Friday, April 25, 2008


I used to get my lunch delivered from home to office through the ever reliable dabbawallah. One fine day, I got tired of the same roti, sabzi and tried to experiment... For a week I survived on Subway sandwiches (couldn't take it after a day), office pantry khichdi (bearable.. only for two days), pantry sandwich (aiyyoo!), all the Shri Krishnas, Shettys and Jai Hinds of the world (I was broke after three days- thanks to my doctor visits thereafter!). Then came Krishnani aunty who delivers home made lunch. 3 rotis, dal, sabzi and rice... office-delivered. But the oily sabzis in micro-mini portions became unbearable after two days. For a few at work, who placed orders for her 'diet dabbas' from aunty got idlis for lunch!! ha ha ha...along with gulab jamun for dessert! So it was bye bye to Krishnani aunty.

Sometime back, I had read about this dabba-waali from Andheri called Sunali who supplies healthy lunch to all the saas-es, bahus, Tulsis and Parvatis of the (K)ekta kapoor's serial world, at the film studios. In yet an attempt to be part of the elite socialite (I am a tamizh 'foodie', remember?), I decided to try out Shunali's Vital foods.
Vital foods is not exactly a diet dabba.. it is more a health dabba. Don't get it? Neither do I. The dabba consists of four rotis / rice, dal, sabzi, salad / snack, juice/ chaas - in neatly sealed disposable containers. And this, can customized to your requirements / dietary restrictions. My specifications include no paneer (hate it)/ rice (puts me to sleep)/ add more curd or chaas whenever possible. Some of my friends get brown rice instead of white, some get two portions of salad instead of juice etc. On any given day, at office, no two Vital food dabbas look alike. You don't get the same boring type of rotis everyday. Some days, its ragi roti, some days its rotis made out of rice flour etc. The best part is that any combination of dal/sabzi/ roti/ salad gets repeated only once a month. So everyday its a new combo. There's more... Once every 10 days, we get pastas / garlic bread kinda stuff. You get a spoon, straw, table (paper) mat, tissue and mouth freshner along with the dabba.

Most people around me, at work, share one single dabba. For me one dabba just about lasts till 6pm. I need my quota of a sandwich post 7 o clock.

hmm, coming to the most important part... the moneys! Sunali charges Rs.2175.64/= (including VAT) for 26 dabbas which works upto Rs.83/= per dabba. The amount is collected before she starts your quota. You SMS Sunali the previous evening when you don't want the dabba the following day, if you are planning to bunk office. Considering that the dabba lasts from mid-morning (juice/ chaas) to evening (snack), its strictly vegetarian and its very well packed, I am quite ok with the pricing. If you are working in Mumbai and are tired of home / hotel food, do try Sunali's Vital foods. Lunch dabba... amma seiydadu polave!

Vital foods - # 2, Shah Baug, 11th Road, (Kapoor Cottage), near V.N. Desai hospital, TPS III, Santacruz (east), Mumbai - 55. Ph: 32944000 / 26126909

Saappaturaami rating : 4 out of 5 (plastic containers!!)

10 Responses:

Anonymous said...
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Gayatri said...

This reminds of my ever faithful aunty who used to give us food every night at Hyd.. Sigh!

Slogan Murugan said...

Request: Saappaturaami's guide to the best sambhaar in Mumbai.

ammani said...

Rs.83 for one number lunch dabba! Ammadi! Packaging and all ver nice but the portions don't seem very big. Enna prayojanam? I say bring back the thayir sadam+oorugai for lunch!

Anonymous said...

well..sounds tasty..but what about the plastic container each lunch generates??

ATT said...

without all this plastic...
reminds me of the food khaana khazana chennai opp bessie beach (now moved to somewhere in indiranagar though)...

ILA (a) இளா said...

.//Rs.83 for one number lunch dabba! //
Too expensive..

Anonymous said...

Amazing! I wish this was available when I was in Mumbai. Do you know if she has a branch in Bangalore?

Delurking for the firt time to say i love your blog!

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