elegant and whimsical affair
Hyderabad as such is known to embrace all sorts of experiments in delivering variety of cuisines but yet not so diverse and intensified in street food culture unlike metros like Delhi and Mumbai. Yes, we do have our own list of chaats and others but not as popular that you find in every nook n corner. Street food scenes are indeed mesmerizing but off late big brands known to bring in unique yet innovative representations of street food to elite crowd and make it work. We saw Farzi Cafe do that and has been working tremendously well. In comes another brand , Hyper Local from New Delhi. After venturing into country's capital, they are now in land of biryani to try their hands on this sector and I should say after my preview experience, they might as well be a brand to reckon.
Kondapur - gachibowli always lacked such chick places though couple of bar/lounges pop in but nothing as such for a foodie like me to recommend when someone asks me "Tell me a good place for family dine but a casual setup" and I would go "Hmm..." for quite a while. Hyper Local opened up in 3rd floor in SLN terminus might be the solitary answer for me and I'm a relieved man. What's unique about this venture, they are bringing in whole entertainment as package to you. They got plush seated private movie screens where you can order-eat-dine as you watch your favorite movies. With 5 screens including one large , their theatrical experience might be first for Hyderabad apart from this full fledged restaurant. As you enter, you get this nice uber feel that you in a casual fine-dine and you just want to sit down and have a good time and the typical yellow lighting and lightened bar slab and orange feel across with rugged/unfinished walls give you the oomph that you exactly need in such a place. Its not fully set but the mood might as well be. It may not be the best you have seen but of course quite upto to family crowd's expectation(s).
The place is quite fully functional but I could see some functions / parts still being worked and so that quite made me doubt their service and food which had to start of course with some fresh mocktails. Still haven't got their liqor license, with such mood set is quite a dampener (checked with owner , that might as well be solved soon). We tried their virgin mojito, pinacoladas, orange lemonade, Blue lagoon. Drinks evidently showed it was not done by the bar in-charge and back up and the levels of syrup stood evident. Orange lemonade indeed was good and the Fish Bowl (mocktail served inside a fish bowl like setup and of course smokey dry ice setup) was quite dramatic and was a good one. They did assure their cocktails speak testimony of their bar skills and my next visit might as well be testimony for it.
After a brief discussion about the place/cuisine what they assure to deliver, Chef Joseph Gomes set us up for an array of dishes which to be frank , quite caught me go "Wow.. that is pure artistry". Each dish as it kept coming in unique fusion style decor and presentation set the tone for me that Chef is not about food but also artistry and perfection. Big tick on presentation. Spot on !!
Shahi Paneer Tikka - Served in the most elegant form, the stacks of thin sliced paneer layers stacked beautifully with the sauce coating each piece was killer. Flavors on first bite proved its not only about presentation but flavors deliver. Must try. Aloo Tikki - looked more of a modern day artist's play on a fine art and the splash art indeed was a visual treat. First bite does make you go awww!!!! and the perfect balance of sweet - sour - tangy that you expect from your regular aloo tikki is delivered. The extra crunch from the crisps adds the 3rd dimensional element to it.
Chicken Tikka and Fish Tikka, elegantly played but looked as typical dishes did deliver in terms of flavors but they could have brought some strong element of fusion dimension to it. But , no complaints. Veg Galouti Kebab which looked over the heavy ceramic stone formation, looked stunner. The first bite is evident fo food coma and definitely its one of the most succulent veg kebabs you can hog. Mutton Galouti Kebab, after that stunning veg variant, to be frank the mutton one took a back step. Not to complaint on mutton but then veg was surreal while mutton was also silky smooth and delicious.
On glancing the menu, we indeed found their dilli ka chaat section which looked catchy and so we ordered Khattar Kachori. Presentation was again spot on but the tad chaat masala kick you expect in your kachori was missing and the aloo base was dominating. Something to improvise on. Starters did impress in terms of presentation - flavors - fusion dimension to most part of it. This set expectations on main course.
When it comes to main course, still such brands play safe with more on curries and breads which to me still is a baffling irony as fusion food is all about bringing in the new dimension that you don't expect from such a dish - be it flavor - layering - secret ingredient. Hyper local plays prey to the same cadre when it comes to main course as we were presented with an array of curries.
From the traditional and everyone's favorite Dal Makhani , to interestingly made Martaban ka Chicken and the oily - sinfully looking mutton curry, all curries came piping hot with buttery kulchas , naans and other variants. What caught my eye was Veg Mirch Kheema which looked like your meat variant but then the spicy kick from haree mirch and the softness from paneer kheema was something you don't expect from the visual appearance but then it delivered spot on !! - MUST TRY.
Who doesnt love super fluffy and puffed Chola Batura but Hyper local plays (thankfully) a twist it in by serving paneer n butter sprinkles inside of the batura and with paneer grated chole alongside. Some might as well call it gastro blasphemy but then for me and my palate, it works. The combination indeed delivers chola batura for you but the twist does get to you. - MUST TRY.
The curries did deliver the authentic , rich, spiced flavors you expect and had me no complaints as they were true to their purpose. Still I could have been a more happy man if they did twist on some dry main entree`s which might be on menu. Let me give another try.