Certain dishes leave a mark in your mind forever. Although I don’t get to taste Parsi cuisine often, I do love the simplicity and varied flavours of Parsi food, as much as I appreciate the Parsi concept of “Khava Nu, Peeva Nu, Majjaa Ni Life.” Their life revolves around the simple pleasures of eating, drinking and enjoying life to the fullest!
AN and I recently had the opportunity to sample the SodaBottleOpenerWala menu. When we entered the restaurant on a Monday evening, it was almost full. Since its launch, the popularity of SodaBottleOpenerWala has always attracted curious foodies to find out what the buzz is all about. As we entered the lively restaurant, we were smitten by the eccentricity and the 80’s vibe. Printed floor tiles, a jukebox with lights all over, Irani furniture, checkered tablecloths, B Merwan’s nameplate on the wall, a retro switchboard, old photographs of Parsi families and Parsi portraits, combined with an upmarket-Irani-Café kind of feeling, makes the ambience unique. A toy train zipping overhead is fun to watch. The quirky décor with typical Parsi ambience showcases glimpses of old Bombay in SodaBottleOpenerWala’s own, unique way. The chaotic and lively SodaBottleOpenerWala in BKC, Mumbai, is a friendly, casual and carefree place to hang out.
The interesting names of the drinks at SodaBottleOpenerWala will make you smile. Whether you prefer the Babaji Nu Thullu, Daaru Wala Vimto or a Bloody Bawa, make sure that you read the Do’s and Don’ts there, before you grab your glass. Funny instructions like “No talking to cashiers, No combing hair, No Ata Majhi Satakli, No water to outsiders, No address enquiry, No discussing gambling, No legs on chair”, etc., will entertain you throughout. We started our experience with two different kinds of mocktails: the colourful Raspberry Soda and the Sekanji Bin were thirst-quenching and refreshing. We loved the Sweet-n-sour flavours of these mocktails. The Jimmy Boy (Jim Beam, Pineapple juice and Parsi vinegar) was just wow and I enjoyed each sip.
Mohit Balachandran, Brand Head and Cuisine Director, and Chef Danish are the people behind the SodaBottleOpenerWala menu. Brushing through the menu, we found that the prices are very reasonable. Some of their delights include Irani Chai, Coffee and Bun Muska, Mawa Cake, Shrewsbury Biscuits and English Pound Cake from their Bakery.
The menu is in tune with the theme of the restaurant. We were all set to gorge on the eggs and potato in all the ways possible. After all, Bawa food is high on eedu (eggs) and papeta (potato). Our first dish was the Eggs Kejriwal, which was delicious, simple and comforting. Three sunny-side-up eggs on one toast, and the mushrooms underneath, tasted great. I would have loved an extra dash of black pepper on top, though.
The boneless Chicken Farchaa was our next dish. Juicy pieces of spiced-up chicken deep-fried and served with green chutney, can never go wrong. It was very flavourful and I loved the spicy kick.
The Kolmi Fry were a feast to the eyes. Small prawns wrapped in a spicy ball of onions, was our favourite. The onions were crisp and neatly wrapped around the prawns. Although we simply loved the dish, we felt that the amount of prawns could have been little more and the dish could have been a bit less oily. But still we would say, the Kolmi Fry at SodaBottleOpenerWala is a must-order dish!
The staff at SodaBottleOpenerWala recommended that we try their Chicken Cutlet Pav. It was quite filling and we enjoyed every bite of it. The plump chicken cutlets were cooked to perfection, taking utmost care to avoid overloading with spices.
Although the presentation is average at SodaBottleOpenerWala, there are a few interesting serveware that are worth a mention. They serve dishes like Dhansaak in brass tiffin boxes and Berry Pulav in aluminium containers, and that adds to the overall vibe. We noticed that the food arrives fast, which is a boon for those who prefer to have a quick corporate lunch or dinner here. But since they don’t take any reservations, people wait for almost an hour to get a seat, even on weekdays.
For the main course, we ordered the Berry Pulav, Sali Mutton and Prawn Patio. The Berry Pulav was light, with dried berries garnished on top. It had small pieces of well-cooked and flavourful mutton inside.
We loved the Salli Mutton. The dish looked beautiful in a colourful gravy. Topped with thin potato sticks (salli), this dish provides quite a bit of textural contrast. But I wasn’t happy with the quantity of the meat. The meat that landed on our Salli Mutton had more bones and less meat! In spite of that, we loved the flavour of Salli Mutton at SodaBottleOpenerWala. It is definitely one of those flavours that I would love to order again on my next visit (provided that the meat is more than the bones).
The Prawn Patio was outstanding. We loved the sweet-n-sour gravy more than the juicy prawns. With those fluffy pav, it was one complete dish. I would definitely recommend this dish to my readers.
At the end, we settled for a festive bowl of blissful Lagan Nu Custard. We loved this humble custard. The combination of eggs, milk and sugar came together strikingly in this custard. Lagan Nu Custard always makes us happy!
SodaBottleOpenerWala has made an effort to preserve the dying legacy of a Bombay Irani cafe by propagating the magic of typical Parsi and Irani cuisines, along with Bombay street food. With an amazing in-house bakery and a well-stocked bar, SodaBottleOpenerwala has succeeded to stand out in the hugely competitive restaurant scene in Mumbai.
Address: SodaBottleOpenerWala, C-24, Bharat Nagar Rd, G Block BKC, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai