The bond between Indian and Iranian cuisine is an old one. The spices from India travelled to Persia while Parsis and the culture migrated to India over 1300 years ago. The culture that the Parsis brought with them was not limited to sarees and language, the greatest of them all was food. Iranian cuisine shares a lot with the Indian and the confluence of both is a blessing in the form of delicious grub. Irani Kafe in Lucknow’s Patrakarpuram area is an ode to the beautiful cultures and their coming together. With the booming cafe culture in Lucknow and similar cafes opening at every corner, Irani Kafe is a breath of fresh air. The interiors here are unlike you’ll find anywhere in Lucknow.
The use of deep green tones, pastel, mint and floral wallpaper gives the cafe a very serene feel. The most impressive aspect is the attention to details that has been put in the interiors.
Every single decor piece here is either brass or antique. The center-piece gramophone, a radio transistor from old times, the small pedestal and antique ceiling fans, the murals on the wall and separators made with stained glass are few of the things that’ll instantly take you back, either to a movie set or to an old Parsi family portrait that you had once seen.
The food they serve at Irani kafe is not just inspired by the Iranian and Indian cuisine, it celebrates it.
We had the Baloochi Khubani Paneer Tikka stuffed with apricots and finished with secret Baloochi spices, Kalmi Bharma Tangri a Pakistani Delicacy stuffed with chicken mince and peanuts and finished in tandoor and the vegetarian Galaoti Kebab served with ulte tawe ka paratha. The paneer tikka stuffed with apricots was a revelation, the sweetness and chew of the fruit paired beautifully with the spicy sauce, while the chicken tangri was juicy and delicious.
We also had the classic Nalli Kareli Nihari, Shabhnami Khumbh, Awadhi Bhare Baingan and an assortment of breads. The nihari had classic Mughalai flavours and was served with a side of browned onion. The shabnami khumbh was rich, thick, creamy and a vegetarians dream come true while the baigan was a classic.
What we’re trying to say is, this Kafe is an exceptional place to be at. It is worth numerous visits actually, for its food, the tasteful decor and the uplifting music, which BTW- not just you but your folks will love as well.
P.S. Do not forget trying the classic Irani teas here, they are a must.
Location: Irani Kafe, Patrakarpuram, Gomti Nagar
Photography by Ranil Vikram Singh for Knocksense