Ciclo Cafe, which is named after the Spanish word for ‘Cycle’ and is supposed to be pronounced as ‘chick-lo’, is India’s first bicycle cafe. The chain began its journey in Chennai and pedalled into Hyderabad last year. Ciclo is a unit of TI Cycles of India that owns popular cycle brands like BSA and Hercules and is devoted to catering to both cyclists and foodies. The two-storied chic cafe on Road Number 36 dedicates its ground floor to cycles, accessories, and gears while the first floor houses the cafe and the bar.
Last month, the CEO of Ciclo Cafe, Ashish R Thadani, was in the city to flag off Hyderabad’s first Ciclothon – a 30km and 60km cycle ride organised by the cafe. I was invited to an interaction session featuring some of the grub from the cafe, which recently received its alcohol license. Almost everyone has ridden a cycle at some point in their life. Mr. Thadani, who is himself a passionate cyclist, hopes that Ciclo will provide a space for ardent cyclists to connect as well as encourage many others to get back to cycling.
The food at Ciclo Cafe Hyderabad is a mix of healthy bites and gluttonous indulgences. It blends culinary influences from Europe, America, and different parts of the country. The breakfast menu, which is available till 10:30 in the morning, offers everything from Muesli and fresh juices to Eggs Benedicts with a side of bacon and Batata Poha. The all-day dining menu is vast and offers finger food, pasta and pizza, as well as gourmet delights. Although the food scene in Hyderabad has been witnessing healthy growth, finding good pork dishes can still be a challenge. Ciclo has a whole host of dishes for pork lovers – Bacon Kuzi Paniyaram, Steamed Bao with Pulled Pork, Goan Sausage Pizza, and Harissa Pork Chops. I tried the Goan Sausage, Prawn, and Potato Pao, and was absolutely blown away by it. The spicy mix of smoky sausages and little prawn bits is quite simply unputdownable. The Coconut Crusted Prawn that is served with a lip-smacking Mango Jalapeno dip is another memorable creation that you shouldn’t miss. Boneless Wings and Mini Bombay Vada Pav are a couple of other appetisers that made a mark.
The bar menu boasts of over thirty cocktails, an impressive collection of wines, as well as all the usual spirits. I always have a soft corner for whisky-based cocktails and the ‘Jack went Crazy’ with its heady concoction of Jack Daniels, blackberries, sugar, and lime made me go crazy. The Karari Roomali, which is a crispy and crunchy inverted Roti spiced with a bit of chaat masala, is the perfect munchie to complement the drinks.
Quinoa and Raagi Crepe doesn’t sound too exciting, but I was surprised by just how much I loved this healthy, vegetarian main course. The quinoa is draped by the crepe and served on a bed of tomato and Scarmorza sauce. From the non-vegetarian selection, my pick was the Carribean-style Grilled Tilapia served with a creamy, pea mash.
The menu at Ciclo Hyderabad is expansive but you should definitely save some room for the desserts. The Baked Philadelphia Cheesecake is top-notch, as are the Panacotta with chia seeds and Hazelnut with rice crisps.
I’m not a cyclist, but the food that Ciclo dishes out is definitely my kind. It’s creative and dares to step away from the tried and tested formula, but more importantly, the grub is delicious. A meal for two should cost a tad less than a couple of thousand bucks (they levy a 10% service charge) but the portion sizes are large and Ciclo is best enjoyed in a large group.