Going to Dorabjee’s is like stepping into the pages of a Farrukh Dhondy short story (many of which were set here, in the gullies of Sarbatwala Chowk). In fact, looking around, we could swear we spotted characters like the crafty Minocher Toot, the sanctimonious Soli Kolmi and the tight-fisted Miss Bepsi Kohla sitting at nearby tables, tucking into their lunch.
Dorabjee’s has been around since 1878, which makes it possibly India’s oldest surviving restaurant (it’s now run by the fourth generation of the Dorabjee family). And it remains
stubbornly old-fashioned. For example, they still insist on cooking on charcoal fires, which they claim is what gives their dishes their special flavour. Dorabjee’s is known for its Parsi food: their chicken farcha and sali boti are recommended, but their speciality is Parsi biriyani, bittersweet with the flavour of fried onions. Their Sunday dhansak has become an institution of Poona (as old-timers still call the city). For dessert try their lagan nu custard. Or better still, step across to Kayani’s nearby for their legendary Shrewsbury biscuits, warm from the oven. But that’s assuming the day’s batch is not sold out already.
Dorabjee & Sons
Dastur Meher Road, Sarbatwala Chowk
Pune. Tel: 26145955
Meal for two: Rs 300
Original article: Outlook India