Breach Candy Club, Chez A, and literally the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had

Daya and I went to Breach Candy Club on Thursday night as guests of the two A’s. The two A’s, M, and S all grew up very near and they are lifetime members of the club. A2 first went to the pool when he was three months old.

Breach Candy Club has a strong reputation in Bombay, so you’d think it would be a pretentious place. Not at all. Instead, it has relaxed atmosphere and laid back staff. Most people were in shorts and flip flops at night. I felt very comfortable in my cowboy boots and Fab India clothing.

Delicious food included: paneer naan, spicy fries, paneer and mushroom kebobs.

We also got noodles and some rice. It was good but I was already full, so I only had enough to be polite as my mouth and stomach had shut off.

They also had coconut water and Kingfisher Blue. Kingfisher Blue is the best beer I’ve come across in India. Most places that have it on the menu actually have it in stock, which is nice.

During dinner, A had mentioned several times that there was a chocolate cake in the car. In India, bringing something up more than once is pretty much as far as someone will go to insist you have to try something. So at the end of dinner I jumped at the opportunity to go with A2 to their car and bring back the cake.

Wow. This cake was ridiculous.

I ate my own piece, and when we stood up to leave, after everyone had left the table, I had leftover bites of cake that was still on the table also. And I was already too full to taste the noodles. A left her cellphone on the table. I noticed it as I went around the table eating from other people’s plates.

Apparently, it was even vegan-friendly egg-free cake. !?? Wow.

Afterward, we went to A’s place. Her family decorated the place and bought places in the building for her drivers as well. We couldn’t figure out how to get my iphone on the sound system, so we had apartment-wide surround sound jazz covers of western songs on the sound system the whole time. A provided us with lots of delicious wine to drown out the music.

S showed up and the night felt like a reunion of friends. S has been giving me cultural advice and feedback while I’ve been in Bombay. I hadn’t seen her since New York though.

A little after S, A’s parents showed up. Her dad’s hilarious. Her mom’s a hard-driving business woman. Friendly, but with a very intense presence. Her dad said he doesn’t like guys but was nice to me after I apologized for not being a girl. Her mom asked me what I was up to and did not accept “I’m just getting my bearings” for an answer. So I told her about HelpWallah and she gave me a bunch of feedback and said she’s interested in being part of the beta. She focused on how HelpWallah could be useful in emergency situations.

We also talked about real estate laws and policies in Bombay. A’s mom explained that the way the law works, once someone has been living in a certain place for a certain amount of time, squatters rights factor in and the person is legally protected. So if you’re a land owner, it’s in your best interests to build publicly subsidized housing for the slum dwellers because then you no longer have slums on your property – the slum dwellers have free apartments instead – which makes the rest of your land more valuable. From slum-dwellers’ perspectives, converting slum dwellings into apartments is not necessarily a win though. Even though they would get nice apartments, they would not all be able to run whatever businesses they had out of their apartment. So they would get an apartment but lose their livelihoods.

Then A sent us with S in a car home. The trip back is a lot faster in A’s car with her driver than it is in a cab.

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