The Grove takes its food seriously and wants its patrons to return for more than coffee and conversations

We’ve become quite accustomed to the idea of a friendly café in the neighbourhood where we can meet friends, stopover for a quick meal, spend time reading or working on a laptop. There’s always the guarantee of good coffee and quick bites. The main course, more or less, is limited to sandwiches and pastas. How many of us eat pasta everyday? As much as the well-travelled Hyderabadi has learnt to appreciate authentically prepared global cuisines, Indian khana remains the staple.

The Grove management felt the need to have a menu that will have café regulars — coffees, teas, mocktails, sandwiches and pastas — along with all-time favourites like Chinese fried rice, Chicken manchuria and Schezuan noodles. Unlike fine dining restaurants, the café prepares these in the ‘Indian Chinese’ style with a dash of spice. For bite-sized cravings, there are Indian favourites like the Hara bhara kebab, Chicken 65, Cheese balls and Tandoori gobi/alu. The portions are generous enough to be shared with a group. The chefs are willing to dish up subzi and tandoori roti, though not listed in the menu, for those who want a complete meal.

When conversations take precedence over food, you could choose from hot and cold sandwiches. The Spinach Corn sandwich and Chicken Club sandwich are the pick of the lot. If you like a desi twist here as well, there’s the slightly tangy-spicy Desi Veg sandwich that comes loaded with shredded vegetables and cottage cheese sprinkled with spices. Wash down the food with a mocktail (the Mint Mojito is a favourite) or warm mug of hot chocolate on a nippy evening. It does get chilly here in the evening, given the café’s location opposite the KBR Park.

What are winter evenings without soups? The soups offered here are generous and filling. We tried the Mushroom soup and Broccoli soup on different visits. All the soups in the menu are available in vegetarian and non-vegetarian options.

Three months after its inception, The Grove attracts a mixed clientele — those who swear by the food and those who want to spend time conversing over a hookah.

The menu, we are told, will go through a revamp soon as the café looks to position itself as a place for good food than just coffee and hookah, and thereby not limiting itself to one age group.

The biggest asset, besides food, is the ambience of the café. Spread across two levels overlooking the tree-studded KBR Park, this place could well be your own little getaway from the madness on the main roads.

The Grove

Where: Road no. 14 Banjara Hills, opp. KBR Park, above Anubhuti.

Ph: 9676666060

Parking: Available

Cuisine: A mix of Indian, Chinese and Italian

Meal for two: Rs. 500 to 1000.

More In: Food | Metroplus | Kochi | Features