Happy bites ... Ideal Corner, Fort

My last post was about an uber cool five star coffee shop in the suburbs of Goregaon.

This one is about a small Parsi restaurant at Fort at South Mumbai. I am back in Mumbai's original commercial district for a few months before I return to our office in the suburbs. 'Back' as I was based at Fort for my first assignment in Mumbai. Presenting my summer training project.

It was symbolic that we went to a Parsi restaurant on day one. The Parsi community, after all, had a big role in building this area and were leaders of trade in modern India. And yet I am based at an office building now which was thrown open in 1938 by a fellow Bengali, Sjt Subhas Chandra Bose, a fellow alumni from Presidency College. Alumni till he was thrown out of college for booting down the British Principal down the stairs that is.

South Mumbai with its vintage buildings from a bygone era is steeped with nostalgia. It is only fair that our first lunch out was driven by someone's nostalgia. Rajika, who suggested the place, told us about how Ideal Corner used to be a hole in the wall restaurant. Looked very different then from the Irani Cafe with bright coloured walls and Mario Miranda sketches that we went to on a wet afternoon yesterday. She used to come to Fort to buy art supplies from school on Saturdays. The high point of the trips was going with to Ideal Corner with her dad.

Many years and many coats of orange on the wall later Rajika is still fond of the place. We found out why. 

The dhansaks, chicken and mutton, were both quite authentic and closer to home-made dhnasak. A contrast from what you get at Britannia. Plus you get the raspberry drink here without having to wrestle with the charming octogenarian, Boman Kohinoor, of Britannia.

We ordered sali boti which was fantastic. The mutton was cooked very well and the accompanying curry was very deep and robust. A contrast to the sweeter jardaloo (with figs) sali boti served at other places. They have a daily menu and some fixed items at Ideal Corner. Rajika said that the Chinese (!) here is a nice and quick option too.

Ideal Corner run by Mr Parvez Patel is open only for lunch. Till stocks last.

We wanted cutlets yesterday. But they were over. We wanted rotlis (soft Parsi ghee soaked rotis). Over. I wanted an extra serving of caramelised rice. The very friendly waiter got it for me. I had to wait a while. It was literally fresh from the pan. We decided on caramel custard and mousse for desserts. They were over. We were heartbroken. Wanted to run home and sob into our security blankets. Don't think the company management would have bought that excuse.

Five of us ate for all or Rs 410 (8 USD) allowing me to very magnanimously pick the tab. And we deserve individual Oscars for the sad faces that we tried to put up for the camera.

It was symbolic that we went to a Parsi restaurant on Wedensday. It was the last day of the Parsi year. Pateti. Times Of India said that you shouldn't wish people on Pateti as that's the day Parsis remember and revere the dead.

I asked my  mom in law, a Parsi. She pooh pooh'd this and said that Pateti is a day where you ask for forgiveness for past sins so that you can commit fresh sins. You ask for strength to face the punishments you get for sinning.

That sounds more interesting. Like popping heart pills after eating red meat.


Rushina said…
Oh boy! this brought back memories! My mothers office is right there and I have grown up on their burgers, Chopsuey and Chinese Chopsuey!
Mumbai Diva said…
went there for lunch yesterday with a colleague. thought it an appropriate nod to the occasion. had to literally wrestle for a table. they had a special restricted menu. We, of course ordered more than we could handle. also the raspberry soda. yum!
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Rushina...I must try out the chop sueys. Pleas ask your mom for other recommendations

@Mumbai Diva...we must eat out together instead of working out together now
Purba said…
Mouth watering post and paying 410 bucks for all that yummy stuff is criminal.

We don't get to eat Parsi delicacies in "saddi Dilli"
A documentary film maker showcased her works at the Kalaghoda film fastival last year !! You should get in touch with her. She documents forgotten Irani spaces.
saurabh shah said…
you write so well about food, Kalyan! I remember Busybee's column 'eating Out' while reding you.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Thanks Saurabh. Just landed back on earth :)
Irani hotels are unique to Mumbai - of course being vegetarian we prefer to have chai and bun-musca there, but the ambience and atmosphere are simply too good.