaturised version of this iconic restaurant closer to home – a vegetarian joint run by the ISKON devotees or for the ISKON devotees ( I’m not exactly sure which) so the food is made out of ingredients that are wholesome and healthy (which do not stimulate the senses and therefore libido and are  made without any onion or garlic and just mildly spiced). It is also touted as food that is served to God before it is served to you, so there is some element of the divine in this food.
 Govinda‘s had an eclectic range available – Chinese, Indian, Italian  and there has a wide variety of snacky bites like pizzas, dosas and fondues, mocktails, desserts and  meal options all vegetarian. But normally the best meal option at an Indian vegetarian restaurant is the thali which is the closest you can get to eating at home , so I went  with the Deluxe Thali which didn’t have much to go wrong with 2 rotis, 2 sabzis, 1 raita, 1 biryani, 1 dessert, 1 glass of buttermilk and which seemed decently priced at Rs 220/- because I didn’t particularly want to have anything cheesy or oriental.
But it seemed that I had made the worst choice ever because the food in the thali was stone cold. Served in brass thalis which were dully polished, the food looked as though it had just been slapped on by an angry cook. Considering that this was a restaurant which had a kitchen at the back, there was no excuse for a cold meal. And a cold chapati is possibly the worst thing you can eat especially if it is thick roti which then becomes hard and chewy rather than a soft fluffy phulka which is normally served as a roti in Mumbai thalis.
The raita and lassi or buttermilk were distinctly sour and a great put off for a restaurant which is named after Govinda the original buttermilk afficionado ( makhan chor) who was known for his shenanigans with pots of buttermilk and cream. The vegetables were some what ok but with one channa and one mixed vegetable, I thought it was a bit of a rip off because dried beans cannot be classified as a vegetable. As for the biryani – the less said about it the better. It was a bowl of pale yellow rice, dry and tasteless with one or two bits of string bean and carrot!
The only part of the meal that I enjoyed was the rasagulla but in order to make up for the disappointment, I over indulged with an extra helping of dessert – a rasmalai.
Food has to be made with love and served with affection. If it is cold and tasteless, there is absolutely no point in eating it. And then for such a meal even the tiniest amount becomes a waste.

The Verdict

Govinda is totally avoidable. The restaurant was clean but the waiters distinctly surly. The food was cold and unappetising and what was worse was that there were no seconds – something  unheard of in thali style eating whose USP is unlimited food that is generously heaped on to your plate.

Will I go there?


All in all it was a terribly disappointing experience and definitely avoidable .

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An accidental cook who likes to travel, read, watch movies and do yoga. Currently busy with full time granny duties.

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