Last year, Accor group introduced a multitude of new properties in Hyderabad to complement the existing Novotel hotels. While Hotel Formule1 offers “no frills” stays at a low super budget, Mercure is a mid-scale star property. Ibis fits in somewhere in between these two with its promise of economic business stays. Ibis Hyderabad is situated right in the heart of the tech city, just a few hundred metres from the iconic Cyber Tower building. Most Ibis properties feature ‘Spice It’ – an integrated multicuisine cafe and bar to cater to its patrons. Spice It Hyderabad boasts of an elegantly decorated indoor seating area and buffet, as well as a tastefully lit al fresco dining area. The a la carte menu features a selection of popular dishes from around the world; from Steaks and Pizzas to Rogan Josh and Biryani. I was invited to a tasting session hosted by Mr. Rubin Cherian, the General Manager of Ibis properties in Hyderabad and Bangalore, where Chef showcased some of the signatures from the menu along with a few unique creations.
First out of the gate was a gorgeous platter of vegetarian appetisers featuring Zucchini Mascarpone Roll, Stuffed Melon with Peppers and Olive, and Pani Poori. The Zucchini Roll was served with a delicious, sticky Red Pepper Jam that complemented the subtle flavours of dish. Pani Pooris served at restaurants are usually a tepid affair. Not this one though. The tamarind shot packed a mean punch and lent the dish some oomph. The highlights among the non-vegetarian selection included Sheek Kebab, BBQ Lamb Chops, Tangdi Kebab, and Lehsooni Jhinga. Next up was a salad course with juicy Herb marinated prawns served with avocado, sweet potato crisps, and melon caviar, and Terrine of tomato with balsamic caviar and fresh mozzarella. For the main course, Chef showcased his Indian specialities. The ravishing Nalli Gosht (Bone Marrow and Lamb Curry) and the creamy Butter Chicken were the highlights of this course. The final course was a desserts platter with Nariyal ka Kheer, Warm Chocolate Cake, and Sahi ka Tukda.
While the elaborate, five-course Chef’s special menu curated showcased a few noteworthy creations, the regular a la carte menu at Spice It sticks to the basics. It offers a selection of popular dishes from European and Indian cuisines. It’s predictable but solid. The pricing is reasonable and a meal for two should cost around Rs. 1600. Spice It also has daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet targetted at in-house patrons as well as corporate diners.