Dear Friend, Eat Authentic Spanish Food in Mumbai...

Lester Menezes By Lester Menezes, 18th May 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/3x10wuhw/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Letters

The letter is fictional. It is written as an exercise to persuade a friend to eat at a new restaurant, but there's an interesting twist at the end.

Fictional Letter to a Friend Inviting him to a Restaurant

Dear Nicholas,
I have some great news for you and I bet you are going to be thrilled and will want to know more of what I am going to share with you...

But first let me remind you of the two years we spent learning Spanish in down town Mumbai. For us, it was one of the most joyous experiences of our lives. The best part of the Spanish language class was the mouth-watering conversations we had on ‘food' or ‘la comida' as we called it.

How our stomachs use to cry every Sunday afternoon before lunch time... and we could not wait to visit the best restaurants in the city. Week after week we tasted our most beloved dishes at almost every restaurant in the city.

The only thing that was disheartening was that we never found a serious, authentic Spanish-style eatery...

Now both of us are aware that Spanish food consists of culinary cuisines from various regions of Spain.

So, if it is ‘Gazpacho' (Cold Soup) from Andalucia or ‘Churros' (Spanish doughnut) from Madrid or ‘Paella' (Rice, vegetable and meat preparation) from Valencia. They all make up Spanish cuisine...

And guess what?

You do not have to travel to Spain to eat your favorite Spanish food... We could bet on this...

Name any Spanish cuisine you know about... and it won't take you more than 30 minutes to get to the best restaurant in Spanish Cuisine and dig your fingers in it... and we can do this in the beautiful city of Mumbai..

So if you like food... and I mean SPANISH FOOD... and no matter what element of taste you prefer: salty, sweet, sour, bitter or savory... you can satisfy your taste buds at this ‘Über special' restaurant in our city.

It could not get better than this... the only restaurant of its kind - a true world class- Spanish restaurant in the heart of Mumbai City- Downtown Mumbai.

Now do I really need to talk about how gorgeous downtown Mumbai is...
Many who visit the city are spell bound at the sight of Marine drive, in Southern Mumbai... Some of the citizens opine that if you visit Mumbai and do not see Marine Drive, it is like traveling to Rome and not seeing any work of art...

They are so inseparable...

The 3 kilometer long boulevard namely Marine Drive is located at the southernmost precinct of Salsette Island and surrounded by the Arabian Sea. Marine Drive in Downtown-Mumbai is a sight to behold...

As dusk covers the blue skies of the city... the entire boulevard from a bird's eye view, looks like a sparkling diamond necklace and indeed is the most breathtaking view in this city.

And now Mumbai city has added another pearl to her crown...
The only restaurant of its kind - a unique Spanish cuisine restaurant- in downtown Mumbai.

Now that's not all...

The who's who of Business, Bollywood and Sports could not resist exploring the descent of a new food religion on the soil of the city... if you don't believe it--- see for yourself!

The restaurant staff has a collection of pictures with prominent personalities of the city. They have shared a select few on their Facebook page and Facebook almost crashed with the number of ‘likes' those pictures got...

Yet, the best part of the restaurant... always remains in the restaurant... sshhh!
Rumor has it... a mini airport and helipad - for owners of private planes and helicopters - are on the cards and the project is due to take place just at the tip of the Arabian Sea...

Why?

Perhaps some high profile happy customers of the Spanish cuisine restaurant want to make traveling to this restaurant easier...

Who conceived this massive Greenfield development idea?

According to news reports, ‘The Mayor of Mumbai' had recently caught up with ‘The King of Spain' for a cup of coffee with some milk. The King of Spain had visited India for the first time. Hence, the Mayor had organized dinner for the King on the following weekend.

The Mayor was extremely cautious of the King's food preferences, and the food in Mumbai was too spicy for the King. So, the Mayor decided to treat the King with authentic Spanish food.

The Mayor had two options:

a) He could order food for 100 guests and get the selected items imported directly from Spain.

b) He would order his sub-ordinates to make a list of the top 10 Spanish Cuisine restaurants in Mumbai and explore further options.

