Restaurateur Riyaaz Amlani's love for food is a testimony to his childhood spent in Byculla, Mumbai, whose by-lanes are peopled by vendors stocking delicious treats. With Eid al-Fitr on Wednesday, 6 July, capping the holy month of Ramzan, we got Riyaaz to share his recommendations for the top places to break your fast at (or sample festive delicacies at, if you're not observing roza).
Riyaaz gave us the lowdown on the places — both in Mumbai and its twin city across the border in Pakistan, Lahore — you'll get a lip-smacking meal at.
If you're a Mumbai resident, you can head to the "golden triangle" area of Mohammad Ali Road, Bhindi Bazaar and Do Taanki to sample everything from crisp fried jalebis to succulent, spicy kebabs.
At the Mughlai eatery Noor Mohammadi Hotel, the nali nihari, chicken Sanju Baba, shammi kebab and Sufiyani biryani are a must-try. The "chicken Sanju baba" is made with a recipe given by Sanjay Dutt himself to restaurant owner Khalid Hakim. Apparently, when the star visited the restaurant back in 2010 to have their famous nali nihari (a gravy made with marrow), he was so impressed that he traded his recipe for a chicken dish. Incidentally, artist MF Husain was also a huge fan of the nali nihari at Noor Mohammadi.
One of the oldest sweet shops in Mumbai, JJ Jalebi was started in the year 1947 opposite JJ hospital and hence the name. True to its name, it is the jalebis that are un-missable at JJ Jalebi. What else shouldn't you miss? A tall glass of their delicious lassi!
Khiri kebabs — made from goat udders — are a delicious novelty at Hamza. These delicious kebabs are only available here, and are specially cooked on a charcoal grill, which gives them a smoky, unique flavour. But that isn't the only thing worth sampling — all of the other sigdi items are also equally delicious!
Jilani Fast Food Corner
The naan chaamp is a delicious mini naan stuffed with soft mutton to create a gastronomical delight that's finger-lickin' good. But don't just stop there! The baida roti and boti roll deserve to be tasted, so leave a little space to try them out.
When at the Hindustan Hotel, sampling the chhote kebab and lambe pao is a must. The right way to do this, is to get bread from the bakery next door, to wrap around kebabs from Hindustan. It may take a little effort to get this treat in order — but trust us, it's well worth your while.
In photos — Iftaar treats at Mumbai's Mohammed Ali Road by Firstpost's Sachin Gokhale:
And from across the border, in Lahore, Pakistan, here are the best places to break your fast!
Salt N Pepper Village
Make sure you are wearing extra loose pants when you enter this restaurant. Touted as the biggest all-you-can-eat buffet in Pakistan, Salt N Pepper doesn't disappoint in terms of either the flavours or the service.
A artsy terrace restaurant overlooking the Badshahi Masjid, you can order whatever you want from the stalls on Lahore's famous food street. The restaurant also has a mini art museum which gives the proceedings a cultural edge.
Located in the historic walled city of Lahore with stunning views of the Badshahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort, Andaaz is a popular option for those who like good food in a fine ambience.
Burger Corner, Mini Market
This restaurant has no extra frills, but it makes up for it with its delicious anda shammi. You absolutely cannot miss out!
Food Street, located near the old city at Badshahi Mosque
Little food stalls fill up the street with surprisingly yummy treats like chicken handi, quorma, kunne, pulao, khamiri roti and roghini naan.