This afternoon I was invited to tea at the Bombay Gymkhana, one of the clubs of South Mumbai where its members can sit on comfortable cane sofas,their plump cushions upholstered in floral prints and enjoy a pot of tea and toast on and watch the world go by. Especially on a rainy day while sitting on one of their verandahs.
Nothing can compare with the comfort of eating a hot toast made from a thick slice of bread generously slathered with butter that oozes out with each bite. This is a variation of the Bun Maska or a hot, buttered bun which is one of the staples of a slowly dying breed of restaurant that was popular all over Mumbai – the Irani Cafe. These cafes were characterised by their simple menus , bentwood furniture, checkered table cloths, surly waiters and notices that advised its customers not to dilly dally, waste time asking directions to any place nearby, not to comb their hair in public and other such strange instructions.
The Bun Maska is meant to be dipped into a steaming hot cup of tea and is the perfect way to start a morning.
The toast that we had on the upper verandah was crisp and crunchy, toasted just right but was without a speck of butter! But despite the fact that it had no butter, it was tasty and perfect with a hot cup of tea. Could it be because it bore the unmistakable taste of the Irani Bakery nearby that baked the bread that it was made from?