In August 2019 we did a road trip from mumbai to delhi in our jeep. We stopped over at nights in Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Udaipur & jaipur. This is part of of a series of 5 posts about food & travel experienced during the trip.
In a NUtshell
The drive to surat:
The drive from mumbai to surat (after leaving mumbai city limits) was outstanding. It was raining, the scenery around was lush green & the road excellent.
A simple eatery that serves very good Parsi food , one of the best Parsi food we have had across multiple cities. Worth a drive from mumbai to eat lunch here & get back by evening.
Address & other details: cafe farohar
Meal for 2: ₹500 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 a honest account of the same to you.
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
Ever since we moved to mumbai in 2015, we had been hearing about udvada. Tried many times to do a trip but somehow that did not happen. So in 2019, when we were shifting back from mumbai to gurgaon, we decided to stop over at udvada for lunch & also spend some time there. There are many eateries here – our friend satyaki who stays in udvada, suggested we go to farohar
For the uninitiated, Udvada is the religious center for parsis / Zoroastrians & it is the place where the Atash Behram (one of the oldest existing fire temples in India) is located. The Atash Bahram fire was moved from Iran to India in 715, consequent to the migration of Zoroastrians from Iran due to religious persecution by the Islamic rulers, who conquered that country. In india the people who came are called Parsi – meaning ‘from Persia’. The Parsis traveled by ship to india & moved along the coast to A place called sanjan where the local Hindu king gave them asylum and land to settle down, but with some conditions that prevented potential conversion – no non Parsi should be allowed in fire temple, no marriages with non parsis, etc etc.
Later, in 1200s, the parsis had to move from Sanjan to udvada, after attack by an Islamic ruler of india. They set up the fire temple here. Today this town is regarded as the religious city of the parsis.
We drove around the small city & enjoyed the feel of the town.
The Parsi information center was a very well kept museum that explained the history & culture well.
The eatery is situated inside a Parsi guest house. Only parsis are allowed to stay there. The restaurant is however open to all.
The set up is as simple as it could get – a shed open from all sides, outside the main guest house building. It had Plastic furniture.
The menu card was small
The gentleman who took food orders from us suggested two dishes & we loved those. It was a huge pleasure to have spurts of conversations with the lady, who was going from table to table.
A rooster was walking around the eating premises quite confident that it would not be on the plate the next day.
There was a small enclosure with few turtles, rabbits etc.
Food was super fab.
I also saw a leaflet of a food pop up by them in mumbai. Occasionally they do these pop ups.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
I don’t know why Russian chicken cutlet is a Parsi dish & why it has been named Russian. In case any of you have insights, kindly share. The cutlet had a thin & crisp, deep fried outer layer & a super soft & YUMM filling of mashed potato, boiled eggs, onions & chicken pieces. We usually never order deep fried food any more. We not only ordered this, hearing this was a special dish, but also polished off two plates of this!!!! Rate it 4.5/5
Mutton Cutlet is a typical Parsi dish that we have had multiple times from the numerous traditional bawa restaurants of mumbai to modern day sodabottleopenerwala etc. the one at cafe farohar was by far the best in my memory – juicy inside, robust flavours of meat & a bit flavours of spices, YUMM to taste. Liked the thin & crisp outer layer. Rate it 4.75/5
Boi fish (mullet) was recommended to us as ‘fresh catch from nearby’. We agreed to order. It was a simple fish fry – fish with added salt, deep fried. Period. Can’t tell you how good it was. Fresh. Flaky, juicy & very tasty. Rate it 4.75/5
Mutton Salli boti is a mutton curry with deep fried crisp potato match sticks on top. This is how it is served. However before eating the two are mixed & had. The salli gives a crispy texture that contrasts the thick gravy texture. The salli is usually flat to taste, contrasting with the rich, flavorful & strong tasting curry. The salli boti here was sweet, salty, hot. Perfect. Rate it 4.5/5
We packed a portion of mutton Dhansak which is a Parsi delicacy. We had it 4 hours later. The taste was ok. This was the only dish that tasted ordinary. The meat did not have perfect texture. Taste was normal. Rate it 3/5. Packing it would have reduced the zing a bit but very unlikely that could have made the dish average.
Overall rating of food at cafe farohar averages out to 4.3/5
Highly recommended by YUMMRAJ. Worth a long drive from mumbai on a weekend. The only two Parsi food experience that comes close to this experience in our memory, are – pop up at amaranta, Parsi anjuman