A hop, skip and jump away from (South) Mumbai’s Marine Lines station, Sassanian Boulangerie stands as a solemn reminder of the times gone by.
The Irani cafe, started by one Rustam Kaikushru Yezdabadi, who migrated from Yezd, Iran to India, had humble beginnings.
It started by selling basic stuff — tea, biscuits, sponge cakes etc — before expanding into a department store of sorts.
Today it is a multi-cuisine restaurant of sorts — the board reads Chinese, Parsi and Sizzlers.
Like most Irani cafes, Sassanian Boulangerie is a corner property — it faces two streets.
Unlike Gujarati merchants who considered sinh-mukhi or lion-faced properties — wide at the mouth and narrow towards the inside — inauspicious, Irani entrepreneurs had carried no such superstitions and lapped up these properties for cheap.
Much like the community, its cafes are also slowly but surely dying.
Sassanian Boulangerie is one of the three remaining Irani cafes in the area — Edward and Kyani being the other two.
There are few others too further north. More on those soon 🙂