Besides a mouthful of a name, Soda Bottle Opener Wala offers delightful Parsi food in the ambience of traditional Irani cafés
A category of cuisine not commonly available to Delhiites is Parsi food. There are hardly any restaurants serving Parsi cuisine but now A.D. Singh the successful restaurateur has come up with Soda Bottle Opener Wala in the Cyber Hub complex at Gurgaon’s Cyber City. Not just its catchy name, its décor also brings to life the dying legacy of the Mumbai Irani cafés, which are supposed to be wonderfully chaotic, crowded, bustling, colourful, quirky and cluttered. The ambience is perfect and takes you to another era. The staff is humble and warm, perhaps reflecting the personality of its manager Mohit Balachandran.
The menu is interesting though very selective and gives a miss to the famous Parsi dhansak. I opted to start with bheeda par eeda, a classic egg preparation with spicy okra. The best part of the delicacy is the colour of the yolk and its smooth flow.
The classic roadside keema pav and mutton seekh parantha came next. The keema had a nice colour but the texture should have been coarser, and the mince should be hand ground. The seekh parantha, however, is delicious. Though not cooked on the original iron griddle as it is done at Bhindi Bazaar in Mumbai, still the flavours are perfect. A pinch of spice could have taken the seekh to another level. Marghi na farcha — traditional fried chicken — was tasty and fluffy, a perfect finger starter very light on the stomach. Patra ni macchi, a dish served at a couple of Delhi restaurants as a seasonal addition, was prepared with a king fish. It tasted good, but somehow one missed the pomfret it is often made with.
The classic Parsi mutton berry pulao, served as the main course, turned out to be exceptional. The light and flavourful rice complemented the berries so well that every spoon of pulao was to be cherished. Roasted cashew nuts gave a nice crunch to the dish. Topped with sali marghi and it tasted even better.
The restaurant also has a selection of Irani bakery items which I am sure will do as well as its food. Badam nan khatai is perfect and goes well with the various teas available. I tried the Ferrero Rocher cake before leaving. Sinning was never so sweet!
Meal for two — Rs.2000