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SodaBottleOpenerWala

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SodaBottleOpenerWala

SodaBottle OpenerWala opened its doors at Jubilee Hills last year. It is a small effort by A D Singh and Sabina to save the dying legacy of the Bombay Irani Cafes. It serves typical Parsi cuisine, some Irani specialties and Bombay street food and houses a well-stocked bar.

Apart from influencing the Bombay residents, the Irani’s have tremendously influenced the Hyderabadis too. These cafés have acquired a cult status. It may be recalled that the Irani Café culture came to India with the Persians back in the early 1900s and today the Financial Capital boasts of the largest number of Irani cafes serving traditional Irani Chai along with a slew of other specialties.

Not making a hole in the pockets, the Irani Cafes served dishes like the stick chai (extremely sweet), bun maska (crusty bread with butter), kheema pao (mince curry with bread) and typical Parsi cutlets, patties, rolls, fruitcakes, and confectionery. Coming to the present scenario, Irani Cafes serve a wide range of cuisine.

The design is old world, colonial and humorous. As you walk into the restaurant, immediately feel the unmistakable slice of Bombay at its Parsi best. In the open courtyard at the entrance the old world Bombay Irani cafe look has a nostalgic charm. Barni glass jars filled with nankatais and typical bakery items are sold.

Black and White checkered tiles on the floor, Irani chairs and chai glasses, red checkered and crochet table cloths, coloured glass lamps and dome lights from chor bazaar, cuckoo clocks, brass tea kettles and dabbas, tin boxes, locks, old paraphernalia and much more are a delight to discover and enjoy as you settle down to take your pick from the menu.

A D Singh of Olive Bar says that the menu at SodaBottle OpenerWala has evolved after a lot of research on Parsi flavours and food gems that sparkle on the streets of Mumbai. “Our specialities include Dhansak (classic Parsi dish of mutton with lentils and served with caramelised rice and kachumber), Paatra Ni Macchi (chutney steamed pomfret), our version of the Berry Pulao (veg, chicken and mutton), Prawn Patio (a tangy prawn preparation, sweet, sour and mildly spicy) and other old time favourites like Sali Mutton and Chicken, Goan Fish Curry, Chicken Baida Roti inspired from the hugely successful one at Bade Miya, Bohri Keema Pav and the Bhendi Bazaar Sheekh Paratha (a wonderful combination of a juicy sheekh and crispy fried paratha that originated in the gulli behind the ‘Bartan Market’),” Singh says.

The vegetarian section has a multitude of delightful options. There are cutlets and there’s the Aloo Aunty’s Vegetable Cutlet which is really quite special, Breach Candy Awesome Okra (inspired from the the famous okra dish made at Breach Candy Club), Tardeo A/c Market Mamaji’s Grilled Sandwich and the Bombay Raasta Sandwich (our take on these two very popular street food items), Bharuchi Paneer Akuri (Scrambled cottage cheese made in the way how they do in Bharuch in Gujarat; with dry fruits) and Brinjal Patio (a wonderful sweet ’n sour brinjal dish- if you don’t like brinjal, there’s a good chance you’ll like this) to name a few.

SodaBottleOpenerWala

The Irani Bakery Menu serves everything freshly baked in the morning and sold by the piece. The section includes delights like Ginger Biscuit, Berry and Badam Nan Khatai, Shrewsbury Biscuit, Mawa Cake, Lagan and Custard, Toblerone Mousse, 5 Star Brownie and Apple Pie with Custard.

A selection of drinks from the Irani chai bar leave you spoilt for choice. Irani Special chai, Pheteli Coffee (coffee and sugar beaten to a delightful frothy consistency) onto tempting coolers of Mrs. SodaBottleOpenerWala’s Special Cold Coffee (there ain’t too many who make cold coffee like this one), Sekanje bin (a Persian-inspired drink made from dried plums, mint and jaggery), Raspberry Soda (our version of this wonderful Parsi concept, which we make in-house with frozen raspberry) , Irani Falooda (A super tasty combination of ice cream, saffron, strawberry flavour and milk) and Parsi Choy (Straight from inside a Parsi home, tea flavoured with lemongrass and mint).

Chef Anahita N. Dhondy, a proper bawi who looks the part, says: “Parsi cuisine is simple as it is complex. I could go on and on, but simply it comes down to ‘say a small thank you every day’ and Chalo Jumwa ChaloJi! (Come let’s have a meal). It has become the most important and popular chant at any Parsi celebration.”

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