Hibiscus Cafe on ECR serves an expansive selection of Continental and Pan Asian fare
Expect stroganoffs, stirfries and caramel custard that is not to miss...
Weekend brunching on the ECR just got way more picturesque. The spacious Hibiscus Café is straight out of a mood board on Pinterest with its potted plants hanging overhead and blue and white Moroccan tiles beneath your feet. Nestled between a nursery next door and a retail store with handcrafted clay pots and organic foods just downstairs — there is plenty to explore while you work up an appetite on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
We walk up to the first floor where the café is located and give the 1,100 sqft space a quick tour before we do an ‘inky pinky’ on whether to settle into one of their cosy cabanas or a table for two by the window with a glimpse of the neighboring lake. A window seat it is. Over chilled Peach Iced Tea and their popular chicken wings (we prefer the milder Salt and Pepper option to the saucy BBQ) — we get to chatting with owner Kayal Vizhi. Incidentally, the café has been strategically planned as the centre of what she calls an ‘experience centre’ in the making. “Our vision was to add a landmark to ECR that didn’t exist,” she shares her plan alongside partners Sriram N and Ramkumar R. And so unfolded the idea of a “confluence of five spaces under one roof like the five petals of Hibiscus,” she shares with us. This includes Hibiscus Café, Essential Traditions by Kayal (sustainable cookware and kitchenware), Vaer Organic (organic foods), Matriarch (handloom saris) and The Shed (an event space in the pipeline).
But back to the café, which is the centre of our experience this afternoon. Helmed by Chef Willi, we opt for a varied selection of appetisers. The Thai Beef Salad particularly stands out with slivers of grilled meat and veggies paired with a mild but effective dressing of chilli, soya sauce and a drizzle of lime juice for some zing, which draws us back more than once. The Lemon Chicken Nuggets are bathed in a thick, citrus sauce which we slurp like a soup, although the nuggets themselves are not as memorable. And the Italian-style Bruschetta platter serves fresh, crunchy and wholesome — all in one bite.
For our mains, we are tempted to go the Beef Stroganoff or Chicken Parmigiana route but decide to go lighter — with a simple Vietnamese Sticky Rice. Tossed with soy sauce and caramelised garlic bits, this dish is delicately flavoured and a near-perfect 10 for us. And doesn’t require a side, given the omelette strips on top. We end our meal with an impromptu conversation with chef Willi who has just stepped in the building and tells us about a new woodfired pizza menu in the works, as we dive into the sweet notes of a Caramel Custard for dessert.
Meal for two at INR 800 approx.