Happy birthday Steve Jobs … Trying to stay Hungry, to stay Foolish!

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Steve Paul Jobs, founder of Apple Inc., Entrepreneur, Innovator, Inventor and above all a great Visionary.

He always knew his time was limited here!

He always knew his time was limited here!

 

The man would have turned 60 tomorrow on February 24th, had it not been for cancer which took him in 2011. Most of us who admire and loved him have had the pleasure to read about his life in the countless books written about him and watch him in a movie about his days in Apple. So much has been said about him that I cannot say anything new but just miss him like a mentor. A mentor who I never met (and sadly never will) but who has taught me the value of seeing things clearly, objectively and with a vision. The love for art merged with the technical expertise is what made Jobs’ and Apple’s product standout. Always striving to design products at the confluence of technology and art, he always said, “Design is how it works”.

Having followed his life pattern and read and re-read his biography did I realize that even though he created perfect products his life was full of ups & downs and far from perfect. He followed his instincts and never changed himself irrespective of what his competitors, customers or even the whole world thought. Jobs was a control freak, for the better, and Apple was a by-product of his eccentricities. The lesser known fact is that after being ousted from Apple in 1984, he made the company bounce back to the “most loved technology company of the world” after his return in 1997.

Never stop innovating, a line which he emphasized a lot and shouted out much more at Apple’s design meetings. His obsession with minimalist design and heated discussions with his employees & management were quite well known in closed quarters of Apple. People who worked with him were well aware of his “Reality Distortion Field” (reference Star Trek) which he created to achieve the impossible. Due to this obsession with giving his consumer innovative “workable” products, we got path-breaking products like the iMac, iPod, iPhone, and his last obsession the iPad. Apple was voted the most valuable company of 2012. Sadly, I hate to add in the same breath that his vision for Apple and the principles on which he ran the company seems to have gone with him. Apple products are becoming run of the mill and the in the last 4 years I have yet to see something which will whisk me away as Jobs’ products did.

Steve Jobs ... the perfectionist he was, he hardly had any furniture could buy any furniture as he never liked any design!

Steve Jobs … the perfectionist he was, he hardly had any furniture could buy any furniture as he never liked any design!

A marketing genius in addition to this, Jobs never believed in doing it small and from his product launches to the companies he created (Apple, NeXT, Pixar), Jobs did them larger than life and gave us products and services that changed the world around us. He made his own rules and once told a journalist who asked him what market research did he do for the iPod, “You can’t ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them, by the time you get it built, they would want something new.”

Jobs ... the family man!

Jobs … the family man!

Truly a man who put a “Dent in the Universe” and inspired me to “Think Different”. Leaving you with his famous Stanford Commencement Address in 2005.

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EGGjactly The Food truck … Food Trucks are here to stay (err… move) !!!

We’ve all seen and drooled over the food trucks on the popular TV series Eat Street. The founders of EGGjactly, Vikrant & Lvanika, which they claim to be India’s first Food Truck, admit to being inspired by Eat Street. More so because the series showcased Food Trucks from all over the world but India, and so the founders decided to be the leaders in this genre of F&B.

In concept for a few months but barely a Week old on the roads of Gurgaon, I finally managed to catch up with this Food Truck eventually, after missing it a few times. EGGjactly which of course germinates from our favourite ingredient EGG, is a GPS enabled food truck which is on the move and parks at a suitable spot for lunch and dinner. We’ve been accustomed to Chinese and Fast food vans in Delhi, but they are stationary at one location and hardly move and ironically easier to acquire a license for. Vikrant Misra the founder says, “A Food Truck makes much more sense than a stationary van, as if someone complains or the spot is nuisance on the road, they can pack up and move to a more conducive location”. I say definitely a point to ponder upon by the authorities.

The Menu and the Truck ... most items are reasonably priced and within the range of 100 to 200 bucks!

The Menu and the Truck … most items are reasonably priced and within the range of 100 to 200 bucks!

Painted in Bright Yellow and shades of Orange, EGGjactly can be easily spotted from the distance. Also in addition to the attractively painted truck, the crowd of curious onlookers, the first timers and the cars slowing down around it to catch a glimpse, do add to the festive spirit of food. We Indians love our food and we love it more if it is served without any pretence, just straight up and on the road side. The only down side to street food nowadays is the hygiene conditions, which this truck seems to have laid stress on. The Insides with their slick Stainless Steel equipment looks well sanitized and extremely clean that one could eat food directly place on the steel tops without any plates.

