Old time Mumbaikars who used to go to work in Ballard Estate will remember with great fondness Britannia Cafe, the now iconic Irani restaurant famous for its Berry Pullao. So famous is this restaurant that today my family that is coming all the way from Pune has requested me to order from Cafe Britannia. So naturally I had to oblige .
Britannia Cafe is situated in the still leafy entrance to one of the broad lanes off Ballard Estate. It is dusty and almost dilapidated because, as last heard, the owners are threatening to shut it down. And if the shabby appearance is not a deterrent enough, the high rates are equally inhibiting but all that notwithstanding, diehard Parsi food lovers will still make the annual trek to this restaurant and you will always find lines chairs of people waiting to get a seat in – to savour the ambiance of a bye gone era, to experience the authentic taste of Parsi food and get a sip of the almost instinct pink raspberry drink that the owner serves only to Parsis ( I’m kidding but that’s what grandpa threatened the last time I visited the place) .
So after going through Just Dial, I found out the telephone number and placed my order with Diana (one of the family) who efficiently took my order for Chicken Berry Pulao and mutton salli boti our family favourites. The Berry pullao is actually a chicken rice dish made distinctive by the tiny red berries got specially from Iran. The Salli Boti is a sweetish gravy made with apricots, onion and tomato, spiced with ginger, garlic, and special spices in which is cooked either mutton or chicken and now according to Diana, king sized prawn! This gorgeous thick gravy is garnished with fine potato crisps that give the dish an interesting crunch.
Britannia & Company Restaurant