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In the heart of Pune, where history meets culinary excellence, stands Dorabjee & Sons, the oldest Parsi restaurant in the city. Established in 1878 by Sorabjee Dorabjee, this iconic eatery has delighted generations of food enthusiasts with its delectable Parsi delicacies. Steeped in tradition and boasting a rich heritage, Dorabjee & Sons continues to be a beloved establishment cherished by locals and visitors alike.
Dorabjee embarked on his gastronomic journey with a humble tea stall, serving the famous Bun Maska and Irani Chai. However, it was the overwhelming demand from the locals that led him to expand his offerings to full-time meals. Situated on the historic Dastur Meher Road near Sarbatwala Chowk in Camp, Pune, the restaurant became an instant success and has stood the test of time.
Today, the fourth-generation descendant, Mr Darius Marazban Dorabjee, proudly owns and manages Dorabjee & Sons, upholding the family’s legacy with utmost dedication. With unwavering commitment, he states, “Dorabjee is one of the oldest restaurants in India. We have been serving here for the last 137 years, and I assure you we are not going anywhere as long as I am here.”
Dorabjee & Sons offers an enticing array of Parsi delicacies that have captured the hearts and palates of Punekars. Among the cherished favourites are the renowned Dhansak, Dum Biryani, Keema Pav, Bheja and the Raspberry Soda to go down with it. The Keema Pav is a traditional Irani delicacy.
Dorabjee & Sons takes immense pride in preserving the authenticity of Parsi cuisine. The restaurant’s menu includes a wide array of pure and traditional Parsi dishes. Interestingly, they still retain menus from the bygone era, such as the 1940 menu, which reflects the currency exchange rates of that time when Annas were used instead of Rupees. An intriguing glimpse into the past can be seen in the 1950 menu, where the Chicken Pulav was priced at a mere Rupee! This commitment to preserving history sets Dorabjee & Sons apart.
Dorabjee & Sons doesn’t rely on extravagant furnishings or fancy presentations to captivate customers. The restaurant’s allure lies in its dedication to serving healthy, home-cooked meals that provide complete satisfaction for customers’ money. It’s worth noting that in the early days, customers would sit on the floor to enjoy their meals, as depicted in the image below featuring Balasaheb Thackrey dining at Dorabjee & Sons. Over the years, the restaurant has evolved, now offering comfortable seating arrangements while retaining its authentic charm.
Dorabjee & Sons has become a beloved destination for renowned personalities, including Bollywood actress Rani Mukherjee and the late Balasaheb Thackrey. The restaurant’s reputation as a go-to place for authentic Parsi Irani food has attracted a host of notable visitors over the years, further solidifying its status as a culinary institution.
For avid history buffs who wish to know the success story of Dorabjee & Sons, a visit to the restaurant provides an opportunity to explore the documented information available. Mr. Darius, the gracious host and custodian of the establishment, ensures that guests can immerse themselves in the captivating narrative behind this culinary gem.
A Journey Through Time
Stepping foot into Dorabjee & Sons is like embarking on a journey back to the 1870s, an era when the restaurant first began its gastronomic legacy. As one of the few remaining Irani cafes and restaurants, its preservation is of paramount importance. The experience of savoring a breakfast at a 137-year-old establishment, coupled with the genuine warmth of Mr. Darius and his team, leaves a lasting impression on every visitor
Dorabjee & Sons stands as a testament to the enduring allure of Parsi cuisine and its ability to captivate generations. From its humble beginnings as a tea stall to becoming the oldest Parsi restaurant in Pune, it has retained its commitment to serving authentic, home-cooked meals. With a menu steeped in tradition, the restaurant offers a delightful array of dishes, including the famous Dhansak, Dum Biryani, Keema, and Bheja.
Under the dedicated stewardship of Mr. Darius, the fourth-generation owner, Dorabjee & Sons remains an iconic culinary destination that cherishes its heritage. As Pune’s oldest Parsi restaurant, it continues to satisfy the discerning palates of patrons seeking a taste of history and authenticity.