Mumbai isn't quite New York when it comes to writings about restaurants, but there's still a fair amount of discussion on where and what to eat, making it very unlikely that you'll discover something completely unknown to the food paparazzi. It was with some surprise, therefore, that I stumbled upon Farid Seekh Kabab center in a crowded Jogeshwari street. I went past the shop one day, noted the crowds waiting to get in and the smells, and decided to try it out. It turned out to be one of the best seekh kababs in Mumbai - incredibly juicy (you can actually squeeze juice out of it), great taste and dirt cheap. Kabab is the only thing they do (along with a cholestrol-spiking fried parathas), though they're willing to get you tea and pepsi from the hotel across the street. And people know they're on to a good thing; the place has an assembly line of kababs running continuously on a long charcoal sigdi, and a perpetual line of people waiting.
I discovered the secret on visit three - Farid is the unknown branch of the much-written-about Sayyad Seekh Kabab Center in Bachu Seth ki Wadi, deep in the heart of the red light district in Kamathipura (the signboard says there's a third branch - Nawab Seekh Kababs in Do Tanki). Its surprising that such a popular place with such utterly great kababs should be so un-written about - no mention in the Times Good Food guide (which mentions Sayyad), or Google or any Indian search engine.
But more is to come.
Right next door to Farid was an intriguing sign that promised Ramzan special sweets every day. The sign turned out to be JJ Jalebi Centre (I kid you not! there's no "kk kiran" influence here). Now jalebis are pretty common in Mumbai, but I've never had anything like JJ's version. The standard jalebi is made of thin fried dough loops soaked in syrup; biting one gives a pleasant cruch and a quick sugar rush. JJ on the other hand, makes jalebis with nearly half-inch-thick strands. Bite one, and your teeth goes through the very crisp crust into a soft, runny yellow interior. Its great; probably the best jalebi I've had in a while. And they have decent gulab jamun too. Apparently the JJ comes from Jamshedji Jeejebhoy Hospital, next to which is the original shop (the Jogeshwari version is a mere five years old).
Getting there is easy - its on the road that connects Behram Baug to SV Road in Jogeshwari (W). Don't try too hard to look for the signage, though Hotel Metro on the other side of the road (where the tea and Pepsi come from) is much more visible. The map below might help.