As a first step into the blogging world for most of us, we thought we’d provide you with a comparison of 2 bakeries that have been South Mumbai’s backbones for quite a few years, but have slowly taken a back seat.
Covering Irani joints as haunts for delicious food is a cliché, but we believe that clichés can be comforting, much like the brun maska at either of these joints.
We decided to visit two of our favourite such haunts, and try and explain better why one seems to be thriving, while the other remains in shambles. Our contestants for this shootout are Yazdani, a three-generation old bakery at Fort and Sassanian Boulangerie at Metro, a restaurant in the same state of sanitation as a country liquor bar.
As we entered Sassanian, we got a definite unkempt vibe, reinforced by the empty soft drink bottles stacked up on our left. After we ordered, we glanced around appreciatively at the art-deco setting, but couldn’t help noticing a naked wire hanging overhead, and a fresh stain on every table (tea on ours). The waiter came back saying that it would take half an hour for a grilled sandwich, a reflection on the state of equipment there.
Our chai (Rs. 10) was crisp, but slightly watered down. It complemented the Mawa Cake (Rs. 12) as well as one would expect. The Club Sandwich (Rs. 70, gulp!), as recommended by the waiter, was a pleasant surprise with 2-tiers. It was filling and tasty, with perfectly peppered chicken.
On leaving, we couldn’t help but feel disappointed at seeing the grandeur this place must have once possessed. It was well past its prime, fading away like the seats on the well designed chairs.
Yazdani was a treasure, and like all treasures, was tricky to find. Located in a by-lane near the BSE, Yazdani provided a gentle visual relief, nestled between two standard-issue buildings.
Regular clientele kept the place occupied, as bread loaves were sold with briskness. The Bread Pudding (Rs. 22) was a generous helping of perfectly good sweetness, albeit slightly difficult to break into. The Carrot Cake (Rs. 18), was a tad crumbly, though enjoyable otherwise. The Mawa Cake (Rs. 16) was cutely sized and conventionally satisfying.
What we left Yazdani with, was knowing that it was a place of historical reference. On a wall filled with memorabilia, a plaque proudly declared it to be a 2007 Urban Heritage Award Winner. This has worked out for them as an honour as well as a burden, as now the owners have to approach the Indian Heritage Society of Mumbai for even regular maintenance work. Mr Tirandaz, a co-owner of Yazdani told us how difficult it had been for him to continue with renovation or restoration work, because of the label.
Our verdict: Yazdani. Even though it takes ages to look for, it’s worth the hunt. Their small cozy outlet is haven to numerous bread lovers, brun maska lovers as well as the nearby situated working class who just want to grab a chai and snack. Sassanian on the other hand has an open kitchen which almost shows off its slight lack of hygiene. The waiters are generally most disinterested and have quite a dismal attitude with the customer. Not just more presentable and warm, Yazdani even has special Christmas cakes!
We don’t have photos but they shall be up ASAP.
We didn’t want to take any from elsewhere.
But, this link has come really good ones and an interesting article too:
-Avanti Adivarekar & Sarvesh Talreja