A ‘food-o-logue’ from Bhavnagar


New Member
Weighing 90 kgs and loaded with an insatiable appetite for food I headed this month to Bhavnagar, Gujarat (for some professional work). I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular as I had never liked the city too much. But as the Gods would have wanted it, I discovered some excellent options to dine in this desolate city.

I am a non-vegetarian thus there won’t be much information for my ‘greener’ brothers. Sorry for that!

Day 1

I attempted to order some food in my room (at Hotel Sun n’ Shine located at Panwadi, Bhavnagar i.e. opposite the main bus stand) and was utterly disappointed to note that the menu only had vegetarian offerings.

Disappointed, I called up the front desk but to my -pleasant- surprise I was informed that the Hotel does serve non-veg food (only chicken), but the same has to be ordered ‘in-room’. I had no problems with that. Later I realized that Hotel Sun n’ Shine had a lot of Jain patrons thus it was decided to abstain from serving non-veg food at the restaurant and/or mentioning non-veg items in the menu.

Now coming back to the food, I decided to order some chicken tikka. Upon placing the order I was given to understand that it will take approximately 1 hour for service. Though unhappy I did not withdraw the order. I am happy that I didn’t do that. The tikka was spicy, crisp and very nice.

Notwithstanding the slow service, I would rate it 6 on 10. The only grievance is that the chicken chunks could have been bigger and better marinated. But in the coming days I realized that the reason for delay was that the Hotel did not stock up chicken in its kitchen. Fresh chicken was brought every time by kitchen staff subsequent to receipt of an order.

Since we have been to the Restaurant(s) at Neelambagh Palace Hotel, we decided to head there for dinner.

Me and my friend ordered the following for dinner:

1 fish tikka dry – Rs. 200
1 mutton masala – Rs. 210
1 shrimp tawa masala – Rs. 250
1 Dal makhani – Rs. 80
4 stuffed garlic butter naans – Rs.240
1 green salad (half) – Rs. 40
2 soft drinks – Rs. 60
1 vanilla ice cream with gulab jamun – Rs. 75

My take on the Food:

Broadly speaking the food was very nice, service was prompt and the flavours were such that could suit the palette of most people.

Best dish - Mutton Masala
Worst dish – Fish Tikka

Rating – 6.75/10 (It would have been a certain 7/10 if the shrimps had lesser oil in it and the same were a tad bigger a little more soft to bite).

Day 2

The breakfast on Day 2 was ‘pathetic’, Iddlies were dry and rubbery, alloo bondas (or bread rolls) were bald with sweet (read cheap) potato fillings in it. The -watermelon- juice could be equated to *iss. The only saving grace was the omelet which was fresh and was at par with any other offering on the streets of Delhi.

Since we had a long day, we were really looking to eat our hearts out (but somewhere other than the Garden Restaurant at Neelambagh). So we decided to head to Hotel Apollo (which incidentally was very close to the place where we were staying).

The lobby of the Hotel was stinking due to a nearby lavatory. We were scared and were already reconsidering our decision of visiting this place. Notwithstanding the qualms, we proceeded towards their restaurant, ‘Koyla’.
Inside was different story altogether. The area appeared well air-conditioned and the aroma of vivid spices made its way into our respiratory tract and made us feel at home.

Our order was:

1 dal gosht – Rs. 140
1 bhuna gosht (boneless) – Rs. 180
1 vegetable raita – Rs. 35
4 rotis – Rs. 48
5 soft drinks – Rs. 100

My take on the Food:

I think I was awestruck with the food. Both the dishes were at par with some of the BEST restaurants that I have had the opportunity to dine in.

Best dish – Everything I ate was excellent
Worst dish – None (I mean nothing!!)

Rating – 8.25/10 (It would have been a certain 8.5/10 if the mutton chunks were from a younger goat since meat from older animals has a lot of inherent fat/goo binded in it).

This place is a must visit when in and around Bhavnagar.

Day 3

Due to an early flight we avoided the excellent breakfast that Hotel Sun n’ Shine had to offer. There is a small tea shop at the Airport in Bhavnagar. It sells tea, coffee, soft drinks, chips, and also prepares upma and some fresh bread sandwiches.

I am not a huge upma fan (due to its bland taste) thus decided to have a sandwich. It was made with ordinary bread with tomato and cucumber filings. The highlight was the fiery green chuttni applied in the bread. The only problem was that the cucumber was not tasting very good due to heating up of the sandwich. So I requested the vendor to do-away with the tomato and only fill up the sandwich with cucumber and the green chuttni. I also asked him to serve it cold (not hot). It was an excellent idea and worked very well with humari pyaari Thumbs Up.

Rating – Though it won’t be fair to rate a Value for money proposition, I think people who like fiery chuttnies, will have no problems with a 7/10 rating. The sandwich though small was light years better than the ones served on-board by a majority of our domestic carriers.

Thereafter, I flew to Mumbai. What I ate there is fodder for another “food-o-logue”. Till then “live to eat”!!