When an all-day diner serves several dishes that are flavourful and tasty; they must be doing something right. Especially because there are multiple cuisines on offer. At Cayenne, the restaurant at the Mercure Hyderabad KCP, a signature event is on till the 3rd of April. Called Choose your Chef, the series entails the team of chefs creating specially crafted dishes based on their culinary expertise. Five chefs, five cuisines, so you can take your pick.
The team, headed by Executive Chef Vinay, includes Chef Ganapathi, Western cuisines, Chef Maniruddin, Hyderabadi, Chef Sahoo, Indian, Chef Satyanarayana, South Indian and Chef Vikram, pan-Asian. Unfortunately, Chef Vikram was unwell so we didn’t get to taste the pan-Asian food, which from reports is supposed to be outstanding.
Still, the other chefs didn’t disappoint. We sampled Crumb fried Idlis, stuffed with pickle masala; Beet Cured Squid with black garlic and Prawn Ceviche; Badami Tangdi; Ankuri Makkai hare Pyaaz ki Tikki and Murgh Hariyali Tikka. Of the lot, my vote goes to the humble idli, taken to another level with the piquant pickle masala, the gram flour coating deep fried, making it a sinful starter; ideal for rainy evenings.
From the selection of soups, I chose the South Indian option of Pineapple Rasam. Having loved this spicy staple in its various avatars through the years, the pineapple bits added a sweet and sour taste to the tangy rasam. I could have had just this with rice for dinner; that is how tasty it was. Other soups served were Basil Pesto and Courgette Soup and Chawli aur Beetroot ka Shorba.
For the mains, I tried the Subz ka Mela, a mixed vegetable curry, Curried Coconut and Cilantro Risotto, and Coconut Rice. There was also Gongura Koi Kura, or chicken curry with gongura leaves. All of them made the cut, with the Coconut Rice, even without any gravy to accompany it, stood out from the rest. The delicate flavouring of grated coconut, mingled effortlessly with the crisp sesame seeds tossed in and the overall light texture and feel of the dish, almost made it taste like our Sabudana Khichdi. This is one recipe I will be asking for, because simple as it was, getting it right is going to be a challenge.
Since it is a four course meal that is on offer, there are plenty of popular favourites, along with some unusual dishes one can choose from. What I also liked was the little touch of adding a flower to a dish as a garnish.
Desserts were a delightful end to a good meal; an exotic Baked Gulkand Jamun with Rose Petal ice cream; Golden Poached Pear with sweet Mascarpone quinnel; and a Paan flavoured ice cream. All of them were excellent.
The Choose your Chef series will continue till 3rd April at 7.30 pm onwards at Cayenne Restaurant, Mercure Hyderabad KCP. To reserve your table, call: 040-67888888/60.