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Simple & Great!
Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.
And sure enough, Mani's Lunch Home or Mani's (as we call it) greatness lies purely in its simplicity. Mani's is one of the oldest and most VFM South Indian restaurants in Mumbai. Though it has just 5 tables, ( 2 six-seaters and 3 four-seaters), the long queues outside ensure that these tables are never vacant. Its the standard south Indian breakfast of Idlis, wadas, dosas, upma, sheera, obviously followed by tea/coffee, for which people flock here.
There's a very traditional and welcoming feel to the place. In fact, Mani's is a good example of what efficient service is. Here's how:
- The customer next in line is made to wait at a table just a few seconds before the one sitting there is about to finish his food. No unnecessary crowding at the table inside and also no unnecessary waiting in queue outside.
- This is perhaps the only place in Mumbai that I have experienced who generously serve Sambar and chutney without you asking for it. This small action must really save them quite some time when taken as a whole. They keep an eye on every table and as the level of sambar/chutney in each plate reduces to half or little less than that, they appear in a flash and refill it within seconds. And yes, all this is free of cost.
- Without being pushy, they ensure that you finish your food and leave the place, making way for the others. Service is with a smile.
Now talking of the food, I must say that it is very filling, to the extent of being heavy sometimes. Not just because of the generous amount of ghee in which the dosa or upma is made, but also because the chutney/ sambar contains a good proportion of coconut along with other ingredients. And its taste also is sure different from the others.
Wadas are crispy and soft within and so are the Idlis, though my personal preference is the Ramashraya Idli. The Masala filling in the dosas is well made too and served in sufficient quantity. The filter coffee is a bit strong than usual but I like it that way. Every year on Onam, there's a grand authentic Keralite lunch feast (Sadya) celebrating the occasion. I have been wanting to try that for a long time now but I've heard its just too crowded then. Plus it is generally on a working day so never got the opportunity. But hoping for a chance soon.
A Good South Indian restaurant is hard to find! That's the tag line on the Mani's Lunch Home website. This line couldn't be more apt in a place like Mumbai, more specifically Matunga.
Worse place to eat
This place is teeming with filth. As one enters the restaurant one can easily see the running filth from its kitchen. One can also peek in their kitchen, which is kept shabby, dirty, and unhygienic. Restaurant is very small and one get easily cramped in the place. There isn't enough place to enter or exit the restaurant with pushing or bumping other patrons. The place is loaded with college goers. So it is very noisy. Food is quite average or worse. Better quality and traditional south Indian restaurants can be easily found in the nearby area.
authentic south indian food
went here last weekend with my colleagues and had their thali. there are 2 types - limited (served in a steel plate) and unlimited (served on a banana leaf) though the food is the same, they either let the whole table have their limited thali. or unlimited. no mix of either. their rassam is brilliant and so is their sambhar and rice. damages - 400 for a meal for 5. paisa vasool
Authentic South Indian fare
There are some days when I just have to have the whole idli-sambar-dosa-chutney-vada routine that's punctuated by the aroma of filter kaapi. That's the Chennaiite in me screaming for a fill of 'home food'. Those are the days I run to Mani's Lunch Home, a haunt since college days.
Anything here is mouthwatering, according to me, and I absolutely love their Rava dosa. It is just the best you can find in the city. For a sugar rush, indulge your sweet tooth with the jangiri - a plumper version of the jalebi but with a characteristic flavour.
Head here for Food. Expect no more.
This is one of those places where you come to eat. Just eat and don't expect to be treated like in a fancy restaurant. The Idlis taste like the ones you get in Madras(not Chennai) and Medu wada with sambhar tastes equally good. We also tasted the Masala Dosa and it was really well done. Mysore pak at the end is a must have. So is the famous South Indian Filter Kaapi.
Ok manis is quite famous in Mumbai you get to see people from the extreme ends of the city to taste food here..the only place probably where I know You get authentic sambar and rasam is manis.;..I visit so frequently that I know what is the menu everyday..must try if you are there..
Good Old Place
Some important work made me go nearby Mani's. I decided to drop in as I was famished. Since schools & colleges are closed for vacations, there wasn't the regular queue outside.
One Idli-Wada Chutney was the 1st order. As soon as the plate was placed before me, there was wide grin on my face, the chutney & sambar looked just perfect; just the good-old Mani's. For quite some months now the chutney had become watery and the sambar just a broth of lentils with some masala in it.
But the Chutney yesterday was thick, full of grated coconut, crushed dal and some chillies. Sambar was back to its original taste with right amount of spices, Madras Onions, Tomatoes and Red Chillies.
Next order was Sada Dosa [to be left soft & not crispy]. This was soaked in 2 generous helpings of chutney and sambar. And finally washed down with Filter Kaappi.
Wow, I loved it!!!
My earliest memory on Mani's Lunch Home was holding my father's hand and coming here for a Dosa. Back then, as a 5/6 year old, I always thought where it was made and how did it appear in the window the waiter picked it up from. I always thought where it was made, naivety of the age.
Over the last 25 years or so, some things in this old world eatery are still unchanged; the lay-out, maybe the tables also, the gentleman behind the counter, the waiters, the old world Menu Card which is hung on the wall opposite the entrance, the free servings of chutney / sambar and the taste of filter coffee.
During the school & college days [I stay in the close vicinity of Mani's and my school is almost next door to Mani's], what I enjoyed was the extra & importantly "FREE" dollops of thick and tasty chutney and the ladle of sambar.
A special mention of the Chutney which is made from freshly grated coconut, green chillies and pulses. The taste of the Chutney was BLISSFUL; I used to have at least 3 helpings of it everytime.
