Free Press Journal

Irani café nostalgia at its best


Aloo Aunty's Veg Cutlet

GITA HARI satiates her cravings for Parsi food at SodaBottleOpenerwala with the ubiquitous Dhansak, Parsi dal and Lagan nu Custard.

Irani cafes are modest eateries with unassuming interiors and follow a specific scheme, for instance, all Irani cafes have table setting with white and pink (or any other color) checkered table cloths, family pictures in ornamental frames and a bawa sitting in the cash counter that displayed jars of cookies. Hugely successful restaurateur AD Singh’s latest offering goes by the name of SodaBottleOpenerwala-Irani café and bar which is located in the ground level of the happening Capital building in BKC.

The place is packed to capacity and since they don’t take reservations it is not unusual to spot diners waiting in the area outside. It is commendable that people don’t mind waiting for more than an hour to get a table. The ambiance is one of typical Irani restaurant with overhanging lights  in glass bottles above the cash counter  lined with jars of mawa cakes, biscuits, peppermints; mosaic tiled floor, a juke box and a wall clock next to slanting mirrors add to the restaurant’s old-world charm.

Non Veg Thali

Non Veg Thali

Wooden boards near the bar puts forth some hilarious listings under the caption Sorry – No Flirting, No Party Booking, No Aata Majhi Satakli, No Talking Loudly and more such funny 2016 Resolutions. But we could hear a lot of loud babble and guffaw among the groups, so we guess the notice on the wall is not meant to be taken seriously other than ‘No Outside Food’. We even caught sight of a cute toy train running along the periphery of the ceiling.

We started with cool Sikanje Bin a delightful Persian drink of prunes in lime juice, jaggery syrup muddled with mint leaves served in a bottle. Aloo Aunty’s Veg Cutlet had 3 large cutlets with chutney inside them giving each bite a crunchy exterior and squishy feel inside. This was followed by Chilli Cheese Pav with lots of grated cheese and chopped coriander on a split pav smeared with chilli paste and grilled. Thick Cheesy Masala Fries are French fries served with cheese dip. Digging into a Bun Maska was reminiscent of a true Irani café. Dhansak comes along with pulao and Kachumbar salad in a tiffin dabba.

lagan nu Custard

lagan nu Custard

Can’t miss Parsi style Chicken Farcha with special spices or Kolmi Fry of fried prawns with a dash of onions. Tarelli Macchi is usually shallow fried but at SodaBottleOpenerwala, it is baked which lends it a healthy kink. Willingdon Club’s Eggs Kejriwal finds its way here.

Festive Bhonu was a banana leaf-layered thali with signature Parsi dishes. Homemade Brinjal Pickle – a mildly sweet taste with a hint of methi-jeera flavor, veg cutlet (fish for non vegetarians), Navsari Potato salad, fryums called Saria, Paneer (or chicken) Rajpipla, Parsi Masala Dal was good. Chappatis appeared a little undone and had a slightly raw taste. Vegetable Pulao (or chicken in Parsi spices) went well with dal and rice papads.

Chilli Cheese Pav

Chilli Cheese Pav

Three desserts soak you up with Daruwala Trifle, a sinfully delicious sweet with rum-cured fruits topped with custard and jelly and the regular Falooda. Matunga Coffee Cake surprises you with its presentation in a south Indian coffee filter. The lower half of the filter holds the decadent chocolate-coffee cake while the top filter has short crust biscuits.

What makes it all the more authentic is the food being served in aluminium plates. No expensive cutlery here. Satiate your cravings for Parsi food at SodaBottleOpenerwala with the ubiquitous Dhansak, Chicken Farcha, Tareli Macchi or Parsi dal and Lagan nu Custard!

Restaurant: SodaBottleOpenerWala

Location: BKC

Dinner for Two: Rs.1500 (approx.)

Added attraction: Open a traditional tiffin dabba on your table

Tel: 9892841456


Décor: 4

Food: 4

Service: 4

Pricing: 4

Overall: 4