What’s not to like about French fries? It’s a food that turns up at both five-star hotels and roadside food stalls—thick or curly, cooked with or without skin, served Belgian-style in paper cones or in a parchment-lined basket with fancy dips on the side. Delish!
Though the origin of the fry is somewhat cloudy as the French and the Belgians still can't agree about which country invented them, they are the perfect vehicles for cheesy, spicy sauces. But how do you know a good one? “The best fries are made from fresh-cut potatoes and double-fried, which adds crispness,” says Chef Rakesh Talwar, of erstwhile Café Cubano, Mumbai.
The perfect fries will sing to you with its crisp exterior achieved through a perfectly-timed fry (or two, and sometimes even three) in oil that’s just the right temperature. The soft, fluffy interior is perfectly cooked and certainly not dry. And above all the mouthwatering golden-brown hue. When all of these elements come together, they create the perfect fry, no condiments or dips necessary.
Although the battle for the best French fries is a fierce one we have rounded up the seven places to start your calorie-laden food adventure.
If you spot a swarm of people outside a small store in Thakur village, in Kandivili, it’s probably The J. This grab and go outlet does freshly cut fries topped with melted cheese and sauces. Some would argue that the fries tend to get drowned out a bit in the avalanche of flavours. But who cares? Though the Kandivili outlet sticks to vegetarian options the Carter Road and Churchgate outposts please the carnivores with options like The J in the Jungle which is shredded chicken served with jalapeno, cheese and chili garlic sauce. A must try here is the Sausage Fries where chunky chicken sausages and fries are dunked in barbecue sauce. Add to your caloric guilt with the Red Velvet Cakeshake or the Peanut Butter Shake.
Where: Multiple outlets across Mumbai
Also Read: An Insider's Guide to Eating Out in Chembur
There’s a whole lot to love about the fries at D:Oh the café from the house of deGustibus. They’re cut to just the right thickness to be super-crisp on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside, and an expert fry in oil leaves them all but greaseless. But it’s the red and green sriracha sauce, cheese, mustard seeds and chilies they’re topped with that elevate them to new heights. It’s served screaming hot. D:Oh! also serves burgers, sandwiches and fish and chips, all of which pair well with the golden fries.
Where: Ground Floor, Unit 2B, Trade View, Kamala City, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai. \ 022 33716045
Also Read: The Story of Mumbai's Khanavals
The house fries at Doolally are shockingly addictive: The more you have, the more you’ll want. They're full of flavour and super-crispy, and you’ll devour the whole serving without even realizing it. Thick and served with five dipping sauces - a mint chutney, garlic aioli, herbed cheese dip, ketchup and mango salsa, these really are a thing of beauty. They are salty and tasty as hell, but it would be a shame to fill up on them, as the beers (especially the Hefeweizen, Doolally’s signature, unfiltered beer) is delicious as well.
Where: Shop Nos. 5 and 6, Geleki, ONGC Colony, near Lilavati Hospital, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra West \ 9820570311.
The Bar Stock Exchange
Crispy fries at The Bar Stock Exchange comes in three variations--regular, cheesy and peri peri. The spice mix is addictive where your hand instinctively reaches for more fries. Eventually, to realise (to your horror) that you have polished off the entire portion! That says plenty about the French Fries.
Where: Multiple outlets across Mumbai
Dinshaw’s Xpress Café
Who said you can't eat fries for breakfast? Even better when they are served with sausages, sunny side up, topped with loads of cheese and baked to perfection. The Khan's Kheema here is another star dish where melt in the mouth mince is topped with fries and layered with cheese. Huge portions make sharing easy (assuming that you want to). And while we are at it, don’t ignore the shakes here – straight out of Charlie and the chocolate factory!
Where: Dinshaw's Xpress Cafe, 6, Windermere, Off Link Road, Oshiwara, Andheri West. \ 9004530507
If you crave fries in Vile Parle, VJ Café is a natural choice. But your decisions aren’t over yet. Will it be Chilly Cheese fries, BBQ Cheese fries, Pizza fries or the Tandoori fries? With an entire menu devoted to fries it could be a very tough choice indeed. But if you haven't tried the Cheese Potato Twister, you should. It’s a single potato spiral drizzled with cheese and desi masala. This is truly potato nirvana.
Where: Shop 2, Ground Floor, Shree Nataraj Building, Opposite Bhaidas Auditorium, JVPD Lane, Vile Parle West, Mumbai \ 022 69999074/9833391625
The Good Wife, BKC
The impeccably golden potato wands at The Good Wife are dusted with parmesan and drizzled with truffle oil. The fries are served with three dips - marinara sauce, Truffle Mayo and Honey Mustard. Fried to perfection the crisp, rippled shell yields gently to a soft, piping-hot interior. Just goes to prove that even a humble fry can be rendered elegant in the right hands.
Where: Ground Floor, Block G, The Capital, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai. \ 022 4003 9433
Special Mention: McDonald's
Yes, we know it's a fast food brand, but you cannot deny the French Fries at any McDonald's outlet are not just consistent but they also stands the test of time, literally. Whether it is part of roadtrip essential or a home delivery order, these French Fries stay crispy and flavourful till the end.
Featured image: Shutterstock.com
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