Time Out is taken with the biryani at brand-new café and bar Moombai & Co.
Fruit and meat. A time-loved pairing, yet a combination that some just can’t get to grips with. We fall into the camp that enjoys the mismatch and so this chicken berry biryani at brand-new Moombai & Co. piques our interest.
Moombai & Co., which opened its doors last week (Friday September 15), is billed as a “modern Parsi café, featuring all of Auntie’s favourite Indian dishes”.
The quirky eatery blends 1950s Mumbai with modern-day Dubai and aims to maintain the legacy of Parsi cafés, where people would gather and chat over chai.
The décor is reminiscent of this too, featuring ceiling fans, exposed brick, mahogany furniture and pendulum wall clocks, as well as Bollywood posters and memorabilia sourced directly from Mumbai.
“Moombai & Co. revives and relives a rich part of Mumbai’s cultural narrative and rewrites it, right here in Dubai,” say the team behind it. “It’s like visiting your auntie’s house back home where everyone is welcome and no one leaves hungry.”
But back to that biryani. The kitchen is headed up by chef Ashish Kumar who has rolled out an interesting and delicious-sounding menu, and this dish comprises tender chicken and aromatic long-grain basmati rice cooked on “dum” (where the meat is layered between fragrant rice and cooked steaming over coals in a sealed earthenware pot). Plenty of fresh berries are added to give a sweet, modern twist.
And as a nod to “Auntie” who the eatery often refers to, there’s Auntie’s bhuna gosht, a slow-cooked goat curry made with a “secret spice mix”, too. Traditional, home-style grub. We’ll see you there. Open daily 11am-midnight. The H Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 501 8607).