Boman Rashid Kohinoor: The old man of Britannia & Co passes away at 97
If you’ve ever stopped for lunch at Ballard Estate’s iconic Britannia & Co restaurant, you’ll have met Boman Rashid Kohinoor. Or rather, he’ll have met you. The 97-year-old senior partner was a permanent fixture at the restaurant since he was 16. He’d make it a point to visit every table, enquire about your experience, and leave only after making a hearty joke or two. Kohinoor passed away on Wednesday afternoon from ill health. His death will be mourned not only by the family – Kohinoor’s children who help run the restaurant set up by his father, Rashid, in 1923 – but also by the city. Many consider a meal at Britannia & Co an essential the Mumbai experience – partly because of Kohinoor’s eccentricity and warmth.
The restaurant’s signature berry pulao, made from Kohinoor’s wife’s recipe, using Iranian zereshk berries, has won several awards, and is a hit with tourists and Ballard Estate’s office crowd. The restaurant is also famous for Iranian and Zoroastrian dishes, particularly their sali boti, dhansak, patra ni machchi, caramel custard and Duke’s Raspberry Soda, which is hard to find elsewhere.
An Anglophile until his last days, Kohinoor amassed a collection of letters received on behalf of the British royal family. He also had an audience with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they visited Mumbai in 2016. Photos of that meeting hang on the walls, alongside those of other statesmen and celebrities that have visited. Kohinoor’s own will be added soon.