Just when reams have been written about the slow death of Parsi cafés, with just a few and scattered options remaining in South Mumbai, here comes Jumjoji. Located at the newest discovery of the hospitality industry — the Candies stretch at Bandra Reclamation — Jumjoji has nothing to do with Robin William’s fantasy flick.
In fact, it (pronounced Jumjo-ji) is Gujarati for ‘please eat’, a welcoming suggestion for suburban foodies, who were earlier left with no option but the token Parsi eatery, Ashmick’s Snack Shack on Pali Naka.
A small, dimly lit diner, this one comes without the usual high ceilings, chequered tablecloth and loud cashier-owner. Instead, you’ll find a non-intrusive restaurateur, who’s glued to his Macbook. On display is the Zoroastrian winged symbol of Faravahar, apart from a Parsi wall of fame, featuring everyone from JRD Tata to Freddie Mercury and Homi Bhabha. Other signs of Parsi witticism are hard to miss (don’t forget to see the loo!).
The menu itself comes with signature dishes, peppered with titles such as Pari Batliwala’s Chicken Kebabs (R220). While the alcohol menu is limited to wine, the starters comprise of ubiquitous, non-Parsi options like Cheese Fingers (R220) and Cheese Onion Sausage (R180) that could have been straight out of a Venky’s packet.
We tried Phiroza Irani’s Chicken Sticks (R 240), which comprises toothpick-ed pieces of chicken in green chutney. It is a bite-sized delight. Next, we tried Freni Aunty’s Mutton Dhansak (R380). The hearty meal comes with pieces of mutton and a generous helping of brown rice and kachumber (salad) of tomato, onion and cucumber.
If you are looking to go beyond the popular Parsi treats, Jumjoji may leave you disappointed with its limited menu. We stuck to popular favourites like the Patra Ni Macha (R450). However, unlike the previous serving, it turned out to be measly. The small fillet fish, wrapped in banana leaf was smeared with coriander chutney, but wasn’t quite a mouthful.
The only streak of innovation on the menu came off last with the customary dessert — Zenobia Zorabian’s Lagan nu Custard (R110), which far from the gooey caramel custard, presents a mithai-like dish with hints of pistachio and cinnamon.
Though Jumjoji could well expand their fare, we are taking their disclaimer ‘stocks available until Parsis last’ seriously and planning to visit them soon again.
We Don’t Like
Where: Ankleshwar Building, ONGC Colony, Bandra (W)
Call: 2651 6156
What’s On The Menu: Starters, curries and dessert