Hurrem’s is billed as the country's first ever Turkish baklava store, and like Istanbul's new airport it's keen to make a good first impression. The dessert spot has taken over the former Contemporary Arts and Crafts space in Fort, with the aim to showcase some very traditional desserts.
Less Starbucks India kitsch and more Turkey via a Pinterest board, the interiors take full advantage of the Taj Building's double-height space, adding a soaring black wall, lush red curtains and a seating that has already been appropriated by laptop-touting hipsters. On our maiden visit, we run into friends that work at Ministry of New, in search of a new sugar high.
With a nut bar and a selection of Turkish delights, a sugar high is exactly what Hurrem’s promises (and mostly delivers on). The staff will take some time to get to Bombay Canteen level proficiency with the menu, which isn't available to read yet. Instead, baklava, pide and boreks are showcased behind glass counters, along with various teas and coffees to wash them down. We spend a full ten minutes loitering around the Turkish coffee area, which on its own, is soothing enough to smooth the wrinkles out of a particularly trying day.
There are soups on the menu, which we skip in favour of a spinach borek and cheese pide. Our first bite of borek is inauspiciously blah: clearly reheated, the inside of the pastry is hotter and more gloopy than its pliant exterior. The cheese pide though, served two to an order, is nicely crunchy and makes for a great savoury snack –an upgrade from RTI or Theobroma’s patties.
To end, we sample five baklavas, (out of fifteen) and this is what we’d come back for: the chocolate variant, a gateway to more traditional versions, is a mix of chocolate, honey and walnuts. Ankara baklava, made with pistachio, is sure to please purists. And for those in search of novelty, may we suggest a hazelnut based Findik which includes a dollop of cream in each piece. Paired with a coffee (both espresso and Turkish coffee are use finely-ground Turkish beans) it makes for an ideal mid-day treat.
For sure, Hurrem’s helps broaden South Mumbai’s dessert horizons - we only hope that they up their savoury menu as well, transporting us to Gaziantep without the flight into Istanbul’s spiffy new airport.
Getting there: 210, Taj Building, Ground Floor, DN Road, Fort. noon-8pm. Desserts for two Rs 1,000.
bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.
Aatish Nath is a freelance food and travel writer based in Mumbai. He can be found on Instagram at @aatishn
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