I can’t remember the last time my senses ran in two totally opposite directions as they did when I walked into Hitchki. My eyes said wow! what an interesting interior but my nose said poof! poof! poof! – it was hot, stuffy and stinking of stale curry – and this was at lunch where there were no more than three tables occupied. I don’t even want to think of what this place will be like when it’s packed, as I’m told it is in the evenings. This is a big venue which starts with an expansive, well-stocked bar at the entrance and a stage on the opposite end. Everything in-between looks like a mishmash of Café Funky Town and Moombai & Co. It’s a bar, restaurant and lounge all wrapped up in one. The heat and smell were overbearing – we should have left.
Hitchki’s menu is probably really cool to Indians but for the non-Indian, it’s difficult to understand – we struggled, and our waitress could not help us beyond what was popular. I found the food, presented in wannabe Carnival by Trèsind fashion, in a state of culinary purgatory – neither here nor there. There were some interesting touches mind, the Ultra Punjabi, a bowl made of a crispy romali topped with shavings of cheese and chaat masala among other things, was fun to eat as a group. Of the mains, the Kerala style Alleppey Prawn Curry was the only one worth writing about. I didn’t get a chance to try their signature Butter Chicken Risotto but my young food buddy, Pallavi, tells me it’s really good. I should have ordered it over the Rogan Josh and especially the overly floral Dum Biryani.
Our chirpy waitress won full marks for cheerful and friendly but less so for professionalism, forgetting serving utensils every single time. Although the refreshingly mild-mannered head chef visited our table, he surprised us by sending everything out in reverse order, starting with the biryani – hmm. I keep asking myself, post C19 lockdown, am I being too demanding on restaurants? I don’t think so. All my usual haunts still belt them out with the precision and consistency of a Swiss watch, I don’t see why this shouldn’t apply to everyone. Hitchki may turn into a totally different beast come sundown, but for lunch at least, it was an epic disappointment. The BBC on the other side of the Grand Millennium’s lobby offers a far better gastro-pub proposition.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on email@example.com.