Jafferbhai Mansuri/ Delhi Darbar
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September 11, 2020: Hindustan Times
The founder of Delhi Darbar and Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar chain, Mansoori’s death is being mourned by the hotel industry at large
Jaffer Bhai Mansuri (83), fondly known as the Biryani King of Mumbai passed away at Breach Candy Hospital on Thursday. He was being treated for Covid-19. “He was taken to Breach Candy last week. But his oxygen saturation decreased and he was shifted to a ventilator on Sept 2. He died yesterday due to a heart attack,” confirmed a source from Breach Candy hospital.
Mansuri had not been feeling well for the past month, according to his family members and was put on a ventilator last week. The founder of Delhi Darbar and Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar chain, Mansoori’s death is being mourned by the hotel industry at large. Mansuri founded the Delhi Darbar restaurant in 1973 in Grant Road, Mumbai. In 2006, he set up a chain of restaurants called ‘Jaffer Bhai’s Delhi Darbar’ after branching out from the family business. Known for its tasty kebabs and mouth watering biryani, the Delhi Darbar chain owns several restaurants in the city from Grant Road to Jogeshwari. The chain also has several restaurants in the UAE.
Shivanand Shetty, president of the Association of Hotel & Restaurant (AHAR) said that Jaffer Bhai was a pioneer in the hotel industry who had many firsts to his name. “Delhi Darbar was one of the earliest attempts of brand building in the city. At the time, even when people owned multiple eateries, they did not have the same name. Jaffer Bhai built Delhi Darbar into a big, credible brand. His kebabs and biryani are known across the globe. He also introduced the idea of a central kitchen, wherein the main ingredients are sent from a single place to ensure the same taste across multiple branches,” he added. Jaffer Bhai was one of the founder-members of AHAR when the association was formed in 1979.
“From a single restaurant in Grant Road, Jaffer Bhai managed to build an empire of restaurants and food delivery joints across the city all the way to Navi Mumbai,” said culinary anthropologist and food historian Kurush Dalal. Known for being ahead of his times, what with starting paperless food orders in his restaurants and introducing the Afghani biryani to those who preferred their biryani less spicy, he was the man at the forefront of all new ideas.
“He loved cooking and up until very recently, he would be fiddling in the kitchen and making magic happen. I wish the family all the luck in taking his legacy to greater heights,” added Dalal.