Glass, half full: South Mumbai’s new brasserie, Doppio, is worth a visit for its drinks menu, even if the rest triggers deja vu

Doppio, meaning a double espresso, promises to be the hip new thing for the “elite SoBo crowd”. While the interesting drinks menu delivers on this promise and the food is good, the atmosphere is cliché.

What strikes the customer immediately after walking is a deja vu. The whole look is very Cafe Zoe industrial chic; it even has Cafe Zoe hanging light bulbs, black wood chairs, and an industrial duct that runs along the ceiling. Doppio has also adopted the perfunctory vintage twist, with leather-bound books and antique binoculars, clocks and globes as decor. Empty picture frames hang on one wall, and on the other hang pages from a hundred-year-old stamp book, painted over by a local artist.

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The food menu is much bolder, but also a bit disjointed. It is best for the customer to ask the servers for Doppio’s specialties and to comply with them. While most of the dishes are Italian inspired, there are also some East Asian dishes such as a Chili Soba Stir Fry and Thai Basil Chicken Brown Rice, as well as a Sri Lankan Kothu Paratha dish. But overall, Doppio does a good job dressing up old favorites with exciting twists. For example, the creamy and flavorful classic mushroom soup comes with stuffed cremini mushrooms and duxelle, a mushroom paste, on toast. The old tomato and mozzarella salad has been reinvented with oven-kissed tomatoes and burrata, a cheese made with mozzarella and cream, on an eggplant caviar. The different flavors complemented each other well. However, the black mission figs and arugula, with candied almonds and smoked mandarin dressing, were too sweet to enjoy.

The small plates include signature dishes — Truffled Mac and Cheese with Sun-dried Tomato Relish, for example, or gnocchi with walnut butter — but also dive into the more eyebrow-raising Vietnamese Cottage Cheese Tacos and Pickled Carrot and Papaya salad. The Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sliders with Onion Marmalade were good but the homemade ketchup they served didn’t go well with it. Within the large plates, the artichoke and sun-dried tomato ravioli with succotash and Genovese pesto was a standout. Doppio has a limited selection of desserts, and the one we tried – the Doppio Affogato with coconut macaroons – was disappointingly simple.

The drinks at Doppio really make the place worthwhile. The first drink on the menu and the recommendation of the server, the Doppio Espresso House Martini is certainly their signature drink. It’s a combination of Absolut Vanilla Vodka, house coffee liqueur, espresso, and sugar syrup, and it’s blended perfectly. The Monk’s Press Coffee is also delicious, made from Old Monk Rum, lemon juice, pineapple juice, espresso, and coffee liqueur.

This could be the reason why Doppio is quite busy after 10:30 am, even on weekdays. It is packed on weekends. Overall it’s a nice place to try out. But it’s just nothing new.

Meal for two: Rs 4500 (including drinks)

Address: 201, Hubtown Skybay, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Breach Candy, Mumbai

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