Everyone Talks about Britannia...... So Do I !
Way back in 2012, on my first visit to Mumbai, I already thought about trying Parsi food, as I heard that Mumbai was THE place to taste it, where Parsi*** community was most important than elsewhere.
Also, you can rarely find a Parsi restaurant anywhere else.
*** Parsis are Zoroastrian descendents who fled to the western part of subcontinent around 8th century during the muslim conquest of Iran.
Britannia is the most famous Parsi restaurant, I have no idea how it is considered among Mumbaikers, anyway, on foreign travel guide books or medias, it definitely is. Everyone talks about Britannia !
--- "I have to go !"
And it had not been done.
Of course, I tasted Parsi food on my first visit, and on second, too, but not in Britannia.
The only reason was, It seemed for me a bit too far walking from my hotel to the restaurant.
I stayed in Colaba (South Mumbai) where there were so many restaurants choice .
A taxiride is the best and the easiest way to go to Britannia indeed (not even 10 minutes ride, I suppose).
Last autumn, I went to London and tasted "Chicken Berry Pilau Britannia" in Irani-cafe-inspired Dishoom restaurant in Covent Garden. Then I read an article on Britannia's owner Mr. Boman Kohinoor. He was so aged and still was present in the restaurant every day !
It was only on my third visit in Mumbai, and the day before I left the city, I finally realized what I had intented to do since three years......go to Britannia !
A 30 minutes walk from Colaba via Fort brought me to Balard Estate where the restaurant was located.
92 years old Mr. Kohinoor took order and exchanged converstation with all his clients and he seemed loving it. I felt like......a football star player, or an famous actor was in front of me --- as I had heard or read about him so many, I suppose.
Crispy & Gravy Sali Chicken, with Chapati (on the left) which was softer than usual, French crepe like texture ;-p
Caramel Custard, excellent !!
I was full, yet I could not help ordering second Caramel Custard !
Then I found soda bottles were here and there on the tables, violet-rose water in it.
--- "What is it ?"
No idea. No mention on the menu.
I asked a waiter to bring "that violet-rose drink, the same one as on that table".
Here it is !
Violet-rose Soda. "Pallonji's" Raspberry soda.
Sweet, Childhood memory taste.
Many years ago, raspberry soda was not served to non Parsi here.
This is beloved drink of Parsi festivity such as wedding, and many of the Parsi restaurants supplied soda from Duke's brand run by a Parsi family.
In 1994, Duke's was bought over by PepsiCo, who stopped Duke's brand's production in 2004.
Since then, Britannia supplies raspberry drink from Pallonji's, a Nagpur based Parsi maker.
Duke's was back in market in 2012, always under PepsiCo, but in Britannia, they always supply from Nagpur productor.
After Parsi lunch, 92 years old Mr. Kohinoor, the second generation came asked me if I was happy.
Moreover, I ate two caramel custards, it was so delicious !
He introduced his son, Mr. Kohinoor the third generation who prepared this dessert.
Then on the chair near the entrance, his brother, then behind the counter, his grandson young Mr. Kohinoor the forth. Finally, in the picture frame on the wall, his father, the founder of Britannia, Mr. Kohinoor the first.
A great familly business of four generations !
I am already looking forward to go back and eat my caramel custard !
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