This year the soul could crave for desi and casual dining while still leaving sufficient room for international cuisine.

Going on a date? Think casual. Want to surprise a foodie? Take them on a tour of good regional food. Get over the past. Don’t repeat what you have already eaten. Move on and think what one will be eating in 2014.

Will it be a surprise when a young restaurateur says he is yet to lay his hands on a good plate of kebabs in Hyderabad?

When a celebrated chef reveals that molecular gastronomy might creep its way back to the city, expect more eye brows to go up. Some chefs are busy working on new ideas, some others improving what is already there, and then there are a few others who are set to introduce newer food and a better variety.

However, the key words as far as eating out is concerned remains casual, Indian, regional and hygienic street food. “Anything that looks good and is prepared well is here to stay. Having said that, whatever the cuisine it should stay close to the Indian palate,” says businessman Preetham Reddy.

Fine dining out?

Businessman Shaaz Mehmood who has been working closely with his uncle before setting up a restaurant is of the opinion that fine dining is on its way out. “It’s too many courses to follow and too much of an effort. Then there is the hassle of getting dressed for a fine dinning evening. With the city limits expanding and men and women leaving home early to work, going back home to get dressed is ruled out,” points out Shaaz. As someone who loves to eat out, Shaaz and his friends would prefer a place which serves big portions, “the good old way of passing the food around.”

What he misses is real Oriental food and a platter of real good kebabs. Pork and beef dishes are in demand too.

Slow is cool

Chef Chalapathi Rao is looking at the return of Molecular Gastronomy, the food culture which came and simply brushed the fringes of the palates of Hyderabadis. “That is going to a niche segment because all diners do not like their food served cold. The well-travelled diner will appreciate the phase while it might take a while for the food industry to make food treated with Nitrogen the mainstay,” he opines. As a corporate chef he is seeing the trend of slow cooking catching on. “Terra Madre day was celebrated last year, so this will become a trend in the food business for sure.” Chef is also looking at exploring regional cuisines from the North and Northeast.

Go International

Indians, especially Hyderabadis, will not be constricted to a limited cuisine for long, claims restaurateur Balram Naraynakar. As an avid lover of food he feels the biryani culture cannot, and shouldn’t, be killed. “Hyderabadi biryani, let that be. On the other hand more variety in the Mediterranean menu is a thing to look forward to.”

Street beat

Food blogger Mohit Balachandran vouches for Indian food and sees a rise in the demand for regional cuisine. As a traveller who has food on his mind, he says, “there is awareness about various types of food and cuisines and I have seen that street food is going for a global boost with Indian street food going the hygiene way.”

Across the globe

According to Forbes, food trends across western countries will focus on locally-grown food, vegetables, mashup dishes and better quality pizza.

Elsewhere, focus will be on smart knives, health chocolate, alcohol-aware ice cubes and interactive cocktail lounges.

Offals with classic Hyderabadi cuisine — Bheja, paya, gurda kaleji, Thai flavours — light lemony soups, curries, stir fries. Filled and home made pastas — Raviolis, agnelotti, tortellini and a-la-minute ice creams — fresh, flavourful and zingy.