The population of Parsis in India may be down to mere thousands, but definitely not their popularity. They know and agree that there are few things as satisfying as a good meal. Even as Mumbai’s gourmet scene evolves with more international cuisines, the charm of the city’s historic Iranian-Parsi cafes and their fare still elicits oohs and aahs. Part of their charm is also the kinds of people you are likely to spot as you sip on the special, extra-fizzy lemonade.
Lonely Planet Loyalists
Obviously, hotspots such as Britannia & Co, Kyani & Co and Jimmy Boy in Mumbai come highly recommended in the one-too-many travel guides out there. So don’t be surprised if not a single meal goes by without seeing a “gora” with a travel guide tucked under his arm.
The keepers and protectors
Such is the popularity of these restaurants that it has graced everyone from fancy French gourmands / critics, the entourage of England’s royal family and even the Oval Office! But the real stars are the owners who show up everyday to personally attend to their customers. Case in point, Britannia & Co’s nonagenarian owner Boman Kohinoor aka Uncle Charming. He will insist on fussing over you until you are fed to his heart’s content, and have seen and appropriately gushed over photographs and letters written by the aforementioned bigwigs. This is true even if it’s your 137th visit!
Bawa, Bawi and apro dikras ane dikris
If there’s one tribe that keeps these places going, it’s the “Apro Bawa” community. Their population may be dwindling but their appetite sure isn’t! Bring on the patra ni machhi.
No point in denying that there’s a snob value attached to all things SoBo. And when that part of town sees the concentration of these eateries, you’ll want to tell these ladies that people here care less about LV bags than the in-house lagan nu custard.
The Starved Office-Goer
It’s no coincidence that Jimmy Boy and Military Café are seen in commercial precincts. Clearly the enterprising Iranis and Parsis have a knack of finding the right spot to make the most of officer-goers’ deep pockets…
How to Get There:
Where: Britannia & Co,Wakefield House, 11 Sprott Road, 16 Ballard Estate, Fort, Mumbai
Contact: 022 22615264, 022 30225264
Timings: Mon to Sat – 11:30 AM to 4 PM | Sunday Closed.
Cost: ₹1,200 for two people
Where: Kyani & Co, JSS Road, Jer Mahal Estate, Opposite Metro Cinema, Marine Lines, Mumbai
Contact: 022 30150864
Timings: Mon to Sat – 7 AM to 8:45 PM | Sunday – 7 AM to 6:30 PM
Cost: ₹300 for two people
Where: Jimmy Boy, Vikas Building, 11 Bank Street, Off Horniman Circle, Lane opposite cheetah gate, Fort, Mumbai
Contact: 022 30151275
Timings: Mon to Sat – 11 AM to 11 PM | Sunday – 11:30 AM to 4 PM, 7 PM to 11 PM
Cost: ₹800 for two people
Where: Military Café, Ali Chamber, Tamrind Lane, Fort, Mumbai
Contact: 022 22654181
Timings: Mon to Sat – 8:30 AM to 9:30 PM | Sunday Closed.
Cost: ₹300 for two people