The Bright Yellow and hues of Orange make it hard to miss!!!   (Source: EGGjactly FB Page )

The Bright Yellow and hues of Orange make it hard to miss!!! (Source: EGGjactly FB Page )

As you can see the excitement of eating at the first food truck in India made me appreciate everything they did, it was time to order the food for which we came for. But arriving at an hour which was just before dinner I had to control myself from ordering too much, lest I disappointed my wife who had already got dinner ready for me. So, on Vikrant’s recommendation we just ordered the Grilled Chicken Sandwich and the Mutton Roll, along with Belgian Waffles with Dark Chocolate Ganache and strawberries to go.

The Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Belgian Waffles, The clean interiors of the Truck, The Mutton Roll and the Happy customers!!!

The Grilled Chicken Sandwich, Belgian Waffles, The clean interiors of the Truck, The Mutton Roll and the Happy customers!!!

A Grilled Chicken Sandwich for me has always meant, bread, chicken, maybe butter/ cheese and no other foreign particle or veggies. I did ask Vikrant before I ordered what it contained, and maybe it was just a connection of one foodie to another, he smiled and said only Chicken and cheese. Nice and crispy, supposed to be had then and there on the street in the yellow cardboard box it is served in and the cheese was extra gooey. Chicken had some spice in it and my Son loved it, especially the crisped edges. Though I did mention it to be a little too compressed and tightly wound, the taste was like the one you would make at home with some boiled chicken, when no one wants to cook. A great item to be had on the go or even if you are driving.

The Mutton Roll was no different from the countless “good” ones I have had before with a fresh egg wrapped in a Parantha. Why I enjoyed it more was that the filling inside was also no nonsense and the mutton was very well cooked (extra bhuna hua) and spiced up to the hilt, just the way I like it. Though noticing me battling the spices, Vikrant did give me a water bottle to help me down it. Talk about personalized service here.

Not very messy and somehow I think the EGGjactly team is taking pains to make items which would not get too messy while eating on the road or taking a break from office. Even the Maggi they served (someone else ordered) was on the drier side and served in a Paper tumbler with fork. Attention to detail always goes a long way.

Belgian Waffles with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Strawberries is what I took home and though it was a 10 minute drive, I would not try to get waffles packed again. The good part was my car was full of fragrance from the freshly made waffles and Nutella. I have tasted a lot better waffles, but then next time I will make it a point to stand there and eat it. My 4 year old daughter however loved them and I guess the fresh strawberries did the trick. Not very expensive the total bill amounted to Rs. 425, which for me is great value for money along with some free chit chat and “food gyan” from the owners.

Lvanika and Vikrant ... Driving their passion!!!

Lvanika and Vikrant … Driving their passion!!!

I would be chasing the truck to try out each and every item on their menu and then try them all over again.Though the critic in me did mention a few suggestions to Lvanika and Vikram, overall they left me thoroughly impressed by “driving their passion”.

You can also track down the truck’s location through their website http://eggjactly.in/ and dine with them.

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The CP foodie round … Nostalgia & Food are a potent combo!!!

I love the Delhi winters, whatever the people say! Food and cold weather are an awesome combination and Connaught Place which is back on its revival path, has always been a foodie heaven.  Ask any Dilliwaalah the value of a Sunny day in the foggy winter months of our city, and you would get a dreamy nod from each one.

The Paidal Foodies!!!

The Paidal Foodies!!!

Back in time, Wenger's ... the starting point of our food exploration walk!

Back in time, Wenger’s … the starting point of our food exploration walk!

An impromptu plan, with the Surya Devta (Sun God) shining brightly on a Saturday afternoon, and our foodies were ready to sample the goodies offered on the streets of the age-old Connaught Place area. This blog tells you a story experienced first-hand by 7 of us and which I wanted to share with my readers.

 

Nostalgia and food!

Nostalgia and food at Wenger’s

Did anyone say Macarons!

Did anyone say Macarons!

Shammi kebabs ... one of the best you will taste!

Shammi kebabs … one of the best you will taste!

