Sri Lanka as a country never fails to mesmerize us with its natural beauty and so was expected with their cuisine when we visited Hoppumm Bandra to try the authentic Sri Lankan cuisine.
Located in the bylanes of Bandra, this small but cute space will transport you to the island nation with its Sri Lankan flavours. With options for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, the menu hosts a wide range of dishes made with authentic preparations by the Chefs. The tropical ambience with the nature-laden motifs on the ceiling and a few decor items from the country make the experience bonafide.
As we experienced the calmness of the ambience, we ordered the coolers while looking at the menu for the starters. There were four refreshing drinks on our table; Pineapple and Basil, Watermelon and Jalapeno and Lemon but the Alam Neer stood out for us with its refreshing taste of ginger, jaggery and black salt. While we were sipping on the drinks, a few starters arrived at our table. The first one was the Lankan Stewed Chilli Chicken and Lankan Stewed Chilli Paneer. This was a stuffed chilli dish with soft chicken in the non-veg option and paneer in the veg option and the coconut and peanut sauce poured on top of it made it a light yet delightful start. Next, we moved on to the classic Sri Lankan Pol Rotis with cheese and coconut powders on a flatbread. And how can we miss the soft and fluffy thatte idli with gunpowder while talking about South Indian-inspired food?
When we thought we were done with the starters, we were served the dish for which Hoppumm is famous—the most sought-after Hoppers from Sri Lankan cuisine. Hoppumm was founded in response to the immense popularity of their catering services at weddings and events. In fact, 'Hoppumm' is a fusion of 'Hoppers' and 'Appum' that stands true to its name. We tried the Traditional Hopper, Spinach Hopper, Cheese Chilli Cheese Hopper which we couldn't stop eating because it was so well prepared with the right fillings and the very unique String Hopper which is made with rice flour and squizzed into thin noodles that are steamed and given the shape of an idli. As it was something that we tried for the first time, it was a bit drier to eat without a chutney or a sambhar. All these Hoppers were paired with curries like Veg Moilee, a coconut curry with fresh vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini and broccoli. You will always want to have it more because of its creamy and rich taste. To spice up things alongside a plain curry, we tried the Black Potato Curry which was a masaledar gravy with properly cooked potatoes. Non-vegetarians won't be disappointed with the well-cooked Ceylon Chicken Curry made with traditional ingredients like coconut, lime, and Ceylon powder and Prawn Moilee, for seafood lovers who like it light on the taste buds. To relish our taste buds with a sweet taste, we had the Seasonal Fruit Hopper which was a hopper with whipped cream and caramel topped with sliced strawberries in the middle and the hot and cold dessert from the country - Vatalappam which is made of steamed jaggery and garnished cashew floating around the coconut cream and it was just wow!
Even after having a feast of dishes, we didn't feel heavy and that was one of the highlights of this culinary experience. When we say we had a bliss Sri Lankan culinary experience, we also talk about the warm hospitality from the joint. The chef there explained to us about specific ingredients that set Sri Lankan cuisine apart from South Indian cuisine. The chef filled us with some insights like the special Ceylon Cinnamon (Kurundu) powder that goes into almost every dish and is native to Sri Lanka and how Kottu a popular street food prepared with leftover roti, vegetables and curry pleases everybody's taste buds. If you want to know about the richness of Sri Lankan cuisine you must visit Hoppumm to experience it.
Where: Shop No 9, Mangal Bhavna Building, PD Hinduja Road, Khar Pali Road, Bandra, Mumbai
When: 11 am to 3 pm, 7 pm to 11 pm on all days. (Mondays Closed)
How Much: Rs. 600 for two people (approx)