Thane always lacked an Irani cafe. None of our minuscule Bawa population ever thought that hey! Let’s venture into the business of traditional food. Or even if they did (without my knowledge) their plans never materialized. To satiate our parsi cravings of salli mutton and dhansak we had to look towards our affluent neighbor Mumbai which was filled with such outlets.
But from September 15, the long drives could be over as SodaBottleOpnerWala is all set to open up its doors to the hungry Thaneites. This brand originally started in Bangalore and has spread it’s wings to Delhi, Hyderabad etc. Our affluent neighbor has one at BKC.
Many have complained over the years that SodaBottleOpnerWala is too expensive and Parsi food can be available in much better tastes at traditional Irani cafes. Duh! Ofcourse it’s all true. But my visit to SodaBottleOpnerWala proved that despite all of the above being true, Sbow has its own unique selling point.
SodaBottleOpnerWala claims to be a quintessential Irani Café. It is not just your traditional Irani, but it portrays the feel of one. Sbow creates its own unique vibe. You don’t have rude waiters, but you have a smiley lot. You don’t have a dull, unlit environment, instead you have very happening music. You might not have the very best or very authentic Parsi food, but you have more than decent and very close to authentic Parsi food.
The quick summary: Food is very good at SodaBottleOpnerWala. Yes, I have had better parsi food. But that doesn’t mean the food here disappoints.
1. MUST HOGs
Salli Mutton: A big piece of mutton chop along with some boneless pieces, mixed in their traditional gravy and topped off with the salli. The mixture of farsan with mutton can only be managed by our Bawas. This traditional combination makes an easy entry in my must hogs.
Mutton Berry Pulao: A pulao stuffed with the most tender pieces of mutton possible and topped off with dry fruits is another delicacy I would highly recommend at sbow. Although the pulao didnt have as much dum (trapped smoke) as expected but the Mutton pieces inside were almost orgasmic.
Eggs Kejriwal: This was the one Kejriwal each of us liked unanimously and even wanted more and more of it. May be if AAP nominates this kejriwal as a contestant they could actually pull off a seat in Thane.
This is a dish which was originally served at Willingdons club at Bombay. It is an egg toast with the sunny side up and a huge win on your taste buds. Even the self-proclaimed vegetarians couldnt refuse a dig at this kejriwal.
Aloo Aunty’s Vegetable Cutlets: This one is for the grass eaters. Aloo Aunty did a real number on the Cutlets by stuffing it with chutney. They are a must have for the veggis and the meat grubs can also give it a try.
Thick Cheesy Masala Fries: I don’t know what was so parsi about them, but they were darn tasty. Thick potato fries with just the apt amount of masala and filled with molten cheese. There was no way this was going wrong.
Toblerone Mousse: Again dunno why parsi, but this was one of the best offerings on the menu. It was sublime and I assure you it would be worth every penny of yours. A very thick and gooey mousse which literally stinks of toblerone in every morsel you put in your mouth HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
2. AVERAGE AFFAIRs
Chicken Farcha: This one almost made it to the Must hogs. The Farcha was the best chicken starter they had to offer. It is basically Bawa logo ka KFC. But their chicken is very tender and the filling in it is very delicious. This parsi styled fried chicken is a very good try.
Breach Candy Awesome Okra: Had I been a vegetarian I would have kept this to be a must hog. The okra on the gravy was very crispy and is advised to have hot.
Chicken Baida Roti: A very traditional and average Baida Roti. The tip here is to open the roti spray a tinge of lemon inside and have it with their chutney and onion.
Chicken Salli: Have this only if you as a rule don’t have mutton. It’s strictly average. Especially when you have mutton salli on the same table as the chicken like we did, then the chicken salli will only feel ignored.
Goan Sausage Maska Pav: I dunno what was so goan in this. I come from Goa and we traditionally don’t have anything so spicy. The curry was spicy and tangy mixed with chunks of sausage and served with Maska Pav. PS the Maska could have been more in the pav 😛
3. GIVE IT A MISS:-
Bohri Kheema Pav: Strictly average and nothing really special. We get better kheema pavs at street corners in Thane.
Sekanje bin: For some reason the siaknje bin was nothing like a good ol sikanji.
Bajirao Mastani: didn’t read the description and ordered it thinking we ll get a traditional Mastani. But ended up getting a mixture of juices which were a tad bit sour.
4. TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK
Khade Chamach ki Chai: This one if you manage to finish it, you can have it for free. The khade Chamach ki Chai is filled with sugar to the brim and chai is pored over the sugar just enough for it to get absorbed. Apparently a traditional parsi way of having chai, but even my sweetest of the teeth couldn’t get me to finish even half of it.
SodaBottleOpnerWala has a very funky vibe to it. From the swank of Viviana mall you suddenly enter a visibly parsi set up albeit in a modern avatar. It has all sorts of Bawa swag posters hanging around. They even have an alleged family tree of a Rustom Sodabottleopenerwala who is their fictional founder and apparently is related to the queen Elizabeth herself.
A huge shoutout is reserved for the DJ for our soiree who played really amazing numbers and totally set the mood for us. There were times when I wanted to ditch the dhansak and dance. Numbers like Staying alive and cheap thrills set the mood for the lunch.
The biggest plus point were smiley servers.
We were served by Mazher and Nikhil and both were constantly smiling. Its a small thing to do, but it takes the service quotient up by miles. It gave a feeling that we were really welcome there. Their manager Vipin also always kept us company regularly and ensured our experience was free from any hinderences. Although there were a few glitches in the end where the orders placed for some desserts never materialized but all else was almost done to perfection.
SodaBottleOpnerWala provides a different dimension to Thaneites. We have restaurants predominantly dealing in Indian, oriental, local cuisine and pubs with finger food. We are still in dire need of good pan Asian, Italian, European and American cuisine. Thane has an untapped potential in the food industry and SodaBottleOpnerWala has taken the first step to exploit it. They provide you good parsi food with an amazing vibe, you can get good food of a specialized cuisine and at the same time guzzle and dance your hearts out on seemingly old and rickety parsi tables….Bon Appétit or may be Jambhanu Awataro 😛