Rika at Park Hyatt Hyderabad is a sushi haven with chilli-infused cocktails
Rika at Park Hyatt Hyderabad boasts of a rather beautiful setting — brown floors with a vintage finish and the chandeliers that lend a warm golden glow. Once we are done staring at the larger-than-life murals etched out on the wall, we take our seats at a high chair. Watching the Teppanyaki chefs work at the live counter casts a spell, which is broken when executive chef Myo Zaw Aung arrives to greet us.
Before we begin our sampling session, Myo introduces us to the chilli bar. “Here you have chillies from different corners of the world,” says the sous chef from Myanmar, who has over 24 years of experience. We learn that Rika derives its name from the shorter form of Paprika. When he serves us the Inari Nigiri, he makes sure the garnish comes in the exact hues of purple and green against the light brown deep-fried tofu pockets.
As we relish the sweetness of these parcels, mixologist Roxanne Read, walks in with her flaming red hair, as if to match the theme of the red chillies. She can suggest a drink that goes perfectly with the sushi you have ordered. “It took me a few months of research to create all the cocktails because we had to come up with compositions that could include chilli,” says the South African, who just moved to Hyderabad.
As we try the next starter, Crispy Shredded Potato with Chilli Coriander and Sesame seeds, a cocktail called Tea Time arrives on the table — presented in a quaint little teacup with a lid and a chilli infused biscotti. The mix of Johnny Walker Black, green tea and a dash of shishito green chilli syrup makes for a refreshing drink.
As we sip on that, we are presented with the highlight of the evening, the California Maki. The freshness of the shredded cucumber and crab stick with the crunchy fish roe caviar on top makes the dish stand out. And for that perfect finish? We decide to stick to the Furui Fashioned, which is Roxanne’s take on the Old Fashioned comprising Chivas Regal 12, honey and pimento chilli oil. As the warmth of the drink sinks in, we make up our mind about what we want to order on our next visit — the Rika Style Open Steamed Pork Bao and Thom Ka Fizz it is!
Pictures: S Senbagapandiyan
Open till 1 am on weekdays and 3 am on Friday and Saturday.
Price for two: Rs 2,000.