Pop (corn) stars!
The all-time favourite cinema hall snack is finding itself in everything from cocktails to cakes and a whole lot in between
The cocktail starter
One sip of popcorn old fashioned will tell you that besides its name, there's nothing old fashioned about this cocktail served at The Quarter. Here, popcorn is infused in bourbon and left to macerate for 24 hours. It is then strained and mixed with simple syrup and served on the rocks in an etched crystal glass with a side of popcorn fastened onto the glass with a tiny wooden clip.
"The idea behind the drink was to create something that's a little sweet and a little salty for a perfect cocktail starter. We serve it with a side of butter salted popcorn to whet the appetite," says bar manager Nikhil Naik.
AT Royal Opera House, Mathew Road, Opera House, Girgaum.
COST Rs 700
Pop goes the bacon
This dish of a bed of caramelised popcorn with crispy bacon sitting atop it, that's part of the new menu at the Asian restaurant Hello Guppy, is one of those dishes that defy both convention and definition. Is it a snack? Is it a dessert? The mind questions when a birch wood bowl of caramelised popcorn with crispy bacon is put in front of you. But then you realise that it doesn't really matter as it makes for the perfect indulgence for any time of the day.
"Popcorn is loved by everyone. Interestingly, in Japan it is found everywhere — except at movie halls! I was therefore inspired to create a dish that uses popcorn as a key ingredient, since it is so ubiquitous in Japan," says executive chef Vikram Khatri.
AT Godrej-BKC, G-Block, Bandra Kurla Complex
COST Rs 199
Two favourites, one drink
Never mind the wacky name, monk e corn at Pickle & Pint champions popcorn, along with a much-loved rum brand. So, you get a melange of Old Monk, popcorn syrup, apple juice, lime and aromatic bitters all shaken together and served.
"Popcorn and Old Monk are two crowd favourites. Popcorn is an ingredient that one can play around with. When its syrup is infused with rum, it makes for a cocktail that brings in that classic movie theatre nostalgia," says bartender Mitesh Pawar.
AT Paradise by Tunga, Andheri East
COST Rs 295 plus taxes
The sum of its salted caramel popcorn and lemon-poppy olive oil cake parts, this layered dessert served in a glass pot is a textural treat. The light chocolate mousse, crumbly cake, silky caramel and crunchy popcorn add to its brilliance.
"Without the popcorn this chocolate pot de crème would be delicious, but not as unique. The popcorn adds a play of textures, so critical in any dessert," says Dheeraj Varma, head chef at Monkey Bar.
AT Linking Road, Bandra West
COST Rs 270 plus taxes
The stunning chocolate caramel popcorn cake at The Oberoi Patisserie is a delightful balance of sweet and savoury in every bite. Here, the highlight is the tarta caprese sponge cake that's layered with unctuous chocolate marquise, raspberry confit, the star ingredient caramel popcorn, and a mirror-like chocolate glaze. Caramel popcorn adds the surprise element of texture and helps maintain a fine balance of savouriness that elevates the flavour profile of the cake.
"Anybody can tempt you to enjoy the first bite of a meal, but only a pastry chef can do that for the last one," says pastry chef Prashant Sabne. "My team and I continuously research and innovate, staying rooted to familiar tastes and classics such as this popcorn cake."
AT The Oberoi, Nariman Point
COST Rs 2,500 per kilo
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