Indian restaurants in Dubai are a lot of things but fun isn’t one of them. Some perform food theatrics others prefer to be strictly traditional while there are those that take the music-lounge-food trail, emulating their western counterparts. However, few focus on making it a crazy, quirky fun place that beckon you for a drink, food and music. Moombai & Co. gets that right. There is something about the vibe that makes you want to return. Perhaps it’s the super cheesy 80s music (it was raining Bappi Lahiri when we went) or the funnily designed menu (complete with a Parsi aunty’s advice) or the warm service that make it informal and welcoming, but one of the latest additions to the desi food scene is a helluva lotta fun.
But I wish it hadn’t promoted itself as Parsi-Irani. Simply because, a Parsi restaurant isn’t made by including Salli Marghi or Patra ni Machi alone. The whiff of Mumbai’s famed Parsi cafes comes from its vintage wooden furniture and checkered table cloth, the rickety ceiling fans and grandfather clock. Moombai & Co. has got some of those elements but doesn’t exactly match up to the original. But never mind. Even a wee bit of Brittania or Kayani Bakery is good enough for us! To compensate, there are those old Bollywood posters that bring a smile to your face and the afore-mentioned mad music. Also, grape was served in a quirky glass, with the cutlery giving a cafeteria-ish feel. Cute.
Now, the food. The menu is technically, pan North Indian. Aside from the usual tikkas, it’s got a Sindhi Curry (why, just why?!) and a frankie that we tried and liked (very Mumbai but falls short of the famous Tibbs Frankie we have grown up eating). The Keema pav could have been better while the Patra ni Machi ticked most of the boxes. But the over-sweet and imbalanced Falooda was a disappointment. Also, how can you NOT have a dhansak and a in a Parsi-Irani restaurant? It might be a clichéd choice but when one wants to relive home flavour, give us the real flavours of home!
But on the positive side, there is enough to keep the Mumbai lover happy. We miss the sight of Marine Drive while chomping on pav bhaji but it’s the best that Dubai can offer. The next plan is to return for a Parsi breakfast – if it gets the akhoori right, then even the most fastidious Parsi Aunty would approve!
Info: 1 Sheikh Zayed Road , The H Dubai, 04 501 8607