March 21st is spring equinox but for the Zoroastrian community, it is Navroze, the Irani or Persian New Year. It is also an excellent time to explore some of the city's favourite Parsi joints that will give you your fill of delicious Parsi and Irani treats. Most people think the food is limited to Irani cafes and while there are some fabulous ones, there are a couple of restaurants dedicated to Parsi and Irani food that offer for more than just the token popular dishes.
This restaurant really changed the perception of Parsi and Irani food for most of the people. For one it is made more accessible with their multiple outlets across the city but it is a fun space brightly done up with typical Parsi quotes and knick-knacks that you would find in a Parsi household. The food is a mix of Bombay local dishes and Parsi Irani food, so sometimes the lines get muddles but there are distinct dishes that you can not miss. Best picks here include the Berry Pulao which has become an iconic dish, Mutton Dhansak and Sali Boti.
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The pioneer when it comes to elevating Parsi food from just wedding catering or home-cooked food to putting it in a more refined restaurant setting. The first ever Parsi restaurant that is still a favourite among many today. Jimmy Boy is a great spot to dine at not only because of its exhaustive menu but it is one of the few places where you can order a traditional Parsi Patru or what is called a Wedding Feast which is a set meal which can nearly guarantee a food coma post eating. It is also one of the few places where you find not only the beloved Raspberry drink but also the more unusual cold drink flavours like Ice Cream Soda and Ginger. Best picks here are the Sali Boti and Patra ni Macchi.
House Of Daaruwala, Andheri West, Western Suburbs
Andheri's House Of Daaruwala is meant to look just like an old Parsi home and it is spot on. It seems a bit misleading because you would think this is an out and out Parsi restaurant but it has got plenty of crowd pleasers with burgers and pizza but that does not take away from the fact that in the suburbs it is still an option for Parsi food and in a welcoming restaurant-style setting. It has got the usual suspects from Dhansak, Sali Boti and Berry Pulao but it has also got some Parsi favourites that you do not often find on a menu and is usually reserved for home cooked meals like Masoor Ma Ghost, Lagan Nu Achaar and Mutton Chops.
Ideal Corner, Fort, South Mumbai
It is simple, no fuss no frills and a local favourite. Any Parsi that needs to recommend a Parsi restaurant will always pick Ideal Corner. There is no real ambience or fancy set up but the food served here is traditional fare that folks just can t get enough of. Due to popular demand, they are now open for dinner service and the USP here is that there is a daily menu. Some staples available through the week but each day has its own specials. Bread Pudding, Parsi Style Akoori, Mutton Pulao and Dhansak are all favourites here.
Jumjoji, Chakala, Andheri East
What was once a tiny spot in Bandra is now a larger plush restaurant tucked away in the upcoming Orb Mall attached to the J W Sahar Hotel in Andheri. The decor is elegant and full of quirky saying that a lot of new Parsi restaurants have taken inspiration from. Out of all the Parsi or Irani restaurants, this might be the most upscale or the one to be considered fine dine. A menu that boasts of plenty of good dishes and one where you can enjoy a meal at leisure. Best picks here include the Saas ni Macchi and Chutney Pattice.
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.