In a nutshell:
In my right mind – A 100+ year old legendary Parsi Bakery that sells awesome food at unbelievably rock bottom prices.
After going thru 30 minutes of roller coaster at B Merwan early in the morning – A must visit, unmissable, foodie’s heaven, (almost) madhouse* that serves outstanding breakfast at century old (exaggeration) prices.
A very informative & good article on this subject – Live mint
Address & other details: B Merwan
Meal for 2: 60 onwards
Cuisine type : vegetarian, non-vegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give an honest account of the same to you.
Day 1 we spent Rs. 100, Day 2 we sent Rs. 115. No bill.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short description – in case u r in a hurry:
We had heard about B Merwan from many foodies. We remembered someone mentioning that by 7 am their dishes start getting sold out.
We thought we were smart movers – so reached there at 6.30 am to find a sea of people outside and inside. We entered the restaurant to realize that it had many interesting things inside.
The ceiling was high with beams running across it. A part of the restaurant, near the entrance was a provision store.
On the right side there was a delivery counter – people taking home breads/ cupcakes / Pattice etc. the guys at this counter were super-fast like programmed robots and were listening to the order, packing it in jet speed, handing over the parcel and telling the amount.
Customers were then carrying the parcel to the payment counter, saying the amount, paying and going off. No tokens, no waiter accompanying, no screaming of amount etc. Now, that is called trust.
The walls had huge mirrors with wooden frames with small hand written notice boards on them – like ‘no smoking’ etc.
One pillar in the center had photographs of I guess the founder & the next generations. A menu card was written below it.
Day 1 we got an entry to ‘ladies and family’ section thanks to lady Yummraj’s presence. It was a different place altogether as compared to the ‘stampede for food’ happening outside. The family room was empty, nice, spacious (on a relative scale).
Day 2 the same ‘family room’ entry did not work inspite of Lady YUMMRAJ’s presence as we reached at 6am. We were told that the family section opens close to 7 am. So we had to wait at the general section.
The dynamics were very different in the general section. Customers come to the dining floor, looked around, guessed which table is almost done , they did go and stand near that table and pounced on the chairs as soon as it wud get empty. No one was bothered about who is sharing their table.
First half of our breakfast we shared table with 3 daily wage earners and second half of our breakfast we shared table with 3 young girls and a middle aged man, all of who seemed to just have come out of a Hindi movie that was depicting a ‘dance bar’ plot.
The waiter we got in day 2 was an old man with a short term memory loss. He wud take orders 3-4 times for the same thing and wud forget and we wud keep reminding. So we saw few items come from kitchen & by the time the guy wud remember, it wud finish.
Then I came up with this trick – I was keeping an eye on the kitchen. Whenever something new wud come out, one tray wud go to the takeaway section and the other wud go to the plating section from where the waiter was getting our food.
So I started going to the takeaway, buying the food, return to seat and eat it. This trick made sure I was not dependent on the forgetful waiter any more. Innovation, U see.
Our waiter & other waiters I cud see were having ups & lows in their dealings. Violent mood swings from a very deep frown to an ear to ear smile in a span of 5 minutes was just unbelievable. At one moment they spoke with the authority of a Royal butler & the other moment they pleaded like a human ‘4 baje se daur bhag chal raha hai’.
We saw the Owner, an elderly Parsi gentleman get into fights with bunch of young boys and finally he asked them to get out of the restaurant. Again at another time I saw him helping people get a seat or get the order delivered fast. He was personally welcoming people to the family section. I was amazed at how he was constantly keeping watch over all matters, at this age – I hope I am as active at his age.
It was not just an early morning breakfast any more but watching what was happening around was highly entertaining.
We realized that here People eat what they r given and not necessarily what they have in mind when they came here.
If food is the reason u usually go to a restaurant, this one is a must visit. If u r low on patience, do not go here. Nothing else – service, ambience etc shud b given importance when going here. Ur tastebuds wud thank u for taking them here.
Inspite of all the madness that was happening, in hindsight I see a method in madness*. An institution that has so successfully maintained its standards while charging very low prices surely has greatness inbuilt in it.
Food is outstanding, at absurdly low prices (compared to the taste and quality).
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
Mawa samosa – This was the first item we took a bite into – and was almost shell shocked in disbelief!!!! Crispy outer layer filled with mildly sweetened mawa. Lack adjectives to describe it. Rate it 4.95/5.
Mawa cake was a revelation as well. The cake was kind of crisp on the outer side and relatively soft on the inside. It was not soft but not hard as well. The flavour of the cake was unique and I cud feel it with all my senses. The mawa ensured that the cake was less fluffy and had a mild daanedaar effect. Super loved it and rate it 4.75/5.
Omelet Pav was an omelet served with super soft sliced Pav. The omelet was as good a simple omelet cud get – nothing exotic, nothing out of the world. It had perfect seasoning. Rate it 4/5.
We were kind of disappointed to hear that they were left with only veg Pattice. When it came on the plate, it was as unpressive visually as it cud b.
However a bite into the Pattice changed our perception. The outer was a culmination of millions (exaggerated in excitement) of layers of super crisp flakes. The inside had the most unimpressive looking carrot cubes that tasted outstanding. Again it was unbelievable how good the dish was. Rate it 4.75/5
We tried pudding that was served to us in a aluminum foil box. It had developed a thin layer on top during baking. The dish was low on sugar and had good flavour. Rate it 4.25/5
In house baked Biscuit was excellent. Mildly sweet, daanedar, crisp and moist at the same time. Just too good. Rate it 4.5/5
Brune Maska was a bun shaped bread with a hard outer crust and soft inside. Was very enjoyable with just plain Amul butter. Rate it 4/5.
The chai was Ok. Rate it 3/5. Olympia Chai was so much better.
Overall rating of food averages out to 4.5/5
Overall rating of food & beverages averages out to 4.3/5. Look forward to many more visits.