- Dishoom story platesIndian restaurant Dishoom is modelled on the Irani cafés of Mumbai, and to celebrate this influence they have collected stories of their friend's and customer's memories of these cafés, and used them to create thesetype-illustrated story plates. 80 plates in total were made, of which I designed 23. You can see the full 80 below, along with larger images of a selection of my favourites from those I designed.You can find out more about the story plates here or go and eat off them yourself at their Shoreditch restaurant!
- Saucer of chaiBy Anil NirodyCheap as the chai was, it was too expensive for some of the working poor who used to frequent the cafés. It was not unusual to see two friends sharing a single cup of tea. When the tea was brought to the table, the one who was going to pay for it would slowly pour half of it into the saucer and give it to his friend; he gave himself the privilege of being the one to drink the rest from the cup.
- Dinner plate aamlateBy Anil NirodyEven the one-egg Irani aamlate was almost the size of a dinner plate ; a two-egg aamlate would overflow the sides of the plate. How did they do it ? I’ve no doubt that they used to add a liberal amount of maida (refined flour) to the beaten egg (along with some chopped onion and sliced green chilly) before frying the aamlate. The taste was very distinctive, slightly burnt and oily but somehow scrumptious when with a small paav (country loaf). A French chef might gag on an aamlate but to us it was simply delicious.
- Grandpa's treatBy Aroon SahaniAs a kid I loved going to my dad's office in Kalbadevi on every holiday. When I went to the office with my grandpa, we would always stop at Kyani's cafe for a bun maska and chai. I always tried to ditch going with my father so that I could get that extra treat. That is how I first started going to Kyani. Oh and sometimes I was even able to squeeze in a mawa cake.
- Scrumptious SundaysBy Zeisha JafferThe smell of caramel custard drives me crazy. Everytime I would go to Britannia with my family, the only dish I would look forward to was that lovely and scrumptious caramel custard. The highlight of every Sunday afternoon lunch!
- Dukes v CokeBy Anil NirodyThe adults would drink chai all year round but when the weather got really, really hot and muggy we youngsters would order something cold. A narangi (orange soda) , a gulabi (rose soda) or perhaps a Dukes Mangola or Romango or Limca. Coca Cola was available too but it was more expensive. In the impecunious days of our youth, two or three of us used to share one of those little six-ounce bottles of Coke. The Indian manufactured sodas would come to the table in large thick glass tumblers and they would contain some crushed ice. What a pleasure to hold the cold glass to a fevered cheek!
- Bombay dreamsBy Vayu NaiduMy Bombay swells dreams Fed by Irani Cafés near Xaviers
- Fiery sodaBy Adarsh RadiaFor many, the main attraction about Britannia Restaurant is the Berry Pulao. For me it's that they sell Pallonji - the most fiery ginger soda you will ever encounter. My throat is burning just thinking about it.
- Chilled chaiBy Aflatoon Shokriye - owner of KyaniIn about 1952 an Irani had a café and this man used to put kus-kus (poppy in the tea). And believe it or not, the taxiwallahs who were running the taxi, they used to go there and take their tea always, otherwise they were not happy with their tea.
Then one by one, all the cafes started kus-kus tea, we had it here at Kyani, finally the Municipality came to know about it, they said “You have to stop putting that in the tea.”