For the uninitiated, Chowpatti is a bustling public beach adjoining Marine Drive in the Girgaum area of Mumbai, with several chaat (bhelpuri, pani puri, dahi puri etc.) vendors, and plenty of vibrancy from strolling crowds out for some cheap and well-deserved chaat and timepass after a hard day's work (and before, and during, it). Chowpatti at Ohri's Banjara glosses over all of that, and uses 2 words instead - "mineral water".
Yes, arguably the only cooked and tasty thing in the world you can get for under Rs. 5, chaat goes upmarket at Chowpatti, usually costing 10 times as much, by hitting the bandi
where you always had it below the belt - going hygienic. It's a moot point if it's ethical to have chaat in hygienic surroundings, but several people throw karmic caution to the winds and happily gorge themselves in the open air in this small passageway around Havmor
The place opens only at 1pm, but quickly makes up by attending swiftly to both dedicated patrons and some spillover crowd from Havmor that start surging at ...oh, any hour. You can sit, you can stand, or you can just buy and escape before anyone finds out.
Since Chowpatti has more space than a typical pani puri bandi
, it offers more, too. So there is a whole array of stuff that can make you stealthily forget what you came for in the first place, and clap your hands in glee at the vivacious spread.
There's of course the pani and dahi puri (yes, with mineral water), but there's also dhokla, dahi bhalla, papdi chaat, paneer chilla, jalebi, mal pura, kulfi, falooda, kachori, lassi, tikki, cutlet, pattice, and various combos, the combos priced Rs. 65 to Rs. 111 and including Pepsi. A chaat platter costs Rs. 79, and a chowpatti combo, Rs. 56.
We at fullhyd.com believe that you should eat certain things only on bandis
, but, well, among poor seconds, Chowpatti rates fairly high. Still, may the Almighty show you light.