Hyderabad's new multicuisine restaurant for the 'IT' crowd
Located on the ever-buzzing Hitex road, the two-week-old Downtown Café is quite easy to miss. But once you choose to walk in, the 300-seater is impressive with brightly lit and spacious interiors. It is divided into four segments – the lawn, huts and two air-conditioned spaces, each with different but comfortable seating.
After the sunset
Bang in the middle, there’s a lounge area with a tiny stage, specially designed for gigs. On the periphery of this, are the old-style basic wooden chairs. It’s quite at odds with the rest of the space, which is filled with large modern wooden tables and leather seating. We sit in the corner of the air-conditioned space and browse through the sizable menu that offers a mix of Indian, Oriental, Continental and Tandoor. To begin with, we opt for a mocktail called Holiday Sunset. Much like its name, the drink, served in a collins glass, looks like a beautiful sunset – orange on the bottom that gets lighter on the top. Made of pineapple, orange, simple syrup mix and grenadine, the drink tastes refreshing, and a tad sweet. On the bar menu, apart from the usual favourites, their signature drinks are quirky and quite a few in number.
I see the first dish, Jalapeno Cheese Balls, coming towards the table. After tasting the sweetish mocktail, this snack goes well with your taste buds – hot, crispy and spicy. As I munch on the cheese balls, restaurant manager, Maqbool Khan, tells us that their target audience comprises largely young office-going people who would love to experiment with new dishes. “The prices have been set keeping in mind the budget constraints of youngsters with appetisers as low as `150. However, our aim is to offer
a variety of dishes from different cuisines with a twist to suit local customers,” explains Maqbool.
Meanwhile, the Cornflake Chicken arrives. The chicken breast is deep fried before layering it with crushed cornflakes and later topped with spices, salt and pepper. For non-vegetarians, this is a must-try. Though the dish is a bit oily, the chicken is tender-cooked and has the right amount of masala any Hyderabadi would like on their food.
The Barbecue Hot Wings is perfect for those who don’t normally like twists with classic dishes. It’s messy getting the flesh off the bone, but it sure is delicious with the sauce being light. For the main course, we try Tofu with Broccoli.
The crisp yet soft herb-crusted tofu is filling and comes with steamed bell peppers, onions and lettuce. Though the menu is quite extensive, the dessert section is limited to brownie and a choice of ice cream. The versatile restaurant is suitable for both a leisure lunch and a lively weekend night.
Price for two: Rs.1,200.