The flip of a coin was the mayor's decision making tool ... such was the fate of the King...

Heads - they use option A ...
Tails - they use option B...

The Mayor, left-handed by nature was going to use a gold coin for the toss...
Incidentally the coin was minted in Spain... it had the image of Queen Isabel of Spain engraved on one side... the coin was dated back to the year 1860... the other side had the image of the queen's crown.

Just 3 hours before the Mayor was going to flip the gold coin. The King of Spain had visited two of the most famous churches in Mumbai. In fact they were more than churches...

The first was a Cathedral... namely, Holy Name Cathedral in South Mumbai.
A Cathedral is a principal church of a bishop's diocese.

The second was a Basilica namely- The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount in Bandra - Central Mumbai. The basilica stands on a hillock, about 80 meters above sea level overlooking the Arabian Sea.

The King offered prayers for Spain's Economic prosperity at the Cathedral and also whispered to the Virgin Mary at the Mount about his fears of eating food in a foreign country.

Three hours later, the Mayor together with his subordinates were set to toss the coin...

So... would the prayers to the Virgin Mary swing the coin-flip in the King's favor?
Would the intercession of the Virgin Mary influence the laws of physics as the coin was set to launch into the air?

Which position of the coin, what velocity and angular momentum during the coin flip would most favor the King?

But wait...

Which option would actually favor the King?

While option A seemed logical; option B would actually favor the King.

How?

One of the subordinates of the Mayor held a part-time job at the Spanish Cuisine restaurant. He was confident that the Spanish Cuisine restaurant would please the King.

The restaurant served every possible cuisine from the Southwestern Iberian Peninsula to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea to the Northeast Bay of Biscay to the Northwest of the Atlantic Ocean that surrounded Spain.

In fact, the part-time restaurant employee received the golden coin as an act of gratitude from a happy and thankful Spanish customer. This Spanish customer had visited the restaurant on the day the restaurant had started and was delighted with the service and the delicious food served by the restaurant.

The subordinate used the same coin as a contribution to the Mayor's fund. The coin was valued to be at Rs 10,000.

The coin caught the attention of the Mayor when the treasurer of the Mayor's fund in the company of the Mayor was adding up the total funds accumulated in the Mayor's fund box. The Mayor plucked the coin from the treasurer's pile of coins and replaced it with 10- one thousand rupee notes.

From then on the golden coin remained with the Mayor...

Now back to the coin flip...

The hour of the coin flip had finally arrived... The left-handed Mayor held the gold coin... and was ready to flip the coin...

As the Mayor was about to toss the coin, his pointer finger started to bleed... blood flowed from his finger and this weakened the power of his left-hand. After applying an antiseptic solution with a dab of cotton the wound began to heal but it was a slow process.

The bleeding occurred as a result of friction between the thumb and the pointer finger...
The Mayor had uncut fingernails and the pointed edge of the thumb finger nail slit the upper layer of flesh on the pointer finger...

This incident caused a 30 minute delay... the coin flip was yet to take place... the clock was ticking and arrangements had to be made for the dinner with the King...

Finally the Mayor decided to go ahead with the Toss but this time he decided to use his right-hand...

All the subordinates had gathered in the conference room, including the subordinate who held a part- time job at the Spanish restaurant.

The Mayor held the coin in his right-hand and his finger nails were cut this time...
At the count of 3 the coin was tossed in the air...

Heads = Image of the Queen - they use option A ...
Tails = Image of the Crown- they use option B...

The coin went up spinning in the air... and with greater speed it descended back to the earth... thanks to gravity... and then it bounced thrice and spun in circles before all its movements had died...

On reaching closer to the coin... the image of the Queen was covered and the image of the Crown appeared facing the sky...

The Mayor then summoned his subordinates to get the names of 10 Spanish Cuisine restaurants in Mumbai City...

At that instant the subordinate who worked part-time at THE SPANISH RESTAURANT... told the mayor to visit THE SPANISH RESTAURANT which he was going to talk about...

