Friday 13 May 2016

Restaurant Review: Aaswad Restaurant, Dadar

This post was long due.
I had visited Aaswad restaurant in Dadar on the very weekend, when I read an article that Misal Pav had won an award for "The World's Best Vegetarian Dish" in London.

The entry was submitted by none other than the humble Marathi restaurant in Dadar called Aaswad.
The Marathi manus in me felt a lot of pride, as I have always thought that Maharashtrian cuisine has not received its due.
I announced to my Kutchi family I am married in, that it's time I introduce them to some real good traditional Marathi food, which they had still not tasted in spite of living in Mumbai for their entire lifetime.
We drove to Aaswad on a lazy Saturday evening and reached at 7.30 pm. The tiny, humble eatery was overflowing with customers. People had assembled in huge numbers with their families. We registered our names on the waiting list, and were told that we would have to wait for an hour.
We were a little disappointed but then we were too excited and decided to wait. Banners had been put around the external walls of the restaurant about its win at the London Food Festival. Lots of food was being packed for take away by people who were getting impatient by the long queue lining up outside the restaurant.
It was finally our turn to take seats.
Our first order, the very obvious misal pav. They had an option of dahi/yogurt misal pav, but we stuck with the original.
Next we ordered the life line of Mumbai and my husbands favorite vada pav, and then kothimbir wadi on my insistence.
While we were waiting for our order to arrive, I recommended we order Piyush too, a cool yogurt based drink in stead of the regular soda.

Loads of people around us were ordering varan bhaat, which also happens to be one of the popular dishes in Aaswad .
Finally our missal pav arrived. 
Misal Pav
It looked good, nice color, nice texture but small on portion.
I took the first bite and was disappointed. But first impressions can be deceptive, I went for more and with every bite, was trying to absorb and taste as much flavor as I could. But the disappointment continued. It lacked flavor, it lacked the zing and the tadka of the "ghaati masala" which I have experienced every time I have tasted misal pav in other popular joints. I felt that the misal pav I make at home, was way better than what I had just tasted.
Vada Pav
Then came the vada pav, very cutely packaged and it looked delicious.

But the verdict was the same,  the size of the vada was too small, and they failed to create the simple vada pav which is staple Mumbai street food.

Kothimbir Wadi
I was really hoping the kothimbir wadi here would stand up to its legacy. I always thought my mom made the most amazing kothimbir wadi, but I was proved wrong when I tasted the one at Ladoo Samrat in Lalbaug, Mumbai .

I was keeping my fingers crossed that the kothimbir wadi at Aaswad would at least give my moms kothimbir wadi a tough competition, but alas I was disappointed again. Forget matching up to Ladoo Samrat's, it couldn't even match up to my moms standards.
Even the Piyush was not flavorful enough and diluted. The best memories that I have had of Piyush were in Pune as a kid and the next best was at Ladoo Samrat again.

All in all, my verdict is.... if you are the kind of person who is tasting/experiencing Marathi food for the first time, you won't be disappointed here, as it is a pocket friendly and you will get to taste a variety of signature Marathi dishes that you get in Marathi homes only; like pittla bhaat, varan bhaat, zunka bhakar, etc. But if you are my kind ... who has eaten it all and experienced it all as far as Marathi cuisine is concerned, this is not a place for you. There are much better places in Mumbai who serve delicious Maharashtrian cuisine.

And if you are amongst those who wanted to visit this joint only on the basis of the award bestowed upon it in London, believe me it's not worth it.
Rating:  2/5

P.S. This is not a sponsored post.


  1. i need to come to mumbai and then u take me to all the happening places to try out Maharashtrian food. Looks yumm.

  2. Awesome review I was planing to go there but with how you describe their food its really disappointing. Thank you for the article. Looking forward for more reviews.

  3. This post made me hungry!!! And I loooovvveee Misal Pav but can't have it at present due to the little one... I am so jealous! :)



Blog Design: Eden Technologies