From the everlasting taste of Wenger’s patties and Shammi kebabs, to the cold milk shake at Keventer’s which almost seems like a ritual after coming out of Wenger’s. Both at the starting point of the CP’s inner circle, the A-block and both outlets have stood the test of time, taste and transition. Nostalgia hits you when you stand outside Wenger’s eating a patty or a kebab. A rocking start to our food exploration walk and our very own Tiger posed with the Milk tanker stationed outside Keventer’s to find out that 1500 litres of milk was supplied only to this particular outlet. After a few Shammi Kebabs and 7 bottles of milkshake we were ready to move with our focus clear.

They might have renamed it Shake Square ... for dilliwaalas it will always be Keventer's

They might have renamed it Shake Square … for dilliwaalas it will always be Keventer’s

The Sausages and Chicken Lollypop at Khubchand and Bros., which is a hidden gem and not many people notice this food-mine even while passing through it, did get us in the mood to walk further and explore more such offbeat eateries. Another time tested place and the regulars swear by the Ham and Sausages of Khubchand. Ready to eat Chicken Lollypops and Chilli Chicken was what we tried standing outside, while enjoying the sun and the sounds of our downtown. Some of our foodies had never heard of this place and it felt truly gratifying to introduce them to this heritage food stop. 

Khub Chand meat ... Khub bhalo!

Khub Chand meat … Khub bhalo!

Keep Walking!!!

Keep Walking!!!

Passing innumerable restaurants and food carts with patties and burgers, we reached Rama Meat Pulao (Mutton mixed with rice) on the outer circle at the Minto road intersection. An eatery that has been thronged by office goers and residents of the area for more than 50 years. Mutton cooked throughout the day and served with pulao, though simple, is quite a treat to the Non-veg loving palate which has an extra craving for spice. The owner when realized we were some “special” food lovers gave us a low-down of his eatery and even a special chicken soup mixed with mint chutney to sample. A proud man equally proud of feeding his customers.

Rama Meat Pulao ... not biryani but mutton cooked in gravy and served over a bed of rice .... along with Chicken Soup!

Rama Meat Pulao … not biryani but mutton cooked in gravy and served over a bed of rice …. along with Chicken Soup!

Mission accomplished!

Mission accomplished!

Rajma Chawal at Shanker market is another iconic eatery and served with chutney, onions and pappad on top, has become a staple for CP regulars. The quality however I am sad to say has gone down somewhat. Though having relished it so much for the six years my office was in Connaught Place, I wan to believe it was just a bad day for the cook. Will have to try it again to form a verdict.

The Legendary Rajma Chawal of Shankar market!

The Legendary Rajma Chawal of Shankar market!

The spruced up Shankar market with wall painted mural facades

The spruced up Shankar market with wall painted mural facades

The eating had started bloating our tummies and we decided on Cold coffee at Depaul’s, Janpath, a rather long walk from the Rajma Chawal guy. Negotiating the radial roads and the CP traffic is quite an expert task and people who do it regularly are warriors in my book. Well, we all did manage to reach Janpath after a few pitstops either to click some pictures or laugh at a joke or just admire the colonial architecture of our city. Well in addition to the cold coffee we did order the famous Keema Kulcha and Paneer Balls to wrap up the walk and our hunger (of course we were hungry again) for CP’s delicacies.

Coffee, Paneer Balls, Keema Kulcha and lots of love at Depauls!

Coffee, Paneer Balls, Keema Kulcha and lots of love at Depauls!

But, we did end up making one more stop at Mallik Sweets behind Regal Cinema for Gulab Jamun, Moong Daal Halwa and Gajar ka Halwa. After all we had to end it on a sweet note. Quite a filling treat and we did burn calories walking for 2 hours and approximately 2.5 kms.

Gulab Jamun and Moong Dal Halwa at Mallik Sweets to end on a sweet note!

Gulab Jamun and Moong Dal Halwa at Mallik Sweets to end on a sweet note!

A food walk which satisfied our souls and filled our tummies, but still we would not have explored even 1/10th of CP and missed out on a lot of treats.

The Happy foodies!!!

The Happy foodies!!!

 

The promise to return for more soon stays and at the end, it is just the love for food which matters.

 

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2014 … the past year which would affect our future!

Happy New Year guys!!! 2014 brought some amazing products/ buildings/ technology for me.

