For those who have grown sipping Irani Chai but are worried about the shutting down of the famous cafes serving them, there is good news.
AD Singh and his wife Sabina, promoters of Olive Bar & Kitchen, are opening a new breed of Irani restaurants — SodaBottleOpenerWala — that, besides the popular dishes, will serve up a large dose of nostalgia.
Article by V Rishi Kumar | The Hindu
The couple seeks to position SodaBottleOpenerWala as the modern day neighbourhood Irani restaurant with a difference.
It blends the Irani hotel culture with popular items to offer a wide range of food and beverages. Opening his fourth such restaurant in the country and the first in Hyderabad, Singh says he has been striving to revive authentic Irani restaurant culture with the new brand.
Even the popular chai is served in distinct forms, Irani Special Chai, Khade Chammach Ki Chai (with a lot of sugar), Masala Chai, Parsi Choy and Phetlei Coffee.
The chain also blends Parsi dishes with street food, which have evolved over the years. And their names are distinct too.
So, you can have Aloo Aunty’s Vegetable Cutlet, Breach Candy Awesome Okra, Mamaji’s Grilled Sandwich and Eggs Kejriwal.
“There are wonderful stories about Irani cafes. Take the case of Leopold in Mumbai and how it has evolved over the years, so will these outlets change,” Singh says.
“We now have four of these, two in Delhi, one in Bengaluru and now in Hyderabad. We would soon add one in Mumbai, where it is hard to get place and another in Noida later this year. This format is a concept restaurant with a bar. Irani café is a rich part of the Mumbai tapestry and sadly dying legacy.”
Olive Bar & Kitchen, which commenced operations in 2000, now has a chain of 19 restaurants.
Backed by funding from Aditya Birla Group in 2012, it plans to take the count up to 30 by the end of the year.