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The Double Life of Rashid Irani

Bombay would not be the city it is without its Irani restaurants. Where else can you can sit at a marble table, on a bentwood chair, reading a newspaper, chatting with friends and sipping tea, eating brun/maska (bread and butter) for not more than nine rupees? Begun at the turn of the century by a new wave of Zoroastrian immigrants from Iran, our version of Parisian cafes are the favorite haunt of a wide and democratic variety of customers, from students and families to taxi-drivers and office-workers. The tastes of bheja fry at Mazda, the kharya of Sarvi's, the pullao dal of A-1, the salli-boti of Jai Hind, Kayani's biscuits, Bastani's patties, B. Mehrwan's mawa cakes, still linger on the palette of childhood memories.

At Gowalia Tank there were two Irani restaurants, Oriental and Ideal. Oriental, opposite my lane, was a magnificent space, at least ten thousand square feet, half of it a provision store, the other half a cafe whose...

Rashid Irani at the Brabourne Restaurant Rashid Irani at the Brabourne Restaurant. Bombay 1984.  
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Chapter 3: The City
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