Anyone who’s ever lived in Mumbai, been to Mumbai, or heard of Mumbai from a 50’s rip-off of Oh My Darling Clementine is under the impression that the food you get in and around our railway stations is unfit for human consumption. And from a gastrointestinal perspective, that’s not entirely untrue. But if you’ve spent years of trial and error sampling the local eateries, statistically speaking you’re bound to come across something that’s genuinely pleasant. And we did.
If you’re a historian, you’ll know that the fried chicken industry in Mumbai is dominated by two mighty cartels; KFC, and Catholic mothers. But we’ve found a third player, and we think they’re better in every way, despite presumably lacking the Colonel’s secret blend of herbs, spices and antibiotics. The Chunkies near Bandra station, opposite the Bandra talao/sewage dump is almost too easy to miss. There’s no place to sit, and you will eventually get overrun by beggars and junkies, but if you’re as into fried chicken as we are and don’t mind the occasional inconvenience, we couldn’t recommend it any more.
We sampled three items on their rather extensive menu, two were variants of their fried chicken, while the other was a burger. We called for a plate of Chicken Hot Wings, because we’re not the most imaginative bunch. For just a nominal fee we were treated to what can only be described as a delightful snack. And that isn’t a word we like throwing around. The wings weren’t very spicy, but they were crisp, tender, and relatively large.
The Chicken Strips were identical to the Chicken Hot Wings, only without the bones. It would therefore make sense to order either one or the other, depending on how much you like to pretend you’re a T-rex.
Chicken Teriyaki Burger
After spending three hours in Malad, we officially thought we’d seen everything Bombay had to offer, but then we came across an obscure fried chicken stall in Bandra selling a Japanese styled hamburger. We ordered the Chicken Teriyaki Burger because we thought it would be something we could make fun of. But we can’t; it was an enjoyable burger that earned our respect, even if it wasn’t much to look at. As far as we’re concerned, McDonald’s doesn’t seem to have the technology to compete with this stall overlooking a sewer-lake.
Fried chicken, in our opinion, is a food that is meant to be enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Chicken is essentially the trashiest of the commodity birds, and shouldn’t be reserved only for people who can afford to pay 600rs for a bucket of deep fried strips. It is a simple, mostly tasteless protein that is enjoyed by people all over the world, in remote villages and from inside private jets alike. What we’re saying is, screw KFC. There are plenty of regular, more reasonably priced fried chicken shops all over the city, & you shouldn’t have to pay exorbitant taxes for eating some. Or you could go your own way and just make it yourself, there are instructions literally everywhere. It’s not that hard either.
So do we recommend you eat at Chunkies? No, it would make a lot more sense to get a takeaway because as good as the food may be, the view of Bandra Station isn’t exactly appetising, nor is the aroma.