In a NUtshell
A fun place with a good vibe, great food & a warm host chef subhayan
Address & other details: poppins
Meal for 2: ₹1000 onwards
Cuisine type : vegetarian & non vegetarian
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I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster
Short description- in case u r in a hurry
I admit I know chef subhayan since he was a kid just out of college – more than a decade back. We met him at Christmas brunch at olive delhi & he made some amazing churros that we still remember. Was super impressed by that food so long back & also loved an innocent hearty food chat with him. Later He had emailed a post on desserts that I had published too. So when I walked into poppins hotal one evening, anonymously, I cud not, but bump into chef subhayan das who was managing the show here. The restaurant is by celebrity chef Saby (sabyasachi Gorai) & it seemed chef subhayan runs the daily show.
The concept of the restaurant is pretty interesting – retro food, food that people in late thirties/ forties grew up with, when there was no explosion of eating options. The menu also beautifully covers a wide range of dishes from different parts of india. Did not remember seeing a good representation of north east though. The retro food mentioned earlier was however modernised & plated in interesting manner.
The restaurant is super colourful. We went here on two occasions – on the first occasion, the place was filled with the aroma of mulled wine. On the second occasion they were preparing for a karaoke.
The menu card is super interesting & great to read. It has detailed description of the dishes.
The staff were transactional – they did not contribute much to the experience. Chef subhayan made this up by constantly chatting up with guests in different tables.
Loved the food in general.
Detailed description – in case u hv the time to njoy reading:
Tomato shorba. Hardcore raw tomato flavour , yet not tomatoeeeee. Simple, raw , not over cooked, absolutely different from most tomato shorbas & tomato soups. Super impressed. Juliennes of ginger added to the flavour. Rate it 4.5/5
Chilly cheese spring rolls were a concoction of ‘calcutta club & Chinatown ‘. The super thin super crisp spring rolls were magical & rare. The cheesy mid layer was outstanding in terms of flavour, texture & taste. Rate it 4.95/5
Tikone namkeen chholay had triangular namkeen (called nimki in kolkata) & chholay. The namkeen was made in-house. It was good but had way more khasta & better versions. Rate it 3/5
The Chholay was intense & robust in terms of taste. Rate it 4.5/5
Overall dish rating is 3.75/5
Spicy chana sundal was a lovely snack with a Chatpata taste. Loved the use of the kabuli chana (chick pea). Rate it 4.25/5
Chicken ghee roast was very different from the usual chicken kababs found in northern part of india. It was also quite different than the mutton ghee roasts that I have had in different parts of southern india – in terms of spicing.
This one was subtly spiced, the meat was very soft & overall very good to taste. Rate it 4.5/5
Tawa fish was very good. Nice, flaky, juicy fish. Rate it 4/5
Gwalior slims mutton kababs were excellent. Packed with flavours, intense taste, super soft. Just too good. Rate it 4.5/5
Vegetable chop was very good on its own. Winter veggies including beetroot, that gave it a dark red look & crisp crumb fried outer layer. The effortless vegetable chop across multiple shops in kolkata have some simplicity that this one lacked. The comparisons with the roadside ones in kolkata to this one was constantly playing in my mind. Rate it 3.5/5
Munnar stew was average. The seasoning was not perfect. The veggies had been a tad over cooked. Low on flavor as well. The one at hotel delight, fort mumbai beats this one hands down. Rate it 2/5
Bebinca, a Goan dish, was almost as good as I have had in Goa. The bebinca however we have had at Crescentia Scott Fernandes & her husband’s erstwhile restaurant in gurgaon , Bernardo’s.
Rate the bebinca 4.25/5
Lobongo lotika served here was a very different yet enjoyable version of the ones found in most kolkata sweet shops. We liked the ones at poppins coz it was not too sweet on the face, there was an element of salt in the cover that balanced the sweet well, grated coconut made its presence felt. Rate it 4.75/5
Nilufer’s pineapple was good on day 1 but was outstanding on day 2. A simple layered pastry placed on a lovely sauce. The chutneyed pineapples on top was really good. Rate it 4.25/5
Milk sev bhaji was sev cooked in a milk base. Simple, creamy, unputdownable & just outstanding. The crunchiness of the sev complimented the creaminess of the gravy. Rate it 4.75/5
For cereal we had Malabari parota – goood, flaky, layered, crisp on top, soft in the center ….
Triangle wheat parota was a soft & nice parota made in the bengali style triangle shape.
Gowda mutton – we were very excited after reading the description but the dish turned out to be quite normal , yet good. Rate it 3.25/5
Rodrigues roast – this was a Konkan dish with Portuguese influence – slow cooked buff with pepper glaze. Loved this gravy – just unputdownable. The meat was good to taste but I wud have preferred a bit more well done. Rate it 4.25/5
Watalappam was an outstanding dessert. We cud not stop the urge to lick the plate clean. Jaggery, coconut milk magic. Rate it 4.75/5
Imli kokum soda was perfectly balanced. Sweet, sour, flavorful , chatpata. Just right. Rate it 4.5/5
Overall rating of food & beverages at poppins hotal averages out to 4.2/5
What’s interesting is that irrespective of the individual ratings of the food, the overall joy atvthe end of the meal was immense
Wud revisit to try out more dishes.