I’m addicted to Parsi food. And criss cross Mumbai looking for it (please see box). So, when I heard that Jumjoji (at Bandra Reclamation, which shut several years ago) has been born again, I rushed to check out one of my most favourite cuisines with my favourite people.
From fabulously curated Parsi food walks to equally fab international tours, this lovely bubbly food and travel writer, has been making waves. And of course, knows her Parsi food really well. Roxanne Bamboat is the tiny taster with a huge fan following.
Make-up artist to the who’s who and celebrities, Tejas Shahis a celebrity himself. From natural to outlandish, this genius is in great demand for print, runway, bridal, TV and film work. It is his birthday celebration time and what better than Parsi food?Tejas, who is great fun, is a dyed in the drool foodie, most of his friends are Parsis and he loves Parsi food. We have a super afternoon. But would we make a special trip? Not really.
It’s called the ‘Orb’and it is a sprawlinggleaming shop and dine mall nudged next to the JW Marriott, still work in progress. Tucked away here, Jumjoji charms with its décor. Tiled floor, chandeliers, sepia toned photos, antique typewriter et al.
You must read their menu with great care. It’s wittily written. Each dish is credited to a Parsi aunty or uncle. We ordered across the menu at lunch time. I went back for a quick recheck (after landing at T2) and tried their vegetarian dishes. It’s the soft, springy mutton kababs with just the right sparkle of spice that we recommend. The rest of the dishes, though attractively served, lacked the authentic Parsi flavour.
It’s a comprehensive menu, which included all Parsi favourites (they’d made an effort to add in vegetarian dishes, too. But almost all dishes disappointed. Be it the creamy soft Akuri, the green coriander coconut chutney steamed Patra ni Macchi, sweet, spicy Saas ni Macchi, Kolmi Patio, robustly spiced staple Dhansak, Berry Pulao — all lacked punch and zing. Stodgy Lagan nu Custard disappointed. No alcohol.
Jumjoji charms with its decor, witty posters, nostalgia and wit. Sadly, the charm does not spill onto the plate. While Roxanne may drop in if she’s in the vicinity, we would not come back to Jumjoji till it gets its act together.However, we’d all certainly keep an eye on the Orb to check out what new restaurants are taking birth in this brand new gleaming cradle of hospitality.
The Orb, 1st Floor, Unit 11-A & B,
IA Project Road, Andheri East, Mumbai
Contact: +91 9987646400
Timing: 11am – 3pm & 7pm – 12am
Average meal for two: Rupees 3500
YOU ARE NEEDED
I am on a quest. Ever since the charmer Kali Mody took me to Ripon Club (almost 40 years ago) for a fabulous Parsi meal, I’ve been on the lookout to find the perfect Parsi restaurant. Of course, I wait impatiently for an invite to a lagan nu bhonu, to sit under the stars near an agiary, roll up my sleeves and mop up the robustly spiced fare from the glistening banana leaf. Here, Tanaz Godiwala reigns supreme. Sadly, however, we have very few Parsi restaurants, Ideal Corner (Fort), Britannia (Ballard Estate) are open only for lunch, Jimmy Boy (Horniman Circle) disappoints, Sodabottleopenerwala (BKC) scores high on charm and the opposite for it’s food. A while ago, I went rushing to Andheri (W) to House of Daaruwala, which was not up to much and has since shut down. RTI and its Picollo have limited options but fairly good ones. A few restaurants do have a sprinkling of passable Parsi dishes.