The first two months are usually reckoned as the toughest for a new restaurant. The consumer response during this period can often make or break fortunes. Going by that yardstick, Flechazo has nothing to worry about. Flechazo is a Spanish word meaning ‘Love at First Sight’ and Hyderabad indeed seems to have fallen in love with it. The all-you-can-eat diner launched with eye-popping introductory prices and has garnered widespread adulation. I was invited to a tasting session in the beginning of September and the place was packed. Next week, I attempted to visit with my team, I was told that they were completely sold out; I got a table three days later.
Flechazo is owned by Eka Hospitality, which was formed by Mr Jayakannan Perumalswamy, who was earlier a Director at ABs. ABs in-turn was a breakaway from Barbeque Nation. Knowing the heritage of the team behind Flechazo, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect. But, there was also plenty that surprised me.
The moment I walked into Flechazo, I was impressed by just how big it is. The restaurant gets crowded, but it’s spacious enough that it never feels cramped and stuffy. You’re greeted with a fizzy, sweet welcome drink and the starters are served on the table. Unlike AB’s and BBQN, Flechazo doesn’t have a grill on the table. On any given day, Flechazo would have at least five veg and five non-veg starters. The non-vegetarian selection included Golden Fried Prawn, Sheekh Kebab, Chicken Popcorns, and Chinese Chicken while the vegetarians had American Cheesy Potatoes, Paneer Tikka, and Crispy Corns to relish. The menu at Flechazo is changed every day; unfortunately, on both my visits I got the same set of menu.
Flechazo has made a concerted effort to incorporate multiple live counters. While you’re waiting for your appetisers to arrive, you can walk over to the Food Shot counter, which has a conveyer belt loaded with sushi, dim sum, and Indian snacks like Panipuri and Dhokla. There is a grill and a churrasco dishing out Shawarmas and grilled Apple and Pineapple.
The biggest draw, however, is the Big O. One person from every table the opportunity to don the Chef’s coat and hat and try his hand at making a pizza. You can choose any mix of toppings for your Pizza or select an option from the menu. Additionally, there is an assortment of Pasta and a special dish of the day — for us it was Satay. The main course buffet features crab, fish, chicken, and mutton gravies along with five vegetarian gravies and Biryani.
There are over a dozen options in the desserts counter. Hot jalebi, airy and crunchy macaroons, and rich brownies are some of the highlights. The signature element is the cryogenic ice cream counter where the flavour you choose is prepared live with the help of liquid nitrogen. The Paan Ice Cream incorporated paan crisps (beetle leaf doused in liquid nitrogen and then crushed) and paan masala and was quite brilliant.
With so much of food on offer, it’s little surprise that I was stuffed even before reaching the main course. On my second visit, I was cautious with the starters in order to be able to do the mains more justice. There’s an impressive diversity in the food menu. While I didn’t too much that was Mediterranean, I did find a lot of the chatpata, crowd-pleasing Indo-Chinese fare. The food quality was a bit uneven. The Food Shots are gimmicky – while the Orange Pani Puuri was good and the Dim Sums were average, everything else was lacklustre. The starters served on the table and the grills were on the other hand fabulous. The Pizza base needs a complete re-tooling. On both occasions, it came out crispy and dry like a breadstick. The main course is largely impressive, especially the Crab and Mutton curries. The dessert counter is probably my favourite section. The macaroons were surprisingly good, and there are a couple of seriously good ice cream flavours. You should definitely save some appetite for the final course.
Flechazo builds on the wealth of experience accumulated by the team over the past two decades at BBQN and ABs. THe fundamentals are same – a large selection of crowd-pleasing food married with brilliant serve at a reasonable price. And the service at Flechazo deserves a special mention. The restaurant was packed and the service staff were scampering across the floor to cater to multiple tables. Yet, we never felt ignored. Even special my special request for a Tandoori Crab that was not on the menu was granted with a smile. Not all of the food is spectacular, but it probably doesn’t need to be. There’s enough that’s good, the place has a lively and cheerful vibe, and things like Big O and cryogenic ice cream makes it more engaging. Depending upon the day you’re dining and whether you’re a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian the price varies between Rs. 275 (plus taxes) and Rs. 625 (plus taxes). I enjoyed both of my visits to Flechazo. It’s interesting and entertaining, which makes it perfect for team outing and casual celebrations.