|Brun Maska & Irani Chai|
With breakfast at a humble place like Kayani & Co. came a super surprise in the form of Brun Maska and Irani Chai. On the surface the humble bun looks pretty harmless but the generous spread of yellow melting butter threatens. Reality check: a sip of Irani chai makes the fear fade into oblivion and you are back in your bubble. The combination is unmatchable and if you don’t believe me, here’s a look on the left. Mr. Baghdadi gave us a brief of the history of Iranian café’s in India and how this particular café began its existence. I looked around at the humility of the place that transported me back into the history and I was glad I was eager to learn more about similar places.
|Keema Pav and Raspberry drink|
Our next stop was at the Military Café, another humble Iranian café in a tiny alley close to Kitaab Ghar at Flora Fountain. As soon as we entered the café, the mellow fragrance of freshly baked bread filled our nostrils. We settled ourselves down to absorb the naturally welcoming place, which had entry at two points. The owners of the place played the perfect hosts by chatting up with us and understanding our requirements. This kind of natural customer engagement is pretty unheard/unseen at the new age joints. It was immensely comforting. And when one of my friends mentioned the similarity in the checkered tablecloths with glass tabletops like the ones we had noticed at Kyani & Co., I found a sense of familiarity wave inside me. I could connect with it immediately. And then while I was soaking in the moment, I smelt something that instantly made me salivate. Here I was looking at Keema Pav and I could have cried with joy just at the sight itself. If you don’t believe me, well I have a proof here. The ‘raspberry’ on the top was unparalleled. Coke, Pepsi, Thumbs Up, Limca….please take a back seat.
|Mr. Boman Kohinoor proudly displaying his
connect with the Queen
After a stomach filed with just the best food I have had in a long long time, there was no way I could have felt any excited to hit the next destination. When Mr. Baghdadi suggested that we could take a taxi there, all of us nodded in negative immediately. We all needed to get our appetite back for the famous Berry Pulav so we all walked. The scorching sun over our head did most of the trick by making us faintly and tired by the time we reached Britannia & Co. Mr. Boman Kohinoor, the owner, welcomed us all and placed us at a big table that could comfortably accommodate us all and then began filling us in with the stories of his association with the Queen of England. He also proudly produced evidences to show his connect with the Empire even after 60 years of independence. This 90-year-old young man did not cease to spread the joy his stories brought and went around the café chatting at each table and sharing his fluffly jokes. A person so full of life at this age only made me smile and feel inspired by him.
|Berry Pulav with Salli Boti in
|Lagnu na Custard (Caramel Custard)|
Piya Bose from Girls On The Go spearheaded our tour of the cafes in association with International Social Media Week (SMW) to create awareness on the sleepy Iranian cafes in the city that are finding it tough to pace up with modernity and are soon dying. Though I can hardly understand why! The food is good (that’s an understatement), the prices are reasonable and the service is immaculate. Through this post I urge you all to make a visit to the places mentioned above and witness for yourself a taste, I promise, is unmatched elsewhere.
Disclaimer: All pictures used in the post belong to the author and may not be used by anyone in any form without prior permission