With SodaBottleOpenerWala, the owners tried to revive the dying legacy of the wonderfully chaotic, bustling, quirky, and eccentric world of an Irani café.
Irani Café culture came to India with the Persians back in the 1950s and today Bombay hosts the most number of Irani cafes. Gradually the tradition of such cafes died down due to the foray of fast food concepts that flooded the country.
Soda Bottle Opener wala brings this tradition to delhi as well with three outlets in Khan markets, Cyberhub Gurgaon amd DLF Mall of India.
Let me take you through my experience of the place .
The place is set with the concept in mind and the key is to create an atmosphere that gives you an experience of dining in a typical parsi household. The 80’s music , confectionery at the entrance, sombre lighting , blackboards , ‘dikkra’ pictures, a small bar , everything is to the point.
The staff was polite and the service was quick . There are some special people among the staff as well with whom you can communicate through the sign cards on the table.
Irani cafes were famous for their inexpensive food but this is where this place lacks.. its quite expensive, so visit the place only when your budget is sorted.
We ordered a variety of dishes like
BACON VADA PAV - The concept of bacon vada pav aims at combining the two delicacies bacon and fried street food. What I expected was a potato vada that comes stuffed with bacon, wrapped in bacon and grilled in bacon butter , the traditional features of a bacon vada pav, but was left disappointed.
The vada pav, had it been a masala vada would have been delicious , the potato filling was tasty and gave that authentic flavor but the fact that it was a bacon vada pav , I wanted more of that bacon flavor. To be true , it was hardly there so my suggestion would be to omit the bacon and try their normal vada pav instead.
TARELLI MACCHI -It is baked rawas marinated with parsi spices . Usually Tarelli macchi is fried but here they bake it but it doesn’t hamper the taste at all . It was absolutely delicious, the fish was cooked perfectly and is definitely a must try.
CHICKEN CHILLI CHEESE PAV -It is toasted wheat pav with a twist of cheese topped with the traditional persian dry fruit pickle( lagan nu achar ) . This one was a cheesy little snack that would serve as a nice side dish to your drinks affair.
CHICKEN BAIDA ROTI - Baida roti is one of Mumbai’s delicious street side snack. It is a favourite at Mumbai’s Bade Miyan in Colaba. Baida roti is a paratha stuffed with spiced chicken or mutton keema and eggs. Here it is served with only the chicken stuffing. This was my first time trying baida roti and I completely relished this delicious combination of keema and eggs rolled in a crispy roti . It was flavourful and spicy.
TOMATO CHEESE MACARONI-
Mac and cheese is an all time favourite , so we decided to give this a try as well. It is a good option for vegetarians and was good nothing amazing though.
BAMBAIYYA CHICKEN BIRYANI - Biryani here was not as delectable as one would want it to be . The chicken was tender the rice were well cooked but still it lacked that aroma and flavour. If you are a north Indian Biryani lover , this bombay style biryani would not excite you much.
Falooda is an ancient, much-beloved treat that originated in what is now the modern country of Iran, hence the name. It was one refreshing cold dessert beverage, had ice cream, saffron syrup , rose water , basil seeds , strawberry flavor and falooda noodles. It was super tasty , fresh and rejuvenating.
RASPBERRY SODA -
It is an iconic parsi drink made with frozen raspberries and some syrup. The flavour of berries in the drink make its texture soft, squishy and unique. Try this only if you have liking for sweetened drinks as it was a bit too sweet for me.
LAGAN NU CUSTER -It is a parsi wedding custard made from eggs and milk flavoured with cardamom nutmeg and chirongi. Now here’s the thing the chef made no mistake with this , it was spectacular and authentic like how an egg custard is supposed to be but we didn’t like it at all. Blame it on our palette but we didn’t find the flavors appealing.
MIXED BERRY TRIFLE -It is a dessert with layers of cake , jelly, custard and five berries served in a cutting glass. Again this one was also just fine for me , nothing amazing.
Overall for me the food was a bit disappointing as it was good no doubt but it didn’t take me through the ‘majja ni life experience’ that I expected for the price of the dishes.