Review: Sodabottleopenerwala, Gurgaon, NCR (Parsi Cuisine)
3 Cyber Hub, DLF Cyber City, Gurgaon. Ph# 0124-651 8801, +91 8527636633
Sodabottleopenerwala, as quirky as it’s name are the offerings of this Parsi eatery at Gurgaon’s newest food hub the Cyber Hub. The Iranian café cult has taken far too long to arrive to NCR but like they say better late than never, Sodabottleopenerwala has been making quite a stir in the capital’s buzzing food scene.
Gaping through the glass window the jars of sweets, lozenges, candies and a bottle opener shaped sign board was almost like step back in time as I entered this place on a hot afternoon with two of my girlfriends, not to forget the inviting chalk-board on the entry that aptly read ‘Come Dikra Have Some Daru’.
The old world charm is carefully maintained in order to create a true Irani cafe ambiance, red walls, trademark wooden furniture, atypical check and crocia tablecloth and the colourful caricatures on the mirror lined walls simply keeps the Parsi eccentric humour alive. The quirk wouldn’t seize to surprise you right until your food arrives in withered aluminium cake moulds and then you sort of start to give in and feel at ease with the idiosyncrasy.
Good enough to team up with the café style eatery, no fine-dine finesse but who need’s that here right. My food was served without much delay, while I’ve been told that on a busier day the wit could go longer.
About food, the menu is petite, carefully crafted and ofcourse strictly Parsi. So if you happen to be here for lunch, the keema pao is a must have for they serve it only till 6 p.m. A delicious blend of the keema (minced mutton) with Parsi style spices and fresh baked pao, yes everything under their Irani Bakery menu is baked fresh every morning. Its, hot, its spicy and served with slices of lemon and onion rings, just what we Indians like to break our bread into. With repeated orders of extra pao to go with the keema and fresh Sugarcane juice, our conversation kept flowing.
While the keema pao tops my list of orders and I might go back and survive on just that one dish on my next visit, I cannot be unfair to the traditional Mutton Berry Pulav. It is a rich pulav with tender, juicy and spicy mutton sealed in a mound of fragrant basmati rice and topped with crispy fried red-onions, cashews and sweet and sour berries. The berry pulav is decent detour from the North Indian biryanis, quite appeasing and wholesome.
The Marghi Na Farcha, the traditional Parsi fried Chicken could not impress. This batter fried chicken (almost paoka style) served with green chutney and onion rings, felt little dehydrated from within, the top coat was crispy nonetheless, hence making an average starter.
Nor did our dessert ‘Lagan Nu Custard’, that is a basic homemade custrad custard with a generous topping of Charoli. It was under flavoured and failed to tickle the palate in the way we want our desserts to.
While there is lot on the menu that needs to be put under the scanner before I sell out the verdict, I’d score this place a 3.5 on a scale of 5. I find their breakfast menu quite exciting too, so while the chances of me making it to any restaurant for breakfast may sound remote, I’d still want to try and go for it someday.
And for all it’s worth I am soon going back there with Mr H for I am sure he’d like their Keema Pav. I really congratulate the young Parsi girl who happens to be a chef here, for the authentic show of Parsi food Sodabottleopenerwala has on offer.
Oh and the bill for our lunch for 3 was aprox Rs 2500 including taxes.