SodaBottleOpenerwala is one of the most well known brands in the Delhi Food Scene and its outlets are making waves in Bangalore and Mumbai as well. What sets it apart from all the other modern dining outlets is that is serves Parsi and Irani cuisine. During my recent trip to Mumbai I got a chance to visit some of the Irani bakeries and cafes, and the traveller in me found these old, dated eateries really interesting. More than cafes, these were a slice of Irani lifestyle which is unique in a certain way. People behind SBOW have tried to recreate that ambience in all of their outlets. The decor and each of the artefacts displayed here represent the culture of the eccentric Parsi and Irani communities and emits good vibes.
Parsis are the first set of migrants that came from Persia to settle in India, almost 1000 years back. They belong to Zoroastrian religion and settled mainly in the coastal regions of Gujarat. Second major wave of migrations happened recently, around two centuries back, when Zoroastrians from the same region came to India and these too settled in Gujrat. These migrants came to be known as Iranis. While most of the Parsis went on to become businessmen/industrialists (like Tatas), many Iranis opened bakeries and cafes esp. in Mumbai. Parsi cuisine has evolved over the years owing to its amalgamation and intermixing with Indian Cuisine (esp. Gujrati cuisine), Irani cuisine is less altered which distinguishes it from the Parsi cuisine. Typical Parsi cuisine can be characterized by mildly spicy Gujrati flavours with sweet overtones and the use of dried fruits and nuts. Coming to Irani cuisine, it is extremely vast but some of the dishes that are popular in the Mumbai’s iconic Irani cafes are sweet buns with butter popularly known as Bun Maska, meat puffs, hot sweet tea and custard puddings.
On manager’s recommendations I tried the signature dishes of SBOW. The service was too quick and constantly reminded me of what professionalism in hospitality means. The serving staff was well versed with the dishes and where they originated from. Coming to the food there was no food item I tried which didn’t have the wow factor. The drinks served to us ‘Sekanje Bin’ and ‘Raspberry Soda’ were both very unusual. While Sekanje Bin was a kind of lemonade made with mint and dried plums and prunes, Raspberry soda was nothing but pureed raspberry fruit with soda, and was extremely thick in texture. The former one was extremely well made and the pieces of dried plums were as soft as fresh berries.
The Vada Pav served here is closest to what you get in Mumbai, only the pav didn’t do justice to the dish, a common problem faced by all eateries in Delhi that attempt to recreate this Mumbai classic. Aloo Aunty’s Vegetable Cutlets were show stealer being crunchy on the outside and having that soft mash of vegetables inside. The taste was extremely good and the carnivore inside me was ready to surrender but then Chicken Farcha arrived. These deep fried egg coated crispy chicken morsels are a real spicy treat. Their house special masalas ‘Dhansak’ and ‘Sambhar masala’ weaved their magic, and so did the accompanying green chutney. Another dish that needs special mention is Spicy Mushroom on Khari. The fresh puff pastry coated with mushrooms is a delight to your tastebuds and is extremely light. In fact its the most popular veg. dish on their menu.
We also tried Tareli Machhi which is their baked version of the Parsi style fish which is generally shallow fried. Eggs Kejriwal is a stunning dish. It has nothing to do with the Delhi CM, in fact it is Shri Devi Prasad Kejriwal’s favourite dish at the Willingdon Club in Bombay where he was the most frequent guest. Both the dishes tasted good. While I was already quite full I still could not resist their famous Mutton Berry Pulav in which even though the mutton was cooked separately, the layer of rice on top was very flavourful. Another famous dish is Bhendi Bazaar Sheekh Parantha in which the parantha was deep fried, almost like bhatura and the pieces of Mutton Seekh Kebab were hard, not tender. Overall it was okay.
From their bakery I tried the Mava Cake which was very well made. And from their new summer menu they served me Keri on Samosa, that were crispy little samosas were filled with mango and suji, served alongside vanilla ice cream. I think people living in or around Noida cannot be happier. Mall of India is sure pulling crowds for all the right reasons and with players like these it can only get better and better.
Address: F – 454 & 455, 3rd Floor, DLF Mall of India, Sector – 18, Noida – 201301
Meal for two: INR 1000++
Timings: 12PM TO 12AM
Liquor: License awaited
Contact No: 01202595107
Facebook: Soda bottle opener wala
Disclaimer – This review was done on an invitation from the establishment. Views expressed in the review is entirely ours and without any bias. Pictures of the dishes are not the standard portions, they are sample portions.