This post is written by our monthly columnist – Rebecca D’Souza based on her experience at Military Cafe and Bar
Very few of us can boast of having had the pleasure of working in Fort at least once in their life. Walking by Flora Fountain, past the majestic Bombay House and then up or down rickety, colonial style staircases to quaint little offices definitely adds a bit of romance to the monotony of a week day. But the real charm of working in Fort is the innumerable places to spend the sacred lunch hour we all eagerly look forward to. One such lunch hour highlight was Military Cafe and Bar just behind the Bombay Stock Exchange.
What always amazes me is the diversity of diners here – Lawyers, college students, stock brokers, couriers, heyday Parsi couples, all giving what’s on their plate their full attention. As you walk in, you expect it to be like any other Irani restaurant in South Mumbai – a rude old man at the cash counter and bright pink pastries on the shelves. However I can guarantee you, after numerous visits, that it is nothing like you would expect. You are greeted with a warm hello and then given a table of your choice. The pink pastries are replaced with bottles of Foster’s and the gentleman serving you tries his best to make you feel as comfortable as possible.
This is a meat lover’s paradise, with not much of a choice for the vegetarians. The Mutton Kheema Pulao Dal is my favourite dish at Military. It is a no frill pulao mixed with greasy mutton mince topped with soft potatoes. It comes with a portion of Parsi Dal and is definitely not recommended if you have an assignment or client meeting post lunch. The Sali Boti is made the way it should be – tender pieces of mutton cooked in sweet and spicy gravy topped with crispy Sali. Another great recommendation for the die hard carnivores is the Bheja Fry Masala. I don’t mean to be offensive but you actually get the whole brain on your plate and it is yummy! I didn’t think the Mutton Dhansak was extraordinary, I prefer it at Britannia. Most importantly should not leave Military without trying their famous Caramel Custard! I am sure all of us have had our share of Caramel Custard but I reckon nothing compares to this. The custard is so creamy that even if you catch yourself doing a calorie count as you bite into, you still won’t give a damn! Military is easy on the pocket, with nearly everything on the menu priced between Rs. 100 to Rs 300. Forget about ambiance and fancy appetizers, here delicious wholesome food is given the first priority.
Photo credits: My colleague and lunch buddy Yohhan Pereira (www.instagram/yohhanp)
Rebecca D’Souza started her career in gastronomy with The Wine Society of India. She continues to travel to vineyards across Europe, explore new cuisines in Mumbai and bake till the wee hours of the morning!