Pravas means journey or migration and a train is quite essentially synonymous with a journey. Pravas- a restaurant on wheels is our ticket to delicious and lip-smacking Gujarati cuisine.Pravas – Gujarati Kitchen & Bar is the first railway coach themed restaurant in Mumbai, that specialises in Gujarati & Kathiawadi cuisine and serves a really mouth-watering thali combination.
The interiors are beautifully done with gold-ivory work and definitely transport us to when rail coaches were a luxurious experience. The instrumental music being played in the background add to this fine dine affair. Pravas is a recreation of the legendary Palace on Wheels and there also exist quite a few aspects in the restaurant that are a reminiscence of the geography that they want to capture. From the famous Kutch embroidery pieces on the walls to the beautiful copper pitchers and lavers used to wash hands to the umbrellas and lanterns with colourful and intricate embroideries and glass-work, all present the best of Gujarat.
They have a different thali menu for weekdays and weekends with dishes being rotated to include a huge variety and some seasonal specials. They also have an a-la-carte menu and a variety of cocktails and mocktails.
We started with two of the special seasonal mocktails – Damru Paan and Mango Creme Delight. Paan and refreshing go together and so does mango and summer. It would be safe to say that we should be playing the damru to tell you how delightful these two were!
Damru Paan is a delicious concoction of the refreshing flavours of paan, gulkand and vanilla in milk. Beetle leaf adds an amazing aroma and flavour to this superb combination. Mango Creme Delight is a very thick and creamy preparation with mango pulp and mint leaves. This is served in an earthen pot and frankly speaking, they couldn’t have done it better!
If our meal begins that well, it has to be a good one! Here is what our weekend thali lunch looked like:
We started with the chaat counter and hogged on Pani Puri, Delhi Chaat and Rawa Biscuit Utappam.
A Gujarati thali is incomplete without delicious sweets and at Pravas, the thali starts with sweets! We were served Ghevar Basundi, Churma Ladoo and Anjeer Puran Poli. These are more Rajasthani and Maharashtrian dishes that Gujarati but who are we to complain when they were this delicious? Basundi with bits of crisp Ghevar, this was a perfect delight. It was not very sweet or thick and had the aromatic saffron filled flavour we all love. Churma Ladoo was just as good but a little on the heavier side as was the Puran Poli, owing to the high ghee content.
Starters included Aloo Armani and Dabeli Dhokla. Aloo Armani was scrumptious, hollow potato skins stuffed with a slightly spicy mixture of onions, chillies, ground nuts, among other ingredients, batter coated and shallow fried. This was not oily and tasted so good. Dabeli Dhokla is a sandwich of dhokla with tamarind chutney and spicy coriander-mint chutney.
There were four sabzis/curries – Tamatar Vatana Khandvi which is a preparation in tomato based curry and lots of peas (vatana) and was on the sweeter side. Ringara Nu Olo is baingan-bharta or eggplant/brinjal based preparation and had a non-spicy, smokey flavour. Sev Tamatar Nu Saak was one of the best options with the desi Gujarati style flavours of tomato curry and was topped with thick sev. Kanda Batata Sambaria is onion and potato based sabzi, it was not spicy and neither was it sweet. This was another favourite here!
Kadhi was not like the sweet Gujarati kadhi but was the Rajasthani version of the same which is thick and slightly spicy with red chilli powder and coriander. It was perfect! Surati Dal was slightly on the sweeter side with lots of ginger and onions. We had these with Bajra Roti, Phulkas and Puri and Steam Rice as accompaniments.
Buttermilk (chaas), salad and an assorted papad platter also came with the thali, everything being unlimited. The prices for the Thali are ₹500 (plus taxes) for weekdays (Monday through Thursday) and ₹700 (plus taxes) for weekends (Friday through Sunday).
Overall Experience: We don’t know how to say this in Gujarati but the food, as well as the service, was amazing! The staff makes sure they attend to every customer personally and you will not leave without overeating from your meal here!
The Battle: Unlimited Thalis are a test of everyone’s capacities and when they start with sweet dishes, suffice to say, it was a long slow battle! Only hope we left something for the other guests! :p