I love food reviews. Following up on someone's suggestion on where and what to eat there. Infact many of the blogs I follow, I love to read what people have to say about their meal served at restaurants around town. Lately two of my favs have been Finely Chopped (for his honest, comic and absolute love for food) and Lulu Loves Bombay (a food trip around Mumbai and the globe!).
I read a review about Britannia a few years back in the newspaper when I was down from Chicago on my winter break. I always thought Britannia was a biscuit brand and had clearly never heard of this legendary, quintessential, office crowd flocking lunch spot. The review was very well written and the description of the delicious berry pulao that leaves tangy bursts of flavor in your mouth with each spicy bite had me salivating. So dad and I ventured to try some food there. And what a meal. From the typical Irani interiors of a 100 year old cafe, peeling paint, old school chandeliers and red checkered tablecloths to a delectable list of Irani and Parsi cuisine- berry pulao, salli chicken, mutton cutlets, dhanshak, fried bombil (yum yum yum). Did I say YUM? Sounds charming right. Most charming was the owner Mr. Boman Rashid Kohinoor Irani and his son who run the place. They make it a point to greet everyone who walks in through the door and despite being extremely busy, they have the time to share some stories with their customers. (Apparently the berries in the pulao are imported from Iran. Also Mr. Irani senior is as old as Britannia itself - 88 years old)
I ofcourse fell in love with Britannia ever since and have returned to it year after year to take delightful mouthful's of Berry Pulao.
Two saturday's ago as I was on my Shantaram assignment for a paper at work, dad, mum and I decided to grab lunch at Britannia. Mum had never been there and was excited to try out the place. Below is a photo series of our lunch. Again the most delightful moment was chatting with Mr. Kohinoor Irani who makes the rounds- from table to table, checking on each person and making sure we are enjoying our meal. In case something is amiss he calls out to the waiter and makes sure that the problem is fixed. He advises to come a bit early so that you can get your own favorite dishes as those happen to be other's favorites as well and tend to run out (great logic).
All I can say is Britannia never disappoints! A treasure in the city's old Fort Area. A must visit by every foodie in town as well as visitors coming to town. Old world charm mixed with true hospitality and delicious food makes it one of the best, affordable meals in the city.
We ordered Salli chicken (mouthfuls of succulent boneless pieces of chicken contrasted by crisp Salli chips. Mutton berry pulao- oh the berries the perfect tantalizing play in the mouth. The surprise element for me was the vegetarian Dhanshak. For a place popular for its non- veg food, the vegetarian Dhanshak was delicious. It was a perfect blend of flavours and after a point I gave up on the non- vegetarian fare to eat spoonfuls of the dhanshak. Served with rice, Britannia's dhanshak makes it to my top ten list of comfort food.