As the book goes to press, I do a quick recheck of this comfortable, longish-roomed, pure vegetarian eatery opposite the Babulnath Temple (the deity after which the eatery has been named). Soam, an eight-year-old Maharashtrian, Gujarati and Marwari eatery has specialties like Palak and Cheese Samosa, Lemon Basil Punch, Mango Lassi, Sugarcane Juice and Mango Milkshake. Do check out its seasonal specials like Undhiyo (including low-cal), Green Arhar Dal Parathas, Saat Dhaan Khichdi and the Faraal menu. A superb winter menu of Ponk (I love the tender green wheat kernels) from the tangy Ponk ni Bhel to Ponk ni Bhajjiya and Ponk ni Patties are on offer. An unusual and excellent Drumstick Soup served occasionally too. I suggest you check out the Bhelpuri and Paani Puri selection. Calorie-conscious eaters can safely opt for Jowar Pita Pockets while eating Paani Puri. Open through the day, Handvo with chutney, Matar ki Puri with Dahi Wale Aloo ki Subzi and Panki Chutney among the best. From the disposable tablemats made of peepal leaf, bronze-copper Rajkot Thalis to seasonal achaars and chutneys on the table, you will notice a special touch and attention to detail. Small, crisp Kesar Jalebis and affordable prices make up the place. For dessert try the hand-churned ice creams like Gulkand Roasted Almond, Orange Apricot, Chocolate Hazelnut, Sugar-free Badam Pista and Anjeer Almond and other seasonal ice creams as per availability. Stay clear of Chhole Puri, Dal Pakwan and Puran Poli.
Review posted this month
An ideal destination for healthy Gujarathi Food and vegetarians.
What you should try ?
The spicy potato patties stuffed with peas and smothered in savory yellow dal are highly recommended, as is the palak moong dal, yellow lentils sauteed with spinach. All dishes are carefully prepared and presented. If your stomachs can't handle traditional Indian street food then visit Soam.
Review posted this month
Tasty, tiny treats
I first heard about Soam when I saw Kunal Vijaykar singing their praises on his show The Foodie on Times Now, some years ago and wanted to go there ever since. Though I’m a hardcore non-vegetarian, I appreciate vegetarian food cooked in traditional Indian style (I gleefully accept any opportunity to eat a Gujarati, Rajasthani, Punjabi, Maharastrian or a South Indian thali). But unfortunately, for most of my friends, eating pure veg food outside home is a strict no-no. Else I wouldn’t have had to wait so long to visit Soam. But I finally hatched an impromptu plan to go there earlier this week, and dragged my best friend i.e. my bakra along.
The fact that Soam offered Valet Parking not only impressed me but also increased my expectations from them. And so, as I entered the place, I was a bit disappointed to see so many tables crammed so closely together (I didn’t have to strain my ears to eavesdrop on conversations on either side of my table. Sadly, I don’t understand Gujarati).
The ambiance is good with A/c, and Indian music playing at a low volume. The restaurant has a nice traditional touch not only with the décor but also its cutlery. There was a table mat for each person made of out of dried leaves and food was served on golden-ish metal plates (My friend was so taken by the rustic touch, she thought we’re supposed to eat on those dried leaf table mats). Most of the items on the menu had Gujarati names but thankfully, they had English descriptions for strangers to their cuisine.
We ordered Sweet Lassi (Rs 100), Lemon and Basil Punch (Rs 90), Farsaan Platter (Rs 150), Paanki (Rs 100), Vatana Pattice (Rs 100) and Kesar Jalebi (Rs 120). Within 10 minutes all our food arrived in quick succession.
I began by spooning some of the green chutney, green chillies and chunda made with plum, dried dates and raisins kept in little colorful bowls on each table, on to my plate and began attacking the food one by one. The Paanki (3 pieces) was yellow-coloured rice flour batter, spread thinly onto banana leaves which were roasted on a hot pan. I peeled off the delicate paanki off the banana leaves (I was distinctly reminded of the act of peeling off a face mask) and ate them, relishing the taste – lightly spiced with a mild tang. The Vatana Pattice (2 pieces) was made out of a mixture of green peas in a spicy green masala stuffed inside a covering of mashed potatoes, rolled into fine vermicelli and deep-fried till crisp. The only downside of this dish was the powdery corn flower-ish taste of the mashed potato covering.
The Sweet Lassi had just the right balance of sweet and sour-ness and had the thickest consistency I have ever come across (a notch thicker than Kailash Parbat). The Lemon and Basil Punch was quite refreshing however, it left a slight bitter aftertaste post every sip. The Farsaan Platter (sounds very grand) turned out to be a small cane basket containing 2 small pieces of Palak Cheese samosa, yellow Dhokla, fluffy fried Kotimbhir wadi-esque snack minus the Kotimbhir and a mashed green peas samosa in the shape of a cresent. The Palak Cheese samosa was the star of the platter while the rest were decent except the mashed green peas samosa that wasn’t upto the mark.
The Kesar Jalebi was the best dish of the evening. The mini-sized yellow saffron-flavoured jalebis were crispy fried in ghee and lightly sprinkled with tiny almond flakes (These babies looked so cute patiently sitting in their serving bowl, waiting for me to devour them). I want all jalebis to be standardised to that of Soam’s because most places serve soft, thick, super sweet jalebis that irritate the throat after eating.
Overall the food was tasty but the prices don’t justify the small portions. (As per our bill, it was Rs 330 per head at Soam. With a similar amount, I can eat an unlimited Gujarati thali at places like Rajdhani, Samrat, Golden Star Thali or Friends Union Joshi Club). The service was friendly and quick. But if you don’t mind spending this much or more, it’s totally worth your money.
Note: Young folks might receive a mild culture shock at Soam as you’ll mostly find a middle-aged and elderly crowd. And everybody – customers and staff included – seem totally unfazed by little screaming kids running around the place.
Favorite Dishes / Drinks: Jalebis
Review posted within last 6 month
Pure vegetarian home made food is presented in a delicious thali at the Soam restaurant. Marwari, Gujarati and Maharashtrian food is their area of specialization and the food is mind blowing. For me this is the place where I get mouth watering Saat Dhaan Khichdi and lip smacking Matar ki Puri served with Aloo ki sabji made of dahi. Come to Soam with family.
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