Mommy’s day out… such a rare phenomenon once you have a baby and add to it if you are a SAHM whose baby is so used to having you around the house that stepping out alone seems next to impossible. But leisure time for moms is so important because a happy mommy means happy baby right?
So when Ritu the founder of JAMMS (Journey about Mast Moms) network organised a mommy brunch at the newly opened Sodabottleopenerwala at Powai (#SBOWPowai) I jumped at the chance. I made arrangements to leave #babyT with his maternal grandparents and “dressed up” to go brunching with some fellow mommies from JAMMS.
Sodabottleopenerwala has been open in Mumbai with their outlet in BKC and then in Thane. However both have been a bit out of bounds for me since I was pregnant and then with a small baby and so never got around to visiting them. Powai is really central for people like me who live in the western suburbs. It is also convenient for people in the central suburbs. The arrival of #SBOW in Powai is therefore a great chance for people in Mumbai suburbs to savour some lipsmacking Parsi food.
It is also a real treat to the eyes with all the quirky and delightfully Parsi decor they have up on the walls. A colourful, feast for the eyes indeed. And some bits which will have you chuckling at the tongue-in-cheek Parsi humour.
Our lunch at #SBOWPowai was curated by Chef Hemant. He had planned a wide spread of starters and maincourse and then dessert which would allow us to savour a variety of flavours and textures and experience the ones which are famous for being truly Parsi.
But before I get your taste buds salivating with what we ate… I have to share this drink with you. It is called Sekan-je-Bin and I have never had such a unique beverage before. It is a drink inspired from the city of Shiraz in Iran and is a mixture of prunes and jaggery, topped with lemonade and mint leaves. It is truly refreshing and a flavour so unique. Do try this one when you visit #SBOWPowai.
Some of my mommy friends tried the Raspberry Soda. Raspberry Soda is a very iconic feature of Parsi restaurants and my Parsi friends have grown up on the stuff. It is stuff that childhood memories are made of for them. However for many others it is an acquired taste… but where #SBOWPowai scores on this is that they have actual raspberry bits in the Soda and so the drink tastes more like heaven and less like cough syrup.
We were then introduced to our Parsi meal with Chicken Farchas – crispy deep fried chicken, but unlike the ususal chicken Farchas I have had before, this one was boneless and so easy to eat. It disappeared quickly. Only to make way for some baida roti (a street food made famous by Bademiyaan’s in Colaba, Mumbai , it is paratha stuffed with chicken keema and eggs) Sadly this got swiped clean before I got my hands on it, but I did get to savour the really fresh and summery Shirazi salad (broccoli, zucchini, peppers & chicken tossed in a mint sumac dressing), kolmi fry, mushroom khari and prawns patio.
Kolmi fry was a pleasant surprise. Kolmi fry actually means fried prawns but this one was a work of art. It was shaped like a nest made of onion rings with the prawns hidden inside and then coated with batter and fried. It was something I have never seen before and I highly recommend you try this.
Mushroom khari saw the humble khari elevated to levels of gourmet cuisine – fresh, crispy and warm khari topped with mushroom mince and then sprinkled with cheese (cheese makes everything better right?) was such a delight to experience.
Another delight that arrived at our table was Breach Candy Awesome Okra. It took us a minute or so to catch the intriguing full title of this dish. And then we got so trigger happy with the way this was presented that we were almost sorry to dig into it and eat it.
For the main course we were served Bohri Kheema Pav which is mincemeat cooked in spices and served with warm bread. This is a pretty regular feature at our house and I can pretty much cook kheema with my eyes closed. So do take my word for it when I say the Bohri Kheema Pav I had at #SBOWPowai has me craving it so much that I am really looking forward to going back there again just for this dish. It is buttery, creamy, well spiced but still pleasantly mild. You can even choose the option of having a multigrain pav/ bread along with your Kheema.
This was only paralleled with the specially curated Persian menu by Anaida (the singer, performer) and we had the Irani Haleem. Haleem is a traditional dish of slow cooked lamb and wheat flavoured with cinnamon and fried onions. The Haleem is almost pasty but oh-so-rich in flavour and a spoonful transports you to food bliss.
When you are eating Parsi food can Dhansak & Berry Pulao be left far behind? Our serving assistant then brought over a tiffin carrier like the ones the dabbawallas of Mumbai carry and slowly un-ravelled the tiered boxes to reveal the ubiquitous Dhansak and browned rice. There was almost a squeal of delight at our table as most of us moms were waiting to taste the Dhansak. We were served the Chicken Dhansak – chicken cooked well in lentils and spices which is comfort Parsi food to many.
The Berry Pulao too was perfectly cooked and the rice mildly spiced but really flavourful. Did you know the Berry in this Pulao is actually an Iranian berry called Zar.
But there’s always room for dessert…
Dessert followed next and we ordered almost everything on the menu – Parsi Dairy Kulfi, Apple Pear and Plum Pie, Lagan Nu Custard, Jeroo aunty’s Toblerone Mousse, Red Velvet Brownie. Now I have to make special mention here, I have never been a fan of the much hyped Lagan nu Custard but #SBOWPowai’s LnC leaves me with a changed opinion. I couldn’t get enough of this one and I will surely try it the next time I am there.
Overall the #SBOWPowai brunch was a much needed break from the usual routine for me and I also got to meet and spend time with the familiar names from our JAMMS WhatsApp groups. It is a pleasure meeting Ritu always and also Rashna from StitchMyFit, fellow mommy bloggers Latika from OneStopPageforReaders , Umaima from BeingaMommy, Rini from MomBloggersClubofIndia and some new faces too but one’s that we will keep in touch with I am sure. Because bonds formed over some scrumptious food are the most lasting. <3
And when you are a mom of course you wonder if you can take along your family to such a beautiful restaurant. And the answer is Yes. They are baby friendly. They can customise a meal for baby. I usually order some soft boiled vegetables for babyT and judging by the fresh and well cooked vegetables in the Shiraz salad I had, I think babyT would love it. The chicken farchas would also work well for him. So do make a family outing of it if you’re planning to go.
And lastly, I would urge you to call on the restaurant’s phone and listen to the beautiful message narrated by a Parsi bawa. It will have you smiling at the warm hearted welcome and the typical Parsi nuances and tone used. Enjoy dikri and dikras. 🙂