Going back to the late 1800’s , there were very few restaurants in Mumbai to cater to the working class and so as a matter of desperation, this gave rise to what we come to know today as “dubbawallas”
The first man to start it was a Maval native, Mahadu Bacche who came to Mumbai in 1890, looking for work. He started off unloading cargo off ships and hauling goods for traders and then all of a sudden, he thought of the lunch-box delivery service.
He began that year, transporting hot food from homes to government offices in the Fort district on foot. And this is how the whole “dubbawalla” scene caught up in the city of Bombay.
I have always been so fascinated with these guys who wake up early every morning, travel distances making sure that the meals reach the respective owners safely for lunch. It’s amazing how efficiently they work and organized they are. They are known to be the most “ingenious” food delivery system in the world.
Lucky for me without taking a trip to Bombay, I was able to experience it all at the poolside restaurant, Lido where they deliver happiness in the form of pre-portioned delicious food.
The Dabbawalla fare at Hyatt Bangalore speaks of simplicity,freshness and flavours of the ingredients shining through. If you’re dying for typical home food at a 5 star hotel, then this is the best you can get!
They cater to four different kind of tastebuds- the Vegetarians, the Chicketarians, the Fishetarians and Muttontarians.
It was lunch-time and I was ravenous so without saying anything more I started off munching into the assortment of papads and chips while I sipped on a Fresh Lime Soda on a hot, sunny day.
The papads were crisp and tasty and my hands straight went for the potato ring chips next. I remember eating these at school everyday during lunch break so it brought back fond memories.
The drink was very refreshing and went perfectly with the junk food before my dubba arrived.
A few minutes later, two handsome boys arrive to my table with my dubba. I’ve heard so many stories from old uncles and aunts of how they literally depended on these guys. It was my first time so I was thrilled as ever!
After opening the tiffin, the aromas that came out were spectacular and at that moment I knew I was in for a good treat.
I asked for the Fish Dubba so my tiffin carrier consisted of 4 different layered tiffins that had rice, dal, fish curry and fish fry.
I was also served 3 chappatis, pickle, kachumber, sweet curd and gulab jamun.
The rice was cooked perfectly and complemented the rich, flavourful dal. This is true comfort food. And eating this at a 5 star hotel? What can be better?
Moving on to the fried fish which was an absolute beauty. It was marinated in these beautiful spices that was fried to perfection. The only thing that was missing were the bones. I would have really enjoyed if it was Pomfret or Seer as that’s what makes it even more tastier and more homely food. So that was a bit of a disappointment!
Special mention to this gorgeous fish curry that was bursting with rich, aromatic flavours. It had that little touch of coconut milk that made it even more delicious. I could seriously drink up that curry. Yes it was that good!
I also polished off the chappatis and kachumber that went brilliantly with this curry.
To end off this beautiful meal, the sweet curd and gulab jamun were delightful! The curd was beaten lightly and quite soothing to the stomach. The gulab jamun was also soft and fluffy and the sweetness was well balanced.
The Hyatt seems to go overboard where creativity is concerned and I believe this whole concept of Dubbawallas will do really well in a working city like Bangalore. It’s a great tribute to the unmatchable spirit of the “Mumbai Dabbawalas” and I’m sure it will keep all Bangaloreans happy and satisfied for a while!
(The author was invited to try out the new #DubbawallaLunch . However, the views of the author are unbiased and solely her own)
Lido, 4th floor, 1/1, Swami Vivekananda Road, Someshwarpura, Ulsoor, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560008
Timings: Monday to Saturday from 12 pm onwards
Price: Vegetarian Dubba INR 500 + taxes
Chicken Dubba INR 600 + taxes
Mutton Dubba INR 700 + taxes
Fish Dubba INR 700 + taxes
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