The internet, that most Delphine of modern oracles, has innumerable tracts devoted to the anatomy of love and the paths leading to it. While this usually refers to love for another person (and increasingly, bacon) we find the same steps can be applied to falling for restaurants. And what better instance for this than Soda Bottle Openerwala, newly opened in Gurgaon’s DLF Cyber City.
The First Glance: Located on the food mall’s ground floor, the place has a covered verandah with a few tables and chairs, but it’s inside that the place really begins to exercise its charm. It’s themed on the Irani bakeries and chair houses of yore and manages to get that just right. The green floors with inlaid graphics, the vintage wooden tables illuminated by hanging deal lamps, upholstery embellished by brightly coloured fruits, the bakery counter accoutred with nankhatais, mawa cake and cookies, the place is straight from the terroir of Bombay and Pune. The walls are festooned with Parsi-centric bric-a-brac, while the music is eclectic and eccentric (we hear a Star
Wars-themed song and our geek heartstrings aflutter).
Attraction: We begin our repast with the Tomatar, Papeta par Eeda and Aloo Aunty’s Vegetable Cutlis. The former is an egg preparation which is Trifle layered: a bed of tomato masala mounted by slender potato medallions and crowned by baked eggs with virginal yolks, the eeda is as voluptuous to eat as its sounds. The cutlis are aloo patties with a heart, namely a filling of coriander chutney, which oozes out greenly as we greedily consume it. Accompanied by some saunth, one can only be glad that the Peruvians started cultivating potatoes some 10,000-odd years ago. To wash down all the carbs we have the Sekanjebin, a sparkling confection of dried plums, mint and the ubiquitous soda, of Persian origin and greatly appreciated on our table in Haryana.
Pleasure: Our mains see us sticking to the Parsi section of the menu and we order the Mutton Berry Pulao, Sali Marghi and the Patra ni Machi. The Machi comes first, swathed in banana leaves which we quickly divest it off. Stripped of its garments, the fish is gentle, and retiring with almost a shy flavour, and blushing a pretty green. The Marghi is more brazen, a robust, crimson chicken gravy dish sprinkled will potato sali (similar to the lachcha, these potato crisps are flown in fresh from Mumbai), which give a