The Irani café goes trendy
25/4, Lavelle Road
A.D Singh does it again. The pioneering restaurateur who brought Olive Beach to Bangalore, setting the trend of stylish, gourmet destinations outside the five-star hotels, is back with his latest brand, Sodabottleopenerwala. I predict it’s quickly growing popularity will see ‘Let’s go to Soda’ become one of the buzz phrases of the city’s cool set.
This new space is an ode to the Irani Café of Bombay. Those who’ve known and loved them will be happy to get all nostalgic again; those who haven’t experienced an Irani café will love what is a unique offering in Bangalore.
Old cycles stand outside, with biscuit tins from another era. Inside, the flooring is retro and the buzzing bar is lit up with images of food and drink, including Duke’s soda. The furniture has an old world feel to it and just to make you feel that this is indeed an Irani café, there’s the blackboard with a list of do’s and don’ts – ‘No laughing loudly’, ‘No throwing tantrums’.
There’s an in-house bakery and you can stop by at Soda for a maska-pav and a cup of chai. The bakery also makes nankhatai and Shrewsbury biscuits. You could begin also with a delightful plate of khari with a cheesy mushroom topping. The menu is packed with Parsi favourites – Chicken Farcha in its lacy coating, superbly done Sali Mutton and an excellent Berry Pulao.
While Parsi fare is definitel y non-vegetarian, Soda has created enough dishes to keep vegetarians and egg-eaters happy. There’s a vegetable Berry Pulao and the ever popular Tamota Papeta Par Eeda.
Besides its Parsi repertoire, Soda also pays tribute to some Bombay classics such as the Bombay Rasta Sandwich with chutney and sliced veggies, Bhendi Bazaar Seekh Parantha and a Bohra Kheema Pav which is a definite hit. For dessert, there’s a rich Toblerone Mousse and very nice Apple Pie.
Cocktails get quirky here and there are drinks such as Parsiana and Daruwala Vimto. Soda certainly puts the fizz into casual dining in Bangalore.