Ideal Corner Restaurant
Ideal Corner Restaurant Mumbai Reviews
Good Old Parsi Food at Good Old, Old, Old Prices :) Jun 28, 2011
.....Ahhh Parsi food....that's what my friend says is served at the restaurant we were walking towards. I was pleasantly surprised as I had not noticed this place before but then that could easily be due to it's location in a busy market with typical Bombay madness all around.
Located in the hustle and bustle of the business area of Bombay, a stones throw away from Flora Fountain,The Bombay High court and the Stock Exchange Building is this quaint restaurant that I was introduced to just 2 days ago.
Before I get into the juicy, foody details here's some quick history I picked up about the hotel. - It is about 35 yrs old now, serves Parsi food, is recommended often by those who know of it and has received rave reviews by various publications. - (Done, I did say it was a quick history!)
And now for my two cents worth on the place. (Probably not so quick :)....) Oh the pictures are not exactly great cause all I had was my camera phone.
Parsi food is getting hard to find in this city. Good, authentic Parsi food is even harder unless you have Parsi friends willing to invite you over for a home cooked meal and watch shocked as you gorge yourself unashamedly.I'm guessing that by now a few people may be going 'What the heck is Parsi food?'
Well to me good authentic Parsi food is a gastronomic salve in this stomach churning, intensely busy city where restaurants are abundant and bastardized 'authentic' cuisines from all over the world vie for your attention everywhere, from fancy places to roadside stalls. However few venture to experiment with Parsi food, as is evidenced by just the handful of Parsi restaurants in this bustling megapolis, most of them established at least 35+ years ago.
Parsi food is a wonderful clash of two distinctly different cultures and styles. A blend of Gujarati and Persian culinary perfection that can have you literally stuffing your face till you almost explode. (I've been there, done that, trust me...)
Gujarati food is almost always vegetarian and a bit sweet to the taste while the Persian influence brings in all types of meat, heady aromatic spices and a liberal sprinkling of dry fruits. Just imagine Tender Marinated Lamb, Chicken or Mutton slow cooked with lentils and fresh veggies, Fish baked in banana leaves with spicy chutneys, Fruit salad with a Custard so light it almost seems like it's evaporating on your tongue .....throw in dry fruits for good measure and that's what Parsi food is all about. (Damn, I'm hungry now!)
Ok so I got a bit side tracked there....back to the review, the restaurant is located in a busy by lane in the Fort area of Bombay. Set on the ground floor of a nondescript building, it's a haven of peace the minute you step in. Suddenly the chaos and noise of the city fades away with the cheerful smile from the waiter. The place is neat, clean and functional. No air conditioning but the high ceiling and open doors keep the place cool.
Done in really bright colors with 2 levels of seating, an antique clock on the wall that supposedly keeps an 8 day week....no kidding, framed cartoons, a cat that suns itself and gives new meaning to lazy and the restaurants own unique signs plastered around to make you smile are all part of the quirky ambiance.
Service is super quick, efficient and the staff besides having a sense of humour are helpful with explaining the different dishes should you have any questions when placing your order. Plus the menu is done as per the day of the week so there's something different everyday. NOT all dishes are available everyday. Keeps it simple, quick and manageable for them.
We decided to start with the most famous, favorite, signature Parsi dish (Lucky it was a Wednesday special) - 'Chicken Dhansak & Kebabs' only to be told that they had already SOLD OUT!. Ok next choice - 'Mutton Dhansak and Kebabs': SOLD OUT! again. Arghhhhhh I was beginning to think I would die hungry and my stomach gods promptly protested the lack of food rather loudly. I mean it was about 2 hours since I last fed them.....
Alright then I say, get us the 'Chicken Brabourne with "Veges"' and to our relief it was available. Add to that a 'Kheema Salli' and the waiters personal recommendation of a 'Mutton Kheema Pattice' and we were sorted. About this time we figured that they even have Raspberry Soda made by a Parsi company that's been around since 1865....awesome, he he he, hell yeah we'll have that. Nostalgic as hell and tasty as you cannot find these childhood favourite sodas at too many places in the city any more.
Barely 10 mins later the food arrived, steaming hot and wonderfully aromatic. Sent my stomach gods to 'DEFCON 3' mode but I controlled them just long enough to click a few pics before we launched an all out attack on everything at the table. I mean we were like 2 hoovers in overdrive just sucking up everything in sight and damn it was good. (Truth be told lunch was done in......erm about 12 mins flat)
The 'Chicken Barbourne with "Veges"' was tender and full of flavor, totally mild on the spice factor but with just the right amount of coarsely ground peppercorns in the gravy to give it a nice bite! Teamed with the fresh boiled vegetables like sweet carrots and french beans I just couldn't shovel it down fast enough......(Hey don't judge my eating style! I did savour every bite! :)...HONEST!)
The 'Kheema with Salli' is mutton mince cooked in a green masala and other spices yet not spicy at all plus it's drowned in a bloody liberal amount of cooking oil which is where the real taste comes from and all this is covered with thin potato crisps... The side order of a coronary is complimentary of course....but I was to busy eating to care. Nice as it was I really didn't think it was their best effort!
Then came the recommended 'Mutton Kheema Pattice' and it was absolutely brilliant. Soft tender mince with sweet green peas, encased in a mashed potato shell, breaded with crumbs, rolled in scrambled egg batter and finally fried to perfection....true craftsmanship :) (The hand built Rolls Royce of potato chops) :D
All of this was accompanied with the the local 'Pav' (soft bread) and interspersed with sips of the Raspberry Soda. My stomach gods were now appeased and stopped grumbling at me and we mutually agreed to have some dessert. Another good call...he he.
Bring on the 'Bread Pudding' - This dessert is ridiculously simple, thin, fluffy, with hints of nutmeg and rose essence to give it a unique taste. Didn't last 15 seconds on it's plate...:)
I wasn't expecting much with the Chocolate Mousse but was again pleasantly surprised as they seem to have prepared it with a greater portion of dark chocolate to effuse just the right amount of bitterness. Even more surprising were the tiny bits of milk chocolate they had added which just rounded off the overall experience nicely! Did someone say seconds!?
The cheque was another reason to smile as the entire meal cost just about Rs. 330/- that's about $7.20 for two people, including the tip. I would recommend this place to all travellers who have been in Bombay / India for a few days at least and gotten used to the food here but probably not before that as it could be a bit overwhelming.
The restaurant is neat, clean and hygienic but remember they churn out good, cheap food, FAST, especially for the office crowds and therefore standards are not exactly at the highest levels. That said I wish you all a bon appetit and hope this review helps.
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