Parsi cuisine has remained unexplored for a long time. Delhi has merely 4-5 restaurants which dole up authentic parsi food. My first tryst with parsi cuisine was at SodaBottleOpenerWala in Khan Market. Blooming under the umbrella of AD Singhaﾯﾾﾾﾽﾯﾾﾾﾽs Olive Brand, this place is done up really well. I was quite happy with my choice for a foodie experiment.
Like other restaurants under the Olive Brand, the interiors are true to the cuisine served here. If Guppy by ai has anime-manga inspired walls, then SodaBottleOpenerWala has several antiques on display like old fashioned cameras, vintage rotary dial telephones, all adding an archaic charm to the place. The lanterns are simple and each corner has an artifact that takes you down the memory lane. A world of Tinkle and not Kindle. The world where having a telephone and TV in the house was a big thing in itself. Not one where even having the latest gadgets isnaﾯﾾﾾﾽﾯﾾﾾﾽt cool enough. The staircase is flanked by walls that are filled with pictures of parsi families in their traditional attire. Each picture captured the essence of this wonderful culture.
The menu threw me into a muddle. I had never before seen such unique concoction of spices. The dish Bheeda Par Eeda brought together baked eggs and okra with onion and other spices. Eeda means egg dishes in parsi and this combo was definitely lovely. Surprisingly, the Thick Cheesy Masala Fries were much more than just fried potato fingers. They were neither very crunchy nor soggy; just perfect. These were sprinkled with masala and served with molten cheese and mayo. Chicken Farcha was a dual delight; slightly crispy on the outside but juicy from within. This came with ordinary green chutney.
Next was the much anticipated Mutton Dhansak in an aluminum tiffin carrier. One dabba held the heavenly aromatic rice which appeared like your regular pulao. The other two had the mutton curry and kachumbar salad. The curry was a bit sweet and not much to my liking though the mutton was well cooked.
Keema pav is a popular street dish in Mumbai. Now, what if you were served a big bowl of lip smacking keema accompanied by Pavs? Drool-worthy, isnaﾯﾾﾾﾽﾯﾾﾾﾽt it? The keema was well spiced and is sure to tantalize your taste buds. In fact, I would call it the winner of my meal. The keema went well with the bread which neutralized the spice quotient without snatching away its taste.
For desserts, I had their special Kulfi and Toblerone Mousse. The characteristic feature of a mousse is its light and airy texture which was missing here. This mousse was creamy and thick; completely opposite. The Kulfi was disc-shaped, a simple and sweet ending to a full-filling meal.
Apart from the Dhansak and Mousse, everything else was parAﾯﾾﾾﾽexcellence. Dishes were served in baking trays, tiffin carriers and cutting chai glasses. There was also a table made of chai glasses. A lonely barberaﾯﾾﾾﾽﾯﾾﾾﾽs chair stood outside the bar. A separate bakery section was aAﾯﾾﾾﾽtestimony to the simple lifestyle of the old times. Nan khatai, English Pound cake, Ginger biscuits and other such delicacies were stored in those huge glass jars that one could find in any shop during the 80s and 90s. The long forgotten Mango Bite and Kismi found solace in beautiful baskets.
The prices are a bit on the higher side but definitely, SodaBottleOpenerWala is worth a taste of Majja Ni Life!
Address: 73, Khan Market
Cost for two: Rs.1300
Contact no.: 011-43504778, 011-43504878
Author: Prakriti Bhat