Variety of palatable ‘powders’ and pickles will always welcome you with a smile when you enter any authentic Andhra cuisine restaurant.
The Andhra meal’s centre of attraction is Rice. It all starts with hot rice served on to your plantain leaf and a spoon of ghee is poured on top of that. The ghee will melt instantly and disappear in that ‘small heap’ of rice.
This ghee rice becomes the base for the different variety of powders. Tur dal powder, curry leaf powder, gun powder, etc are mixed with the above base and enjoyed one after the another as per your taste buds’ liking.
Pappu (dal) makes the entry on top of rice after the onslaught of powders. This is followed by rasam rice and curd rice. The pickles namely Aavakay (type of mango pickle), lemon or gongura (red sorrel leaves / sour spinach) are used as and when you feel that your rice doesn’t have the required spiciness/flavour. As told by the Telugu foodie couple Madhumayee and Nagesh “Papad or papadam is mandatory right from the start to the end”. The ‘finger licking good’ concept is very much quintessential to any South Indian meal and it stands true for Andhra food as well.
So if a person who has savoured this type of rich tangy and spicy food for the major part of his life , then he cannot resist himself from such cuisine.
Then there are lot of people who call themselves foodies, including yours truly , but then the definition will differ for each foodie : for some it is enjoying new cuisines, for some it is eating a lots 😉 and for some it is the pure joy of going through the emotion of having food which will make them content.
Subash Rao ‘unfortunately’ falls into both the above mentioned categories where he has enjoyed Andhra food whenever he visited his native place Hyderabad and he is a foodie who finds that ‘joy’ in eating different types of cuisines.
So for Subash the hunt for an authentic Andhra restaurant in Mumbai was a long 25 year journey. All through his corporate life he kept searching for such a restaurant. During these years he has managed to travel to different parts / corners of Mumbai and tried lot of new restaurants. This has made him a person with a huge repository of ‘signature’ restaurants in Mumbai. He can plan a whole day for you in Mumbai where you can travel and keep tasting the best food.
After his search for an authentic Andhra joint turned futile, he pledged to give the Aamchi Mumbai people a taste of Andhra food. That is how Subash Rao quit his 25 years of corporate life and started his work towards achieving his dream . But for someone who had no knowledge about the restaurant business it was a herculean task.
He shared this desire with a stalwart in the restaurant business Sudhakar Shetty. Sudhakar with an experience of more than 30 years in this domain turned out to be the right partner. For Sudhakar this was a cake walk. He entered into this stream right from his college days and have successfully set up many restaurants like Oozo in Sakinaka and Lounge 18 in Hiranandani Meadows to name a few.
Sudhakar along with Lakshman helped Subash to set up ‘Aavakay’, a fine dine Andhra restaurant.
‘Aavakay restaurant’ which has opened recently in Kandivali East welcomes you with the powders, pickles, Annam, Rasam, Pappu, bajis, etc. and offer both Veg and Non Veg cuisines.
The Thali is the easiest and best go to option if you want to get a taste of everything in one go.
On ala carte you can start with tasting the ‘Miriyala Rasam’.
The Veg starters which will go well along this Rasam soup are Artrikay baji (raw banana) & Miripakay baji (crispy stuffed mirchi baji with onions , chili powder, lemon juice).
Then there is an array of Non Veg starters Andhra Kodi Vepudu, Venchina Mamsam , Andhra Royullu fry, Allam Kodi etc. For the easy understanding of the terminology: Kodi = Chicken, Mamsam = Mutton and Royullu = Prawns. Keep this in mind while ordering your favourite cuisines.
My favourite main course dish is ‘Mukkala Pulusu’ (mixed veggies stew in tamarind based gravy). This can go along with chapathis, parathas and yes you even get Malabar paratha here :).
In Veg you can also try Gutti Venkaya Kura (stuffed brinjal curry) or Beerakaya Chanagapappu (ridge gourd chana dal curry) or even the Vegetable Kurma.
The Non Veg options include Kothimeera Kodi Kura (chicken prepared in coriander base), Andhra Mamsam Iguru (mutton prepared in semi gravy Andhra style), etc.
In addition to this they also offer different varieties of Pappu (spinach, ridge gourd, cucumber, amaranth leaves, etc.) and Majjiga Pulusu (yoghurt). If you have not tried one of these before then give it a try.
Rice preparations include flavoured and spicy Biriyanis and Pulao.
Elaneer payasam is a must try from the Dessert section.
In case you don’t want to eat a full Andhra cuisine then you have North Indian cuisine options as well.
‘Aavakay’ has spiced up the Andhra cuisine offering for Mumbai foodies. For Telugu people it is gonna be ‘Parimalamaina Bhojanam’ & others will surely end up saying ‘Yeh Dil Mange More’.
Location : Behind Vishnu Shivam Mall, Thakur Village, Kandivali East
Price : Approx. 1000~1300 for 2 people.
Seating : 50-60
Parking : Available