If you are looking for cafes in Hyderabad, you probably know most of them are in the Jubilee/Banjara Hills area. While the area is known for the pubs and lounges, there are quite a few cafes too. Most cafes in this area are located in huge bungalows away from the main street thus making them a great place to relax. However, there are cafes like Ikigai Cafe that are right in the middle of the street yet provide an ambience that is peaceful.
A few weeks ago I was invited to Ikigai Cafe – a Vegetarian Cafe in Hyderabad. Though they largely have vegetarian dishes on the menu, they have a handful of Vegan dishes and a few egg-based dishes as well. So not a pure vegetarian cafe to say. And like a true “food blogger” this is going to be an Ikigai Cafe review blog post.
Ikigai Cafe Review – Vegetarian Cafe in Hyderabad
Just like the famous book Ikigai teaches us to find the right balance of everything in life, Ikigai Cafe has surely taken a leaf or two from the book. One of the greatest things about Ikigai Cafe according to me is its location. Its located right under the Jubilee Hills Check Post Metro station. While that also is a bummer for many especially when they drive to this place. Parking can be a major problem.
However, once you are inside, you are greeted with vibrant decors and good music. The use of bright colours on black are pleasing to the eyes and so is the quirky wall art. The high roofed cafe has seating on the mezzanine floor along with the ground floor. There are a couple of private dining spaces perfect for groups on the top floor while everyone else can choose any place they want to. There are also some board games that you can pick and spend time relishing the food.
In terms of safety, they have taken all measures – sanitisers, servers with masks, sanitization of tables – to make you feel safe and comfortable.
Vegetarian Food at Ikigai Cafe – Review
Being a vegetarian cafe in Jubilee Hills, Ikigai Cafe has a vast menu offering some real good vegetarian and vegan dishes. On the day, we had a set menu which included a variety of Starters, Salads, Main Course and Desserts along with some drinks.
Vegan Salads & Starters
We had a couple of vegan salads including Quinoa Salad and Scrambled Tofu Salad. Quinoa Salad was presented nicely and laced with chopped vegetables and Pomograntes along with cherry tomatoes and apples. The salad had a very balanced taste and the crunchy vegetables and pomegranate just added to the taste. The scrambled tofu salad was spiced perfectly and resembled Paneer Bhurji. That was also laced with lettuce and tomatoes too. Like the Egg bhurji that many people enjoy, this tofu bhurji could be enjoyed with bread too!
Coming to the starters, we had Peri Peri Paneer Skewers and Ikigai Snack Platter. 9 cubes of peri-peri coated paneer cubes were served in skewers along with tandoori mayo sauce. This was one of the most flavoursome Paneer Skewers I’ve had. Soft Paneer cubes perfectly marinated and grilled. A must-try for sure. The Ikigai Snack Platter had Soy nuggets, bruschettas, french fries, pita bread and hummus. Bruchetta was crunchy and cheesy. However, hummus is something that I loved. And they were happy to serve us Beetroot and Carrot Hummus as well. Pita Bread and Hummus are a few things that you must try.
Burgers & Main Course
The next few items that followed were a variety of burgers, Chilly Paneer and Andhra Fried Rice. We had a Veg Burger and a Paneer Burger. They make the patties in the house which were crunchy and juicy. Served with some fries and sauce, the burgers were pretty decent. Chilly Paneer on the other hand among the good ones I’ve had. Not everyone is able to keep the Paneer soft and crunchy at the same time.
Andhra Fried Rice was aromatic and flavoursome. It was fiery too. Thanks to the fiery masalas that went it. There wasn’t anything special about this one, but the aroma and the spice level is the highlight of the dish. For someone like me, it was pretty spicy. So if you have a good tolerance to spice, you could try this as well.
Desserts and Beverages
How could this Ikigai Cafe review end without desserts and beverages? We were served Mango Egg Rabri and Cardamom & Pistachio Rabri. The rabris were thick, creamy and rich. It was high on flavours and loaded with pistachio. On the sweeter side, these were served in martini glasses and most of us loved it.
Coming to the beverages, we had Iced Tea and a Watermelon drink. The watermelon one was nice but slightly on the sweeter side. The Iced Tea was one of the best I’ve had. They brewed the tea instead of using a ready-made syrup and that’s what gave it a good taste. I liked it so much so that I gulped around 3-4 glasses of it. Recommended drink here at Ikigai Cafe.
Final Verdict: Good place to grab and go
If you Google for this place at the moment, it might probably show temporarily shut, but the place is open. For people travelling by Metro, this is a great choice to have a quick bite and go. People driving to this place might find it difficult to locate and manage to park.
Nonetheless, Ikigai Cafe promises delicious vegetarian and vegan food. They have quite a few other items on the menu that are worth a try. If I’m ever in that part of the city, I’ll surely try a few other items that I couldn’t this time around. That’s about it for Ikigai Cafe review, let me know your thoughts on the place in the comments below, Tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM on Instagram or Get In Touch.