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Coffee shop exotica

With a salad bar, cigars, `chaat', designer sweets and coffee, Qahwa is the latest coffee shop brewing in town.

HUBBLE BUBBLE: The hookah adds to the ambience. - Photo: P.V.Sivakumar

IN A city of burgeoning coffee houses, how would you opt to be different? With a salad bar, cigars and designer sweets not to mention exotic coffee of course. Situated in Jubilee Hills, a few minutes drive from the Jubilee Hills Check Post is Qahwa, the new flavour of coffee shops in the twin cities.

"Qahwa is an ancient name for coffee as it was known in Arabia, where coffee was first discovered and brewed," says proprietor P. Muralidhar Reddy. A hotel management graduate, Muralidhar worked with ITC Kakatiya Sheraton and Barista before he decided to strike out on his own with Qahwa.

The ambience is contemporary Arabian; one finds the Sting's Desert Rose doing the rounds in a hall with a view, the walls sport pencil sketches of Arabian images and a hookah occupies pride of place on a low table in the corner.

The cold coffees you could indulge in include Qahwa (a smooth combination of espresso, fresh milk and flavoured syrup) and Café Mocha (a blend of espresso, freshly steamed milk, rich chocolate syrup with a topping of sweet cocoa powder and optional whipped cream).

In the hot coffees, Café Arabica (half a cup of this rich dark coffee is enough to get you rocking) is not to be missed. To go along with the coffee is the Paneer Tikka Sandwich, Cheese Tomato and Corn Sandwich, Chicken Roll or the rich pastries such as the Chocolate Excess with chocolate sauce.

The salad bar beckons the calorie conscious with dressings in olive oil, rosemary, thyme, sage and crushed pepper corns. Chef Srinivas Rao recommends the cabbage and peanuts, chicken and litchi options in salads.

The ambience is family friendly with walls dotted with Snakes and Ladder games and Pictionary. A play area for children is also on the cards. The interiors form a no smoking area, while the smokers' den on the lawns offers Cuban cigars. You could choose between aromatic blends and mild flavoured varieties, Braniff Filters, Double Corona and Churchill among others.

And then if you are more a mithai-chaat person, you could indulge at Gangotree in the same premises. A franchisee of the Bangalore-based chain, the Kaju Phool, Madhu Bhog and Malai Laddu apart from the popular jalebis and other Bengali sweetmeats just beg to be eaten.

"We have used very less sugar to bring out the real taste of the dry fruits used in the preparation," says Vidya Belman of Gangotree. And if you are a chaat person, dig into the Katori and Channa Chaat apart from Mumbai's Jhal Muri and Vada Pav. The pani puri here is made with mineral water (how is that for hygiene?) And if you bite into a chilli, drink deep of the Masala Cola and Lassi.

So drive in to Qahwa the next time you are at Jubilee Hills. Located on Plot No 245, Jubilee Hills, Qahwa can be reached on 6545922.


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