Art, Architecture, Design & Technology have been crossing paths frequently now, and this confluence of disciplines has spelled amazing products and designs for the consumer. 2014 was a great year for a person who loves Design and technology and the ever growing market was booming like never before. A few designs & innovations touched me too and the top picks for me from various disciplines in 2014 have been.

The Mangalyaan – Mission to Mars by ISRO

The proudest moment for India in 2014 was its indigenous mission to Mars. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), also called Mangalyaan a spacecraft orbiting Mars since 24 September 2014 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). The most commendable part is that it is India’s first interplanetary mission and ISRO has become the fourth space agency to reach Mars, after the Soviet space program, NASA, and the European Space Agency. It is also the first nation in the world to reach Mars orbit on its first attempt and on a shoestring budget. The total cost of the mission was approximately 450 Crore (US$73 million), making it the least-expensive Mars mission to date.

Mission Orbiter Mars - Mangalyaan

Mission Orbiter Mars – Mangalyaan

Musée Des Confluences, France

We think of our architecture as part of the 21st century; as art which reflects and gives a mirror image of the variety and vivacity, tension and complexity of our cities – Wolf D. Prix!

Musee-des-Confluences ... A landmark building!

Musee-des-Confluences … A landmark building!

The Musée des Confluences designed by  Austrian architect Wolf D. Prix is a science centre and anthropology museum which opened on 20 December 2014 in the2nd arrondissement of Lyon, (Rhône), France. Designed on the concept of “The crystal cloud of knowledge” this imposing yet fluid structure is a standing example of the 21st century architecture.

 

The concept drawing!

The concept drawing!

The designers believe that the Musée des Confluences understands itself not as an exclusive “Temple of the Muses” for the educated elite, but as a public gateway to the knowledge of our time. It stimulates a direct, active use—not only as a place of contemplation, but also as a meeting place in the city. This landmark structure would be a definite visit on my to-do list.

Kindle Paperwhite (2nd Generation) 3G/ Wifi 

Launched in 2013, I however came in contact with this in 2014 so in my list. I had always had an aversion to reading books on the Kindle or any kind of tablet and preferred the traditional way of turning pages.

The smooth functional design is almost Zen-like and the feel of it has me hooked onto it.

The smooth functional design is almost Zen-like and the feel of it has me hooked onto it.

 

However, the The Paperwhite 2 features a higher contrast E Ink Carta display technology which gives one an improved LED illumination, a faster processor that allows for faster page turns, and better response to touch input compared to the original Paperwhite. The look and feel of the screen makes the reading experience much more pleasurable. A great acquisition if you are a voracious reader.

Freedom Tower – 1 World Trade Center, New York

Being an architect I am probably biased to buildings, but this one has really touched a chord with everyone.

At 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001, five hijackers affiliated American Airlines Flight 11 into the northern facade of 1 WTC. Seventeen minutes later, at 9:03 a.m., a second group of terrorists crashed the hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 into the southern facade of the South Tower, striking between the 77th and 85th floors. Both the towers fell the same day.

Standing Tall at Ground Zero!

Standing Tall at Ground Zero!

Where the Twin towers stood, One World Trade Center also known as the “Freedom Tower” during initial basework, refers to the main building of the new World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City. Higher than the twin towers it is more than a real estate project. It is rehabilitation for those hurt by the terrorists and a way to heal the scar on a nation. Part of the healing process is what this tower represents. Standing tall on Ground Zero, I am sure it will touch a chord with you too if you get a chance to visit the freedom tower.

Interstellar – the movie

Christopher Nolan the master director took us on a journey which we had only read about in books of Physics but never been able to visualize.

Nolan has proved that innovation cannot be restricted to products but extended to movies too.

Nolan has proved that innovation cannot be restricted to products but extended to movies too.

Once you are a parent, you are the ghost of your children’s future … a statement so profound yet so simple, embodies Nolan’s message through his latest offering Interstellar.

The laws of Physics, astronomy, chemistry and other sciences have been well researched and used in the plot, but for me they were just tools to present the emotional drama cooked up by this genius director. I was blown away by the movie, and it took me a few days to get my feet back on Earth (pun intended). Not sure, if this is a good choice for design and technology picks, but the way Nolan has depicted the confluence of various disciplines in his story did leave an impact on me.

The past year had a lot more innovations and inventions which would have surpassed the ones mentioned by me. But these are the ones which I have experienced personally or read about them. With the world changing and the technology along with design sensitivity growing amongst us, 2015 and the future looks more promising.

