SodaBottleOpenerWala, that nostalgic chain known for bringing Parsi cuisine to the masses, has rejigged its pan-India menu with a host of new additions, and some old favourites bidding adieu. Chef Irfan Pabaney—of Hakkasan and Sassy Spoon fame—has taken over as Country Head and restructured SBOW’s selection to include more vegetarian items, an impressively diverse lineup of bar snacks, and fusion items taken from the different communities that live in Mumbai. The restaurant’s trademark retro-quirky theme remains intact across all eight outlets, but here’s a roundup of the newbies that stood out for us this December:
Smoked Chicken Cutlet
We don’t know what that chicken’s been smoking, but we need some of it, pronto. Shredded meat and potatoes come together in this light, melt-in-your-mouth cutlet fried in Parsi egg batter. You can dip it in mint chutney, but the chicken was so tender and flavourful that we went in commando.
The Green Tikki
Shallow-fried minced greens, turned into a small cutlet. Served with two chutneys, it’s a healthier (and more vibrant) take on the traditional hara bhara kebab. We suggest you knock down a plate with a cup of Parsi choy, or black tea with mint and lemongrass.
Classic Mushroom on Khari
Chef Irfan’s version of a ‘pizza’, with simple toppings baked onto a flaky, biscuity khari base. It’s so delicate that the mushroom (or chicken, or paneer) feel like they’ll immediately slide off. Pull slice(s) with caution.
An aromatic dal, lightly-tempered and simmered with coconut milk. It’ll seem odd for northern Indian palates, but the mild sweetness works well with the tadka. Mix it into a bowl of steamed rice, and you’ll need little else.
Fried prawns tossed in a spicy-sour masala mix, with strong notes of curry patta and tamarind. This was one of the fusion dishes Chef Irfan mentioned—inspired by Mumbai’s koliwada fare, with a masala mix sourced from Kundapur, a coastal town in Karnataka. Our definite bar snacks winner.
Spinach and Mushrooms par Edu
We don’t need to get into the Parsis’ adoration for eggs, but it’d be a crime to leave without a bite of something poached, scrambled or fried. This all-in-one-skillet is the stuff of weekend brunch dreams, with a cheesy poached egg oozing onto a bed of spinach and mushroom. Despite being devastatingly full and protests of ‘oh no, I possibly couldn’t’ floating around, several hands flailed about to dig in with a piece of pav. Quite edu-cational.
Dahi ma Bheeda
Usually made with lamb, this was a lightly-spiced yogurt curry with bits of okra bobbing about. “Parsi kadhi…?,” wondered a colleague, as she finished off the last bits of the creamy gravy with rice. I couldn’t confirm the comparison, as I had already begun to eye dessert.
Mawa Cake with Ice Cream
Bengaluru’s Iyangar's Bakery holds a soft corner in our hearts for their fluffy mawa cakes, yet we couldn’t help but demolish the one here: a dense, loaf-shaped piece crowned with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, and a heady dose of nostalgia. Some may find it a sugary overload, in which case it’s best to end your meal with the Parsi Dairy kulfi. Sourced straight from Mumbai’s 103-year-old Parsi Dairy Farm, it’s a slab of rich, whole milk kulfi gently scoured into four pieces.
Want to try the new menu but don’t know where to start? The ‘Bhonew 8-Course Feast’ (Rs 999) is on till December 7, and features the new entrants in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian lineups. See the menu here or contact Shiv Basin (+91-9702026088) for booking queries.