Before I go ahead and give you my review, we really need to get a few things cleared up.
You must be wondering about two words in the title.
If they’re “Bawa” and “SodaBottleOpenerWala”, then I have guessed rightly.
Allow me to familiarise you with these terms.
The word “Bawa” is an Indian synonym for members of the Parsi Community. Now although this word has, at times, been used in a rather mocking way for these members of the Zoroastrian community, people don’t care to find out its actual meaning. Which just shows the extent of ignorance present among our generation today.
So all jokes aside, the word “Bawa” actually means “old gentleman”.
And I firmly stand by this meaning whenever I state the term “Bawa”.
Now, “SodaBottleOpenerWala” is actually a surname. Don’t be too surprised, there are lots of surnames like these in the Parsi community. I actually know quite a few people with the surnames “Soonawalla”, “Daruwalla” etc. Quite often their surnames end with “walla”. It is how it is.
“SodaBottleOpenerWala” is located in the swanky locality of Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). Its ambience stems from Iranian and Parsi influences. There are a lot of things to take notice of while you’re dining here. There’s definitely no monotony when it comes to aesthetics. It is unmistakably Bawa and wholeheartedly embraces it.
A lot of things will definitely catch your eye. Right from the ancestral portraits and various other paintings (this includes a faux Mona Lisa!) haphazardly arranged on the walls, to the hilarious list of Bawa resolutions for the year. A special mention goes out to the mini toy train running around the whole time and the Jukebox!
Jokes on the Bawa culture prove to be a running gag here. They’re present everywhere: the menus, the tables and even the walls!
It’s not potato.
It’s not batata.
120,000 Bawas agree with this, don’t tell me they are wrong!
This just goes on to show that it never hurts to laugh at yourself!
Heading straight for the kill, I’ll talk about dinner now.
Firstly we placed an order for some drinks, namely Raspberry Soda and Sekanjabin. The former (Raspberry Soda) was fruity and refreshing. Not too much soda was added to the pulpy raspberry juice, which gave it the right amount of fizz. The latter (Sekanjabin) is actually an ancient Iranian drink which comprises of vinegar and honey. It is a summer drink, which is at times seasoned with mint and served with some chopped up lettuce. The drink intrigued me in terms of taste and presentation. It’s very different from the other mock tails that I’ve had before. It was minty, with the perfect balance of sweet and sour.
Soon after, we placed an order for a few starters. All of them were delicious and memorable in their own way.
The first of these starters would be Aloo Aunty’s Vegetable Cutlet. To clarify, there’s no person called “Aloo Aunty” in this world. At least, to my knowledge that is! The Hindi word “Aloo” means potato.
This starter comprises of vegetable cutlets with a hearty filling mainly composed of potatoes and spices. These deep fried cutlets appear as rounded spheres with a golden batter. The cutlets are served with some onions and meethi (sweet) chutney. The cutlets by themselves are so tasty with the right hint of potato.The chutney is mainly tamarind sweet chutney which works so well with the cutlets. This chutney is what helps the dish become right on the money. No wonder it’s a hit amongst the diners!
In quick succession, two other starters followed suit. They were Spicy Mushroom on Khari and Kolmi Fry.
The former was a delectable appetizer. It had sauteed mushrooms with a coat of melted cheese placed on light khari biscuits. Khari biscuits are savoury Indian biscuits which are neither sweet nor salty. The mushrooms were well cooked and blend very well with melted cheese and biscuits.
However, my favourite appetizer of the day was Kolmi Fry. It was a combination of two of my favourite things: deep fried prawns & onion rings. At first, its appearance surprised me because it definitely seemed like deep fried onion rings to me. Only after taking the first bite did I realize that it is stuffed with some juicy well cooked prawns too. And boy, does it pack a punch! The mint chutney served alongside is tasty too. The dish had the right amount of heat and did not go overboard on the spices. Highly recommend this one.
For the main course, we chose Vegetable Berry Pulao and Bheeda Par Eeda.
The pulao was brilliant! Well cooked vegetable rice topped off with dates, berries, nuts and green chillies makes for a very memorable dish. I scraped every morsel from my plate.
The other dish Bheeda Par Eeda is mainly Parsi style baked eggs with spicy okra. This was equally good too. What makes the dish work is when the egg yolk is mixed with the okra which gives it the right blend of sweet and spicy.
Although these two are separate main course dishes, we decided to have them together. And guess what? It worked out really well for us! Having a scoop of rice alongside baked eggs gave us some astonishing results. Either ways, stand alone or with a combination of the two, these dishes are a must try.
Lastly, we ordered for dessert which was some good old Parsi Dairy Farm Kulfi. Creamy, milky and firm, it’s everything you’d expect from a product of Parsi Dairy Farm. Thus, dinner ended on a sweet note.
Do take note that all the desserts and confectionary items are provided by the restaurant’s bakery counter called “The Irani Bakery”. There are a lot of delicious treats to check out. There’s a well equipped bar as well. The service is quick and efficient & the staff is courteous.
Other notable dishes, popular amongst the frequent diners would be Eggs Kejriwal & Breach Candy Awesome Okra. Do check them out.
Overall, my time at SodaBottleOpenerWala’s was a cheerful and memorable experience. Their modern take on Irani cuisine makes me want to go back for more.
I can assure you that this is not the last of my visits to this diner and I eagerly look forward to my future visits.
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Copyright © 2016 by Shamika Lal, all rights reserved.