The subordinate was called PK... but Spanish customers thought he was Piqué...
PK told the Mayor about the restaurant... their food... service... ambiance...
The Mayor was surprised... because he had never heard of anything like that before... The Mayor decided to visit the restaurant...

The Mayor along with PK and the other subordinates drove to the restaurant... The restaurant's working hours were between 6:00 pm to 6:00 am.
The Restaurant was called.... wait... before I give out the name...

On their way to THE RESTAURANT... PK narrated the story of how the restaurant came to be...

It so happened that 5 women unknown to each other... all from Spain had come to vacation in India.

The ladies travelled from Kashmir to Kanyamuri... Kolkata to Agra (to see the Taj Mahal)... and finally had landed in Mumbai their last stop before they would have returned to Spain...

Did I say they would have returned to Spain?

Yes, indeed...

They did not have to return to Spain because their meeting with a young Indian boy changed their lives...

It was during an art festival in the city of Mumbai where the 5 ladies and the young Indian boy came together at the same place.

The art festival attracted a lot of foreign tourists... There were French, Russian, German, Italian and Spanish speaking tourists in large numbers. The 5 Spanish ladies had two things in common besides speaking Spanish. They were fond of art and food.
On the first day of the art festival there was an exhibition on the works of Antoni Gaudi. The five Spanish ladies were present in the same room... The five of them were from different regions of Spain.

Eva from Seville; Carmen from Andalucia; Laura from Barcelona; Blanca from Madrid and Eliana from Valencia.

Carmen had made a comment on some of Gaudi's works in Spanish... Blanca on hearing her speak Spanish went up to her and started a conversation...
During their conversation... after a while there were sounds of laughter and loud chats... Inevitably this also attracted the attention of onlookers... including the other three Spanish speaking ladies.

In no time the other three Spanish ladies joined Blanca and Carmen and this time the sounds of laughter and chats got bigger and nosier. The attention of onlookers didn't really bother them.

They talked about what brought them to India, shared their passion for food and quickly made plans to do dinner together at a restaurant...

The ladies themselves wondered if there was a Spanish restaurant around... Blanca picked up a food magazine to look up suitable restaurant in the city, as she flipped through the pages an interesting advertisement caught her attention...

The advertisement was simple and it read: ‘If you can cook all types of Spanish Cuisine, are adventurous and want to make lots of money... call 1800-200-300."
Blanca called this number, introduced herself and asked for an appointment. The person who answered the call was Jose and he spoke Spanish. He set an appointment for a late dinner at 10 pm.

Incidentally, Jose was also attending the art festival...

Blanca had informed the other ladies about the Advertisement and they were all looking forward to the dinner with Jose.

At this point the Mayor along with PK and the other subordinates had reached the restaurant and so he had to cut short the story... The restaurant was in downtown Mumbai. It was at the corner of Marine drive adjacent to the Trident Hotel.

As soon as the Mayor and his subordinates stepped out of the car a man in black suit approached and warmly welcomed them. Then the man asked one of the subordinates who were in the driver's seat for the car keys, there was valet parking services.
The car keys were handed over to the man in black suit, in 3 seconds he disappeared with the car.

Then a lady in black blazer and skirt approached the mayor and welcomed him. She then escorted him and the subordinates to the entrance.
From the entrance 10 marbles steps led to the door of the restaurant. as they stepped inside they saw the 5 Spanish ladies and an Indian boy (Jose).
Jose, not his real name, was of Indian origin., he grew up in the city of Mumbai.
It was 6 pm and there were no other customers the staff were expecting guests around 7pm. The Mayor was impressed... the flooring... the chairs... the images on the wall... the complete architecture of the place reminded him of Spain... The Mayor had travelled to Spain on few occasions before.

The restaurant had 5 different sections. Each section represented a region of Spain. In fact, the sections were named after the region it was inspired by.
You must have guessed by now the names of the five regions.
Yes, the five regions were inspired by the five Spanish ladies and their respective home towns.

Eva (Seville); Carmen (Andalucia); Laura (Barcelona); Blanca (Madrid) and Eliana (Valencia).

