Side shots from a story I did for MumbaiBoss.com called A TASTE LIKE HOME:
An Andhra mess called "Telengana".
I'm kidding. The Andhra mess in Navi Mumbai has an apt name in the tradition of Vangipurapu Venkata Sai Laxman aka VVS Laxman. It is called Om Sri Guru Datha Om Sai Ram Andhra Mess.
Like the name, the quantity of food served is also unlimited. Unlimited rice, vegetable side dish, spicy chutnet, pappusaar, sambhar, rasam and curd. Two days a week, they serve chicken but that's limited quantity.
This part of Navi Mumbai has a high concentration of young bachelors from AP. Most of then work in the IT and other industries along the Thane-Belapur road. They live packed like sardines in shared and PG accommodation and the Andhra Mess is their evening haunt. Their taste of home, place to meet friends. The social networking hub.
The cook was actually a Malayali named Chandran originally from the temple town of Guruvayur, Kerala. But he's spent his time in kitchens in Bangalore, a city filled with Andhra eating houses. It's surprising that there are no Bangalore style Andhra restaurants in Mumbai that serve good spicy food with alcohol. The closest ones to that business model are the Malwani restaurants that are cropping up. Nandini, Nagarjuna, etc. when are you guys coming here?
The music is Tollywood, Telegu remakes of Tamil songs and the occasional Oriya film songs.
View about other 'mess' and eateries in the Mumbai Boss photo story here.
Om Sri Guru Datha Om Sai Ram Andhra Mess. Rajji House, Sec 5 Opp Ghansoli Rly Stn. Navi Mumbai.