At the corner opposite Pydhonie Police Station, in Mumbai’s busy Bhuleshwar area, is a small unassuming 90-year-old oil shop, run by the grandsons of its namesake. The Haji Mohd. Bashir Oil Shop is a gift to its many loyalists who come in search of freshly extracted oils for all kinds of cooking purposes, remedies and beauty treatments. They don’t run on making big offers or advertisements, but owe their success to word-of mouth. In fact, there is even a clear sign that lets customers know that this is a “No Bargaining” establishment !
The shop, which is quite literally a box in a wall, boasts of two manual oil pressing machines made from wood and aluminium. There is nothing modernised about the process, and yet it works smoothly, fairly quickly, and feels like the absolute luxury that it is! We carried our own glass bottles and almonds, which were crushed in a slow rhythm at the top and soon a steady stream of almond oil flowed into a bowl at the bottom…A weekend head massage or ‘champi’ awaits !
Waiting for the oil extraction involves a journey through their extensive menu with popular options like olive oil, rose oil and almond oil, to more unusual ones like capsicum oil, avocado oil, and “night queen”. For those who don’t have time to buy the ingredients and wait for the extraction, there is an entire wall of shelves displaying their daily stock in colorful glass bottles and decanters. The entire experience is complete by being introduced to the resident rooster and hen- Sonu and Monu !
Address: Cross Lane, Opposite Pydhonie Police Station, Bapu Khote Road, Marine Lines East, Panjarpole, Bhuleshwar, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400003