Ideal Corner: Old Motorcycles, Parsi Food and Raspberry Cola

No restaurant in Mumbai has an Art Deco entrance and for this alone it’s worth a visit. The fact that it serves great food too makes it a double joy!

Motorcycles, food and wine. A carefree and happy sounding combination. And the mantra by which Pervez Patel lives his life. It’s no surprise then that he converted a motorcycle garage for those ‘50s Czech classics, Jawa and Yezdi, into a café.

And what a place to reinvent the wheel! Located in an art deco building, Ideal Corner has an enviable façade. Blue columns greet you outside and the bright and chirpy feel inside is inviting. So is the food.

As a teenager, when Pervez wasn’t hanging around motorcycles, he would be in the kitchen, eagerly watching his mother and aunts conjure up delectable Parsi cuisine, taking in every little detail keenly.

Then 26 years ago, he thought it was time to put his skills to the test. Pervez began by serving Parsi snacks – chicken rolls, cutlets, kebabs and biscuits. As the popularity grew, he included one main course dish daily. Encouraged by the response, he expanded his menu to include all the traditional Parsi staples.

For the uninitiated, Parsi cuisine is a tantalising mix of Persian food influenced by the Gujarati style of cooking. The curries are spice laden and flavoured with nuts and apricots.  The food is primarily non vegetarian. Vegetables, when they make their rare appearance, are topped with eggs.

And at Ideal Corner, it’s served the way it’s supposed to. I love their Jerdaloo Salli Gosh (tender mutton in a rich gravy with apricots, garnished with deep fried slivers of potatoes). And I once remember eating many portions of their Patra Fish (pomfret marinated in a green chutney and steamed in a banana leaf).  And on many occasions I’ve sneaked a quick nap after devouring their Dhansak (mutton cooked with spiced lentils, served with browned rice and kebabs). And I have survived the rest of the day without any sustenance after eating their Bharuchi Akuri (eggs scrambled with cream, raisins, cashew nuts and finally tossed with salli).

And the food hits the spot every time. That’s because Pervez cares about what goes in. The masalas and spices he uses are lovingly hand pounded by a Parsi family in Nagpur, central India, whose speciality it is. The vinegar he uses is made from natural sugarcane juice.

No wonder then that he travels the country, invited by Parsi families, to personally cook for special occasions.

So, “Chalo jumva avoji” … Come, let’s eat. Again.

Parsi food is simply incomplete without the ubiquitious Raspberry Cola

Mutton Cutlets – best had with pao, a unique bread found only in Mumbai

Dhandar Prawn Patio – a tamarind, jaggery and onion based gravy cooked with prawns that goes great with rice and Parsi dal

Bharuchi Akuri, a rich and calorific breakfast, will keep you going for a long time

Kheema Salli – fried potato slivers or ‘salli’ add a lot to an already great tasting kheema (minced mutton cooked with spices)

One wall is devoted to Mario Miranda’s drawings. A renowned cartoonist, his unique style has captured the moods and people of Mumbai like no one else has

Bread Pudding – a sinful way to end your meal

Lagan nu Custard – caramel custard but with a Parsi twist

Ideal Corner: 12/F/G, Hornby View, Gunbow Street, Fort, Mumbai 400001, India. Tel: +91 (22) 22621930. Breakfast: 9 am-11.30 am. Lunch: 11.30 am-4.30 pm. Sunday closed.

This story appeared on CNNGo


3 thoughts on “Ideal Corner: Old Motorcycles, Parsi Food and Raspberry Cola

  1. Just discovered your blog Sanjiv. To say I miss the scrumptious food in Mumbai is an understatement! Visited Ideal corner as a young girl. Your post brings the memories right back. My fav has to be Mutton Dhansak and Salli Gosht.

    • Hey Maunika, thanks for commenting. Yes the dhansak and the salli gosht are outstanding, as is most of the food at Ideal Corner. I also love their salli kheema and Parsi new year specials. It’s a yumm place … 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s