Restaurant Review: Jumjoji—A Parsi Diner

February 3, 2012 1:31 pm by

In addition to their lineage, customs and community achievements, Parsis are fiercely proud about their food. Not surprisingly, the walls of Jumjoji, a week-old upscale Parsi diner in Bandra Reclamation near Lilavati Hospital, reflect this Parsi pride in the form of neatly framed photographs of historic Parsi achievers including field marshal Sam Manekshaw, model and actress Persis Khambatta, businessman J. R. D. Tata and music conductor and violinist Mehli Mehta. In a mere 600 square feet, the owners have packed in a number of community-specific decorative features—traditional votive candles, a vase full of sandalwood sticks commonly found in fire temples, and pencil drawings of their winged symbol, the Faravahar—which have been subtly accommodated in an elegant room painted in white and midnight blue.

“Jumjoji” is Gujarati for let’s go eat. In this case the invite is on behalf of Boman Irani, a businessman who runs a hotel management institute in Khopoli. Since south Mumbai has the largest concentration of Irani cafes, most of which close right before dinner, Irani’s intention was to start a full-fledged Parsi restaurant this side of town. He has employed students from the institute in the kitchen, boys in their late teens and early 20s who trained in Parsi cooking at the homes of Irani’s extended family members. The menu is thus peppered with dishes named after Irani’s kin, for instance Piroja Irani’s chicken sticks, Freni aunty’s mutton dhansakh, and Pari Batliwala’s chicken kebabs. You may rue that Jumjoji lacks the charming old-fashioned appeal of the city’s beloved Irani cafés, but you can take heart in the fact that its menu is almost identical to those served at these cafes. Typical of a Parsi joint, there’s more choice for non-vegetarians.

Piroja Irani’s chicken sticks are a great meal opener. The dish comprises toothpick-speared pieces of boneless chicken marinated in a spicy green chutney and then deep fried in the same batter used in the preparation of fried chicken patties. We don’t know Piroja Irani, but we can imagine this delicious bite-sized appetiser being the toast of her house parties. Next we tried the akuri, the traditional masala scrambled egg concoction, which was thankfully not too oily and had just the right amount of chopped green chillis. Freni Sanjana is another of Boman Irani’s relatives with commendable culinary talent. According to the menu, Freni aunty stumbled upon the recipe for mutton dhansakh while rummaging through her great grandmother’s belongings back in 1954. The tawny gravy was thick, spicy and full of the robust flavour of the tender pieces of mutton cooked with the fat. If you want just the one filling option, get the dhansakh, which is served with a handsome helping of a basic brown pulao and a kachumber of tomato, onion and cucumber.

At Rs450 for the patra ni macchi, we were expecting more than just half a fillet of fish. However, the measly portion was the only fault we could find with the banana leaf-wrapped steamed fish slathered with a fiery green coconut and coriander chutney that had a welcome hint of sweetness. The most meritorious dish was the moderately spiced, moist mutton biryani garnished with a handful of deep brown fried onions. It’s not on the menu yet, but the server unfailingly mentions it to all diners. Zenobia Zorabian’s lagan nu custard was sadly too sweet for our liking. It tasted more like a cinnamon-scented mithai than the airy Parsi custard we love so much. We left Jumjoji feeling not just sated, but also excited, for ourselves and the suburb. The restaurant is a welcome addition to Bandra’s food scene, which is overrun with sub-par multi-cuisine restaurants. And for those of us living north of the Sea Link, it makes perfect sense to dine at Jumjoji when those Parsi food cravings strike.

A meal for two costs approximately Rs1,200.

Tags: , , ,

Jumjoji A Parsi Diner

LocationShop No. 4
Ankleshwar Building
ONGC Colony
Near Lilavati Hospital
Bandra Reclamation
Bandra (West)

Phone2651 6156

HoursDaily, noon to 3.30pm and 7pm to 11.30pm

Comments (21)

  1. Mr. Tehmtan Daruwala |

    Dear Sir,
    I went to your restaurant few days back with my mother and uncle. We are happy to see resurgence in Irani food with young blood, and hope that this situation continues as good precedent for Bombay. Food was very good mostly, so we enjoyed. Service was also decent. Decor was above decent for suburbs. Crockery there is room for improvement but all-in-all 8 out of 10.
    Keep it up!
    Mr. Tehmtan Daruwala
    Mr. Porus Daruwala
    Mrs. Zenobia Daruwala

  2. Dara Tampal |

    I really do not understand the ethics of people always complaining and criticizing instead of encouraging and
    giving in good thoughts to a new venture.
    Boman don’t worry go ahead, all the well wishers and the Almighty is behind you.

  3. PALLI |

    JUMJOJI……..AS THE NAME SUGGESTS EAT TO YOUR HEARTS DELIGHT!!
    AND AM SURE KNOWING BOMAN HE WILL MAKE A GO OF HIS VENTURE!
    AM GG 2 GORGE ON ALL THE YUMMY AAPROO BHONOO!!
    ALL THE BEST TO BOMAN AND HIS TEAM!

  4. Feroze De Vitre |

    Jumjoji seems to be a good place to eat but do they serve drinks too.
    No Parsi worth his Sali ni Merghi & Sash ni Machi can do with out his ek Salamati no nalho!!!!!

  5. sudesh nair |

    JUMJOJI ROCKS.HAD A GR8 EVENING.GR8 HOSPITALITY.KEEP IT UP.

