Restaurant Review: Soda Bottle Opener Wala, Hyderabad

Restaurant Review: Soda Bottle Opener Wala, Hyderabad
Highlights

Nostalgia embraces you the moment you walk in to Soda Bottle Opener Wala, which is a tribute to thedying legacy ofBombay Irani cafe bringing with it typical Parsi cuisine, some Irani specialties and Bombay street food. Among the many contributions Irani’s have had on the Bombay seascape, the Irani café has been the most resilient one which have attained a cult status.

Nostalgia embraces you the moment you walk in to Soda Bottle Opener Wala, which is a tribute to thedying legacy ofBombay Irani cafe bringing with it typical Parsi cuisine, some Irani specialties and Bombay street food. Among the many contributions Irani’s have had on the Bombay seascape, the Irani café has been the most resilient one which have attained a cult status.


The most attractive thing about Soda Bottle Opener Wala is in fact its name which undoubtedly is a name that is as close to the parsi culture.

Ambiance:
The décor is quite tastefully done which resembles to that of a vibrant, bustling, chaotic Bombay Irani Café that represents the old world, colonial and humorous feel.

Be it the Black and white checkered tiles on the floor, Irani chairs and chai glasses, red checkered and crochet table cloths, colored glass lamps and dome lights, cuckoo clocks, brass tea kettles and dabba tin boxes, locks, old paraphernalia and even the retro Bollywood songs playing in the background which together blend to create this lovely Bombay Irani Café and yet has its own quirky touch especially the unconventional set of rules on display that includes ‘Outside food not allowed’, ‘ No feet on chair’, ‘No talking loudly’, ‘No swearing’, ‘No talking to cashier’, ‘No abusing staff’, ‘No asking for discount’, ‘No wasting food’ , ‘No combing hair’, ‘No flirting’, ‘No laughing unnecessarily’, ‘No picking nose’ ‘No address query’ and our very own Hyderabadi ‘No Baigan ke Baatan’…Simply Eccentric which for sure would evoke spontaneous laughter ! And yeah…don’t forget to notice the little electric toy train just below the ceiling that does the merry go round which is certainly a fun sight! There is also a juke box in the bar area so people can have a great selection of retro music to choose from.

The big glass jars filled with Mawa cakes against the backdrop of “B Merwan and Co” will surely bound to bring back the memories of Grant Road, South Bombay. The menu has its selection of typical Parsi favorites and snacks from the streets of Bombay and of course the freshly baked selections from the Irani Bakery.

Food: They say Iranis don’t feast with their eyes but with their noses! SodaBottleOpenerWala serves a mix of classic Parsi dishes and Bombay street food. I started off with my culinary voyage with Sekanje bin, a Persian inspired drink made from dried plums, mint and jaggery which was quite refreshing for the hot afternoon and then a storm of veg and non-veg snacks followed.
The first was Chicken Farcha, a parsi styled fried chicken followed by Kolmi Fry, a Bombay style fried prawns with onions. The Vada Pav & Tardeo AC Market Mamaji’s Grill Sandwich was as authentic as it could get.

I could never imagine spiced mushroom and cheese on a khari biscuit which for me was the star among the veggies. As I finished with the first set of starters, the Raspberry Soda made its way and this had its own distinct flavor. The Tomato Papeta Par Eeda ( a parsi styled baked eggs on spicy tomato and potato) was a passé while Bheeda Par Eeda (baked eggs on spiced okra) was my favorite among the two. I’ve had my tryst with Eggs Kejriwal at Olive Bistro before and was glad to see it on the menu here.

Aloo aunty’s vegetable cutlet will surely appeal to the vegetarians for its super delicious chutney filling and so the humble Bun Maska. Chicken Baida Roti, a Bombay styled parantha stuffed with chicken kheema and eggs was outstanding and it couldn’t get any better than this while Bohri styled Keema pav was utterly flavorful and delicious.

As I began with the main course , the name Mrs Sodabottleopenerwala’s cold coffee caught my fancy and when ordered this one was totally outstanding ! Bhendi Bazaar Sheekh Paratha, a sheekh kebab when had with crispy paratha was the perfect start to the mains, It was unanimously declared a favorite with everyone on my table.

The Sali Chicken and Sali Mutton ordered was my first tryst with authentic parsi main course, topped with potato straws over flavorful curry, this was too good and I immediately fell in love with it. I have heard awesome things about the berry pulao which is chicken/mutton cooked with fragrant rice and then topped with fried onions, nuts and berries, this truly lived upto its hype surrounding it.

The prawn Patio resembled to the Prawn balchao that I grew up eating, mildly spicy with sweet and sour flavors, the patio was just a passé and it dint appeal to me much. The Irani Falooda ordered was typically the classic one with strawberry flavor and it was surprisingly not very filing inspite of the heavy dosage of snacks and mains that I’ve had so far.

Talk about desserts and how could one miss the famous parsi-irani Mawa cake, brilliant stuff that would definitely remind you of the popular B Merwan & Co ! And so was the English Pound Cake! Of the Toblerone Mousse, Apple pie with custard, Caramel Custard & 5 Star Brownie with Ice Cream, the star was undoubtedly the Apple Pie especially the custard served along! Though the rest of them had their own distinct identity, the apple pie trounced the rest ! Looking at the Irani Chai Bar menu, I couldn’t resist but to order the Parsi Choy along with the Shrewsbury and Ginger Biscuit.

The Lemon grass and mint flavored Parsi Choy dint go well with me, infact one should have an acquired taste to relish it and regrettably I dint, soon after one sip I changed it to the Irani Special Chai that went perfectly well with biscuits.

Service: Inspite of being the first day, the staff were on their toes handling almost a full house crowd.

It was nice to hear about the background behind every dish from Mohit Balachandran(better known as Chowder Singh) who has superb understanding of Parsi flavors and extensive knowledge of Indian street food that’s second to none. And special mention about Chef Anahita, a proper Bawi who inspite of her busy schedule took time off to chat about the Parsi food culture.
All in all, Soda Bottle Opener Wala is perhaps my first in depth exposure to parsi food, an afternoon well spent connecting to Parsi food which in itself was a refreshing change and Needless to say, I Loved it !!

Photos and Review by Vishal Fernandes
Show Full Article
Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
More Stories


Top