Best Places to Try Parsi Food in MumbaiA nexus of almost 900 years old, the Parsees are the treasure community of India which is sadly fast disappearing from the Indian cities. Only cities like Kolkata and Mumbai still boast a tangibly large amount of Parsee families. The culture of these cities, especially of Mumbai has long been infused and then acculturated to the distinctness of the Parsee culture. Among many other things, the food is something which gets blended the most during such socio-cultural amalgamations.
The discreteness of Parsee foods are heavily palpable in the restaurants and cafés in Mumbai mainly those of the vintage era. This crumbling community of Mumbai had more than 500 traditional Parsi cafés in the southern part of the city in the ‘50s. Sadly enough, only around 30 of them still survive in some ways.
The Parsi cuisine here has adopted Indian in their platters and has evolved into a distinct cuisine, typically west coastal, yet Iranian in soul which is robust in flavours. There are several food joints and cafés still provide the authentic Parsi delicacies while many new restaurants offers the foodies a feel of Irani cuisine in some all new avatars.
Best Parsi Food Joints in MumbaiHere we provide you a detailed list of the best Parsee or Irani restaurants and cafés in Mumbai which serve the most delectable and sincerely Parsi foods.
Brittania & Company Restaurant
If we’ve mentioned ‘sincerely Parsi’, it was meant for something like the Britannia & Company Restaurant here at the heart of south Mumbai (some still call it the south Bombay with a typical defending pronunciation). Born in 1923 by an Irani food buff Rashid, Britannia & Co. is now running by his son the famous Boman Kohinoor.
The ambience of the café is as charming as this 91 year old ‘boy’ himself. The signature dish of Britannia is the fiercely famous Berry Pulav-a perfect concoction of sweet and sour fragrant rice pulaw laced with juicy chicken chunks and a spicy red tomato sauce served with lots of barberries, nuts and caramelized onion rings. The recipe of this Pulav was brought in Mumbai by his wife from Iran and the secret recipe is still furiously safeguarded by the proprietor. Another popular dish of Britannia is the succulent Bombil Fry and the Crème Caramel. This melt-in-mouth dessert is definitely a treat for the soul. Britannia & Company remains open only for lunch time, from 12 to 4 PM every day except for the Sundays.
Yazdani Bakery & Café
Please do not get confused by its Japanese Pagoda style architecture, Yazdani Bakery & Café is very much Parsi and it is also the place which serves the tastiest and the most authentic Parsi Maska Pav and Irani Chai (Irani Tea that is) in the whole Mumbai. Dipping those hot crunchily crusted buttery Burn Maskas into the hot creamy Irani Chai would be the perfect laidback eating experience in an Irani Café. The good food, the age-old Parsi interior and the pocket friendly menus would take you back to Yazdani Bakery & Café again and again.
Kyani & Co.
Mostly known for their somewhat unconventional quirky gestures and business minded attitudes, Parsees are also known for having lean and fit physiques, thanks to the overwhelming presence of eggs in their cuisine. At Kyani & Co. you will find that the eggs are almost ubiquitous at their menu card. Scrambled baked eggs, Parsee Omellete, Chicken Scrambled egg, chicken farcha with egg half fry, Kheema Ghotala with egg beaten in- enough said!
But the 111 year old Kyani & Co. is mostly famous for maska khari puffs, mutton kheema, kheema pulav, badam mawa cake and strong Irani chai. The food is delicious but on the flip-side, the service has become poor in the last decade or so. So, just for the sake of experiencing an age old legendary Parsee café with some identical items, Kyani & Co. should not be missed by the food connoisseurs.
To be very precise, the Ideal Corner serves the best kheema salli, the best mutton cutlets, the best Patra ni machchhi and one of the best Mutton Dhanshaks in town that too without leaving a dent in your pocket. This petite place is located at the corner of Gunbow Street at the fort area and seriously an ideal café to taste some of the legendary and authentic Parsee delicacies.
The menu card provides the details of all the different dishes they offer on each of the days in a week. Apart from the above mentioned dishes, the other popular Irani dishes at Ideal Corner are the Jerdaloo Salli Gosh, Kheema Ghotala, Egg Dhundar Patio, Mutton Kheema Patice etc. For dessert, one should definitely try their bread pudding and the lagan or Caramel custard.
Welcome to the world of Iranian nostalgia with high ceiling, long glass walls, old style furniture and those eccentric aged Parsee uncles here and there. B Merwan is a legendary café that has been running since 1914 and still has its food legacy almost intact. This café opens at five in the morning and gets hoards of coming-from-all-night-parties crowd having their breakfast at there.
B Merwan has the ultimate reputation of serving some of the best Irani breakfast items in Mumbai. Their Mava Cakes are truly legendary and the best. The burn maska and the thick Irani chai is surely another killing combination offered by B Merwan. If you really crave for a great breakfast at a neat and clean quaint Parsee joint, do not miss the B Merwan!
If you really want to experience the best Parsi dishes, find a Bawa friend, get invited to their family functions especially a wedding ceremony and have the most delectable Irani foods ever. But if you cannot manage to find a Parsee alliance and if you are in Mumbai, then you do not really have to worry; Jimmy Boy serves the best Lagan nu Bhonu (the Wedding Platters) in town.
The café takes you to the world of Parsees with its typical Iranian ambience and the authentic Parsee foods. Their Saas ni Machchhi and the Patra ni Machchhi are also legendary. Apart from these, the Salli Par Edu (which is a still a steal at only 120 bucks per plate), Kid Ghost, Chicken Farcha, Mutton Dhansak served with Brown Rice and Mutton Kababs and the Berry Pulao are the must-try. For a distinct experience, one should definitely try the vintage Pallonji Raspberry Cold drink still available at Jimmy.
No decorative grandeur, no frills to showcase, Café Military is a simple yet powerful food joint delivering an authentic range of Parsi Foods. The simplicity and the sincerity reflect upon the dishes they offer. The Kheema Pav is delightfully spicy, the Biriyanis, both chicken and mutton would give you the home-food feeling with their minimum seasoning which is again a good thing for the foodies who love simple food. The chicken Salli and the mutton Dhansak are also very much popula among the regulars at the café. The café also serve a good range of differently flavoured beer.
Café Excelsior is an old Parsee food joint which is located at the corner of the crammed street of AK Nayak Marg of Fort area. The café has a nice Irani interior and serves some of the most authentic yet humble homely Parsi foods. The Kheema Pav, Mutton Dhansak, Chicken Farcha and Salli Boti are the most sought after dishes at Excelsior. The well mannered stuffs and the pocket friendly menu are definitely the added advantages.
Good Luck Café
This one is another old school Parsi café which serves some of the best breakfast items in Mumbai. Their Maska Bun is one-of-its-kind, so is the Kheema Pav. Though the interior reminds one of the age old Parsi cultures; the quality of the main course food items has become less attractive. But just for the sake of their vintage Burn Pav, Good Luck Café is worthy of visiting at least for once.
Though not an authentic Parsi Café and mostly famous for their range of delicious Tarts, Piccolo at Fort area also offers some scrumptious Parsi delicacies. The Parsi Omlette, Bharuchi Akoori on Toast, Jardaloo Mutton Salli Boti, Mutton Dhasak, Mawa Cakes are as tasty as the ones at an authentic Parsi restaurant. The prices are also very easy on the pockets hence it attracts mostly the flocks of college-going youths.