In a nutshell:
A piece of art, this restaurant is also a visual delight in addition to all the YUMM food that they serve. Sense of humor, attention to detail & consistent quirkiness separate this place from the rest.
Address & other details: Soda Bottle Openerwala
To take a virtual tour of the super cool restaurant, pls see below:
Meal for 2: Rs. 800 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
While u will find a lot of reviews on the internet in which bloggers had gone for tasting sessions at this restaurant, YUMMRAJ went on his own as a normal guest , without declaring in advance, paid for the food & had a great time.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
Whoever thought of this was a genius. Converting a traditional normal concept to a full blown restaurant needs some imagination. On top of it, trying to be as true to the original cuisine while at times giving it a twist, was quite cool as well. Thank god someone thought of doing something different (Indian) in Gurgaon.
Concept of this place is Parsi eateries in Bombay. The restaurant is a part of Olive Group. Like all of their other themed restaurants, they have made this much more premium than say the real Parsi joints. However the way in which it has come out is marvelous & I kept discovering newer things even while I was exiting the restaurant after a 2.5 hour ‘pamper ur tastebuds’ session.
There is a small ‘sit out & eat in the open ‘option near the entrance. Great place for winter afternoons & summer evenings. The logo of the restaurant hung right near the entrance to the closed Dining Hall. It was a large soda bottle opener with the name of the restaurant written on it.
Soon after entering, on the left, there was a biscuit & cookie counter in which in-house based cookies & nan khatais r sold / displayed. On one corner is a bunch of kettle hanging from the ceiling.
On one side, there was sofa seating with colorful sofa tops & the white & green etched glass cubicle dividers.
Loads of antiques were to be seen all around. The floor tiles were Old school & I was wondering where they wud have sourced this from.
A pool table lay in one end for people to enjoy the game while waiting for food to arrive.
A beautiful bar with high bar stools was on the other end.
There were lots more to see here but I guess it wud b good if u see them urself when u r there. Even the loo had some quirky stuff – tissue paper was kept inside a bed pan!!!! & one had to put hand into it & fetch tissue paper:)
The Restaurant is doing way better that I guess it expected. That was obvious from the fact that there were queues at times. While every good thing has a flip side, I saw a glimpse of the flip side. The staff members were unable to cope with the pressure. They were un-Olive group type. Forget a smile & nice service, they were not even able to make eye contact & had pathetically low attention span. The body language suggested ‘tell me the order fast. I have lot to do. Don’t ask stupid questions.’ I am usually very patient with staff but the one I got by luck was incorrigible.
Another Result of more crowd than expected seemed to have affected our chicken Berry pulao – I guess since was being churned out very often very fast, the dish was not as good as the mutton berry pulao we had earlier.
While we were at the end of our meal, a smart young lady introduced herself as the Chef Manager (Chef & also Manager) & she asked about the food. She was herself going from table to table to seek feedback. Enjoyed the little foodie chat with her.
Food was in general very good. Loved some of the dishes even more. A lot of attention was paid to the looks of the food & it came out well.
Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:
The item that we saw in the menu but did not order was ‘Khade chammach ki chai’. The Menu card reads – ‘No charge if u can drink this’.
For drink we chose Raspberry soda. Real raspberry fruit pulp & soda. Visually appealing. Gives a super feel as the pulp lands in the mouth. Soda & pulp were not separating out, as it happens in many places. Perfect to taste with a combo of sweet & sour. Super loved it & rate it 4.75/5
We also had Sekanjebin – It is ‘Persian dried plum & mint cooler ‘. Once again this was excellent. Served in a cool glass bottle, this drink not only tasted great but also looked very good. Fruit pulp cud b felt in abundance with every sip. Loved it again & rate it 4.75/5
Ice cream soda was vanilla ice cream with soda. It was a simple drink but really nice. It lacked the zing of the two other drinks but was very good on its own. One of the best ice cream sodas I have had in a while. I rate it 4.25/5
We started our lunch with Kolmi fry. The first thing that hit us was that it had excess salt. It was similar to say a Piyaji/pyaz pakora with small prawns in it & some nice masala as well. The pakoras were crisp & good to taste (if we assumed ther was no excess salt). But there was excess salt. Directionally the pakoras were 4/5 but I revise the rating to 2/5 due to the salt issue.
