Ideal Corner: Old motorcycles, Parsi food and raspberry cola
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. And so is the food.
As a teenager, when Pervez wasn’t hanging around motorcycles, he would be in the kitchen, watching his mother and aunts conjure up delectable Parsi cuisine, taking in every little detail keenly.
Then 26 years ago it was time to put his skills to the test. Pervez began by serving his favorite 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 and is popular in Mumbai. The curries are spice laden and flavored with nuts and apricots. The food is primarily non-vegetarian. Vegetables, when they make their rare appearance, are almost always topped with eggs.
And at Ideal Corner, Parsi food is served the way it’s supposed to be. 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 platefuls of 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 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 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.
As the Parsis say, "Chalo jumva avoji"… Come, let's eat. Again.
12/F/G, Hornby View, Gunbow Street, Fort, Mumbai; tel. +91 (0) 22 2262 1930. Breakfast: 9-11.30am. Lunch: 11.30am-4.30 pm. Sunday closed.