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Its weekend and you feel like eating out, but not in the mood of visiting a noisy chaotic place in Juhu or Carter road; rather want to catch up with your favourite book in complete solitude over a good meal in a homely ambience. Or your old school buddies have decided for a small reunion, and you want your gang to be in the comfort of home with no limits bound as you guys giggle childishly at those fond childhood reminisces, sometimes breaking into a group laughter without ever to have the restaurant staff coming to you and declaring with a grim face to tone down your fun since other tables might be finding you guys too noisy.
Or your in-laws have come from Kolkata and after trying out all kinds of popular local dishes like Pav Vaji, Poha, Vada Pav and Misal Pav, they are still cribbing about their daily Bong Pabda and ilish along with telebhaja and jhalmuri as evening snacks.
What if you get add-ons like watching your favorite Bengali movie, as you munch that crispy Beguni and jhalmuri sitting on that cushy sofa occasionally sipping on to the authentic Kolkata tea or Chef Reena’s special coffee in a place which is just like your homely Adda ….you feel you are out of home yet at home …
If you have ever wished any of these situations, and didn’t want to go through getting mentally prepared for that chic joint in Juhu , Bandra or Khar bringing up your elite look or getting conscious about the protocols and the need to deck up for the occasion and then getting there and continuously remaining conscious about that you should make a smart choice while you order and give that look that you fully comprehend the menu(those French and Spanish names )!!!! Instead, you just want to be in your natural expressive self in the slow-paced, serene, the warmth of your home, that too with your favourite dishes cooked with a touch of care and affection, which reminds you of mom’s special culinary expertise, then Just Bengal is just the place for you.
Originally started as “Reena’s Kitchen” way back in 2010 by Mrs Reena Roy, a visionary who sensed an underlying demand for authentic Bengali cuisines for the 1.25 million Bengali Mumbaikars, it became an instant buzz amongst the Bengali community is the first of its kind in the speciality cuisine category. Her solo venture got noticed, received more attention and the buzz got more amplified when it was covered in 2010 by Ms Indira Rodericks from Times of India during the Durga Puja, the most auspicious festival for entire Bengali community globally.
Subsequently, Reena’s Kitchen got rechristened as Just Bengal in 2014, once again during Durga Puja and thus began its gastronomic journey for the perennially sumptuous food connoisseur Bengali and allied communities. However, at this point, they catered to home deliveries only to a large base of Bengalis spread across the Western suburbs.
The Christmas of 2014 saw Just Bengal getting its first review on Zomato and subsequently got a massive positive feedback across communities and all ages from college students to senior citizens to young adults looking for some authentic Bengali style homemade cuisine range.
It was clearly emerging that the secret of its success in such a short time lay with the variety of sumptuous range of dishes meant for almost all kinds of taste buds, speedy service and most significantly the personal touch of Chef Reena which left many a people with lingering fond memories of love, care and affection.
With time and consistency of its service quality and personal touch, Just Bengal became one of the first few restaurants in Mumbai to be associated with Swiggy, Foodpanda, Tiny Owl and Chomps.
A major feather in the cap came in the form of an award from Burp putting Just Bengal in the Ivy League of top 6 Bengali restaurants of Mumbai.
Recently, from 2016, Mrs Roy now duly supported by equally enterprising daughter Devyayne, emphasized more on Home Away from Home theme, opening up Just Bengal, which till date focused only on home deliveries, to a dine-in space where people can feel the relaxing spirit and flavor of one’s own home with no strings attached .
As you enter this lovely place, which is quite cute and cozy, you will immediately be smitten by the personal touch of the place and instantly relate with the charming atmosphere as you get to see the spectacular view of the 66 million years old monolith, Gilbert Hill and feel the serenity and tranquility of the place engulfing you.
Once you settle down with your companions, you have the choice of playing a board game if people are in the mood or simply jive to your choicest music (They have a wonderful collection from oldies to the current trending ones). And if you happen to land up on a Friday, you can watch your favourite iconic movies from a wide range of Hollywood, Bollywood and Tollywood blockbusters.
As you get ensconced and loosen up, you will be greeted with the crispy, munchy, spicy Jhalmuri with warm Beguni assured to warm up your taste buds.
As your taste buds yearn for more, you have a wide range of mouth-watering snacks to choose from right from chicken and mutton roll to ghugni, Narkel Bora, Alu Kabli and dry chilly chicken. All set to make you get into the groovy mood for deep discussion or just real chill, fun and laughter with your gang.
For drinks, either you can carry your own beer or you can sip the aromatic Kolkata Tea or try Reena’s Special Coffee with the munchy snacks.
As time flies by and you are into a real invigorating mood and letting your hair loose, now it’s time for the main course to arrive.
Wow, your mouth just starts watering again as the aroma of masala and the flavour makes your olfactory sensorial instantly active. So, what do we have here? This is a full thali comprising of Doi Maach Polao, Khichuri Begun Bhaji, Shorshe Maache, Pabda bori r jhol, Mutton Rezala, Chatni and payesh /kheer in dessert.
In the Shorshe Maach category, you have options ranging from Katla to Ilish /Hilsa and Bhetki while in Doi Maach it’s Kati Maach for you. A big slurrrrrp is bound to happen as you start savouring each of the items.
If you feel like saying “ Yeh Dil Maange More ”, you have special dishes in Mutton Kasha, Sorshe Ilish, famous Kolkatan Gol Barir Mangsho, Chicken Kurkure, Ilish Bhapa, dry chilly Paneer, Prawn Malai Curry, Dhokar Dalna with Keema Cholar Dal and lots more, which arrives almost the moment you express the desire to have it .
Not only thalis, even ala carte is available to add on to the experience.
This, indeed, is a place for any type of gathering right from a coo-cooing date, to a birthday party and to a just chill hangout with your colleagues/friends.
Upcoming events: Just Bengal Home Café will soon be starting movie marathon of famous Bengali movies like the works of legends as Satyajit Ray, Saradindu Bandhopadhyay’s Byomkesh series and other award-winning memorable flicks. Movies from the western genre like 2001 Space Odyssey, Pulp Fiction, The Terminator Series along with popular Hindi entertainers like Khosla ka Ghosla, Choti Si Baat, Bawarchi, Sholay etc will also be available for the patrons.
Special Note: Just Bengal is the only one of its kind to start a fully fledged Durga Puja Parikrama , a pandal whopping experience of Mumbai’s 10 best Durga Puja Mandaps. The activity is fun-filled, exotic and really engaging for those who have experienced it for the last 3 years. The Parikrama which happens also during the time of Navaratri, attracts a large number of Non-Bengali crowd as well making it worth an experience.
Overall, it is worth a visit simply for the sheer fun and relaxing ambience and relishing real authentic traditional Bengali food which has been loved not only by the archetypal Bengali who misses his maachi but even the vegan communities and local Maharashtrian visitors as well.
To quote the age-old adage in a different way:
“Home (Just Bengal) is where the heart is.!!!!”
Sounds cool so far? Just keep in mind the necessary details
Rating: 3.5 /5
Jesal Apartments, Gilbert Hill Road,
Booking Contact no – +919819959320
Directions: https: // g.co/kgs/BW3UfF
It is suggested to call and book your place in advance so as to enable them to serve you with more customized personal attention.
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