There’s nothing like eating at home, or in places that look and feel like a home

Tired of the regular seating arrangements indoors? Ever feel like lounging in the open air with a cup of coffee, a comic in hand and some small bites to munch on by the side? Well, restaurateurs in the city seem to have heard you; they are now waking up to the fact that if price is pocket-friendly, then the ambience should be able to attract customers and even make then return with others in tow? If it feels like home, still better.

Such ‘homely’ eateries are not hard to find anymore. Houses that hey have a little sit out or a little balcony are turning into little restaurants. The food served is sometimes basic and the ambience soothing, with little or no music in the background. Yet clients swear, “We still come here because I need the silence for a few hours in the evening,” says a young actor.

Lamakaan was perhaps the trendsetter in Hyderabad; it threw open the white house for people to walk in freely and at will, to think, talk, discuss and sometimes also orate or share their thoughts. The canteen quickly followed and now whether one actually participates in any programme or not, the simple food and the thought of sitting and eating under a tree draws many fans to the house at the end of the street.

Now many independent houses in the city are transforming into eateries. These concept eateries which stress on the ambience can be found in most areas of the city. So, in a quiet lane in Tarnaka, one finds a little sandwich place. Its menu is basic but families in the area don’t mind hanging out there and grabbing a safe small bite. That could also be why Anavila, the small eatery at Banjara Hills is a favourite hangout of many people after work. “Where else can I sit and sip my tea in peace with something as simple as vada pav, or maybe a glass of nimbu pani. One can unwind after work only in spaces like this,” says Rishi, a graphic designer.

Most owners say, the fact that they are situated in a non-commercial locality appeals. “The feeling that ‘we are a part of a house’, makes customers very comfortable. At times, customers don’t mind sitting anywhere, the steps, the compound wall, anywhere is fine while sipping their beverages. I see this as a renewal of a connection with the open spaces we were all once a part of. It could also be the casual air which eateries like us have to offer,” says Padmaja, one of the owners Qafe Bistro of the all women’s café.

The café is a part of a house that offers paying guest accommodation and comes with a lawn, parking space and a little street to walk up after a nice meal.