“Hoot” – I am very fascinated by this word. If we look in the dictionary it means – a low wavering musical sound which is typical call of many kinds of owl. My fascination for this term began the day I first read “The owl” by Wilfred Owen … “Downhill I came, hungry, and yet not starved, ………… All of the night was quite barred out except … An owl’s cry … speaking for all who lay under the stars, soldiers and poor …”
The first time I stepped inside “Hoot”, I murmured these lines looking at the huge open space it offered & with the huge sitting capacity. I was told it can accommodate about 800-900 people in full capacity across tiers. I also loved the little water body it has, reminding me of Clarke quay Singapore. Since then I have been here multiple times with different set of people, family, friends. I love this place now. I love visiting it at the transition time of the day, mostly in the dusk and see the color change in the sky.
In the month of February, I was back to Hoot, on hearing that they have launched new menu by chef Swatantra Kumar. I spent long time over their beverages and food. I still remember speaking to the Chef who shared his thoughts behind curating the new menu with ingredients available locally. I also remember interacting with Chef Manoj Panigrahy who cooked a few dishes from the live counter and especially his dessert the classic Floating Island. I went there planning for a short time, but the food, drinks, company and the view of the color changing sky kept me glued. Soon after sunset we moved to the upper deck sipping our beverages and musing over hookah. The lazy afternoon gave way to twilight followed by night and I felt, with time, the place is growing on me. With Raj by my side – I let go the count of time & immersed in the charm of the place.
From the new menu I still count the following as my favourites – palak patte ki chaat, Badami beetroot tikki, shallow fry dahi ke kebab, fish koliwada (loved this, bangda fish marinated with koliwada spices and deep fried served with spicy mango dip) , laal mirch ka jhinga, oriental drum sequel.
In the mains – I loved the freshly made Stuffed chicken breast, the presentation was top notch.
The stellars of the day were the desserts – infused Choco blast, Oreo cheese cake with marine-dana boondi, Tres leches, Green tea Tiramisu, my personal favourites – Turkish nutty baklava & the classic Floating Island (baked lemon meringue on bed of custard yogurt. They were amazing.
Hoot has their own crafted beer too – crafted by Derek Oxford, of English craft brewing co. they have half a dozen crafted beer:
- Hyde Park wheat; 5.5% above – Belgian style wheat beer, spicy coriander and orange notes
- Rochester Red IPA 6.0% above – An amber ale with a kick.
- Baker street blonde 4.5% above – Light and refreshing English malt and hops
- London Lager 4.5% above – Bright, refreshing, thirst-quenching lager beer
- Peckham pilsner 6.0% above – Czech styled pilsner, slightly hoppy
- Billingsgate Porter 5.0% above – Roasted malts convey aromas of coffee and chocolate
This entire specification is from one of the posters I spotted there at the entrance.
Overall – its one of my go-to places, where I love sitting, chatting with friends over good food and drinks.