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Mocktails, kebabs and stew

Round the Corner is the new cuisine court with speciality restaurants offering Conti, Chinese, Chettinad, Kerala fare and more

IF THE din of traffic and parking chaos prevent you from dining in mainland shopping hubs and popular avenues, here is a place on the Hi Tec city road, a few minutes drive from Jubilee Hills Check Post, which sure combines the pleasures of quiet dining and a good drive. And aptly named Round the Corner (1149, Road No. 57, lane adjacent to Trinetra Supermarket, Jubilee Hills, Tel: 55767516-18). "This is a cuisine court. We wanted to offer various dining options for a wide age group," says Kanthi T. Kiran, partner Round the Corner, a division of First Venture Hospitality Services.

Backed by four young promoters, Aravind R. Babu, home with a masters in management from Australia, Reuel K. Raj a finance pro, Kanthi Kiran an Osmanian with masters in hotel management, Switzerland, and three years hands-on experience at the famous Walt Disney fusion restaurant, and Wilson Rajan, designer, Pratistha and On the Rocks and other restaurants in Mumbai with Khan Abdul Salam of Design Arch, who also brings in a dash of the Mumbaiyya flavour to the city, the place offers a lot of fresh concepts across its restaurants — Conversations, Backwaters and Home & Away.

With a two-toned blue ceiling and sunrise orange for the walls, Conversations is designed as the coffee pub, fast food corner and a hang out destination combined. Natural fruit based ice creams, lassi, foot longs, mock tails and a few for the kids too such as Winnie the Pooh, are found on the menu along with fusion dos such as Toasts with cheese tops. An attractive message board in the corner for short messages makes it a cool after-college hub. For the techies, Control Z (from Ctrl Z) is a quieter sit down area equipped with books, music system and a DVD player.

Home & Away, the multi-cuisine restaurant here on the next level, as the name suggests, offers select Indian and global cuisine. From the very American Chowder, familiar corn and clear soups, shorbas, exotic salads, rice, noodles and pasta, dum biryanis, kebabs to naans, the fare is diverse. "We have introduced innovative dishes such as Crispy Potatoes in Chilli Scallion Sauce instead of French Fries and used paneer in Chinese Cheese Curry instead of tofu. Our Tandoori kebab is not typically red and our Paneer tikka not too green since we don't use artificial colours. The cuisine is less spicy, not oily and very simple," says Kiran.

This minimalism also reflects in the ambience of Home & Away, with basic runners for tablemats and bamboo chicks for ceiling in contrast to an opulently done Backwaters — the Kerala and Chettinad speciality theme restaurant here.

"People here love spicy food. Chettinad is a spicy fare and cuisine from Kerala is milder because the coconut used cuts down the piquancy," says Kiran about Backwaters that brings Pazam porichadh, Avial, Wada kozhambu, Kerala biryani, Ceylon parotta and the squid delicacy Kundal Varthal.

An inverted fishing basket for a lampshade, traditional masks, make-up boxes of Kathakali artistes and mirrors from Chettinad match the flavours of the region. "We have created the restaurant on the lines of old wooden houses giving attention to minute detail such as the sloping roof or the usage of coir for the low seating," explains interior designer Khan Abdul Salam. More from god's own country is the Dhanwanthari Vaidyasala (7 a.m.- 9.p.m.) here offering Shirodhara, and other rejuvenation dos, making the place a body and soul destination.

The foursome have more plans ahead, food festivals as also sending entries for the H&FS and Society Dupont Awards. Conversations is open between 11 a.m.- 11 p.m.) while Backwaters and Home & Away, for lunch (12 noon - 3 p.m.) and dinner (7 p.m. - 11 p.m.) respectively.


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