Parsi’s generally perceived as an affluent community, are known to be descendants of Persian Zoroastrians. They migrated to India from Iran centuries ago and settled out mostly on the coastal areas of Gujarat and Maharashtra. So when in Mumbai, people always suggest to go on a Parsi or Iranian food trail in the various Cafes’ located in Fort, Colaba, the specific culture (of Iranian cafes’) which had popped up along with the immigration of Parsi’s in India. So when the culture of such cafes was bought up by AD Singh in the capital, it took over like a rage.
‘With SodaBottleOpenerWala, we give you a concept that is unique to India; the dying legacy of the wonderful chaotic, crowded, bustling, colorful, quirky, cluttered, eccentric and so real world of an Irani café. Our way of reviving the love for the edu and the disappearing race behind the cafes’.
– AD, Sabina and Rustom SodaBottleOpenerWala
The service is top-notch (a little too much actually 😉). Staff open to suggestions, are really well-informed (we were even told what goes into some dishes and how it is made!). On suggestion from the manager, we tried the most hot-selling starters – chicken baida roti (a parantha stuffed with chicken keema and shallow fried), tareli macchi (marinated in secret spices and baked, not fried) and aloo aunty’s vegetable cutlet (oh, so lovely!). We were also told that for egg lovers – eggs kejriwal is not to be missed. Tareli Macchi accompanied by a ‘fresh tomato salsa’ was an instant favorite, spicy for the taste but it is simply a must-have. The coolers included a sekanje bin (very refreshing with crushed plum), raspberry soda (a winner, made with crushed plum, sugar to balance the tanginess and soda) and a bottle of the mysterious Mrs. Sodabottleopenerwala’s cold coffee, nothing being too sugary and went well with the meal. All the starters were fabulous.
With a crunched stomach, we couldn’t help but dig into the vegetable berry pulao, mutton dhansak and prawn patio and bhendi bazaar seekh parantha. With a tangy spicy curry, prawn patio takes the rotlis as the perfect companion. Dhansak being the traditional Parsi dish of mutton cooked with lentils was finger licking delicious – served in a 3 layered dabba as we call it – it comes with its own portion of rice and kachumber salad, the simplicity of the presentation appeases you.
Parsis are famous for their cakes, custards and kulfis (who doesn’t know of the parsi dairy kulfi, oh so yumm!) – so thinking of skipping the desserts here was a strict no. Mawa cake & the delectable parsi dairy farm kulfi (supplied by the famed Parsi Diary farm of Mumbai) made their appearance. Addictively indulging – they make you realize that you have been spoilt for choice. Have to go back to try out their Laganu Custard (have heard rave reviews about it).
The 3rd outlet of SodaBottleOpenerWala (after Cyber Hub and Khan Market) recently opened up in Noida – cheers! Every outlet of SodaBottleOpenerWala is so deliberately planned, it instantly gives a whiff of the old world charm – be it the simple seating, the little antiques displayed across, or the quirky anecdotes adorning their menu, every single thing reflects the varied fascinating lives of the Parsis. Located on the 3rd floor of the now famous DLF Mall of India, the place serves as a restaurant with a bar (they are yet to receive the alcohol license) sees a full house almost every day. Being nearer to home now, SBOW is definitely going to see me repeatedly. Overall the restaurant indulges you with the symbolic Parsi cuisine, giving you bountiful insights into the spirited culture. And to me, SodaBottleOpenerWala is one place I can visit any day just to let the feel of the atmosphere sink in.
Review Credit: Abhik Dasgupta
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