Friday, May 12, 2006

More than 'Just Kebabs'

One of my favourite restaurants in Mumbai is shutting down. A place that I've visited atleast once every week for the past two or three years.

This Sunday will be the last business day for 'Just Kebabs'. The owner, Jaideep, is a good friend now and a die-hard football fan like my buddies and me. We have spent many an evening together discussing the future of European football clubs and analysing the strengths and weaknesses of our favourite players. And to say goodbye to all that so suddenly hurts a little (I'm lying, it's a little more than a little). I've gotten attached to the place, the ambience and I-don't-give-a-shit attitude that the restaurant has. Sometimes you'll hear country music, at other times jazz and on Saturday nights, techno even! You'll hear Jaideep pulling up his staff for being inefficient, overhear chatter from the next table and smell the food fresh out of the tandoor. Simple, not the run of the mill McDonald's factory food, uncommercial and laid-back. It's a place with character.

I don't find places like Just Kebabs too often. I don't think I will. In an age of KFCs, Pizza Huts and the rest of the crap that goes around as 'restaurants', it's these little islands of genuine foodies that struggle to survive. I feel sad. Sad that places like this have to shut down when you have a Domino's popping up at every street corner. And all I can do now is recommend a visit to Just Kebabs (for those of you in Mumbai) before Sunday. (The telephone number is 022-22819555.) I'm going to miss it. Because it was always more than 'Just Kebabs'.


Alexys Fairfield said...

At least you have the memories and no one can shut those down.

P.S. I find your posts thoroughly enjoyable and warmly candid. Keep it up.

ramblingmuse said...

Aww...sorry to hear about this. :-( It just makes me sad when I think about all of these types of places giving way to commercialism.

I've experienced this myself. When I was growing up, my parents owned a neighborhood grocery store until the darn 7-Eleven popped up on the corner. We used to know all the families in the neighborhood, and people would just stop by to chat on their way home from wherever. And now? I'd be lucky if my neighbor even says 'hi' to me!


Give Jaideep my best wishes. :-) I hope he's moving on to new opportunities?


Noojes said...

Damn thats terrible news...

But you know what - I will throw a FIT if Leopold or Mondys close down to a McD's or KFC or any other Pizza joint...

ARGH - its getting me upset thinking abt it...


Noojes said...

ps - havent seen u around my blog lately


Ajeya said...

alexys.. yes, the memories will always be there. so glad that you enjoy the posts :)

RM... yeah. the place becomes an institution of sorts. the small grocery next door. it becomes a place where you learn to share your thoughts and not just buy stuff. really touched by your comment.

noojes... i think our beer-drinking habits keep leo's and mondy's going strong ;) but true, a morcha and gateway of india if it does happen? :-D

Anonymous said...

I'm so excited to find your post on Just Kebabs! I was a diehard fan of Just Kebabs - I used to work in Nariman Point and ordered in from JK almost 3-4 times a week. Do you still use this blog? I wonder if you'll get my message. I've moved to the US now and am really yearning for the masala khichdi from JK. Is it possible for you to put me in touch with Jaideep or ask him the recipe for JK? I will be hugely grateful to you for your help. My name's Sonal, and I used to work at the Monitor Group. I think he'll remember me.
My email address is Look forward to hearing back from you!