When you speak of Mumbai and nostalgia, the immediate thought that strike a foodie are the age-old, quaint yet resilient Parsi-Irani food joints especially the humble Irani cafes that dot the city. From the most loved bun muska to berry pulao to lagan nu custard, their offerings remain simple yet delicious.
An ode to this food culture of Mumbai is AD & Sabina Singh's SodaBottleOpenerWala (SBOW) Cafe in the bustling, commercial locality of Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai. With its quirky, nostalgic ambiance and Parsi-Irani food offerings that Mumbaikars relish, this joint is proving to be a crowd puller almost every day of the week.
With gluttony on our mind, we arrived at SBOW to indulge our taste buds and we indeed ended up ordering quite a bit.
Below is a glimpse of what we devoured:
A visit to an Irani Cafe is just incomplete without having a BUN MASKA and a hot cup of PHETELI COFFEE with it. The bun was a bit bigger in size than one would expect but we have no complains since it was soft, moist and delicious and came with a generous helping of butter (maska). The coffee had a stimulating, strong flavor and came topped with a layer of froth.
After we were satisfied with our coffee and bread, we moved on to appetizers and some drinks to go with them. The CHICKEN FARCHA we ordered is a Parsi style prepration where the chicken is fried with a coating of egg. The version at SBOW is a boneless one although the ones we have been eating at our Parsi friends places comprise of chicken on bone. Nevertheless it was still tasty. The other appetizer we ordered was KOLMI FRY. Much to our surprise the prawns came wrapped around a crispy onion coating and had the appearance of giant spheres. These too were yummy. For the beverages, bit we settled for a quintessential Raspberry Soda and a mocktail of apple with fresh cranberries.
For the main course we ordered, PARSI STYLE BADAMI POTATO with pav (bread). The dish was one of the finest i have had while eating out. The flavors were subtle, the gravy was creamy owing to the coconut milk and the golden-fried onions and the green chilli added a lot of punch to it. We wrapped our main course with the famous CHICKEN BERRY PULAO, a dish comprising of chicken and rice cooked to perfection in a flavorsome masala. The main ingredient that gives the dish its unique flavor is the barberries. I am in love with those barberries as they bring this unique sweet and sour touch to the dish. The garnish of golden-fried crisp onions further adds to the sweetness in the dish.
To end the meal on a sweet note we settled for the humble LAGAN NU CUSTARD. This is a staple at Parsi weddings but for us with its creamy texture and caramel it seemed the apt end to our gluttony on a hot summer afternoon.
Do try out this café the next time you are in BKC and let me know of your experience.
Till then, HAPPY EATING
- Regional Indian Food & Travel enthusiast