Serve Maharaj a plate with dal, roti and a subzi and Maharaj will be the happiest person in the room. I’ve grown up eating desi food and my love for dal, roti and subzi is unconditional.
However, I’m always grateful for my habit of blogging which has provided me with numerous opportunities to explore new cuisines. Today, if anyone asks me what cuisine I love apart from Indian, I’d promptly revert to Mediterranean and Italian.
And talking about Mediterranean cuisine, Novotel HICC opened its doors to their new restaurant Hyba – Hyderabad Brings Arabia – last week. Your favourite blogger (I know it’s me) was also invited to preview the restaurant and the delicious Mediterranean offerings at Hyba. So this is going to be my first look and review of Hyba at Novotel HICC.
Hyba – The Mediterranean Affaire
I won’t shy away from calling Novotel HICC my home. I’ve been here numerous times, both on personal as well as collaboration-related trips. From my exquisite staycation at Novotel HICC to relishing food at Food Exchange, Sri Lanka food festival and many more. It’s got one of the best ambience in the city for a hotel like that.
Novotel HICC has multiple restaurants and bars. Food Exchange, Le Cafe and the Bar are among them. La Cantina which was their Mexican restaurant earlier has made way for Hyba. The newly done place captures the Arabic vibes nicely. Everything from the upholstery to tableware is chosen to match the theme. Even the server’s attire resembles that of the Emirates crew (the red cap) which just adds to the theme.
The best part about Hyba’s ambience is its poolside setup that overlooks the beautiful Novotel building. The outdoor seating is a perfect place for an evening meal. They’ve also made a cute corner with comfy sofas that just make the whole setup more admirable. Overall, the place is pretty good. There aren’t many structural changes and the minor tweaks done to relate with Hyba are worth it.
Delicious Mediterranean Food
Coming to the meat of the blog post, the food! Hyba has a healthy mix of meat and vegetarian options and almost every meat dish has a vegetarian equivalent if I can say.
We started with a serving of lentil soup which was warm and flavoursome. The flavours reminded me of my first visit to a star hotel – Taj Bengal, a couple of decades ago when I was there for my Bournvita Quiz Contest shoot. – where I was served a chole-based welcome drink. This was quite similar.
We also had an array of hummus spreads. From beetroot to avocado and cauliflower to herbed, there are many hummus varieties available, though they could be a little punchier for my liking. They also have a hummus platter that you can order to relish all this variety that is served with Pita bread, Falafels and pickled veggies.
There were a variety of bread preparations as well. From the traditional Manikesh to Toasted Pita bread, I tasted all of it. Manikesh too had a variety in terms of toppings. From the humble cheesy Manikesh to veggies loaded one. Even the mushroom-topped Pita bread was pretty nice and worth trying.
For mains, my favourite had to be Tajin. Served in a traditional pot, Tajin is a Persian rice preparation that is infused with distinct flavours and loaded with veggies, roasted nuts and raisins. This was my favourite dish of the evening. I loved every bite of it and totally recommend ordering it.
Lastly, the desserts were literally the icing on the cake. The date cheesecake, Umm Ali, White Chocolate Berry Hummus and Baklava lollies were pretty good. The Umm Ali was generously flavoursome and sweet. A perfect way to end an amazing meal. Even the Baklava Lollies were a nice take that I liked. In terms of beverages, the Apple soda is worth trying, can give Appy Fizz a run for their money!
Go Try Hyba
Hyba has some nice Mediterranean offerings. The team has been able to put in everything good to come up with Hyba. It’s probably the only Mediterranean restaurant in the area. Everything from the vibes to the food is pretty good. Tajin, Hummus and the Aare are a few things that you must here. Even from a pricing point of view, the dishes are nicely priced for a place like Novotel. Plus if you are an Accor Plus member, you might an even better deal. Read how to utilise your Amex Reward points to get an Accor membership.
That’s about it for this blog post, let me know your thoughts on this post, Mediterranean food in general and anything else in the comments below. You can also tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM on Instagram or Get In Touch.