Friday, 28 October 2016

SodaBottleOpenerwala’s new menu offers Comfort Food with a Bambaiyya Soul

After almost three years since SodaBottleOpenerwala brought the Bombay Irani CafĂ© cuisine to New Delhi, Chef Anahita Dhondy has introduced more dishes to showcase the Bambaiyya soul of the restaurant chain. The new offerings feature a mix of Mumbai’s street food, some seasonal specials to celebrate the onset of winter (hopefully a cold one!) as well as a few dishes from the Bohri Muslim lineage that form an integral part of Mumbai’s culinary scene.

Clockwise from Top Left: New cocktails and drinks; Carnivore's Bhel;
Adu Tedhu Babycorn; Chicken Soup with Barley.

What can be more Bambaiyya than the bhel? While there is a crispy corn bhel with additions of cheeslings and a chatpata chuntney, the Carnivore’s bhel goes a couple of steps further with bacon, ham and bits of fried chicken. Given my love for pork, I would probably never go back to the vegetarian version of this crispy street food. The humble Vada pao has been given a similar makeover with another porky avatar: Bacon Vada Pao. With chunks of bacon in the stuffing, the vada is wrapped in bacon and even grilled in bacon butter.

Mumbai is famous for its sandwiches from the Raasta sandwich to and open Chilli Cheese pav, and at SodaBottleOpenerWala they are made even better with the breads baked in-house. The latter has a smattering of the sweet and tangy lagan nu achar on the pav, topped with Emmental cheese and green chillies, baked to cheesy perfection. Then there’s the spicy Bhuna Chicken Sandwich and ‘Boil’ egg sandwich. Paradise Roll is stuffed with mayo-laden chicken and served with old-style wafers. Overall, these make for great all-day dining options, also making the menu very well suited for families with kids who like to stick to familiar flavours.

Clockwise from Top Left: Chicken Cafreal Salad;
Paradise Roll; Chilli Cheese Pav; Bhuna Chicken Sandwich.

Homely Parsi
If I was to pick one star dish from the new menu, it has to be the Parsi style Jumbo Prawns that are cooked with a sesame-peanut paste and coconut milk. The curry is served separately and goes very well with the accompanying rice. The use of fresh prawns makes this dish outstanding. There is also a whole Rainbow trout baked with Parsi spices. Since it is sourced from Himachal Pradesh it is offered subject to availability. A chicken version of the dhansak is also available now in addition to the mutton/vegetable ones, as is the Bambaiyya Chicken Biryani that is mildly spiced with star anise and green cardamom. Khattu Meethu Pumpkin and Brinjal and Drumstick make for delicious vegetarian options.

Top: Parsi Style Jumbo Prawns.
Bottom L-R: Eggs with Guava Jam; Paneer Sanju Baba.

Sweet Ending
If you’re someone who loves a traditional trifle pudding but can’t seem to find it anywhere, the mixed berry trifle is a good bet. White chocolate lovers will love the white chocolate brownie with orange zest syrup. But since I can’t think of anything beyond coffee when it comes to desserts, I have to thank Anahita for introducing the Matunga Coffee Cake that is rich with filter coffee and enhanced with a whiskey caramel sauce.

Top: Trifle Pudding
Bottom L-R: Matunga Coffee Cake; White Chocolate Brownie.

In a Nutshell
While regulars can continue to enjoy berry pulao, salli boti, chicken cutlis and mawa cake, the new offerings have brought a little more of Bombay’s comfort fare to the capital.

SodaBottleOpenerWala, 73, Khan Market, New Delhi.
Ph: 011-43504778/ 43504878.

Timings: 11am-11.15pm.

This article first appeared on on October 21, 2016. It has been modified by the author to fit the requirements of