When food evokes ‘happi’ness


When I heard that a new restaurant opened in the Bandra-Khar area a couple of weeks ago, my first reaction was, “Really, another one? Didn’t know there was place for so many!” But when I heard that this restaurant was called ‘Me So Happi’, I was curious. And for someone who has been a journalist for a while, this curiosity can be funny business.

So when I was asked if I would go and check out this place, I agreed immediately. I checked with the husband, the man was free on a week night so we decided to head to Me So Happi for dinner. I’m also one of those who ‘researches’ about a place before eating there and when I saw that this restaurant had Bunny Chow on their menu, I was thrilled – the last time I had this was in Durban, years ago! I have pleasant memories of that trip and was eager to try this South African special.

The use of wood and ceiling-to-floor windows gives the restaurant a warm atmosphere
Quirky wall decor adds to the charm
Motifs inspired by video games

Given the number of restaurants in the Bandra-Khar area, I wondered if we could find the place easily. The good part is that it is right on the main road and there’s a huge sign there. Difficult to miss and that’s a good thing. As we walked into Me So Happi, we noticed that the place was huger than what we imagined it to be. I took in the colours, the cheerful decor, the board games and video game-inspired motifs as we settled down at our table. The husband remarked that almost every table had a plug point next to it, so necessary these days with smartphones draining out in a matter of a handful Now, the husband and I are non-fussy when it comes to food so we asked the Chef to go ahead and send us the food.

Beet & Quinoa Salad: Light, refreshing and absolutely delicious

Our meal began with this amazingly light and refreshing Beet & Quinoa salad, it had the right notes of sweet, tangy and citrus which complemented the many textures in the dish. I could have this for dinner. It was a promising start and I was looking forward to the rest of the meal. We washed down the salad with some mocktails – a Lemon Mojito and Kokum Bounty (kokum, lime and rock salt), which were perfect for the balmy weather.

Wouldn’t mind seconds: Prawns on Fire

After this we were sent a plate of the Bombillo (fried Bombay Duck with a Chinese inspired sauce), which was good, but just that. This was followed by Prawns on Fire, a dish that I’d heard was one of the best here and I was curious to taste it. At first glance it looked like another dish of fried prawns, but, one bite down and I was grinning – the prawns were beautifully cooked and the best part was the marination, which was in a spicy masala redolent with the earthy flavours of curry leaves. It reminded me of Chennai. Home. Memories. That warm fuzzy feeling. I said to myself, “Me So Happi!”

We were quite full with these starters so asked the Chef to go slow on the order. He was surprised but when we told him we wanted to do justice to the food and not waste it, he agreed. And suggested that this would be a good time to take a walk around the place. The restaurant is a cosy place but the one place I was taken by was this charming replica of a kitchen near the billing counter.

The mini kitchen
Isn’t that charming?

As we walked back to our table, Chef Aniruddh told us about how they wanted to start opening up the place for events and parties. Given that they have a decent amount of space, it seems like a good option.

Seafood Sliders

Since we were on our way to being full we had actually asked the Chef to cancel the order for Seafood Sliders, which were up next, but one bite into it and I was so glad he didn’t listen to us! The seafood was fried in a tempura-like batter and then topped with a Thai-inspired sauce with loads of lemongrass before being stuffed into a slider bun. Just delicious. The Stuffed Potato Skins came next. Compared to the previous dish, this one paled in comparison and I couldn’t eat more than half of a single portion. Maybe it was because this was vegetarian, but then, we love our vegetables. Maybe it was that the dishes before this one were so good that this didn’t live up to the expectations. I reasoned it out in my mind and concluded that it was possibly the latter.

Stuffed Potato Skins, these paled in comparison with the other dishes we sampled

I had told the Chef in the beginning that I was eager to taste the Bunny Chow and he agreed, adding that it was one of their most popular items on the menu. The good part is that the curry changes every day. I guess we got lucky with this because the curry was spicy but had a velvety texture because of the generous use of coconut milk. Delicious!

Bunny Chow. So glad some place in Mumbai finally serves this dish

The Chef asked us if we had the room to try out one of their signature burgers, we groaned in protest. He laughed and insisted that we couldn’t leave without some dessert. So I went in for the Sticky Toffee Pudding, which was sweet with a hint of salt and packed with dates. The husband had the Banana Caramel Pie, when you have banana, caramel and a dark chocolate base it is difficult to go wrong, even if you try. The desserts were as good as they looked and sounded, but the winners at Me So Happi are some of the appetisers and the Bunny Chow.

We called it a night after the dessert and decided to head home but not before promising the Chef that we would be back to try all the things we missed this time.

Me So Happi is located at Shop 2, Kusum Kunj, Khar, Linking Road. Opposite Guess Showroom.

PS: I was there on invitation so I haven’t given you the prices

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