Unlike some of the other Indian cities, the Mumbai midnight food scene is fairly limited. Many of the options are in South Bombay and some in the burbs. Bademiya, close to Gateway of India is probably one of the biggest midnight attractions. Then there’s Bachelorr’s which does ice cream. Amar juice centre which does a somewhat below average pav bhaji. Haji Ali Juice Centre does juices and some wonderful fruit cream. When in season, their Sitaphal with cream is unbeatable.
Sagar Chinese near Amitabh Bachchan’s house
I was once told that you get some unique Chinese food at Sagar Chinese close to Amitabh Bachchan’s home in Juhu. So one midnight, I started the journey to find this unique Mumbai midnight food Chinese dish. While Amitabh Bachchan’s house was fairly easy to find. Of course, one did get the occasional sly ‘we’ve seen many dudes like you wanting to meet Amitabh Bachchan’ grin from Juhu autowallahs wanting to know if I was going to meet Amitabh Bachchan.
The Chopper Noodles and the Mumbai midnight food scene is of far more consequence today. So, after a lot of gas-guzzling and soul-searching within Juhu. One finally managed to locate Sagar Chinese, close to Amitabh Bachchan’s old home (not the new one – Jalsa). I reached there around midnight and the staff were busy removing the plastic tables that one would keep their food on. When I asked how does one eat. All I got was a shrug, saying ‘Police’. At 1230, the plastic stools get removed and post 1, one has to stand in a corner and eat and post 130, one only gets takeaways.
Coming to the ‘chopper’ bit. I ordered the Chicken Chopper Special Noodles. I was told that regular chopper is sweet and special chopper is spicy. So I went for spicy. It did turn out to be on the sweetish side, but spicy at the same time. Chopper noodles is this reddish coloured noodles with Chicken cubes and some veggies. The noodles are flavoured with 8 to 9 sauce. Which’s a proprietary Indian Chinese sweet and sour sauce with tamarind, jaggery, soy and some spices.
The reddish noodles were accompanied by reddish-looking gravy with chicken pieces. Usually Indian-Chinese food has chicken cubes or elongated shreds as a style of cut. This one was chopped using a chopper after cooking. It had a certain uneven chopped feel to it. Hence I guess, the named Chopper Noodles or Chopper Rice.
The gravy, though sweetish. Was quite tasty. In the West, they show garlic bulbs to ward off vampires. In India, we show Shezwan sauce. To eat the Chopper Noodles. You’re supposed to take a spoonful of the chicken and gravy. Add it to the bowl with noodles and have it. End result of this combination is quite good.
Sagar Chinese opens only in the evening. It’s a basic sort of place. Avoid if you’re finicky about Hygiene. But they do tasty stuff. Here are the GPS coordinates 19°6′47″ N 72°49′47″ E
Here’s a recipe for Chopper Rice. Noodles can be made in the same way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=114M1YxPyf0
Happy hunting and Chowder-on!