Nestled on the side of the H Hotel Dubai, is Moombai & Co – a Parsi themed cafe with all the quirks. I was invited to try out their ‘Aunties brunch’ and decided to take a Mumbai native who knows that style of food best – my mom.
Why Moombai & Co struck a chord with me
While our roots lie in Mangalore, a small coastal town in India; my mom’s and dad’s side of the family migrated to Bombay (now Mumbai) way before independence in 1947. My maternal grandfather set up a few restaurants and a cafe in central Mumbai as well as a bakery, mainly catering to the low-end income families and mill workers. None of the restaurants nor the cafe stands today. One of them, however, happened to be a Parsi cafe. This cafe in was an intricate part of my mom’s growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. Which is why I took her to Moombai & Co in the first place!
What appealed to us at Moombai & Co
Besides the bright and quirky menus and decor, I liked the fact that they had a small children’s play area, even if it was right at the entrance. They also have a terrace for the cooler Dubai nights. In terms of the interiors, they have some of the the old vintage Bollywood posters and the choice of furniture (according to my mom atleast) was quite authentic. The add-on bar was not. The old school Bollywood music had her foot tapping to the music makes me think that this place would be perfect to visit if your folks are in town. Soft enough to have a conversation too.
What to expect at the Aunties Brunch
The Aunties Brunch has a curated menu attached to it. The menu in itself is very attractive, but hosted very few Parsi dishes. My mother’s face fell a little when she didn’t see her beloved dhansaak or patra ni macchi on the menu. She was later informed that it was on their regular menu. We were given a very typical milky Irani chai to start off our brunch. Though authentic, we’d pick our karak over this any day.
We then tried their poha which was mediocre as it was dry.
The lasooni macchi and lamb kebabs that followed though were mouth-watering. The fish was marinated in a roasted garlic marinade and it was soft and flavorful. The lamb kebab was tender and tantalising.
We followed this with the egg keema paratha. Something not to be missed. The flaky paratha and the well-spiced keema was so good we ordered for seconds.
A smattering of some chaat, dal makhani, Irani biryani (complete with raisins) and butter chicken with a selection of naans followed next. To be honest, nothing was really notable here, even though the dal makhani was quite delicious. The rest of the dishes were mediocre and the biryani had a slightly smelly quality to it. Our dessert was a selection of fruit and two kulfi ice creams, none of which were impressive. The lagan nu custard was delicious though.
You have both an alcoholic (priced at AED 345) and non-alcoholic (priced at AED 245) brunch. This place hosts the famous Indian Kingfisher beer, but since I’m not a beer drinker; I opted for their chai martini which despite my previous skepticism, I actually liked! Delicious with freshly dusted nutmeg.
Next time, I’d honestly skip the Aunties Brunch and order off the main menu whenever I go to Moombai & Co. Even though the food is freshly prepared and served as per your needs at brunch (a rarity in Dubai), the Parsi touch was really missing in the main courses with the exception of a biryani. I’d like to go back and try their hardcore Parsi dishes, but the only one that truly struck a chord with me at brunch was the egg keema paratha. Now that, I would come back for, with a chai martini on the side!
DISCLOSURE: I was offered a complimentary meal in return of a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
LOCATION: H Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, UAE
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It’s a bit weird that they kept most of their Parsi dishes out of the brunch being a Parsi cafe… Maybe better to just go a la carte
I think it’s still worth a visit though 🙂
Looks like a bit of a mish mash. Why would you have a children’s play area and a bar?!!
Agree that the food is just okay but because of the music and the staff who are all super friendly, think it makes for a fun night out and I’d go back. Bit pricey though.