Food

More continental than anything else

A mix of cuisines: Nachos at Hola. Photo: special arrangement  

The rumbling in our stomachs outdoes the rumble of the traffic. It’s peak hour on a weekday and the drive to Besant Nagar requires the patience of a saint. But my health conscious-protein shake drinking-dumbbell lifting friend and I soldier on, driven by the promise of pizzas. It’s his binge on carbs day and hence the drive to Hola, a new restaurant that serves a mix of Mexican and continental food. 

Hola has a two-level seating area. The lower level is indoors and the upper level, a terrace, offers a dining experience under the starry skies and provides glimpses of the sea while the pleasant sea breeze caresses your face and playfully ruffles your hair. It’s all very pleasant, except that today the winds are at their chaotic best. Worried that our garlic bread may fly off our plates, we choose to sit downstairs. The interiors have elements inspired by the Il Duomo in Florence. What’s most interesting is the secret door that leads to the restroom. There’s cheesy, pop music playing and the area is bathed in yellow lights with large glass windows offering a glimpse of the quiet road outside. We waste no time and get to the menu and begin with nachos and bruschetta. Service is quick and the fresh, crispy nachos are a delight because they haven’t become soggy under the weight of cheese, jalapeños and olives. The bruschetta that’s loaded with tomato and a dollop of cheese is satisfactory. We just wish they would go easy on the onion. It’s bruschetta, pav bhaji.

For the main course, the basa sounds promising but is unfortunately unavailable. We then decide on a whole-wheat pizza, which the waiter informs isn’t possible to make. We finally make peace and settle for the four cheese pizza and chicken and porcini ravioli. 

The ravioli has potential to do better and after a few mouthfuls, it tastes bland. The pizza is a greater disaster. It’s too salty. The staff is earnest and take the pizza back and try to resuscitate it, but in vain. It’s just as salty, and unfortunate, considering they got their thin crust right. Our hope now lies in the dessert. After much debate, I order the double chocolate and raspberry cake. Strangely, this too tastes a tad salty. But despite its flaws, the cake isn’t entirely bad... or perhaps I have just learnt to see the good in most things.

Hola is located at Besant Nagar, fourth main road. Details: 30853576


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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 5:16:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Food/hola-the-view-is-pleasant-but-the-food-needs-work/article6745443.ece

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