The friendly neighborhood bar

Nawabi nights just got shaken and stirred. Or rather got a shot in the arm. It’s all about sushi and whisky sour nights now. Riding on that trend is The Next Round Bar & Kitchen in Nallagandla, the western part of the city that is being hailed as the new commune of Hyderabad. This watering hole has started pouring in July and is a promising place for soaring spirits and making memories.

The 128-seater bar and kitchen with midnight blue walls looks imposing as you drive past the main road. Ample parking that is spread over one acre is a big plus, informs Harshit Madan, partner of The Next Round. It was a conscious choice to open a night spot in this locality which has 15,000 homes in the high rises and gated communities such as Aparna Sarovar and Ramky. “We want to position ourselves as a community bar,” adds Harshit. In fact, they are going all out to popularize what they call the drink and walk back concept, leaving your cars behind.

The indoors are cozy with an ochre vibe thanks to the lighting. The circular roof with iron and steel embellishments and bird cage-like iron grill lampshades gives it a very Texas-tavern feel. If you feel a sense of deja vu when you enter the bar, it could be because Karan Mor, the man behind other eateries such as Tiki Shack, Eat India Company and Urban Asia, is also the brain behind The Next Round.

We loved the colorful cocktails the bartender was making and checked out their top-sellers – two variants of the classic whisky sour – the Amaretto Sour and the Passionfruit Sour. Both had different textures and taste with a fruity flavor that justified why they were the current top sellers. There is also a play on colors with gin, the purple one using elderflowers was our kind of cocktail. They have a happy hour every hour as an inaugural celebration.

We started with Chicken Karage (crunchy Japanese-style fried chicken bites) that paired perfectly with a pint. Kali Mirchi Wings was a good spicy starter that had multiple variations such as makhni, cheesy, peri peri, etc. The other delicacy they take pride in is their sushi range. “Karan is the F&B legend who curated the bar and food menu. He has put together a few throwback dishes from the places he was associated with, previously. Those who loved the food there, order the same here as well,” Harshit adds.

Before we went for the next round, we ordered Peanut Butter Spaghetti which was on point. To balance the Italian flavors, we chose the Bandi Fried Rice which had ‘Chindese’ – Chinese Indian flavors – with an extra toss of the chili sauces, just the way we Hyderabadis love it. One could opt for the vegetarian, chicken or mixed

(with prawns or egg) versions. While you will find local favorites such as Royyala Vepudu and Kaju Kodi, they are strong in their Asian menu and baos seem to be a popular order, although we were too full to order more. We ended the night listening to Deep House, the 1980s jazz-funk genre, for an hour. n MANJU

Night out for two: Rs 1500 for two [including alcohol]

Opp Navodaya Vidyalaya, Sri Sairam

Nagar Colony, Nallagandla

Tel: 096527 76143

Timings: 12 pm to 11:30 am (12.30 am on weekends)

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