Hyderabad: The city has for the most part stuck to its food staples, unwilling to budge from the same. The desire to experiment doesn’t exist and perhaps considering how little we as a community have experimented with food, there seems to be nothing upsetting how content Hyderabadis are with their dietary habits.
In view of the above facts, it is helpful to consider how Hyderabad’s Cafes, experimenting with genres outside the Indian sub-continent look at food and work with it to refresh a resident’s palette.
Nue Café is ten days old. The cafe is a tiny fetus in the restaurant rich pockets of Jubilee Hills, road number 92 right above Starbucks. The ambience is simple and clean and considering cafes cluttered with poster-rich walls, with Western music from the ’90s, the space strikes a pleasant note. The name of the Cafe is borrowed from the French word which supposedly means bare and in that sense, the cafe does retain its simplicity and is unwilling to partake in garishness of any kind.
The food at Nue cafe:
As far as the food goes, Nue does what its Instagram profile claims to do. It offers food that is wholesome and feels fresh. The Buddha Bowl, a Mediterranean mix of Quinoa, sesame balls, two different kinds of sauces served with greens, eggplant and olives worked well together. It was tangy, occasionally crunchy and satisfying without the post-meal laziness.
The Mixed berry acai bowl, topped with slices of pineapple and dragon-fruit was delectable and offers one more than a pretty picture to calm a social media user’s greed. Aside from the sudden brain freeze this reporter had to endure for a split second, the berry bowl works to calm any sweet craving one might have.
A type of Greek pita wrap with chicken and toppings, the Gyros chicken wrap, tasted very similar to a Shawarma which makes one wonder if there was anything Greek about the dish, to begin with. It would of course be unfair to assume that Greek food has nothing different to offer from the Western Asia cuisines of the world. But overall, there is little to critique in this regard.
In fact, the entire restaurant is heavily inspired by nature. The crockery while bare in keeping with Nue’s sentiments, was born out of a potter’s thoughtful craft. The same goes for the food, made with clearly discernible, fresh ingredients.
The slightly bitter aspects:
That being said, perhaps the only vexing part of the Café was how unclear the menu is. The mixed berry bowl comes from Brazil, the gyros are supposedly greek, the Buddha Mediterranean bowl is Egyptian (and also Buddhist). While all dishes worked very well as individual items, there remains nothing cohesive about the menu as each dish, in terms of culture or the tongue, varies vastly from the other which then begs the question what if at all, is the identity of Nue cafe?
It is also worth noting that the space is far from inexpensive and very close to the affluent. While the café does justice to hospitality, it is uncaring when it comes to a customer’s pocket. Also, it is important to observe that not everyone is interested in healthy, wholesome food, especially in a city like Hyderabad, which craves indulgent meals. As such, Nue is meeting a very selective market but the plus side is that they are comfortable with it.
All criticism aside, the space is worth a visit. It is a little corner of the food world that gives you a peek into how a Café can feel like a private, cosy habitat. The menu, aside from the chaos, does one thing extremely well: it leaves an eater feeling just the way long-drawn conversations with old friends should: content and refreshed.