As they say, travel turns you into a story teller and that's exactly what happened withAnurag Raane, owner of the city's first-ever travel-inspired café - TheBhooka Beirdo. Anurag along with his partnerGitanjali Tandontries to paint a story of his travels and first-hand experiences with the menu at his cafe. "Initially the idea was to start a travel-inspired food truck, but because of the many restrictions faced by food trucks in the city, we decided on a Restafe, which is basically a hybrid of a restaurant and a cafe," says Anurag. And why Bhooka Beirdo? "Because it represents hunger not only for food, but for life in general, and the Beirdo is an ode to the spirit of my fellow travellers out there who love to explore as much as I do," he adds.
Death by pork.
With the food in the cafe being an amalgamation of different dishes and cuisines that Anurag have come across on his travels to Europe, North India and South East Asia, the menu is quite diverse as well. Dishes likeThukpa, which is a Tibetan noodle soup,Bunny chow, which is a South African hollowed out bread loaf filled with curry, a classicShepherd's Piefrom England are just some of the classics that are a part of the menu here.
"What makes us different from all the other cafes in the city is that our menu is everything that I have personally eaten and experienced, as compared to adaptations of things that we have just heard of. Our menu consists of things that aren't really served in the city as such and that's what makes it a lot more interesting," he explains.
The dishes to look out for should be thePaella, a Spanish risotto usually made with seafood, but is served as vegetarian variant at the cafe. TheBloody Mary Burger, that is made with a special in-house Bloody Mary sauce,Death By Pork, which is much like death by chocolate with the only difference being that this dish has everything pork in it. "There are many elements of fusion food on the menu that are inspired by my travels. I have explored a lot and the menu reflects that as well. Many of the dishes are my personal favourites or something I have picked up along the way," quips Anurag.
Anurag Rane and Gitanjali Tandon at The Bhooka Beirdo.
After having eaten quite an array of bizarre foods like snakes, frogs, wild boars and even cockroaches, Anurag aspires to bring unique yet traditional flavours to the city with his cafe. While organic, seasonal and balanced food is the prime focus, a little experimentation and innovation can be expected. "The more you travel and get lost in the world, the more you will find yourself."
For those of you who may not be able to travel and explore the world as much yet, the least you can do is take your taste-buds on trip at this little Bandra café.