There is no Greater Love Than the Love of Eating
~ Britannia & Co – Since 1923
Trips to Town (or what suburban Bombayites like me call the land & sea beyond Bandra, anyway) are never complete if you don’t indulge in some good food & aimless jaywalking. Last week, I’m happy to say, I did both in good measures.
So post my customary stroll to the roadside bookstalls, I decided to try my luck at getting a table at Britannia & Co-this being a second attempt at elbowing my way into one of Bombay’s busiest & most talked about Iranian eateries.
Being a weekday, and an hour or so post the regular lunch rush hour, I was soon escorted to a cozy, checkered table – jaw agape at all the retro loveliness around me. The interiors alone, antiquated & eccentric, confirmed that I’d not be leaving anytime soon-coz I could stay for half the day just taking in the mazza. However, at Britannia & Co, this is not to be- as for others to enjoy a lovely meal, it is the right thing to leave as soon as you’re done demolishing your meal. (I may have borrowed this from one of the many house rules prominently displayed at the Co.)
Pallonjis’ Raspberry Soda
Anyway, before I knew what was happening I found myself ordering a fizzy raspberry soda- in a real glass batli– a Dhansak with brown rice & yes, The Berry Pulav.
Before I go any further & lose my audience, I have to come clean….see, I’m sort of vegetarian…except that I indulge in seafood & eggs, so in reality, I’m a confused & voracious foodie, who has a selective streak.
Great, that out of the way, you’ll understand why I ordered the Egg Berry Pulav instead of the much revered & politically correct Mutton BP. Let me quickly get to point that the Pulav is EVERYTHING it is said to be. Everything. Aromatic, but not cloyingly so, steaming long grained rice, rich caramelized onions, nutty & wholesome with just the right amount of cashew nuts for crunch, surprising little potato dumplings & the deliciously tart berries – my good sweet Lord… The Chefs at Britannia & Co do not stint on these berries (or the Zereshk, imported from Iran, I’ve been told). Piled high on the Pulav, with an indulgent flourish, these tangy babies are what completes this unique masterpiece & will have me queuing up for another platter again & again.
Egg Berry Pulav
The Dhansak & yummy brown rice, tho holding their own strongly, got my divided attention, so my drooling details on this dish could be kept for a later date.
I managed to top off the delicious meal with the also notorious & fascinatingly wobbly caramel custard-sweet & clean with the right amount of awesomeness.
Delicate Caramel Custard
When I did dig myself out of the comfortable Victorian confines of the Co., profusely thanking & almost bowing in reverence to the kindly owner (with the cutest old cat, snuggled on his desk ) I found my self in the setting sunlight, happy & dazed- in suspended animation- a state of bliss- I know there’s a song in this somewhere…
Britannia & Co-
Wakefield House, 11 Sprott Road, 16 Ballard Estate, Ballard Estate, Fort,
022 – 2261 5264 and 022 – 3022 5265
The cutest cat, snuggled at the front desk.
Kindly owners, make guests feel at home.