Loft in Hyderabad offers gaming and an array of food choices to youngsters in the city
The 9 am-11 pm café has a French vibe with wide glass windows giving a glimpse of the busy outdoors.
A place that celebrates the Hyderabadi dialect and uses it as the entrance décor has got to floor any hardcore Hyderabadi. That is what Loft does, at the outset. Even before I could read the ‘Aieseech hum loga’ and ‘Khali peeli,’ slang that any local can identify with, the collegians hanging out that afternoon got busy clicking pictures and sharing it online. “We opened in February and we have managed to create a buzz thanks to Instagram tags and mentions,” says Kiran Kumar Banoth, restaurant manager, the newly opened café on Road no 36, Jubilee Hills. The café which has branches in Bengaluru and Pune, is high on in-café entertainment features and all that millennials love — free wi-fi, premium coffee, Xbox and PS gaming stations, library with board games, and fun merchandise for sale.
Quirk does it
The 9 am-11 pm café has a French vibe with wide glass windows giving a glimpse of the busy outdoors. Every table feels special with little gazebos differentiating it from the next. In one corner is the library (happy to note they have Telugu books too), Ludo, Uno, Scrabble and some vintage curios (old lantern, an outdated phone handset etc) that seemed like conversation starters. Eat, Chill, Repeat is the mantra that is found on walls and paper napkins.
Food and fun
The menu encompasses everything an urban fast food lover would want. From tea, cold presses juices to fries, sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, biryani, desserts, the menu is curated to suit a quick service restaurant demands. We started with Peri Peri French Fries Poutine which came in drizzled with tangy sauces and was a good start to the tasting session. While it was spicy, it looked more like wedges than fries. Up next was Tandoori Bhuna Murgh Pizza. The thin crusted pizza with masala tandoori chicken and mozzarella was tasty and a good example of Punjabi-meets-Italian-meets Hyderabad. A great blend, indeed. It was time to down the fast food with a milkshake. You have to work out and earn your shake here. Loft has a cute pedal bicycle fitted to a juicer-blender. So once you choose your shake, the chef puts in the ingredients and you get to pedal away and produce enough power to run the blender. No wonder, my litchi shake (I took eight minutes to pedal) tasted so good. Aah, the fruits of labour!
“In the first week itself, we noticed that after a few rounds of bevarages and snacks, the guests enquire about biryani. We realised we cannot do away with it. Instead of the regular copper handi, we present it in clay ceramic jar (known as avakaya jaadi locally). Our chef puts ghee on hot coal (like in a sizzler), and as soon as the aroma enters the biryani, he seals it with the lid and brings it to the table to ensure the flavours stay intact till the last morsel is consumed,” Kiran adds. Their range of decadent desserts is vast, with 15 choices. But the Lovely Lemon in their beverage list with a sprinking of Indian masala in lemonade did a good job of making me feel light despite biryani. I ended up watching Zee5’s Karenjit Kaur about B’town star Sunny Leone. I went back home impressed, both with Sunny and Loft.
Price for two: Rs 800.
@mkalanidhi Photos: S Senbagapandiyan