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It’s the Parsi New Year today and a good day I thought to pay tribute to one of my favourite Parsi restaurants in Mumbai.
This is Ideal Corner at Fort.
By Parsi restaurant standards it is quite a ‘young’ restaurant. This new kid on the block was established about 30 years back.
Its owner, the ever-smiling and soft-spoken Perzen Patel used to run a motorcycle repair garage at the same premises. One day he decided that he would follow his other passion, the love for food, and open a restaurant.
He sourced recipes from his aunts and Parsi chefs and then set up his restaurant.
Ideal Corner is a small place, with a mezzanine floor and is packed during lunch time. It is shut at night and on Mondays.
They follow a daily menu here where the menu differs by the day of the week. Some dishes like the sali murgi, lacey cutlets and akoori (spicy scrambled eggs) are available through the week. I love the dhansak here and my wife, a Parsi, can’t get enough of the akoori, and I pack it and take it home for her. Some of the other nice dishes are the Railway Mutton and atheli margi. In fact, I have never had a bad meal here. They serve a typically Bombaiyya Chinese too! I ordered it once. My advice would be to stick to the Parsi food.
What I like about the food here is that there is a certain home-like feel to it. In fact, I know of Parsis who approve of the food here. Believe me, it is tough to get a Parsi to like Parsi food served outside their homes. Just as no Goan approves of Goan restaurants and all Bengalis think that Bengali restaurants suck.
The staff in Ideal Corner is extremely friendly and welcome you back with a smile if you are a regular. Pervez himself is usually at the counter. If you get to sit by one of the large windows you can see life pass you by in Fort, once the main CBD of Mumbai.
Pervez has now decided to branch out as a consultant offering his services to those who plan to open Parsi restaurants.
He can be reached at +91 9820146421
Follow him @Finelychopped
Kalyan Karmakar authors the popular award winning blog, Finely Chopped and is an authority on the food of Mumbai. His extensive knowledge of the city's food scene has been featured in publications such as Femina, Mumbai Mirror and BCC Good Food. He was one of the founding critics of EazyDiner's Mumbai team.