Posted in Architecture, Books, Design, Entrepreneurship, Hollywood, India, Innovation, Lifestyle, Motivation, Review, Strategy, Television, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Delhi foodie club picks the top restaurants of 2014

We foodies love to eat out and the passion for food is what brought us all together to form this Facebook group The Delhi foodie club or better know as TDfc.

A consequent of this passion was tabulating a list of restaurants/ food which has been chosen by all of us, right here on the group. These are no awards or verdicts, these are places we have enjoyed eating out at in the year 2014. My partner in crime Vivek and I have taken the pains to list them down as honestly without any bias.

Congrats to all those who made it to the list.

TDfc picks the top 3 North Indian Restaurants!

TDfc picks the top 3 North Indian Restaurants!

TDfc picks the top 3 South Indian/ Coastal Restaurants!

TDfc picks the top 3 South Indian/ Coastal Restaurants!

TDfc picks the top 3 Italian Restaurants!

TDfc picks the top 3 Italian Restaurants!

TDfc picks the top 4 European/ American/ World Cuisine Restaurants!

TDfc picks the top 4 European/ American/ World Cuisine Restaurants!

 TDfc picks the top 3 Chinese/ Pan Asian Restaurants!


TDfc picks the top 3 Chinese/ Pan Asian Restaurants!

 TDfc picks the top 4 Regional Restaurants!


TDfc picks the top 4 Regional Restaurants!

 TDfc picks the top 3 Cafe Restaurants!


TDfc picks the top 3 Cafe Restaurants!

 TDfc picks the top 3 Fast Food Restaurants!


TDfc picks the top 3 Fast Food Restaurants!

 TDfc picks the top 3 Street foods/ Vans!


TDfc picks the top 3 Street foods/ Vans!

 TDfc picks the top 3 Vegetarian Restaurants!


TDfc picks the top 3 Vegetarian Restaurants!

Happy New Year and have an even greater 2015!!!

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PK … Jo darr gaya samjho mandir gaya!

Shakti Kapoor a couple of decades ago played a character PK Lele … Considering the expectations one had from Raj Kumar Hirani and Aamir Khan, unhone bhi PK Leli humari (They also screwed the audience after being drunk).

PK when translated in english is a question, “Are you drunk?” Aaamir Khan an alien from another Gola (round planet) asks such weird questions and dresses up even more weirdly, that everyone keeps asking him “PK hai kya?” That is how the name. A great Bhojpuri dialect picked up by the master actor makes some instances funny and situational comedy sequences are aplenty, but our PK fails to connect with the audience at any level. Neither emotion, nor a plot, nor any melodrama (which we all love). The comedy also borders on cheesy and cheap and expectations were high from this team.

PK ne dimaag to bilkul lul kar diya!

PK ne dimaag to bilkul lul kar diya!

The plot loosely based on the fact that we as a specie, need an alien to jerk us out of our slumber and blind faith of a God created by man and its managers (various Gurus and Babas). The plot very effectively already tried successfully in “Oh My God” with competent performances by Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar. More so, the dialogues and logic given in PK feels stale and unimpressive.

Sanjay Dutt makes an appearance and his fans do have something to look forward to. Parikshat Sahni is again a father dejected by his offspring. I say again because Raju Hirani has portrayed him in the same state after Lage Raho Munnabhai & 3 Idiots. Anushkha Sharma who is already being ridiculed for her looks, needs to get her act and face together fast. She looked more alien to me than the cute “big ears” Aamir Khan. Boman Irani and Saurabh Shukla support as much as they can to a weak script.

An out and out Aamir movie, but after Dhoom 3 this one is another dud, considering the benchmarks set by him. Do watch it coz you might find something which I missed.

“Apna dimaag to Lul ho gaya isko dekhne ke baad” 

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Soda Bottle Opener Wala “OPENS” in Khan market

My name is Maneck and even though I am not a Parsi, I do believe I might have some “Bawa blood” in me, because like them I also can’t have a meal without some form of meat. So when an invite reached my place for the pre-opening party of Soda Bottle Opener Wala part 2, henceforth referred to as SBOW2, I was thrilled at the thought of tasting some amazing Parsi food. The glutton in me was already salivating looking at the “Steel Tiffin” sent along with the innovative invite and the goodies packed in it.

