Inside The Looney, The Lover & The Poet | All The Deets
If I try to picture a perfect brunch setting, it looks something like this – a blue sky accompanied by gentle sun, an open and airy space, a glass of bubbly in hand, and a whole lot of smiles.
Bringing together this very idea of a perfect brunch, is Khar’s The Looney, The Lover & The Poet. This lush space is divided into three parts, of which one is indoors with two separate outdoor seating areas. The Looney, The Lover & The Poet has replaced Thalassa, and given the space a lush transformation.
The décor of the restaurant has been expertly curated to recreate that sunny, brunch vibe. They have a beautiful canopy of flowers in a corridor that leads you to the outdoor seating at the back. Full of eclectic art décor items, paintings, plants, and a collection of prints and patterns, it’s like you’re in someone’s really beautifully decorated home. I particularly enjoyed the music that played in the background – covers of pop songs redone with a reggae vibe, reeling in the summery feels.
Inspired by their travels around the world, the owners Akshay Agarwal, Imran Khan, Soham Parikh, Kabir Luthria and Gaurav Dabrai, along with Chef Harish Devadkar, have created an eclectic and quirky vibe that matches the large and seemingly disjointed menu.
To relieve us from the heat of the afternoon, my companion and I were welcomed with a glass of Bruncher’s Anonymous, a bubbly drink with strawberries. The refreshing berry cocktail set the tone for our brunch-like meal on the weekday that we visited.
We had heard good things about the Khachapuri which is a dish that originates from Georgia, and is essentially a cheese or potato stuffed flat bread. At LLP, we tried two varieties of the Khachapuri. One was the Ras Al Hanout Spiced Chicken with Eggs, Chives and flavoured Feta Cream. The other one was topped with Pork Sausages, Fennel, Veggies, Eggs and Cheese. Both the Khachapuris were a miss. Whatever flavour was contributed by the pork or chicken toppings, was taken over by the tough bready-ness of the flatbread. The bread overpowered the rest of the flavours so much, that I could barely tell the difference between the two.
My personal favourite dish of the afternoon was the Duck Balchao Dosa. I like my dosa’s texture to have the perfect ratio of soft to crispy. The buttery dosa was stuffed with a well-cooked duck in a mouth-watering, flavour packed balchao marinade, topped with a sunny-side up egg fry. The combination of the dosa with the duck and egg was an absolute delight and would be why I go back!
At this point we had realised that we couldn’t figure out the head or tail of that menu card. We were so befuddled! What was a main, what was a side – we couldn’t figure it out. So, we had to depend on the chef, who kept sending out dishes, and we kept eating them without question.
Next on the list was the Chicken Hokkaido Curry with Jasmine Rice. A large leg piece of chicken in a flavoursome massaman-like curry. The aromatic curry was paired with a simple Jasmine rice. This was a safe order after the Khachapuri.
In a way, we realised, that the surprises that came from the vast and confusing menu, could even be a plus. The Afghani Ashak with Minced Lamb, we found, was a traditional dumpling stuffed with minced lamb. The soft wrapper that enveloped the juicy mince made for wholesome mouthfuls and could be considered new age comfort food.
Finally, it was time for dessert. Both the desserts we ordered – the Almond and Nutella Babka French Toast, and the playfully titled All The Honey In The World, were both complex in their flavour profiles, and simply divine. The Almond and Nutella Babka French Toast was laced with an orange caramel, and two ice-creams – dark chocolate, and coffee and orange. The All The Honey In The World dessert comprised of a bee sting cake with a wildflower honey custard, bee pollen, chamomile and honey comb ice cream, with caramelised honey swirls. The sheer variety of ingredients in both the desserts and their complex composition was a bull’s eye hit by the Chef. Sweet, but not sickeningly sugary, every ingredient supported the other.
With such a large menu, some dishes really stood out while others didn’t make a difference or add to the pleasantries of our meal. What we would go back for, is the Afghani Ashak, the Duck Balchao, and the desserts. We’d recommend The Looney, The Lover and The Poet for a chatty lunch, as long as you tread through the menu carefully.