I’ve been told I’m upper middle class for quite a while now, and I believe it. Every little tavern I visit turns into an Irish House and every stranger on the streets who asks me for directions automatically assumes I speak English. It’s a horrible burden to live with but I do it in saintly silence. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Mumbai it’s that you don’t need a lot of money to have a good time, you could spend one grand at Starbucks and still feel empty inside, literally and metaphorically, or you could stand outside a small obscure stall, spend 70 bucks, be absolutely stuffed and somehow feel like a child again. All you need is an open mind, and Ram and Shyam, in Santacruz West.
Now it’s exceptionally rare for an opinion leader such as myself to praise eating establishments that don’t pay me, let alone roadside carts that don’t pay me, but the whole point of this website is good food and good deals, and when it comes to good food Ram And Shyam delivers exceptionally well. Plus it’s really hygienic too, it’s the kind of street food who can serve your white friends and not expect their delicate digestive systems to give out. If you live in, work at or went to school in Santacruz, or just love hanging out at the most boring suburb in Mumbai, you’ve probably already seen Ram and Shyam, and if you’ve taken the time off to fight through the crowd of regular patrons and order something, you’ll know they’re incredible, brilliant even.
A plate of Bhel Puri or Sev Puri will cost you Rs. 70, which is a hell of a lot of money for street food, but it’s worth it, you’re paying for quality, pretty fair portions, and the Ram and Shyam brand name. Each of the items on their menu comes in two variants, spicy or very spicy; asking them for something bland would definitely offend them. And rightfully so, you can’t go to a street cart vendor and tell him “bhaaiya, teekha thoda kam karo” without sounding like a snooty tool.
Their bhel puri is one of the best in the city, and their sev puri is just as good, but if it’s your first time, the bhel puri is definitely the way to go. Their food isn’t particularly indistinguishable from other street food, it’s just better; you can practically taste the 35 year old legacy with every painfully spicy but gratifying bite you take, or maybe it’s just their chilli chutney. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.
They do takeaways and cater to parties too, so if you really like their food or are an eight year old boy in 2002, you know what to do.