The Innovative invite with the "steel dabba" of goodies

The Innovative invite with the “steel dabba” of goodies

The plethora of eateries that have opened in Khan Market is no surprise to me. Very recently branded as the most expensive commercial space in Asia, I am amazed how Khan Market has managed to attract so many restaurants, while demanding high rentals. No complains however from a food lover like me who is spoilt for choices, and now SBOW2 added to this mélange makes the deal more attractive. SBOW launched itself and the Parsi food in Delhi almost a year ago, to some rave reviews in DLF CyberHub, Gurgaon. I must truthfully admit that after eating once I never did go back there, coz the first meal left me unimpressed, due to lot of reasons, which I diligently addressed at the restaurant. So technically this being my second visit to SBOW, they did turn the tables around (pun intended) and I came out much satisfied this time.

Launches are supposed to be a big exercise in marketing and public relations where one gets to rub shoulders with Page 3 celebrities, senior bloggers and media personalities. Fortunately for me, FOOD takes precedence over these and as soon as I walked up the stairs to the restaurant, I found myself a nice spot to park myself with some friends and wait for the food marathon to get started. The staff was on their toes, since it was launch, and the servers immaculate in their mannerisms and service. I hope this continues on regular days too, which I am sure would, coz the owners are “serial restaurateurs” and know the art of charming a customer.

Little details add to the experience.

Little details add to the experience.

The interiors preserve a dying but beautiful era!!!

The interiors preserve a dying but beautiful era!!!

Seemingly, detached artefacts on the walls complete the canvas.

Seemingly, detached artefacts on the walls complete the canvas.

I have not been to too many Parsi homes, but as an architect have always noticed the character and the history attached to the ones I have visited. The clutter and the pictures on the wall always tell a story about the occupants of the house and the designer of SBOW2 has caught on well to the fact while doing up this place in Parsian styled interiors. An obvious choice to copy a Parsi home, I would not term the décor to be very innovative, but the attention to detail is something I admired in this restaurant. From the staircase with extra-high risers, arches to doorways and the colors all add up to “make you feel at a Parsi home”. The exposed beams in the ceiling around which the electrical conduits snake to culminate into the ancient black and white ceramic switches on a wooden box, the flowery concrete pattern on the floor, the wooden tables with equally rickety wooden chairs and the black board menu board definitely took me to a dying but beautiful era. Seemingly detached artefacts on the walls along with framed pictures of people from the community, complete the canvas and the designer, which I am told is an architect Clement Desylva and the owner AD Singh’s wife Sabina, could not have done a better a job to keep the heritage alive in form of this quaint little restaurant.

I do say that it’s in my second nature to observe the design of a place, but in all honesty, it is just my way to pass time while waiting for my food. So if you think my description of interiors was not too elaborate, it was because Mohit and his team did not make me wait too much for my food. Bawaji Nu Thullu (inspired from the famous comedian’s action) is what I got to start with, an Irani take on the Long Island Iced Tea, with a few spices added to a similar concoction of LIIT. I took a sip and heard the server mention Masala Pepsi and promptly changed my loyalties. Masala Pepsi had all the right ingredients to tickle ones taste-buds especially after a hard work day and the Delhi heat. A chilled glass of Pepsi with lots of ice, lemon juice and some hard hitting Indian spices is what makes this a potent drink, a drink which never left my side throughout the entire evening and I downed 5 of those.

Bawaji Nu Thullu

Bawaji Nu Thullu

Chicken Baida Roti

Chicken Baida Roti

The real meal however, started with the Chicken Baida Roti. For the uninitiated, this is a combination of Chicken cooked in spices, egg which in typical “Bambaiya” language is called Baida and a parantha style roti which covers the chicken stuffing. Crispy, flaky and soft is how I would describe it at SBOW2 and though I have tasted many versions of it in Mumbai and with different meats, this stood high on the pedestal. And as proof of my statement I should let you know that I happily managed to devour two whole plates alone on a table of 4. I stopped only because I wanted to taste the other stuff which was arriving at our table.

Vada Pav ... the staple Mumbai food!

Vada Pav … the staple Mumbai food!

