Seven Bungalows and its hidden gems: 44-year-old Nazneen Bakery

There is a certain kind of charm to nondescript-looking bakeries in Mumbai. The limestone-chuna-coated walls are usually crumbling, the floors are either solid uneven stone or have chipped mosaic tiles, and the overall appearance is shabby. But the moment you catch the wafting smell of mawa cakes and buttery biscuits, the spartan ambience is a nonissue. Nazneen Bakery is one such spot; tucked into the ground level of 113 year-old Shanti Niwas in Mumbai’s Seven Bungalows area, the bakery is a landmark location for most local residents.

Butter Biscuits
Butter biscuits or famously known as ‘batasa’ getting ready to be packed

The bakery gets its name from Nazneen Irani, who is the bungalow’s now septuagenarian owner Perin Irani’s daughter. As old as the bungalow itself, the bakery was owned by the Irani family and then sublet to Srichand Peswani, a Sindhi businessman in 1974. Peswani’s sons Manoj and Gansham now run the bakery that distributes its products to over 40 other stores across the city. The roughly 500 sq feet space is divided into a small square cash counter, a display room lined with colourful tutti frutti biscuits and golden cakes, and a spacious room where all the products are packaged by hand. The smell of freshly baked goods was even more intense when it was all made in this small space, but as demand increased, the making had to be shifted to a proper kitchen space elsewhere.

Fresh lots of Nankhatai and Tutti Frutti biscuits lined up

Most patrons make their way to the bakery post their morning and evening walks at the Nana-Nani Park, which is right opposite to Shanti Niwas. Owners Ghansham and Manoj have fond memories of seeing the original seven bungalows which once flanked the bakery on all sides. “There was a dead end here and no buildings, only bungalows, the original seven bungalows of the time,” says Gansham.

Shanti Niwas’ entry staircase. Photo Credits: Joseph Aloysius

The bakery has stood the test of time as Shanti Niwas is one of the last original bungalows to have survived the onslaught of real estate greed. Although the bungalow is in a state of disrepair and abandon as Irani doesn’t live there anymore, Nazneen bakery continues to thrive.

Exact Location: Nazneen Bakery, 7 Bugalows Road, Versova, Opposite Nana-Nani Park

Must Try: The crumbling goodness of their Coconut Baath Cake.

Other Bestsellers: Nankhatai and Eggless Cakes

Pet Friendly: Yes! Happy doggy Oreo is usually curled up behind the cash counter.



Author: Natasha P

Mostly lives in a parallel universe. Trying not to be another brick in the wall.

8 thoughts on “Seven Bungalows and its hidden gems: 44-year-old Nazneen Bakery”

  1. Wow! An interesting insight into the nearly-lost treasures of this city. Looking forward to learning about more such gems through your page. Keep it up 🙂


  2. Perin Irani is my aunty n I have fond memories of Shanti Niwas where my Mom used to take us when we were children to visit our grandparents as well as my cousins…Dilshad, Nazneen and Farhang. We would gather almond nuts and eat the soft red flesh of the nut…n run up the stairs to break the nut. We would be running in the compond gathering drumsticks sz they eere felled from the trees…This article has revived my childhood memories…thank you Natasha


  3. Yes, true, as you put it the last original Bungalow to survive the onslaught of the real estate greed. The could be the last original coconut bath cake Nankhatai etc. to survive the onslaught of fast food.


  4. Beautifully written my darling daughter. So very happy to read your first blog. Your style is so authentic. I think you are the best version of yourself you could be. Kudos to you my gorgeous.

    Yes your blog brought fond memories of years gone by. Good to see the place still standing despite its run down and dilapidated condition. I bet the biscuits still taste the same.


  5. A novel-in-progress – I am an Los Angeles writer working on a novel set in Versova in one of the Seven Bungalows. Magical realism on many levels. I loved this article about Naseem Bakery. My characters live in “a” bakery. This is a wonderful piece that has given me some pictures in my mind – much needed as I write.


  6. Nicely written, Natasha…such a beautiful piece and ode to the bygone days of Mumbai. The corner bakeries and restaurants owned by “crazy bawas” who waited for the roof to collapse before any repair or renovation!


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