Sly Tech is a ‘techie’ themed bar for the tech town. It’s the third Azure Hospitality property in the Western Pearl Building, next to the Google Office at Kondapur. Sly Tech is a part of ‘Sly Storys’ chain of restaurants that Azure plan to launch in metros across the country. Each city will get it’s own distinctively themed and localised version of ‘Sly Storys’ outlet. The Hyderabad chapter is conceptualised as a failed start-up’s office remodelled into a bar.
I was invited to a blogger’s table at Sly Tech on a Friday evening. The bar was already buzzing with activity as I walked in, and became packed within the turn of the hour. The dimly lit space features a quirky decor with retro leather sofas and chandeliers juxtaposed with urban graffiti, brick walls, and exposed pipes. The supremely talented Shiv Menon was in the house to enthral with his gig of classic rock, rock n roll, and blues. However, be warned, Sly Tech can get fairly loud. Loud enough at times to be a conversation killer.
Sly Tech’s eclectic menu sports an interesting repertoire of cocktails and edibles. Sly Tech has showcased street food from different regions of India along with some quintessential bar favourites and a few unique creations. The Trainee’s Kolkata Jhal Muri was my first order. Jhal Muri is a distant cousin of the Bhelpuri – puffed rice mixed with spiced potato cubes, green chilly, onion, lemon juice, peanuts, and mustard oil. One of my favourite things about travelling in a train in Bengal is the lip smacking Jhal Muri dished out by the hawkers. The flavours of the Jhal Muri at Sly was amped up, with the mustard being potent enough to render an wasabi-esque pungency. This is something I can see myself thoroughly enjoying, but on the day, the extreme overload of salt played spoil sport. Natwarlal’s Sadak Chhaap Aaloo Chaat, another selection from the ‘Pre-Game’ section of the menu, was anything but pedestrian. The lip-smacking mix of Fried Potato, Green Chutney, and Chaat Masala is a great foil for the Indian lagers.
The Biryani-crazed twin cities have witnessed many an experimentation on Biryanis in the recent past. The latest is Biryani Balls at Sly. Think of over-sized Cheese Balls, with the Cheese stuffing being substibuted with Biryani. I was extremely sceptical about this dish, but it turned out to be fair dinkum enjoyable. The curiously named Beijing Rotation Shrimp is a minced shrimp sandwich served with a sesame coated toasted bread. I couldn’t quite figure out the Beijing connection, but the toast was delicious. The Tenderloin Slider from the ‘Hang Over Killers’ section was probably my favourite dish of the night. This dish stuck to the basics and nailed the execution. A juicy, tender, and delicious patty is what I expected, and that’s what I received. Unfortunately, my next order of ‘Sausage Fest’, which is one of the signatures of Sly, didn’t fare so well. The Chicken Sausage was overloaded with masala that was almost unpalatable. The Dim Sums, Golmaal Rings, and Tacos that followed also turned out to be rather ho hum.
The drinks menu features twenty cocktails, split evenly between the Classics and the Sly Tech Specials. However, due to the unavailability of key ingredients like Bourbon and Spiced Rum, several of the signatures were unavailable. The cocktails that impressed me include Last Espresso (blend of Coffee, Vodka, and Kahlua), Mr. Miyagi (classic gin and lime combo mixed with triple sec and orange marmalade), and the Dirty Dustbin (a potent mix of Vodka, Tequilla, White Rum, and Gin topped with Cranberry and Orange juice). Most of the cocktails I sampled were well made, but the bar staff was overwhelmed by the Friday crowd. Orders were processed at a frustratingly slow pace, with a couple of drinks taking upwards of an hour to arrive.
The slow moving bar was a definite downer, and the food was inconsistent. Hopefully, these are just initial teething issues that will be sorted out soon. Sly doesn’t quite have a stand-out dish, but it probably doesn’t need to. The grub is affordable and varied, and there are enough options to please everyone. The drinks are also smartly priced with most cocktails costing you between Rs. 199 and Rs. 319. Many of the classics are available in larger portions of Pitchers and Towers at even more economical rates. Sly Tech is a potent mix of loud music, crowd-pleasing munchies and swinging cocktails for the techies looking to let their heads down and party.