Remember the lines from the movie Lion King.
Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase
Hakuna Matata! Ain’t no passing craze
It means no worries for the rest of your days
It’s our problem-free philosophy
Yeah. It’s our motto!
Prabhas and Pallavi the owners of HAKUNA MATATA follows this very ‘MOTTO’ for their vegetarian global cuisine restaurant situated in the heart of Park Street. With cocktail menu starting at Rs160/- , beer starting at Rs 120/- and a 100% vegetarian menu – Hakuna Matata is the first for Park Street.
Hakuna Matata stands for’ FOOD N MORE’ . They aim to bring a whole new culinary experience to the people of Kolkata with a pinch of adventure and a dash of fun.Whether its the sundowner cocktails, the funky karaoke bar, or churning yummy dishes at the chef’s culinary workshop Hakuna Matata promises an unforgettable experience. Lookout for their facebook page where they regularly post attractive contests, invitation to amazing parties or even the chance to watch cricket matches from the boxes at Eden. They also organize regular Sufi nights, Flute Nights, Cooking Workshops, Street Dance, etc just so that customers keep having fun.
Indo-Western live music, stick-on wishing tree, three chiseled mountaineers hanging from the ceiling depicting exploration, adventure and passion – the vision behind Hakuna Matata world cuisine , hand-woven balcony made by local artists – its a dying art, wooden stairs, and simple furniture all added to the warm, genial ambiance of the place.
Here is a picture of the wishing tree, where you can write down you wishes and stick it on the wall. What a fun idea!!
Also, say helo to te Hakuna Matata mascot – ‘KOKO’, represents the fun and free spirit of the world. You will see KOKO on the walls as graffiti and on your tables as coasters making you experience enjoyable and amusing. On his gastronomic expeditions around the globe, KOKO has picked up many nudgets of wisdom, the most important being “The fastest way to a person’s heart is his tummy”.
Diving into the food; well I’m a non-vegetarian at heart but Hakuna Matata with their fresh and crunchy salads to mighty delicious mains, finger-licking good sides and crumbly desserts changed my heart. Not only have Prabhas and Pallavi researched food from all across the world to bring to the table some exotic delicacies, but they have also maintained international standards of cooking free of Ajina Moto & Baking Soda. Chef Chanchal Dutta is not only a brilliant cook but a craftsman when it comes to presentation.
For starters, I munched into some delicious Crunchy Fried Bharwan Bhindi served with blue cheese, mayo mustard and khatta aam relish. OH!! I never knew ‘BHINDI’ AKA ‘LADIES FINGER’ could taste so delicious. Also some innovative (no wheat) Pizza Potato Fries, where the pizza bread was replaced by sliced fried potatoes and topped with some exquisite mozzarella cheese , jalapenos, and tomato sauce.
This was just the beginning of the culinary surprises that was heading my way. Then came out the Chocolate Pizza garnished with Jalapenos corn and basil. Such a novelty! This was followed by deliciously rich & creamy Mini Baked Crostini, garnished with delicious garlic desi saag and date jam. It was Stupendous!
The came out the fusion cuisine – Pita Naam Pakoda spread with chana masala hummus and sprinkle of hara chutni. And when I was thinking things couldn’t get any better a marvelous Potenta Stuffed Baked Mushroom with caprese style tomato and herb sauce was served. I was overwhelmed by its rich mushroom flavor.
As we were devouring the delicious starters, Raja and Sunny our mixologists for the evening came up with some brilliant alcoholic and non-alcoholic concoctions. My favorite was Desi Drag and , Mixed Fruit Tea & Matata Cooler. Desi Drag is a Vodka based sikhanji inundated with masala and spices. The Mixed Fruit Tea a hot tea made of a variety of fresh fruits. OHHHH MY, it was heavenly. The Matata Cooler made of coconut water, fresh watermelon and mint leaves was another unconventional mocktail.
The Bulb Cocktails (because they were served in actual bulbs on ice)- Blue Ocean, Crystal Valley, Green Lady were also quite ingenious.Blue Ocean – vodka, pineapple juice, lime and blue curacao. Green Valley – vodka, green mint syrup, pineapple juice and lime. Crystal Lady – gin, lime, lemonade, gomme syrup.
Cheers and Beers another Sikhanji based drink made of orange juice & soda in a Matata Style. African Sunset, which is Matata special blood orange infused beer. It looked fabulous and tasted delectable.
The ginger blast was quite awesome too. It came in a yellow kettle and had a strong flavor of fresh ginger.
As we finished of with drinks the salads and mains started arriving. I was in love with the desi saag risotto. For me, this healthy, rich & creamy fusion of Indian & Italian was the show stopper of the evening. The Caesar Salad dressing was phenomenal and was a pleasant change after the cocktails and the starters.
The baked aloo paneer kati roll dipped in kadai gravy topped with hara mirch & dhaniya pesto is typical Indian delicacy which was very filling but not at all out of place with the global cuisine set out for the evening.
Finally the desserts. OKKKK, here I will stop and ask you – have you been to Hakuna Matata ? Have you had their desserts ? And your answer better be a resounding YES, else i will say – STOP READING, GO EAT NOW!!!! I had the Flame of Flame Mocha Mousse and Nolen Gur Cheesecake. Both were simply exquisite, I have no words explain.
My server for the evening Kartik and the Manager – Wakil were excellent, making my experience a memorable one. I learnt from them, Hakuna Matata also has Sunday Morning Breakfast – Super Desi Hit Tiffin which is a wide spread. They also plan to come up with a Jain Menu pretty soon!
I had an amazing evening chatting with Prabhas and Pallavi about their world adventures, their restaurant and the innovation that goes into food and presentation. I was frankly amazed. Here is wishing the duo all the every best for their futures. Cheers !! P.S: Here is the bag of goodies a came back home with. 😛