The Vada Pav, staple food of Mumbai streets was around and I did took a few bites but nothing to beat what you get on the streets of Mumbai. Not a fan of sitting in a café and eating, though in Delhi the choices to get a good vada pav are negligible, so this does serve as a saving grace.

Chicken Farcha ... loved it!

Chicken Farcha … loved it!

Dukkar gali Egg Sandwich was next and another treat for Egg lovers, sadly I am not too much of one and more so because I was ambushed by the lovely plate of Chicken Farcha right next to it. A well known appetizer in the Irani cuisine, it is also referred to as the Indian version of Southern Fried American Chicken. Cripsy on the outside and tender inside, served with the onions and green mint chutney, was much juicier than any fried chicken. I loved it and a plate of Chicken Farcha at SBOW does do justice to the phrase “You just can’t eat one”.

Bheendi Bazaar Mutton Seekh Parantha

Bheendi Bazaar Mutton Seekh Parantha

But, the Bheendi Bazaar Mutton Seekh Parantha, which I could smell from a distance (see again the Parsi lineage in my habits), made me finish the Chicken Farcha plate fast and literally grab the plate of Seekh Parantha from his hand. By now the servers had realized the gluttony that was happening on our table and secretly were happy that someone was enjoying so much without inhibitions. I couldn’t be bothered if a celebrity was standing next to me with so much meat on my table. A small bite sized parantha styled bread topped with a Mutton Seekh, nothing special but a great snack for a meat lover like me. The Seekh was ordinary, but I will now make it a point to visit Bheendi Bazaar and try this, there.

Tareli Macchi

Tareli Macchi

Mushroom on Khari was loved by my vegetarian friends, and you who read my food blogs regularly know better than to ask me about how it was. Tareli Macchi  (in the Mumbai street slang) and literally fish fried in spicy batter and rich on cumin flavor was quite munchy but came nowhere near my favourite Chicken Farcha.

Now this was all being eaten non-stop and the SBOW team with the expertise of their talented young Chef Anahita Dhondy made sure the table was never devoid of food. The downside would be that I had to get up every few minutes and take a walk around the restaurant to keep digesting what I was eating and making space for more. I was full by this time but certainly not out.

Mutton Roast

Mutton Roast

Mutton Roast with an amazing blend of spices and condiments looked very appealing but I was disappointed when I tried to tear away the meat from the bones. Either it was not well cooked or I was the unlucky one but unless I would have forgotten all my manners, there was no way this mutton was gonna come off the bones. Like a good diner, I kept it to one side, but will definitely be going for more.

Bun Muska maar ke!!!

Bun Muska maar ke!!!

Mutton Dhansak!

Mutton Dhansak!

The softness of Bun Muska maar ke (Muska being butter) was a welcome break from all the hard chewy meat I had been feasting on. Save the best for last and lo arrived the Mutton Dhansak in all its glory packed in the steel dabba. Mohit came along with it and was kind enough to explain to an ignorant person like me the history of Dhansak along with how it’s made. I would not get into a history lesson though and bore you, as Google baba can help you with it. He did mention that the Dhansak was supposed to be had with kachumbar salad and the rice topped with caramelized onions. It tasted “different” but a taste that would probably evolve next time I have it. But, I loved the gravy and what better way to polish it off with the Bun Muska … that was delicious.

Desserts ... 5-star brownie and Toblerone Mousse

Desserts … 5-star brownie and Toblerone Mousse

The 5-star Brownie and the Toblerone Mousse were served after I was sure that not a morsel would enter my body with the height of overeating I had done. Now, I am a modest person but the way I downed 2 brownies and a portion of mousse was no ordinary feat. I felt like a food Superhero. But, seriously speaking the brownie made from 5-star (no prizes for the right guess) was probably made more gooey because of India’s favourite chocolate and tasted better than the assembly line brownies we get. The mousse made from India’s favourite Duty-free chocolate (I am sure you get the joke) was equally good and served in the age old “chai ka glass” again will win many a sweet-tooth if not hearts.

The surprise package of the evening Danesh Irani, the good looking stand-up comedian has the guests in splits with his mono-act of a play called “The Last Parsi”. Laughter and food go hand in hand and SBOW did a great job in taking care of both these areas effectively. I would highly recommend this place to the Mumbai population staying in Delhi, who wants to experience nostalgia from time to time. Of course for a meat lover like me, a restaurant like Soda Bottle Opener Wala ranks very highly.

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