Parsi cuisine and the local Mumbai street food is a rarity in Bangalore and to be frank not many people in South are acquainted with the cuisine unless they have traveled or stayed in Mumbai. Couple of years ago before my exposure to Mumbai even I was unaware of the cuisine and wasn’t sure what it would be like. Outlets like Sodabottleopenerwala takes you down memory lane to the old world charm of Irani cafes in Mumbai and creates a sense of nostalgia. So it doesn’t matter if you are based in Bangalore, Delhi or Hyderabad, you can still experience Mumbai on a plate!
SBOW has these little quirky corners lined up with aluminium chai containers or tiffin dabbas and every corner is different from the other. It can be fun to go around and explore the place to find these cute little things put up on every corner while you wait for your order.. Like even the typical white curtain material hung on your way to the restroom reminds you of a Parsi home . The best part about this place is that there is a see through bakery and a counter to sell some of their freshly baked goods. The freshly baked pao straight from the bakery reminded me of Mumbai and I just couldn’t help but smile at how food makes you feel nostalgic.
SBOW has newly introduced some great cocktails which are not only yum but also potent with good percentage of alcohol. Straight up and its a full paisa vasool! My personal favourites were the Mumma Nu Double Dose (like a whisky sour drink with a hint of saffron and date syrup), Finding Fenny (gin & tonic based drink flavoured with seasonal fruit, orange and cucumber) and Bombay Julep (rum with apricot & honey). The best part about SBOW cocktails are that they are not too sweet and you can actually enjoy the flavours differently. They use their own homemade mixes and most of their cocktails are sweetened with natural ingredients like date syrup and honey.
Starters served along with the cocktails takes you back to Mumbai street food but of course SBOW has created its own twists in flavours. The traditional vada pao is served with deep fried batata bajji or fritter, lasun chutney and the deep fried green chilli, seasoned with salt. That’s the only way you are taught to eat a vada pao and SBOW takes it a step further by adding bacon bits to it. I mean c’mon how can anything not taste good if there is bacon in it! The fried corn bhel was another favourite of mine as the generous squeeze of nimbu (lime) and spicy chutneys went so well with our cocktails. Other dishes that we tasted was the keema with sunny side eggs (Par Eedu) served with fresh pao and Paradise chicken roll, made with chunks of chicken and lots of homemade mayo, which is a little more sweeter than the usual mayo.
The best part about SBOW tasting was the main course. Parsees also love their seafood and I was happy to see some delcious Parsi style Jumbo Prawns served with coconut milk based gravy and rice on the side. The other dish that I really loved in terms of flavour was the Himalayan Tout, marinated and grilled with Parsi flavours. We also tried some veg main course called the Paneer Sanju Baba served with malia roti which literally melts in your mouth. The paneer also used is of superior quality which is made in house.
We finally ended our love affair of Parsi food with some desserts. Matunga coffee cake (coffee based cake which is not too sweet) is made using coffee, brought from a place in Mumbai called Matunga; which is a south Indian area and is famous for South Indian food.
Overview: SBOW is a place to enjoy regional food served with the best of ingredients and taste. The in house bakery is also an added value because you cannot enjoy Parsi food without some pao! The surprise element for me were the cocktails and I love the fact that they use natural flavours instead of the synthetic based ones. I could taste the orange or cucumber in my drink and that’s what makes this place special. Also, the place plays some old hindi numbers which shouldn’t shy you away from humming 😉