If you are Manis, please try the following:
2] Idli & Medu Wada
3] Sada Dosa [Ask for it to be made soft, so you can soak it in the Chutney & Sambar and savour it]
4] Onion Uttappa
6] FILTER COFFEE
Over the years, the once-thick Chutney has become watery and the Sambar a little bland. This could be result of the struggle to maintain Price-points and the ever increasing inflation. But in spite of all this, the popularity of Manis is still the same.
It is a place where the Old World [Grandpas and Uncles] infuses with the New World [School & College going students] over a common point, good quality, tasty South Indian snacks.
Unimilted Thali but not so clean
Located inside Matunga ( Not a prominently located as the other south Indian places in Matunga which are mostly on the main road)
There are two sections here, one is the Thali section and the otehr is generally reserved for fast food items like Idli upma etc
Always carry mineral water when you go to this restaurant and if possible a hand sanitizer as well as cleanliness is a concern.
The quality of food is better and is cheaper than Ram Nayak's.
Also do ensure that you have the full meals which ensures rice served is hot.
Call for their unlimited thali (though it is served on a banana leaf). Usually has 2 dry subzis, 1 gravy, fresh chapatis from the tawa, rice papads, pickle. If that does not fill you up (which it usually does), bring on the sambhar and rice with ghee. I absolutely LOVE the sambhar rice. Keep sipping their hot and spicy rassam if you've got a cold (even otherwise). They serve Mysore Paak at the end which is literally dipped in desi ghee. Too sweet for my taste. Tend to pay 125 bucks for an unlimited thali.
Stomach full and soul full
I've just come back from lunch at Mani's and can't stop myself from writing a review, even though I can't keep my eyes open.
It's a very no nonsense place and if you are someone who will complain about the ambiance, seating, service etc. please stay away. During lunch they serve meals (unlimited and limited); a thali with chapati, rice, sambhar, rassam, avial, poriyal, dahi, chaas, papad and a sweet. The food is very homely and tastes even better when served on a banana leaf. Must save some space for the Mysore paak in the end.
For Rs 110 for unlimited meal it's not a bad deal at all.
Onamsadya at Mani's
I went to Mani's for the Onam feast today along with a bunch of colleagues from work. They had hired the nearby Gujarati bhawan to host the feast. When we reached at 1pm there was already a big queue.
After a 90 minute long wait in the queue they seated us all and we enjoyed many specialties like Pachadi, Avial, Banana chips dipped in Jaggery, Payasam, Rasam, Sambhar and others that I cannot remember the name of.
The food was as authentic as it gets and was served on a banana leaf.
Mani's is an institution and really famous for it's delicious pure veg Kerala food.
Hate the ambiance here. Nobody cares to help you. The worst part of the experience is when you are not allowed to take a full meal when your mates order a plate meal. WTH!! Adding to the wound, they charge you extra for additional sabji even though you ordered for additional chapati.
The good part is always the home made taste of rasam and sambhar. Feels you are back to heartlands of Tamilnadu.
The place is just over-hyped. yes, the taste is very good. But the place is cramped and the staff is rude. If you are taller than 5'10", be ready to curse your genes for making you that tall.
The small setting makes waiting imperative. The fact that there are colleges nearby does not help. The place can go in a record book for providing the bill on the smallest possible piece of paper!
The place is just 5min walk from my house and i never get bored having the south Indian delicacies it serves at a very competitive rate.
Service is good only problem is now they dont alow people to sit outside now hence waiting time is more.
Unlimited Sambar and Chutney and no extra price!!!!
This place rocks.
One of the best, authentic stop for any community to enjoy one of the BEST south Indian delicacies from breakfast to lunch and dinner and not to forget the COFFEE
ANYTIME, ANYDAY, for me MANI's LUNCH HOME to enjoy South Indian Food
PS: Forgot to mention the sweets, payassam and the sweets prepared during Deepavali festivals
Ultimate Udupi in Central suburbs
Have been going to Mani's since last 18 yrs, since my college yrs at Ruia. There has been no better Chatni/ Sambar elsewhere in India. What other things make a better udipi place than Chatni/Sambar?
Dont go on the decor or the ambience. If you value these more, go to a South Indie restt in a Five-star, @Rs.250/- per Idli-vada, you can have the best ambience/decor and service,...... BUT ... u just cant beat the Mani's taste!
The price may be cheap but very unhygienic place took some of my friends from Delhi but they were quiet disappointed very bad food, service.
Ordered for Onion Uttapa the waiter got Plain Uttapa giving reason that Onion one will take time
Heard a lot about this place but quiet disappointing, other normal udipi joints are much better off.
Super Saapaad! :)
Mani's Lunch Home is neither clean nor classy. Decor is cheap. Ambience?? Duhh! This place is always crowded! There is a reason why there is ALWAYS a queue in front of this small joint- they serve YUMMY food!
I've only tried the lunch thali here & this is a Malayali telling you..the food here is really good. The thali consists of unlimited quantity of rics, chappatis, sambar, rasam & 2-3 vegetarian side dishes served on a banana leaf. They also serve butter milk which is amazingly refreshing. The thali is priced at a mere Rs 25..truly value for money.
I've also tried the Parippu vada a.k.a Masala vada here which is very tasty as well.
Mani's is a great place to have a quick, yummy south indian lunch with very little damage to your wallet! :)
A quick snack or break fast.....
you can call this place as a joint...Idlis and wadas are served very fast and hot with unlimited sambar and chutney...It will definitely not give your pocket a burn.IF you own a car you can park it along side the hotel and idli sambar is served thereto so it is very customer oriented...However the any other item takes quite some time...