The Mayor then met Jose and told him "I'd like to meet the restaurant's owner"
Jose said "You're speaking to him" and added "How may I help you?"

"Well PK told me about your restaurant, he works part- time here at the reception desk I believe. You see I am organizing a grand dinner for the King of Spain.. The King will be in India for a while... Your ambiance looks pretty good eh... What's on your menu?" asked the Mayor.

"Sir, it will be our great pleasure to organize dinner for the King." Said Jose.
And added: "Name any Spanish dish you like and it will be available for you... I started this restaurant with five ladies who are from different parts of Spain"
Jose then introduced the five Spanish ladies to the Mayor...

Eva (Seville); Carmen (Andalucia); Laura (Barcelona); Blanca (Madrid) and Eliana (Valencia).

Jose told the Mayor each lady looks after their respective sections.
Each section is like a restaurant in itself... It works as if five restaurants were clubbed into one.

While the ladies had specific knowledge about the food in their respective regions they were also knowledgeable about the food from the rest of Spain.

The Mayor then asked for the menu... at that moment soft Spanish music started to play in the background then Jose asked one of the waiters to present their menu to the Mayor.

The following items were some of the dishes on the menu:

Paella
Gazpacho
Cold trout roe tempura and "tapioca" of Iberian ham.
Ceramic potatoes and monkfish cheek.
Smoked white tuna with fresh figs and pine nuts.
Hot-and-cold mackerel and tender pigeon with duck tartare.
Grilled sole with liquid chili and smoked fish snout.
Baby squids with onion rocks and Tahitian vanilla ice cream.


The Mayor was impressed... he asked... "how many people will the restaurant accommodate?"

"Each section can accommodate 50 guests" said Jose.
The Mayor asked Jose to reserve the entire restaurant for the King's dinner for the weekend.

The deal was sealed.

Before the Mayor could leave the restaurant, he said to Jose... "I heard an interesting story of how your restaurant came to be... I'd like to know more about dinner you had with the ladies the first time you met them."

Jose smiled and said "Sure we'll talk about it at the King's dinner."

The Mayor left with his subordinates...

So my dear friend Nicholas, ever since we finished our Spanish studies, you have been living in Goa.

I just have one offer to make to you...

Would you like to be part of the King's dinner?

I'm sure you would want to...

Surprised..?

Now that you know Jose is the owner of the restaurant you might also want to know his real name.

See the signature below.

Sincerely,
Lester Menezes
Owner,
Spanish Oak-Island
PS: I couldn't think of a better way of breaking out this news to you... yes I started my own Spanish Cuisine restaurant... I make you another deal, call 1800-000-000 in 3 hours and you can eat for FREE! Call me now!

Tags

Celebrities, Gazpacho, Island, Jose, King, Marine Drive, Mayor, Mount Mary, Mumbai, Paella, Spanish, Spanish Cuisine, Spanish Oak

Meet the author

author avatar Lester Menezes
I'm a Direct response copywriter, Avid Reader, Fitness Enthusiast, Love the Outdoors, Starbucks= Second home, Devout Catholic, Night Owl and Early Bird, Deep Thinker, Friend, Lover, Brother, Son.

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Comments

author avatar GV Rama Rao
23rd May 2016 (#)

My dear writer Le,
I read your story with great interest mainly because I lived in Old Bombay in Marine drive, A road close to the Churchgate station. In my long years in the Navy I had been to Bombay several times and visited many upscale restuarnts.
I kept reading for the twist at the end you promised but when I reached the halfway point I lost interest. As one writer to other I'd like to say the most important factor for a writer is the reader's interest. To keep it intact, one has to be brief avoid repetition, use of unnecessary words etc. Rome was not built in a day and the best way to improve one's writing is to keep writing. Take my criticism with a positive attitude and bat on. Good luck.

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author avatar Lester Menezes
24th May 2016 (#)

Dear GV Rama Rao,
Many thanks for your honest and straightforward feedback. I will surely take it positively and work on getting better. Have a nice day! Cheers!

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author avatar SaigonDeManila
29th May 2016 (#)

👍

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