Patrons shopping at Kandivali West’s Croma store in the early evening may be in for a surprise; after spending an hour or so lost in digital delight, they may leave the store and find that a happy yellow truck decorated with graffiti has suddenly materialised in front of the store and is dishing out pasta galore!
Meet Tasty Trails
Lo and behold one of Mumbai’s latest food trucks; Tasty Trails. Started by Suraj Shetty and Juhi Kapoor who were later joined by Himay Shah, Tasty Trails serves a variety of pastas and some mean nachos. We traversed over to Kandivali on a stuffy Thursday evening to try out the grub the truck had to offer.
Immediately, we spotted Suraj and Juhi, who (despite holding full time professional jobs during the day) make it a point to be on location every day, interacting with customers and getting feedback. So, we watched as Suraj checks on provisions, while Juhi explained the menu to a couple of curios customers.
“We already have quite a few regulars,” Juhi confided proudly. She pointed to a gym just above the food truck and explains that gym goers place their orders before heading for their workout sessions. “In fact, a few guys just stopped and said that they’re heading up to the gym and to have their pasta ready when they come down,” Suraj added, laughing.
It isn’t just the gym that makes the food truck’s evening home an ideal location. Scattered around the area is a range of food brands that indicate an area where customers are open to trying out new flavours. “This area is open to new things and tastes,” said Juhi who lives in Kandivali West. “The crowd here has been really appreciative of the concept,” she added. ” This is also a good location because there’s no residential buildings nearby. There’s a field opposite us, a gym above us and other restaurants in the immediate area. That way, we don’t disturb anyone,” Suraj further explained. Before scouting for locations, however, the team (who have been friends since college) had had to concretely decide on what kind of business they had wanted to start. “We wanted to do something related to the food industry. However, we wanted to do it on our own,” explained Juhi. Suraj, who had been inspired by the movie ‘Chef’ thought that a food truck would be the perfect venture, as it wouldn’t require external investors or interference. To that end, all decisions were (and are) made purely by the three partners. When it came to the decor of the truck, for instance, they choose to invite a graffiti artist that Juhi found on social media. Given a free rein, he depicted funny cartoons related to Mumbai such as a horn surrounded by (we’re assuming) noise pollution and an auto with its wheels off the road; making the food truck a fun, quirky vehicle, bound to grab attention. We were surprised to hear that their chef too, was tracked down on social media. Working with the chef, who has worked for massive brands like the JW Mariott and Irish House, the team decided on Italian and Mexican cuisine, where they felt that there was a niche. So, on the menu one finds a variety of pastas as well as a build your own pasta option. Appetisers include a plate of nachos served with cheese sauce and salsa. “The nachos are very popular. People also love the Mac & Cheese, which is our signature item,” Juhi tells us.
Tasting At The Tasty Trails
Excited about the look of the Mac & Cheese we saw being served to other customers, we decided to try that, along with the Fusilli Mamarosa. The Mac & Cheese was wonderfully indulgent, with macaroni doused in a generous amount of fresh cheese sauce and topped with grated cheese. Meanwhile the Fusilli Mamarosa was made up of spiralled pasta flavoured with a rich cherry tomato sauce and another dollop of creamy cheese.
What spoke to us most was the richness of the cheese, an observation that was explained when Suraj told us that that the ingredients used in the dishes are sourced fresh each day; while the cheese comes from a reputed dairy producer, the vegetables come from a vendor that Suraj’s family, having been in the hospitality business for a while, is associated with. “We wanted to serve good quality food at pocket friendly prices,” Juhi said. After tasting, we believe they can check off both aims; the pastas were deliciously indulgent, with no item costing more than Rs. 125.
If you’d like to tasty the fare at Tasty Trails but don’t see a visit to Kandivali in the near future, then worry not. Tasty Trails plans to expand its brand all over Mumbai; they’re next looking at setting up shop at a corporate park in the suburbs. Until then, if you are in and about the Kandivali area, do stop by at Tasty Trails; your taste buds will thank you!
[schema type=”organization” orgtype=”Organization” url=”http://tastytrails.com/” name=”Tasty Trails ” description=”A food truck in Mumbai serving Italian and Mexican fare. ” street=”Mahavir Nagar, Near Croma, Kandivali West” city=”Mumbai” state=”Maharashtra” country=”IN” phone=”+91 9930067766″ ]