If you were born in Bombay (yes, not Mumbai) back in the 60s or 70s, you'd have enjoyed eating at one of the many Irani cafes in the city. The Irani chai and bun-maska, kheema pav and raspberry sodas are some of the characteristic dishes served at such cafes. And, there were several other community restaurants run by the Hindus and Muslims alike, which were equally popular back in the day.
We got some of Mumbai's most famous names from the food and dining space on this week's edition of Adda with Kalyan. Our Editor-at-Large, Kalyan Karmakar got talking to 'foodie' Kunal Vijayakar, caterer and archaeologist Kurush Dalal, and food and wine writer, Antoine Lewis about the city's rich food history.
From how the Iranis migrated to Bombay and set up small cafes mainly around Fort, they also burgeoned the eating out culture in the city. A point made by Kurush was also that the Iranis were not the ones who started Parsi restaurants!
Kunal Vijayakar believes that the food scene has quite wonderfully evolved in Mumbai. With most of these old joints shutting down due to increased rentals and costs, Antoine makes a point about how a handful of restaurants - Cafe Mondegar and Leopold in Colaba - are still around as they have reinvented themselves with time.
Let's celebrate these old joints when they are around. Lamenting them after they're gone may not help, feels Kalyan. And, we agree.