For all the talk of being a foodie, and a food blogger, I write very very less about food these days. So here goes, after a long break.
Today, I went to this Parsi Restaurant called ‘SodaBottleOpenerWala’, in Lavelle Road in Bangalore. This was my second ever time to a Parsi restaurant, after the legendary Leopold Cafe in south Bombay, whose food truly blew my mind. So obviously, the expectations for Parsi food was set quite high.
I entered the place for lunch at about 1pm along with a couple of friends and managed to find a high circular table with tall chairs to get seated. The ambience was rustic, with low hanging lights and blue painted ceiling. There were quirky writings on the wall and tables, a vintage record player in the corner and the overall vibes were very welcoming. The place was compact, with about 15 tables, yet bustling. The menu card was well designed, although I expected more things to be on the list, especially since one chunk of the menu – ‘High Tea’, was restricted to 4pm to 7pm. We started off with some Irani chai (accompanied by a solitary butter cookie on each saucer), and bun maska. Bun maska was fantastic! Extremely soft and buttery, just the way it should be.
We also ordered kheema pav, which is a Mumbai classic, and the only minor flaw was, the kheema wasn’t hot enough (could be a major flaw to some people, but the succulent preparation made up for it, for me). Next up was the shiitake mushroom soup. It was a clear soup, and this time, the dish was definitely piping hot. The mushrooms were exactly how they’re supposed to be, and there were a few more vegetables in the mix, and it was flavoury.
I had a cold coffee as well, and there was nothing exceptional to talk about it, considering it tasted no different from something you get at an upmarket cinema complex.
Coming to the main course. We were three of us, and we ordered two dishes: a vegetable berry pulao and a mutton dhansak. The berry pulao was really good; stressing on the ‘really’. The caramelised onions garnishing was spot on, and the masala-curry that slowly comes out when you dig into the top white surface of rice made my mouth drool. One point to note was that they didn’t serve raita with it, nor had raita on the menu to order. For someone who eats biriyani/pulao with raita, I was bummed. The waiter explained that this dish doesn’t require raita (who is he to decide?). But the pulao was not at all spicy, so in the end, I didn’t really miss the raita too much.
Now, the focus is on the dhansak, which cost a whopping ₹630, not including tax and service charge (I know right!). It was served in a traditional tiffin carrier, with three decks. While the mutton was soft and juicy (I cannot vouch for this, so taking the word of my friends), the gravy was too sweet. The brown rice that came with it was okay, but the overall dish was a little underwhelming. Maybe because we were looking forward to something along the lines of Lal Maas. When you pay so much, the least you expect from the waiter is to guide you in the right direction and not be a robot who takes down notes, right?
What started on a high had now petered into a yet another restaurant experience, much like Arsenal’s Premier League season for the past 10 years (should be more but I’m gonna keep a check on dissing my own team). But this does nothing to quash my Parsi food love, and I’d hunt down the next Parsi restaurant in Bangalore (or another city) when I get the opportunity.
I’d give this place 3.5/5.
Pictures shot on iPhone X.