Hitchki, Kala Ghoda Mumbai – Brilliance in small things

In the already chaotic and overcrowded space of restaurants serving modern Indian cuisine and repetitive dishes, comes another place with a very interesting nostalgia inducing name – Hitchki. It was quite intriguing to see what they have done differently that’s not already been done to death by many of the so called “Modern Indian restaurants” around.

After searching for a bit in the Kala Ghoda area, I finally get to this quaint little 60 covers restaurant which has a pleasant vibe about it as I enter. The sprawling bar on the ground floor, the selective Hindi music playing at pleasantly audible level and the very interestingly named dishes on both the food and drinks menu made me think if the same fun vibe transcends into their food as well.

I got my savior in the server who was quick and happy to suggest me the Boondi Mojito (199/279) to start off my meal with. The drink is an avatar of Jaljeera, married into the Mojito family with Boondi as dowry. It had a good balance of sour, spice and sweetness and the spirit had me in a good mood in no time. My only pet peeve was having the boondi getting stuck in my straw each time I tried to take a sip.

The Desi Mezze platter was served right after. What blew my mind here was the inclusion of Kori Roti instead of the Lavash in the typical Mezze. Even the dips were given an interesting treatment where the hummus was made with the Maharashtrian Pitha, mild smokey bharta replaced the babaganoush, a creamy Hyderabadi dahi replaced the Tzatziki and all this was accompanied by a pomegranate based Lebanese sauce and Basil Cilantro dip. All this was served with crisp non-oily falafels.

It would be gross injustice if I don’t mention the Patrani Chilli poppers (240) that was served with the vegetarian starters and the Charlie Chapli kebab (290) which was served with the non vegetarian platter. The Spicy chilli was filled with creamy paneer that had a mild hint of mustard and the Chapli kebab though not made with whole spices like the real deal, had the correct textures and juiciness worthy of a good Chapli kebab. Even the Crispy Chicken Khuran was an interesting take on the typical Chicken tikka where the tikka had been deep fried post the tandoor treatment in a spicy batter, somewhat reminding one of an elite version of a chicken popcorn served at many fast food joints around.

I chose the Ghee rice and roast chicken 320  for my mains and found it to be a weaker dish as compared to the starters served earlier. I would have preferred the Roast Chicken to be similar to the Mangalorean Ghee Roast whereas it was a Cream laden Punjabi style Roast chicken which really didn’t do much for me.

I must mention a word or two for the zealous server who made sure I got some very interesting drinks to go along all with all the food. The jaggery and lemongrass based Swadeeka (199/279) tasted like sugarcane juice with a lemongrass kick, the interesting use of jaggery in the drink made me quite happy. Similarly the Theke ka Shikanji (199/279), which uses Gondhoraj Lebu as the lime base, is an aromatic sharp drink which is quite refreshing during a hot summer afternoon. Hitchki scores well on the pricing of its dishes with the drinks being priced in two brackets – Happy price (all day till 8 pm) and regular price (post 8 pm).There are usual happy hours as well as that which further sweeten the deal. Even the food menu is competitively priced ranging between Rs. 150 to Rs.350.

To close my meal, I was served a Paan-a Cotta which was a tender coconut panna cotta (180) which was silky and smooth and was topped with a pineapple compote and garnished with roasted coconut flakes and mukhwaas. The kick of mukhwaas in the piña colada-ish dish was truly a brilliant addition to the otherwise fairly western dessert.

The warm Hazelnut creme brulele (240) had a nice crust with a warm nutella based custard inside, and though it was a total contrast to the panna cotta, it was quite nice and decadent at the same time.

Using Kori Roti instead of Lavash, using Gondhoraj in its Lemonade, using paan mukhwaas to add a unique element to the panna cotta; both the food and the drinks at Hitchki has flashes of brilliance that really makes it stand out in the crowd of the Modern Indian restaurants around town. The aggressive pricing further helps it to draw in the young crowd from the colleges around. The restaurant has the right elements to become a winner, whether it will be able to sustain itself in the sands of time, only time will tell!

 

Ratings (Out of 5)

Food: 4.0 | Ambience: 4.0 | Service: 3.5 | Overall: 4.0

Meal for Two: Rs2000 ++ | Wheel Chair Friendly: Yes | Credit Card: Yes | Alcohol: Yes | Timings: 8.00 AM to 1.30 AM

Address: Hitchki, 59, Dr. V B Gandhi Marg, Kalaghoda,Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400023| Phone: 022 4612 9999

Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgement and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.

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