  6. mayur gujar |

    the food was good but can be more tastier.the service is quite good and the guys are really following the slogan–service with a smile.the captain Alam is a real asset of jumjoji.the pricing a little bit on higher side but the decor,service and the location of the jumjoji is worth it.oh yes the place should have been bigger.

  7. To me, consistently good, authentic parsi food has two sources.
    One is at my mum’s house, where every meal on the table is like a grand feast.
    And secondly is Tanaz Godiwala’s lagan nu bhonu.
    Now, the test is to try “jumjoji” out and hope that it matches up to what parsi food is about.
    I will try it out soon.
    Wish the new venture every success.
    Like they say parsi’s can never fast to death, but they cam feast to death.
    Cheers

  8. BEHRAM J. D. |

    wud go if someone else paying the bill!!

  9. Sunny Singh |

    We went to Jumjoji very excited to gorge into some Parsi food, but were a tad bit disappointed with the food.

    The decor is pleasant and cutlery / crockery good. Service decent.

    Apart from the chicken sticks which were fabulous, we have eaten far better salli chicken and mutton dhansak in other restaurants.

    The salli chicken (two small pieces of chicken!) and tawa mutton were decent.

    Unfortunately, mutton dhansak didn’t quite hit the spot and had barely any mutton (Junjoji owners should perhaps take a round of Britannia or Ripon Club) and see the quantity of mutton served.

    Since chocolate mousse was unavailable, we went in for the lagan nu custard which was very ok.

    We are going to give Jumjoji another chance though the next time around we will try mutton biryani and patra ni macchi.

  10. raj jayswal |

    the service team is very warm and humble.food can be better.the decor is real classy.good place to meet up friends for chill time. best luck guys.

  11. sam peter |

    jumjoji team is very warm and professional. all smiling faces.the pricing is just a little on higher side but overall value for money & the experience.

  12. Minoo M. Patel |

    Jumjoji,

    It looks as if Boman Irani wants to replicate what Godiwalla started some 50 years ago.

    Consider the pricing of a Lagan nu Bhonu which worked out to Rs 51 per head in 1971 costs more than Rs. 600 today.

    For a Rs. 1200 meal for two, I could cater at home for a full meal for 4 .

    Leave Jumjoji to the film wallahs.

    Minoo Patel

  13. jitoo bhai valsadwalla |

    It is good to note that besides acting skills,Boman Irani has culinary skills too.Almost all Bollywood celebrities have an association with such alternative lines of business saved for a rainyday.Naming dishes after his kins is a good USP ! Parsi cuisine is liked by many non-parsis too.I hope the place lives upto its reputation ! Chicken farcha (fried chicken),Sali murghi (spicy chicken with fine potato crisps),Jinga no patio (shrimp in spicy tomato curry),Tamota ni russ chaval (mutton cutlets with white rice and tomato sauce)and even Khichri (rice with toor daal and/or moong daal)..are all Parsi dishes I have tasted in my childhood and growing up days in Valsad ( 1960s-1980s) and still love them.I have not yet forgotten the taste of eenda-no- poro (“Parsi” omelette) eaten long ago in one of the Irani hotels in Mumbai in the byegone era.Wish JUMJOJI ..All the Best…!

  14. Shiva |

    Jumjoji- a real Parsi fine dining experience.the price is just right for the kind of clientele they are targeting.the decor is real cozy & warm,wine selection is good but can be expanded.the food is yummmmmyy but menu can be expanded.the best thing of Jumjoji is the team,humble n warm but maybe just a little understaffed vis a vis service.overall gr8 experience.

  15. xyz |

    It is very expensive. Not at-all worth it. They must reduce prices immediately for them to survive for a longer period.

  16. Sameer |

    Ashmiks shack at Pali Naka . FTW!

  17. Nishant |

    There’s more to Parsi food than dhansak and patra-ni-macchi!

  18. Shernaz |

    A restaurant review should also mention important things like the napiery, crockery etc so we know if its a paper napkins and Ogale glasses kind of place or not. Also what the seating and noise levels are like. And if it’s Parsi cuisine, whether it serves Duke’s Raspberry!!!

  19. Homiyar Bilimoria |

    If “Jamjoji” maintains its standard, it should do well with not only the Parsis living in the Mumbai suburbs, but even non-Parsis would frequent the restaurant, since some of the Parsi dishes are favourites amongst the non-Parsis.

    For a Parsi meal, the cost of a meal for two sounds a bit pricy!

  20. S J BISCUITWALA |

    I LIKE VERY MUCH PARSI FOOD. SINCE 1960 I WENT TO BOMBAY A A HOTEL AT GRANT ROAD WHENEVER I CAME TO BOMBAY. I NEVER LEFT PARSI OCCASSION JUST LIKE MARRAGE, NAVJEOT ETC. ALL MY PARSI FRIEND INVITE ME IN THEIR OCCASSION & I WILLINGLY GO.NOW IN BOMBAY VERY LITTLE PARSI HOTELS, SO I GLAD TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR HOTEL.GOOD WISHES:S J BISCUITWALA,% NOVELTY BAKERY,VALSAD ESTD IN 1931 BY MY GRAND FATHER. THANKING YOU

  21. Mazdayasni Muncherjee |

    There are few Parsi restaurants in Bombay and most are totally useless. I hope this one lives up to the review. Only the akuri will tell.