A walk through the 200-year-old Khotachiwadi takes your past a tiny chapel, candy coloured Portuguese-style wooden bungalows with cracks in their walls but stars on their landings, stained glass windows, open shutter style windows and narrows alleyways opening out onto broad courtyards, elderly women peering suspiciously as you photograph their homes, and people struggling to maintain their identity surrounded by a concrete jungle. The lanes are narrow so children play in the courtyards of houses or their balconies in the slum-like buildings. The area is peaceful and gives no indication of the chaos that is only a few streets away.
- Khotachiwadi is a gaothan (coastal settlement) hidden deep in the by lanes of the bustling Girgaum. History says that Khot was a Brahmin who sold his land to the East Indian community who settled here and named the place Khotachiwadi or the village of Khot.
- At the beginning of the lane leading into the village is a tiny chapel. To the left is designer James Ferreira’s house.
- The chapel is where the largely Catholic residents gather for prayers and on religious occasions.
The bare walls that segregate the old (and new) buildings are peppered with graffiti, religious and otherwise.
Step inside a home and you will be greeted with wooden staircases, spacious balconies or courtyards, mosaic tiles and a hodgepodge of wicker chairs, ceramic figurines and mirrors.
Tamarind Margarita: for when you need to be shaken and stirred…
Kokum Sol Kadhi Ceviche: (raw chilled snapper and black rice murmura): because going raw is the new health fad.
Tawa Shrimp and Calamari Kothu Roti: because fish comes first, before the chicken and the egg
Ghee Roast Benedict: (liver pate, poached egg and curry leaf hollandaise): as delish as my other Benedict (Cumberbatch)
Anda Cheese Dosa: because how gouda does that look!
Bacon Cheddar Cheese Naan: only goes to show it doesn’t matter what you look like, it is what’s on the inside that counts
Appam Crepe Suzette: (vanilla pastry cream, jaggery caramel, candied orange): manna for really crepe-y days
The Bombay Canteen is located at Unit-1, Process House, Kamala Mills, Lower Parel; call 4966 6666; closed on Mondays.