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It’s hard to believe that a community this small, in comparison to the others that populate our country, could have come up with food this diverse and delicious. Showcasing lesser known aspects of Parsi cuisine, the 3-day young Rustom’s is a triumph of home-style cooking over pretentious fare in an intimate setting that is anything but contrived.
Reminiscent of old school dining rooms straight out of a vintage movie, this five-table charming diner oozes character courtesy family photos – both from co-owner and former food writer Kainaz Contractor’s collection as well as from Sooni Taraporevala’s Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India – and rustic furniture along with a happy playlist that moves from Sinatra to The Beatles. Everything from the white lacey curtains to the crockery cupboard and the quaint room divider will make you feel like you are at an eccentric aunt’s home with Kainaz and partner Rahul Dua (Café Lota’s chef par excellence) ensuring you are well fed.
Food + Drinks
The kitchen has been doing home deliveries for a few weeks and seems to have perfected their signatures in that time. Even if you’ve eaten at a Parsi joint before, expect to find new names on the menu with variants of what a typical household meal would include. Vegetarians, especially those who eat eggs, will be glad with the offerings. Case in point – the addictively uncomplicated Eeda Cheese Na Cutlets (Rs 225) that’s basically just creamy egg whites stuffed with cheese and finely chopped spring onions. Equally interesting is the Soya Pattice (Rs 225) that comes in a serving of two giant egg-topped and fried to perfection pattice. This one makes for a mini meal in itself with its mutton counterpart of Kheema Pattice (Rs 295) obviously stealing the show. We’d go back just to eat these again, and again, and again!
Showing off more subtle flavours, their Paatra Ni Macchi (Rs 295) is the best you’ll get in our landlocked city and is lovingly coated in mild mint-coriander chutney, which you’ll find yourself licking off from the banana leaf that it’s steamed and served in. They’ve also had the foresight to import the famous Pallonji’s Soda (Rs 60) in Raspberry and Lemon all the way from Mumbai, which we are fans of.
If you still have room left, go for their combo specials that are big enough to feed two hungry folks. We didn’t pay heed to our server’s warning and ended up doggy-bagging half our order, or maybe that was our plan all along. Of these, the Dhansak (Rs 395/495) has a vegetarian version besides the traditional mutton one. We went with the latter that is paired with caramelised rice and kheema kebabs, which are like power packed meatball goodies. While the rice is part of the combo, we greedily asked for the Malai Na Parantha (Rs 80) and Parsi Rotli (Rs 70). Both are homely staples, but the rotli is a wiser choice since it’s lighter on the palate, though the indulgent parantha is sure to be an instant hit.
Upholding the herbivore flag, their vegetarian Dhan Dar Patio (Rs 395) is a curiously interesting dish that includes ghee-laden garlic and fried onion laced yellow dal and eggplant in a piquant tomato gravy with steamed rice. The eggplant is cooked well and doesn’t turn to mush, holding its form and flavour beautifully while the dal took us straight to mum’s Sunday lunch.
Top off the ridiculously good meal with a serve of their Caramel Custard (Rs 225) – it’s a sexy diva that shimmies and shakes in all the right spots and leaves you begging for more. The grand dame Lagan Nu Custard (Rs 225) is a house special too, but you’ll need something delicate to wind down after this culinary trip!
IN A NUTSHELL
TC Verdict: A much needed home-style addition to the city’s growing regional food scene!
Meal for Two: Rs 1,200
Review & Other Details: Rustom’s – Parsi Bhonu on TimesCity
Images Courtesy: WhiskAWish / Bharat Bhirangi for BBC Good Food India