Gawking at Gurgaon’s Cyber Hub is good enough reason to visit; Sodabottleopenerwala (SBOW) is the icing on the cake
Atmospherics: If the swish hub looks like Singapore or Dubai, with its spacious walkways, the restaurant looks like a throwback to another era. From the uber cool display window with its giant bottles of sweets from the 1960s – orange drops, Poppins, coin-shaped chocolates… and other delights from yesteryear, to the red walls and trademark furniture of Mumbai’s Irani restaurants, SBOW does what few home-grown eateries have managed: take itself with a dash of humour. So, instead of expensive crockery, your food will be served in charmingly dented aluminium cake moulds! That’s Parsee eccentricity played up a notch or two. The other great aspect is that it is as much a restaurant as a café, so whether you land up for their signature tea Irani special chai (Rs 60) or for a full meal, you’ll find it full. In fact, so brilliant is the cold drinks menu that you’ll be tempted to order everything in succession, with a dessert or three.
Table talk: the food is where the restaura scores, because there has never been a dedicated Parsee restaurant in the NCR. The chef is a youthful Parsee girl and while the food is completely faithful to the original flavours, it is not very fussy or elaborate. So you can get a tamota, papeta per eeda (Rs 165) two eggs baked on a bed of sliced tomatoes and potatoes, or Irani keema macaroni (Rs 395) that comes served in a Staub pan and has a higher desi quotient than the eggs. Parsee food is part Iran and part Gujarat and both ends of the spectrum are reflected in the cuisine. On the whole, the short menu travels between snacky meals and full-on Parsee favourites. The latter have been kept to a minimum in SBOW but that’s probably to test the market. Do not miss the berry pulao (vegetarian/chicken/mutton Rs 395/495)
Plus and minus: the cold drinks and the sweets in the display counter certainly add a dash of charm to the place. The slow service and the occasional endless wait for your order may or may not become streamlined in the days to come, but it is a turn off.
Must try: Bombay rasta sandwich, Bhendi bazar sheek paratha, Toblerone mousse
Ratings 3.50; 3.00; 3.50
Cyber Hub, DLF Cyber City, Shop No 3, Gurgaon
Tel no: 0124-6518801
Open from 9.30 am to 11.30 pm