We moved on to Parsi Bheeda par eeda – Classical Parsi egg preparation with spicy okra. Yes u heard it right – egg & okra!!! A layer of masala cooked Okra on the base, topped with organic YUMM eggs & baked. I really loved it as it is. It was very different. The eggs n their own, the curry on its own & the combination all were good. Loved it & rate it 4/5
While we were trying to order Keema Pav, we realized that in one menu card it was ‘keema pav’ & in the other one ‘Bori Keema pav’!!!! Freshly baked pav was served with a keema preparation. Machine minced meat was used for the dish, which turned out to be nowhere near to its potential if it were to be hand minced.Missed the richness & the intensity of the dish. It also had sub optimal salt & upon sprinking some salt the taste became good. I rate it 3/5 assuming salt was correct but it was not. Hence final rating is 2/5.
‘Mutton Berry pulao (Pls ask the eccentric chef if u need any explanation)’ read the quirky menu card. The Berry pulao mutton was just awesome. It had long aromatic grains of rice that were independent but very soft. Rose water, spices (prominently visible was star anise) and flavours of other ingredients were infused in the rice & that made it very very flavorful . It was just excellent to taste & the seasoning was perfect. Berry in mouth felt great.
The Meat pieces were not super soft. They were somewhat chewy as well. At one point I thought the pieces did not matter much as the rice was do good. However the meat pieces obviously lent their flavor to the overall dish and we realized this while eating the chicken berry pulao later. Unlike the mutton berry Pulao the chicken one was a bit sweet. Rest most was similar. I rate the mutton berry pulao at 4.75/5. Honestly I liked this better than the one at Britannia Mumbai as well. Hardcore Mumbaikars will kill me for saying this – This is just my personal view and pls do not generalize it.
Rating of the Chicken berry pulao was 3/5 as it was surely good but lacked the wow factor of the mutton one. I guess the chicken one had a relative execution issue as well.
We also tried Bombay Rasta sandwich (Veg cheese sandwich, wafers). It was veggie filling between two slices of bread & then grilled to perfection. Sev sprinkled atop made it more like the roadside sandwich. The texture of the bread was commendable – Shows how simple day to day things can b made into great food. I rate this 4/5
Had a part of the sandwich with Grilled bacon. Excellent bacon fried to perfection – not too crisp, not too soft. I really loved this & rate it 4.75/5
Bhendi Bazaar Sheek paratha paratha was sheek kabab atop some excellent paratha. The dough of the parathas had enough fat & that made a huge difference to the perfect texture of ethe paratha & also lent flavor. It was super soft as well. I rate the paratha 4.5/5. The sheekh kabab was not juicy & not super soft either. It was soft, spicy, moist & tasty. I rate the kabab 4/5. Overall rating of the dish averages out to 4.2/5
Patrani macchi – We were longing to have this. However were told by our waiting staff that there is no fish. Came to know later (from the Chef) that there was some fish in the kitchen but maybe the waiter had got confused about the stock levels of fish. Well, in hindsight I do not regret much as we have something new to look forward to next time.
We moved on to Sali marghi – a parsi chicken preparation. It was a chicken gravy curry but with deep fried shredded potato. This is what made all the difference to the curry. When mixed with the curry it gave rise to some superb texture. Loved it & rate it 4/5
For dessert we had Apple pie with custard. Perfectly baked crust, tasty, balanced filling & as good as it can get. We enjoyed this with old fashioned custard. I rate this 4.5/5
We also tried Lagan nu custard. It was caramel custard flavored with nutmeg. Caramelization added a burnt flavor & hence the dish was not unidirectionally sweet. Nutmeg of course had its effect & caramels were a welcome change to the texture. Loved it again & rate it 4.5/5
Waiting for them to offer dhansak that is not yet on the menu.
Rating of food at Soda Bottle openerwala averages out to 4.1/5. It is amazing how so many dishes were good – a particularly high hit rate I must say.
We also tasted some amazing cookies & naan khatais.
I will keep going back here for some repeats & also to explore all the other items. …………………& as I walked out, I saw written on a blackboard ‘Thanks for coming Dikra’.