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Chembur's destination cool for youngsters

Want to know how much Chembur has changed (for the better, of course) in the last three to four years? Take a trip down Ambedkar Udyan Road and stop by at Donut Company, a ‘young and happening hangout’.

But while you choose from a variety of doughnuts and muffins, spare a thought for the suburb’s journey from a being the hub of the ‘vada with a hole’ to being a place where you can gorge on doughnuts and sip Hazelnut Latte.

The cool quotient of Chembur has shot up tremendously since the days when a good cup of coffee meant home-brewed ‘Madras kafi’ and Sunday brunch was dahi idli pushed down the throat at a late breakfast.

“Chembur is getting a lot more younger and cool. There is a considerable
amount of change in people’s preferences. Nothing else can explain the popularity of a place like Oceanic in Chembur,” says Nayeem Sharif, the restaurant manager of Oceanic, a sizzler joint that recently launched a new menu to include red meat and seafood sizzlers.

Oceanic has also opened a resto bar in Suman Nagar, a further testimony to how much more cool Chembur today is compared to even a few years ago.

That the resto bar is called Aadarsh is another story. And the fact that on hip-hop nights at Excess, people dance to Kaanta Laga could be a trifle disappointing.

But all this does not take away from the fact that if a Chemburkar wants to let his or hair down, the destination need not be south Mumbai anymore.


“In fact, people from Chembur and neighbouring areas like Navi Mumbai, Mulund, Ghatkopar, etc are rushing to Chembur to party,” says Brijesh Govil, director of Oasis, a restaurant.

Vijay Shetty, the second generation owner of the an Udipi hotel near Ambedkar Udyan, says Chembur began its journey from being overly austere to fun (and yet not frivolous, say the residents) when new construction brought new people to this rather sleepy suburb.

He says even the Udipi joints that are not really famous for innovations were also carried away by the winds of change.

“It’s our no-frills approach to hospitality that’s legendary. But even such plain vanilla eateries could not afford to miss Chembur’s race to be cool,” says Shetty, who has made changes to his menu card to widen his net of clients.

“We now serve everything from fast food to fried rice,” says Shetty, who also insists that at the end of the day there’s nothing more satisfying than fluffy, white idlis dipped in drumstick sambhar.


A fun place to hang out: youngsters

Heena Arora (16)
Resident of Runwal Centre, near Deonar depot
“It’s very nice living in Chembur. There are a lot of fun hangout places like Barista, Cafe Coffee Day, Tastings, etc. There are a lot of options for people to meet up with friends and just chill out. Also, Chembur has become a good place to shop and there are lot of young people who prefer to hang out here.”

Jay Harsora (22)
Resident of Diamond Garden
“I have recently shifted to Chembur and was a bit apprehensive about entertainment options in the suburb. But thankfully Chembur has turned out to be a cool, young and happening place to live in. It has many restaurants that suit the taste of young and older people alike and are also easy on pocket. I am thankful that my family opted to shift to Chembur.”

Dimple Rajpal (17)
Resident of Sindhi Society
“Now my friends and I have started hanging out in Chembur but earlier we used to go to Bandra to chill out. Now there are a lot of cool places and the suburb has become a lot more active. Places like The Acres Club are doing really well and attracting a sizeable young crowd. This has added some spice to Chembur.”

What’s bringing up the cool quotient

The Donut Co

Opened when
Two months ago
Specialty
Doughnuts, muffins
Seating
capacity 30
Alcohol
Not available
Address
Ambedkar Road; call 25480401 / 9223260835

Oceanic
Opened
when 10 years ago
Specialty
Veg and non-veg sizzlers
Seating capacity
72
Alcohol
Available
Address
Ambedkar Road; call 25216765 / 66

Soul
Opened when
Two months ago
Specialty
Chicken Shashlik and veg and non-veg pastas
Seating capacity
20
Alcohol
Not available
Address
16th Road, Ambedkar Udyan, near Chembur station; call 9819041075

Cafe Coffee Day
Opened when
Two-and-a-half-years ago
Specialty
Large variety of cold and hot coffees
Seating capacity
60
Alcohol
Not available
Address
Opposite Chembur station, near Grand Central Hotel; call 30908673

Barista
Opened when
Nov 2002
Specialty
Espresso, Latte
Seating capacity
30
Alcohol
Not available
Address
Opposite Diamond Garden, Sion-Trombay Road


Rs 550 crore
The total cost of the SCLR project

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By: The metro Team
   
June 22, 2005


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