Cafe Aura in Hyderabad attempts to bring the world on your platter
Television personality Padma Lakshmi’s Love, Loss, and What We Ate, describes eating as sensuous. But it took me two years and a visit to Pangea Gourmet Retail Store in Jubilee Hills to realise what she meant. She writes about dozens of dusty kumquats, which reminds of her former flame.
But then I had never seen the fruit in reality until I visited the store and the fine-diner, Cafe Aura, attached to it. This place celebrates food in a similar fashion like Padma did in her biography. “To enjoy what you eat, you have to put your sight, sense of smell, taste, touch to good use,” says the enthusiastic epicure and the managing director of the eatery, Sheshank Kumar. He launched the outlet with his brother Sharukh Kumar a week ago and the cafe seeks to bring kumquats to people like me.
I was ushered in by Sheshank, who studied in San Jose, Los Angeles and Spain, carries a bit of the countries he has visited with him. As we hear all about his experiences, the Spanish Bom Bon arrived on the table. “Close your eyes and have a sip of this coffee and you could imagine that you are in Spain, enjoying the breeze by the beach,” he said. I sure couldn’t imagine a balmy Spanish beach, but quite liked the delicate mix of coffee and condensed milk.
Next up was the Cheesy Beetroot with creamy goat cheese mousse and walnut served with rocket leaves. For someone who isn’t a beetroot fan, this salad was surprisingly palatable. As we waited for the much-touted Salmon Fillet, Moroccan Tea was served. In keeping with Cafe Aura’s desire to stay authentic to the place of the food’s origin, the teapot and the cups that we are served in comes from Morocco. Along with the frangrant tea came a side of Medjool dates from Israel and melt-in-mouth biscuits.
Soon, the Salmon Fillet arrived. Served with a dash of mint and pea purée with cherry tomato, cucumber salsa and saffron sauce, we were told that the fish was brought all the way from the Atlantic. The use of balsamic caviar added the right amount of zing. The ambience with a vintage touch and the Spanish Bom Bon is what I would recommend. Can’t help but say that the choice of music, could be better. Unlike their food, there’s nothing novel about the mix of pop and Bollywood songs.
Price for two: Rs 950.
Photos: R Satish Babu