Sound Garden Cafe has brought the clubbing under the skies concept to the HITEC City in Hyderabad
Four young women, all techies working in Kondapur, going by their ID cards, were enacting out a scene from the Amazon Prime web series Four More Shots Please, as their friends were religiously filming it on their phones. Just as they downed their tequila shots, much like the protagonists of the show, DJ Kim started playing a number that brought the house down. The coconut trees, definitely a rarity in this part of Hyderabad, swayed as if to announce their approval of music. Barely a few minutes after the bar opened at Sound Garden, the sparkling new lounge café named after the iconic grunge band of the ’80s, the place got itself a bachelor party vibe. With the clubbing-under-the-skies concept, new to the city unless you discount Coco’s in Jubilee Hills a few years ago, and innovative Continental and Pan Asian finger food, smoky cocktails, and post-punk music, this is the new ‘check-in’ of Hyderabad.
Brown is the new black
Opened four months ago by entrepreneur Bharath Narang (who also runs 10D in Gachibowli and Asian Cinemas), Sound Garden brings alive all shades of brown, thanks to the wooden ceiling, mezzanine, bar tables and overall decor. “We even have a secret enclosure for the Tollywood hotties who don’t want to be mobbed for selfies,” he shares. Indeed, there is a wide choice of seating at this 500-chair lounge bar. Alfresco dining, indoor glass enclosure for sports lovers (with LCD screens over the walls) and comfy lounge chairs in the main seating area. The indoors have musical notes and instruments used as décor. I fell in love with the drums and bird installations on the ceiling in the sports bar arena.
Notes & spirits for the party bunch
Besides stand-up comedy and live bands, they are also big on bringing in DJs and hosting them on zany concept nights ranging from ‘Vanity Nights’ on Sundays to ‘YOLO’ on Saturdays. “Same place, different music,” offers Bharath. Spirits must match the music and the mood and that’s why Alex, the bartender, has lined up specials. The Hibiscus Mariachi made of Bourbon with fresh pressed ginger juice and hibiscus extract smoked with pinewood chips was sensational and smoky. Perhaps it was the unusual hibiscus extract or the bite of malted barley, this one got a collective thumbs up that day. Garden Storm with a basil infusion and watermelon took my energy level from 0 to 90 in no time. “Botanical infusions are our speciality,” says Alex.
Foodology for all
Executive Chef Lokendra Kumar treats us to the signature specialities in wooden cutlery, with generously proportional labels and I fell head over heels with the Mushroom Churchuri (spring rolls, but with a soft and mildly spiced mushroom filling and beetroot hummus) and Chicken Steak with mushroom, mashed potatoes and tossed veggies, was generous in its portions, plated well and had the chicken with the right flavours.
The crunchy exotic veggies with a salsa dressing made it richer. The latter was a meal in itself along with refills of Alex’s cocktails. The Apricot Pudding and Tres Leches, both chef’s recommendations, were delicious with the right amount of sweetness and great choco drizzle art on it. The menu is elaborate with Indian, Pan Asian and continental specials, but with such good music, ambience and spirits, food is surely going to take a back seat.
Meal for two: Rs 1,600.
Photos: R Satish Babu