Soda Bottle Opener Wala
So when I first heard about Soda Bottle Opener Wala (SBOW), it was like listening about any other new restaurant in city – apt location, great ambience and good food. But in a matter of just two months good word was around and we decided to try it out. So, this Sunday we planned a double date just to have a reason to get to SBOW.
The first thought that came to us was to reserve a table for four but guess what? You are in for an Iranian Cafe experience – there is ‘no’ booking the table here. One who comes first will be served first. SBOW opens at 12PM and we were there around 40 mins later. We were told there is a waiting time for 60 mins and we were not disappointed. The thought that all of us had was so what? If we are here, we will eat here. I liked the spirit. We hopped,skipped and jumped to UB City and within 15 mins, we received the call that our table was ready.
The moment we stepped in, it was evident that the place isn’t famous just for the sake of it. Some 12-15 tables placed close to each other, quirky interiors like hindalium kettles, those iron locks, mirrors mounted on a faded frame, a taxi meter, the black electricity switch and what not. Even the table cover was a small red checkered cloth. There were Parsi quotes and jokes written all over the menu which were fun to read.
The menu was divided into starters, main course, desserts and drinks. We started with Chicken Baida roti, Bun Maska, Vada Pav and Eggs Kejriwal but like they say, you can’t eat just one. There was another round of the same order before proceeding further. VT loved the vada pav which had the real authentic maharashtrian taste. The rest of us loved the Chicken Baida roti and it was nothing like I have had before. The dough was soft and the minced chicken filling was great. Mint chutney was not done in a mixer and the taste revealed this. The food had that perfect combination of right spices and cooking making it worth for value for money spent.
I also liked the Shikanjee we ordered. The bottle had that wide mouth and the shikanjee had those many mint leaves making it such a refreshing drink. There was some pulp in it and I could not really figure out if it was tamarind or figs. Whatever, it was – I ordered another one to satiate myself.
Coming over to main course, we had a quick chat with the Restaurant manager. He gave us some names to try for the main course and we totally trusted him. Next was the Chicken Berry Pulao and Mutton Dhansak. Writing about it is not easy – I am hungry again. The pulao had little berries on the top and some gravy beneath. The caramelized onions gave it a great flavor and the chicken was juicy. The quantity was fair with less rice and more chicken. Coming over to Dhansak, it is a lunch box. Remember the ones we used to call tiffin carriers? It was served in that – 3 boxes contain mutton gravy, rice and salad. Oh yes, before I forget the food was all served in hindalium vessels and there was nothing modern about it. Actually, all these vintage things were the show stopper.
What’s a good meal without some dessert and that’s why parsi kulfi was already on the way to call it the best meal in a long time. Trust me – I can go again for kulfi and chicken baida roti. My top two picks along with the Shikanjee. Talking plastic, you can’t expect a restaurant in Lavelle Road to be priced on the lower side. To my surprise, the pint of beer was cheaper than Shikanjee and the kulfi was costlier than most of the food items I had expected.
No pictures of the kulfi as I could not stop myself from indulging! 😀
However, it’s the experience in SBOW that is a must try. I stepped out feeling full in all respects – food, service, hospitality and the memorable experience of sitting in an Iranian Cafe in the heart of Bangalore.
This is not a sponsored review but if you are restaurateur, I am open for invitations 🙂