Home / Mint-lounge / Features /  Lounge Review | SodaBottleOpenerwala, Gurgaon

Even though SodaBottleOpenerwala is only a couple of weeks old, it seems that most foodies are clued into the existence of this new “Parsi/Irani/Mumbai street food" joint in Gurgaon, adjacent to the Capital. The set-up and decor transport you to the Irani restaurants of Mumbai—the black and white faded tiles on the floor, plastic-covered floral-print sofas, the payment counter with old-fashioned biscuit glass jars, a carom table, even a billiards table.

Parsi perennials like dhanshak were missing from the menu and it was a real pity that on the day of our visit, Parsi Bheeda Par Eeda or Tomatar Papeta Par Eeda were not being served. All the prices on the menu, which is still evolving, are introductory. Some dishes have been inspired by iconic Mumbai eateries like Britania & Co. (the Berry Pulaos), Haji Ali Juice Centre and Amar Juice Centre (the sandwiches) and Bademiya (the Kheema Baida Roti).

The good stuff

If there is one thing you must eat here it has to be the Mutton Berry Pulao ( 495). With caramelized onions, dried black currants (not berries), cashew nuts and small bite-size chunks of well-cooked tender meat without an overdose of spices, this is a rare rice dish, cooked so it is moist enough to be consumed without any gravy or condiments.

Another dish that was worth it was the Kheema Patty ( 90). The pastry was flaky, with a buttery taste, and the mince filling was, once again, not too spicy. Though it is cold in Delhi, we could not resist ordering Sekan Je Bin ( 120) when we saw it being served on the table next to ours. Served in an old milk bottle, the lemonade described as a Persian Dried Plum and Mint cooler is sure to be a hit in summer.

The service was fantastic, at least at our table. We were at the Cyber Hub at lunchtime on a working day and the restaurant, which is likely to get maximum customers for this time slot, really knew how to work the tables fast.

When we expressed our disappointment at the dessert list, we were offered Lagan nu Custard ( 125), which is not on the menu presently. The baked caramel custard-like dessert with chironji was a winner—there was no eggy aftertaste and the sweetness was not over the top. A special cheer for the Mawa Cake ( 65)—we thought this one would be heavy, but the sponge cake was light, and the taste of rose water and vanilla pleasant.

The not-so-good

The coriander chutney, which was served with most of the dishes, including vada-pav, had no flavour or taste. The pav ( 65) was tiny (was it even a pav or a square burger bun masquerading as one?), and the dish lacked the punch which usually comes from the fiery red, dry garlic chutney used by roadside tea stalls. Perhaps it was wrong to order Tardeo AC Market’s Mamaji Grill Sandwich ( 195)—topped with dry sev and served with potato wafers—along with vada-pav. Ordered on its own, this one may have passed the taste test, but because we had it right after the vada-pav, it was disappointing as the potato mix was the same—and the chutney was the culprit again. The Murghi na Farcha ( 295)—fried boneless chicken with egg-coated batter—did not work either.

Talk plastic

A meal for two minus alcohol cost 2,913.

SodaBottleOpenerwala, Ground floor, Cyber Hub, Phase II, Gurgaon. For reservations, call 08527636633.

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