There seems to be a raise of a new genre of Indian dining in Dubai. Taking cues from the Insta-friendly requirements of millennials and combining it with the nostalgic vibes of Bollywood that transcends generations, we have a brand-new dining destination for Indian funk, fusion food and live entertainment.
Located on the lobby level of Grand Millennium Dubai (Barsha Heights) is Hitchki, which is Hindi for ‘hiccup’. Urban legend has it that when you hiccup, someone who loves you is remembering you. Hitchki is about all things nostalgic, yet quirky enough to have a name that resonates as ‘new age’.
Walking into Hitchki is a visual treat. Bang at the entrance is a spruced-up bike with an entire façade of lights and the trending hashtag #AapnaTime Ayega from the hit Bollywood flick Gully Boy. There’s a bunch of Bollywood-inspired props for a quick photo session, but this is not the only area you’ll get click-happy. The interiors of this place are spectacular to say the least.
Love the open bar with its amber Edison bulb lighting, love the deep turquoise walls and the shelves of antique curios, and absolutely love their lounge-style seating in various shades of precious gems. My camera-loving mini human got into pose mode as soon as we were seated!
As expected, the menu is as spunky as the interiors, complete with ‘tongue in cheek’ renditions of popular Bollywood phrases being featured as the names of dishes.
We started with the Mona Ko, dainty Monaco biscuits served with cheese nuggets, pineapple and glazed cherry. These salty biscuits are a commonly loved snack of many an Indian childhood, and here it’s all prettied up and posh!
Bao buns seem to have taken over the popularity list over tacos, and at Hitchki they get Indian makeovers. We tried the Char Siu Dhaga. Three well-stuffed, super soft buns came swinging on a miniature swing. These buns were filled with stingy Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and spiced up with Cantonese BBQ sauce and Kimchi Mayo. What a great fusion treat, and really filling too!
Then there was the Indian upgrade of the humble Italian arancini… at Hitchki these are called the Dum Pukth Arancini. The plain rice is replaced with biryani and daal makhani and spiced up with a dollop of achaar puree. Crumbs of Mr. Krisps Rings have been used for the crisp outer shell.
Are you a hot wings fan? At Hitchki, they have an entire section of the menu that is dedicated to ‘Angry Birds’. We tried the Tulsi Thai Wings; an amalgamation of South Indian and Thai flavors where the wings are tossed in coconut curry pesto, kimchi mayo and Thai basil. These decadently hot, spicy wings are finger lickin’ good and just look at that presentation! Work of art.
Another one of my favorite chicken dishes at Hitchki was the Crispy Chicken Khurana. These are no ordinary chicken nuggets. Battered in Hum Paanch flour, these moreishly soft and ‘chatpatta’ bites come with a traditional coriander chutney dip. Would be the perfect accompaniment with a few hard drinks.
And did I mention the drinks here?! Great news, Hitchki has a licensed bar complete with an entire menu of alcoholic beverages and very interesting Indo-inspired cocktails and mocktails.
My friend Avani went for a Thai fusion cocktail aptly called Swadeeka. This rather strong vodka-based drink is infused with the exotic scent of lemongrass and a hint of fresh lime.
I had the AamSutra; yet another vodka-based cocktail with a medley of aam papad (traditional Indian dehydrated mango) and aam panna (a very popular Indian summer drink made from raw green mango). This drink was my absolute favorite! Loved that ‘chatpatta’ hit of aam panna.
My little one was treated to a very artsy glassful of the Hitchki Richie Rich, a very fruity mix of guava, strawberry and green lime.
With such a wide range of starters and click-worthy drinks to boot, we were slowly but surely slipping into a food comma. We had a wee gap before the main-course.
And here’s a look at our main-course! My friend Avani is a vegetarian, so we asked the team to suggest something special for her. She was served the Hitchki Pressure Cooker Wala Rajma Chawal. The very name of this dish is nostalgic. So many Indian favorites come out of a pressure cooker, and at Hitchki you get to eat right out of one if you so please! This dish is a fuss-free simple yet satiating vegetarian choice that takes you back to mama’s cooking.
If you are craving chicken for your main-course, you might like to give the Hitchki Chicken Dhinchaak a try. Served in a traditional kadaai (the Indian equivalent of a wok), this bhuna chicken comes in a semi-dry mildly spiced gravy which the menu claims to be perked up with ‘Hitchki bling bling’. It’s a wholesome dish that reminds me of North Indian dhaaba food. It is served with freshly baked chura roti on the side.
My favorite main-course at Hitchki was the Ja Surmai Ja. This dish is a clever retake on the ever-popular Goan fish curry using fresh Surmai fish. The gravy is deliciously spicy with a tangy edge of kokum, and I absolutely relished the dry shrimps that were served on the side.
Ending on a sweet yet festively colorful note that is so apt for Hitchki, we ordered the Baratiyo Ka Swagat. With the fanfare of a colorful Indian wedding, this decadent dessert comes with bright lights and pompous fumes of nitrogen smoke. Watch my Insta Stories for more of the drama! This dessert features a decadently rich Dutch chocolate truffle that is topped with a pretty pink Paan Pasand flavored jelly, hazelnuts and shards of Paan Pasand candy. Somehow the subtle sweetness of paan works very well with rich chocolate. What an interesting take on fusion dessert!
My little one had an entire bowl of super pretty Gulkand & Dates Ice-Cream to herself, and refused to share.
Overall, I absolutely loved our Hitchki experience. The ambiance is magical, the service exemplary and the food here is an immaculate work of art.
Their lounge-style seating is perfect for the rest you will need after the food comma. A special thank-you to Siddharth, our server for the day and to the very debonair Mr. Shivankit Mehta (Food & Beverage Manager) for bringing such a fun Bollywood-fusion dining experience to Dubai. Will surely be back soon for more!