Many moons ago, if you were looking for phoren goods in the western suburbs, Elco Arcade in Bandra (West) was the place to go. Hill Road, with its Cheap Jack et al, has always been known for budget wares (and wears). The stuff at Elco wasn’t exactly at throwaway prices, but it was a steal.
Outside Elco’s or Elco, as the shopping arcade was called, there stood a bhel-sev-pani puriwalla dishing out some delicious streetfood. But then nearly every major residential or shopping area in the Mumbai has its own chat-vada pav giant, and one often dismissed it as just another.
But the owner was enterprising, and his near-ice cold Pani Puri was a winner.
Today, as imported fabric isn’t as much of a pull as it once was and there are enough and more fabric shops across the city, Elco Arcade is no longer the landmark. The New Talkies cinema made way for Globus and it’s finally we-can-never-get-the-pronunciation-right Le Reve. The worst we’ve heard is: Lay Reevee (like TV). Uff.
Back to Elco. The shopping arcade is known by the panipuriwalla as the landmark. The panipuriwalla himself is now a mult-level aircon restaurant, but we prefer to the PP at the ground level, al fresco.
The pani puri at Elco is still the biggest draw and two counters stand upfront at the entrance, but there is loads more. Bhel Puri, Sev Puri, Dahi Batata Puri, Ragda Pattice, Sandwiches, Pav Bhaji and assorted dosa. And more.
We recommend the Pani Puri, which at Rs 80, is still a winner. But, a must-try is the Ragda Pattice (Rs 140). The Bhel Puri, that essential offering in any Mumbai chatwalla, is a disappointment though. For that we would recommend a visit to Ram & Shyam at Santa Cruz or if you can travel back a few decades, to Vithal near CST. There are some who would say the Pani Puri at Punjab Sweet House at Pali Market is better, and there are a few others who find the Calcuttan puchka at Gangour in JVPD more to their liking, but if you are looking at the quintessential Mumbai Pani Puri, Elco Restaurant is the place to go.
About Elco Restaurant
Think about street food, and Elco Restaurant will offer you attractive options through their delicious ones. Be it the range of Panipuri varieties, or Bhel or Ragda Pattice, this place has earned its name.
Posted on Aug 15, 2018
Time: 9:30 AM – 11:30 PM (All Days Open)
Location: Elco Restaurant, Elco Market, Hill Road (Ramdas Nayak Marg), Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India