Irani Cafe v2.0 – SodaBottleOpenerWala, BKC, Mumbai

The history of Irani cafés dates back to early 19th century with around 350-400 cafés operational in Mumbai in its peak time. Now there are about 25 odd left.

SodaBottleOpenerWala attempts to revive the very dying legacy.

SBOW is housed in a complex located right behind ICICI Bank Corporate Office. The have paid wallet service and park cars in the parking facility of Reliance Jio Garden.

Once inside, you are welcomed by the nostalgic and lively vibe representing the archetypal Irani Café. The flooring, furniture design with red-checkered cloth atop adds to the old world charm. A life-size mural of B. Merwan and company takes up half of one of the walls and other half dedicated to archetypal Irani Café rules and vintage knick-knacks. Parsi memes on walls and on the menu add to the fun element.

We started with Limbu Soda. Every sip of the salty variant was punchy with a burst of salt and lime flavor.

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Limbu Soda

The evergreen Bun-Maska / Bun-Maska-Jam always makes an indispensable appetizer.

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Bun Maska Jam

Chilli Cheese Pav was incredibly baked to perfection from all the sides.

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Chilli Cheese Pav

Crispy layer with the right mix of spices and vegetables makes the deep-fried Allo Aunty’s Vegetable Cutlet one of the star dish of the meal.

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Aloo Aunty’s Veg. Cutlet

Veg. Dhansak was our choice for the mains. Flavorful rice well cooked with vegetables and served with daal/lentil curry and salad leaves you craving for more.

Sweet tooth was satisfied by English Pound Cake which was stuffed with dried berries and had perfectly balanced in sweetness. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake came topped with cornflakes is more savored by peanut-butter lovers.

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English Pound Cake
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Chocolate Peanut butter Cheesecake

Flourless Naan Khatai, tasted like made from oats and the never to be missed ambidextrous Mawa Cakes were our selection for takeaway. Pair Mawa Cake with tea to make a great snack or with ice-cream to make a great dessert.

Mawa Cake
Mawa Cake

Almost every item in the menu is worth giving a try but keep a check! Unlike your favorite old world Irani Café, SBOW has a potential to make a big hole in your wallet and that’s perhaps the only difference except absence of an eccentric Parsi bawa on the cash counter.

Recommendations: Mawa Cake, Allo Aunty’s Veg. Cutlet, Veg. Dhansak

SodaBottleOpenerWala Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Panchvati Gaurav, Phoenix Market City, Kurla, Mumbai

The problem with Gujarati/Rajasthani Thali is, you get spoilt of choices and don’t realize how much you have eaten.

This place is no different!

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Located in Paragon Plaza of Phoenix Market City, this place has a decent and tidy decor with tiny Rajashtani/Gujarati folk figures doting the walls.

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There was only a table occupied when we reached there at around 1 PM. The staff was welcoming and, contrary to the usual habit in Thali serving restaurants, were not in a mad rush to serve and to fill-up. This allowed us to take our time in enjoying the food.

It is difficult if not impossible to mention each item of the Thali so let a picture do the justice. We liked Dal-Baati-Churma and buttermilk the most; not to mention piping hot rotis and aloo subji with gravy, mini rotla and puran-poli with ghee.

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The full bloomed Thali

The place well exhibits the indispensable trait of Thali places of treating people as guests and not customers. Overall, a good place to have value for money Gujarati/Rajasthani food.

Panchavati Gaurav Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato