The nonagenarian Boman Kohinoor still shines brightly like the Kohinoor diamond and enjoys every single movement at his Britannia Restaurant, satisfying and regaling his vast and varied customers, some of whom are frequent visitors and the ‘who’s who’ of Aamchi Mumbai. The restaurant situated at Ballard Estate, S. Mumbai, is as old as him and needs no introduction as it steadfastly makes its way into every home and heart. One of the oldest Iranian joints, it has stood the test of time, as each dish coming out from the kitchen is special. It believes in the motto that ‘a way to a man’s heart is via his stomach’ and so the restaurant’s slogan proudly states that ‘There is no love greater than the love of eating’. Robin the rooster, is the logo printed on their menu cards and paper napkins.
The late Mrs. Bachan Kohinoor, wife of Boman, introduced the Berry Pulav and various other Parsi dishes way back in 1982 after returning from Tehran, where she was a legal advisor for Iran Airways. She picked up the recipe from a family she lived with there and further improvised the ‘Berry Pulav’ to suit the Indian taste buds. The barberries, which give the dish its name and special flavour, are imported from Iran, and still stands as their signature dish. Mutton Dhansak, Sali Chicken, Fish Patra, Fried Bombay Ducks and their special ‘Rotis’ are all ravished heartily, not only by the Community members, but by others too.
After the demise of Mrs. Bachan in 1996, son Romin took over as head chef. The solid trio of Boman, Afshin and Romin are busiest during lunch hours, as the restaurant does not serve dinner, closing in at 4 p.m. Afshin, the eldest son of Boman is managing finance with his abilities and managerial skills. A meal here is incomplete without Romin’s caramel custard, a closely guarded secret recipe of the family.