The second you enter Hello Guppy at BKC Mumbai, the only word that comes to your mind is ‘Kawaii’. Kawaii which means “adorable” is an adjective in Japanese pop culture that drives the aesthetic of Japanese décor. Hello Guppy has all the adorable design elements that you would expect a classic Japanese themed restaurant to have.
I have never been to Japan or been a fan of Japanese pop culture. But when I reached Hello Guppy exhausted at the end of a busy work week on Friday afternoon, my tired eyes were refreshed by the funky décor and colorful dinner wear. The look, the vibe, and the food made me feel like I was sitting in a cute café in Tokyo.
I started with a sake cocktail which was accompanied by a Soybean Hummus and Sesame Lavash. The hummus was a winner and pleased the garlic lover in me.
I don’t particularly dislike broccoli but try to stay clear from ordering greens while eating out. So I was skeptical when I was recommended to order the pan grilled broccoli. I was pleasantly surprised at the beautifully chargrilled broccoli, dunked in a delicious spicy sesame sauce.
The Chicken Shishito Chilli Gyozas came batter fried and made for a perfect crispy bar snack. The warm spicy chili and the crispy coating gave the classic Gyoza a fun twist.
I must admit the grilled chicken wings and the avocado toast with crispy rice ball didn’t really impress me much. Having said that Avacado toast crispy rice ball was nothing like what I had imagined when I ordered for it. It was intense and really different.
For the mains, I tried the Crispy Ramen bowl with the Vegetable Ankake sauce. A change from the usual ramen bowl, the crispy ramen was a beautiful play on textures. This bowl was simply delicious and completely filling.
And finally, giving a shout out to the Mushroom Katsu Sandwich which was packed with five different mushrooms along with sweet potato chips. Those familiar Asian flavors served in a way that’s not very Asian.
The new ‘all day café’ menu uses fresh ingredients and striking flavors which are characteristic of Japanese cuisine. At the same time, the fusion twist managed to completely change my perception of the cuisine.
I must mention that the desserts are full meals in themselves and are topped with really cute looking treats. I was still full from all the eating so I stuck to some espresso coffee parfait (from Parfait and Co.) but I’ll be definitely visiting again to eat all the desserts I missed.