Moombai & Co. at the H Hotel, fancies itself as something of a licensed Irani-Parsi café. The interior looks like a half-hearted attempt at copying Dishoom of Kings Cross, London. Nonetheless, it’s very well executed, and there are enough nostalgic touches to make it different to the average Dubai curry house. In fact, the first thing I thought after being seated was how much my better half would (probably) love the cosy quaintness of this place. At the door, one is greeted (and then seated) by an intoxicating smile, easily as sweet and delicious as any of their desserts. Kudos to Moombai & Co. to have chosen a pretty Pakistani girl for this task. Tolerance is the BEST spice of life.
I found their menu far from representative of Irani cuisine. Thankfully there are many Parsi favourites, most notably Patra ni Machhi, but surprisingly no Dhansak. That said, the food is superb. My uncle and I started with a spicy Vada Pao (because, for some unfathomable reason, they were unable to serve us the first item on their menu, Bhel Puri).
We then made a lunch of Sali Marghi, a mild chicken curry garnished with crispy slivers of fried potato, Bheeda Par Eeda, a gorgeous Bhindi (Okra) Bhaji topped with a fried egg, a couple of Rumali Rotis and some fluffy, fragrant Dum Ke Chawal long-grain rice. Beautiful.
Sadly, I can’t say the same for the baked Gulab Jamun we ended our meal with, it was rubbish. With hindsight, for dessert, I should have simply asked pretty Shazia to flash us one of her amazing smiles.
And smiles is what the service at Moombai & Co. is all about – friendly, genuine smiles. Definitely worth a visit, perhaps even a detour.