There are Gujarati thalis and there are Gujarati thalis and then there is Agashiye. According to the website, Agashiye means ‘on the terrace’ – and so it is.
Part of the House of MG in old Ahmedabad, Agashiye has khatiya seating in an open terrace and more formal tables inside. It is a bright and colourful space, with painted wooden puppets hanging from the ceiling. There are stone urulis scattered around, filled with fragrant flowers and in the mild December sun, it seemed like the perfect place to be.
I have heard very good things about the House of MG – built in 1924 – but since we were not staying there, I was not able to look inside. But from what I could see on the way up to Agashiye – plenty of flowers, cheerful sunlight, lovely old stairs – it is a place I’d definitely like to stay at some time. We climbed up the three floors, admiring the clever use of glass bangles as lamp shades, and enter the terrace, to find a reclining Ganesha.
It was only when we walked out after the meal that I realized that like us, he must have stuffed himself silly at Agashiye and could barely move.
All Gujarati thali places are known to serve so much food that diners have to finally beg the waiters to stop feeding them any more. And that’s exactly what happened in Agashiye – except that the waiter who served us was super friendly and had a great sense of humour. And oh, he did laugh at the clear struggle between greed and prudence we were going through.
First came the fresh juice and a plate of mini kachoris stuffed with green peas. Then a plate with cups of pickles, slices of lemon, chunda and a whole cup of butter in the centre. And then the food – rotis and a variety of dals and sabji and an unending supply of hot jalebi (that I would never complain about). “Keep space for ice cream – it’s freshly made” – our waiter kept reminding us periodically, even as he ladled more food on to our plates.
For me, a meal that deserves five stars – not just for the quality of food but the service and the decor as well. A meal well worth looking forward to having again.