It was love at first bite. It was at the hallowed, hundred-year-old Parsi members-only Ripon Club that I got my first taste of Parsi food. This was almost four decades ago when I had just moved from dreary Delhi and fell wildly in love with Mumbai and with Parsi food. Sadly there are only a handful of Parsi restaurants and so I wait for lagan nu bhonus at weddings. However, when a Parsi restaurant does open, I do a joyous whoop and go cartwheeling to lunch there. Like I did at the three-month-old Cheron.
Please ignore all those social media comments – Cheron does not have a sea view. Sure it is daylight bathed, is charming, cheery and no frills. It’s seriously small. Glassed in counters with shelves of food complete the decor.
All the food is served in takeaway plates and containers. Snacky (wraps, rolls, sandwiches) as well as one-dish-meals. My awesome foodie friend Kunal Vijayakar swears by the Patra ni Machi here. Snuggly wrapped in banana leaf and vibrant with chutney and gently steamed, the “Pamplet” is a must try. As is the plump pao with boldly spiced succulent kheema and the somewhat greasy but tasty mutton lacy cutlet. Moist and tangy Berry Pulao, lustily spiced Mutton Salli Jardaloo. `Flaky puffs baked with a filling of chicken (vegetarian options too). Velvety firm Lagan Nu Custard delights
No table bookings. No alcohol. No ice. Some of the dishes miss the mark and could do with more punch like the Dhansak and the Mutton Mince Potato. Oversweet desserts (Kit Kat, German chocolate).
I love the fact that this small, cheery, open through the day cafe is the result of four decades of a family’s passion. Baker and poultry pioneer Khoram Zorabian founded Bandra’s Gondola and Perizaad, his lovable actress daughter is equally passionate about it. His son Sohrab’s Cheron has been catering Parsi food. Casual and value for money has always been the guiding ethos. No frills, straightforward preparations and food served in takeaway containers. It encourages a basic kind of gluttony. Happily!
Average meal for two : Rs 600
- 25, Carter Rd, Shirley, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050, India