I woke up to sad news and a heavy heart yesterday. The front page of the Times of India covered the news that the iconic Parsi Dairy Farm may shutter soon. I narrated my memories with this Parsi dairy establishment over lunch with the colleagues. I tweeted vociferously over the probable closure of the place that provided one of my favorite childhood treats. I enraged over the closure of many such heritage spaces in the city, because we ourselves don’t have the time or inclination to visit them anymore. I ended the day with a phone conversation with Bee, moaning over how my children would never understand the joy of eating a Mawa Ni Boi from Parsi Dairy farm on Navroze.
Have you ever dined in a place that made you feel like you have gone back in time? I felt like I had time traveled when I visited Quench – All Day Pub in Juhu a week ago. My two hours there made me reminiscent of my college days, with the cheaply priced booze, basic old school food menu, 90s rock and pop music, and painted wall decor. I frequented the Quench outlet in Bandra regularly, as a post-college jaunt with friends. The Juhu branch was similar in so many ways, stuck in a time that went by. If you are a 90s kid like I am, you’re college life would have been incomplete without local watering holes such as Pop Tates, Jugheads, Alfredo’s and more. Quench for me, falls in that same bracket.
Decor – With a conventional food and drinks menu, the thing that sets Quench All Day Pub aside from the others, is it’s eye grabbing decor. Completely hand painted, kitschy, with a major rock and roll influence – here you’ll find graffiti and song lyrics painted on the walls and ceilings. Hand painted Michael Jackson, and John Lennon murals ensure you always have company. And each table top is a fun, different theme – my favorite is the Saap Seedi table which can actually be used to create a fun drinking game with shots! And their playlist is filled with songs from an era gone by – beautiful music so rarely found in bars nowadays.
Parsi food – one of my top three reasons for being a proud Parsi. I cannot get enough of good ol’ Parsi bhonu, inspite of having a fair amount of it at home. Give me my salli par eedu, kababs, and saas ni macchi anyday, over a Michelin star meal! With Parsi New Year just around the corner, the festivities have already begun. My favorite Bawi Bride – home chef extraordinaire, Parsi food pop up organizer, daily lunch Bhonu supplier, and a dear dear friend – has partnered up with the JW Marriott, Sahar to bring us a week long celebration of Bawa Bhonu. Jamva Chalo Ji!
At the JW Cafe – the all day dining space at the swanky JW Sahar – from the 8th to the 18th of August, you’ll have the opportunity to dine on Parsi delicacies in addition to their regular extensive buffet. The Bawi Bride Kitchen brings to the table old classics, secret family recipes, and newer modern interpretations of Parsi cooking that Perzen Patel so painstakingly has compiled and cooked for us. And just like me, if you haven’t received an invite for a Parsi wedding in a long time, checking out the Parsi food festival at JW Sahar may be a good bet. With a rotating menu every night, Perzen promises to mix it up with some old classics, and some unknown dishes that you’d only get to try in a Parsi home. I found some popular Parsi classic dishes on the menu, some of them a personal favorite. Here goes!
Round One: Start off your meal with the syrupy, sweet Raspberry – a drink that will take most Bawas back to celebration time either at weddings or navjotes, where the clink of these bottles mark the onset of a delicious meal. The love of Raspberry is an acquired taste and so many first time drinkers quote that it tastes like ‘cough syrup’, but for me it tastes like childhood. If you’re experimental, up the ante with the pungent Ginger drink – not for the faint hearted.