While in Mumbai for an extended weekend recently, I got to taste Parsi cuisine for the very first time at the Britannia and Company Restaurant. We went to the Irani Cafe for lunch after driving around Colaba for a while to look at its gorgeous old buildings. There were many people waiting outside for a table to clear up, but we didn't have to wait because a part of our group reached much earlier and did the waiting for us! The very quirky cafe is over 90 years old, and it shows in the old furniture, peeling paint and creaking stairs!
The 91 year old owner of Britannia, Mr Boman Kohinoor Irani comes around to every table to greet customers and to take orders. The cafe was started in 1923 by his father, who moved to India from Iran. The non-vegetarian members of our group had a lot more to choose from, but there were enough vegetarian options as well. We started with some Rose Raspberry Soda. Bright pink, fizzy and just sweet enough.
|Rose Raspberry Soda|
The Berry Pulao
is Britannia's most famous dish, and it was what I was most excited to try - a fragrant pulao topped with dried sweet and sour berries (I believe they are called barberries) brought all the way from Iran. It was amazing - totally worth the hype!
|Veg Berry Pulao|
There was Dhansak
, and Sali Boti
and this egg dish whose name I can't remember:
|Some egg dish|
|The rice that came with the dhansak|
For dessert, I did not want to choose between Caramel Custard and Mishti Doi, so I just had both! Delicious.
The cafe is very very popular with both locals and tourists, so the whole world has probably been there already. But if you haven't, put it on your must-do list the next time you go to Mumbai. The cafe is open only for lunch, does not accept debit/credit cards and is closed on Sundays.
|Yes, that's Kate and William on the left. No, they haven't been to Britannia.|
Labels: Berry Pulao, Britannia and Company Restaurant, Caramel Custard, Colaba, Culture and Heritage, Dhansak, Food, Maharashtra, Mumbai, Nikon D700, Parsi Cuisine, Raspberry Soda, Travel