Everyone’s black book has a Homi or a Tanaz in it. From school, college, or perhaps through a friend of a friend. We’ve always loved them, but never without an agenda, perpetually angling for an invite to a jolly mum-cooked lunch, navjot or lagan, dreaming of hearty dhansak and soft, soft caramel custard.
If you’ve been stupid enough to break ties with H and T (or annoy South Bombay Irani Café owners), head to Jumjoji, a new Bandra Reclamation restaurant that serves up Parsi fare in a plush space. No temperamental owners and slow service here, but also no pretty wooden chairs and checkered table cloth sightings. You winsome, you lose some.
The Duke Knows Best
We walked in for a start-of-the-week lunch to find a snug, dimly lit room with dark wood interiors and six well poised tables. The walls here are laid out with photographs of famous figures from the Parsi community, including Boman Irani, JRD and Ratan Tata. Company heads!
After the photo tour, it was time to order. The menu at Jumjoji makes for an entertaining read with disclaimers like ‘stocks available until Parsis last’ and authentic dishes prepared using ‘undeclared assets’ (recipes) that Parsi aunties smuggled in to India. We started our meal with Zenobia's cheese and onion chicken sausages - excellent meat with cheese oozing out of every bite, served with a slightly spicy tomato sauce and mayonnaise. This was accompanied with akuri (usually a spicy scrambled egg preparation), which was disappointingly bland and lackluster. Chefs, please try Kala Ghoda Café’s akuri for reference. We were only too happy to wash this down with a nostalgia-inducing Duke’s Raspberry soda.
Who Will Win Custardy?
With a new set of crockery on the table, came a regal mutton dhansak and their special, chicken curry with rice. The hearty dhansak served with brown rice was tasty but we’ve had better. The chicken curry contained only two decent sized pieces of chicken, but stingy is overshadowed by sauce you'll find, while relishing a spicy, coconut-kissed gravy. To end our meal we got the lagan nu custard which immediately won approval for innovation. Nothing like the traditional soft custard, this one had a thick consistency and was laden with pistachios and drizzled with cinnamon powder - kind of like a Parsi sweet all dressed up for Diwali. However, die-hard custard fans are better off with Baghdadi’s version that comes at a fraction of the cost.
Despite the fact that we could find a better Mumbai alternative for almost every dish we tried, Jumjoji is a fun dining option when you’re craving Parsi food in the suburbs. Or, you could just open your phone book to the letter H. Remember, Homi is where the heart is.
Getting there: Jumjoji, shop no. 4, Ankleshwar building, ONGC Colony, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra (W), 26516156, Rs 1100 for a meal for two.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
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