Link Café at Sheraton Hyderabad often gets ignored in favour the bountiful buffet at Feast and the vibrant drinks and food at Zega. But, this unassuming café is no pushover. Last year, the blogger’s table for the ‘Paired’ menu at Link showcased some of the best finger food that I’ve had in any bar or restaurant in the city. Last month, I was invited to a blogger’s table at Link Cafe to experience it’s next chapter.
Now under the ownership of Marriott group, Link Café is charting a new course for itself. The new menu showcases classics and favourites with a Sheraton touch. Local dishes like the fiery (and lip-smacking) Andhra Chilli Chicken and Cocktail Dal Vada get a spot on a menu, as do other Indian street food like Prawn Koliwada from Mumbai and Kothu Paratha from Tamil Nadu, and Baked Masala Maggi from bachelor kitchens across the country.
No café menu is complete without some hearty burgers and sandwiches, and Link does a great job with the six options on the menu. There are the juicy Sheekh Kebab Rolls from the streets of Delhi. The chatpata Mumbai style Toastie with a potato, onion, and mint chutney stuffing. And finally, there’s a robust Kheema and Pav that was easily my favourite dish of the night. If you’re craving for something a tad more gourmet, the legendary Marriott Burger should be your pick. This classic ground beef, bacon, and cheddar burger is a common sight in Marriott properties across the world and a favourite among travellers. Other hearty meal options include Pizza, Pasta, and Risotto. The selection features classics like Margherita and Pepperoni and Pomodoro and Carbonara. For the health conscious, there are classic salads like Caesar Salad, Greek Feta Salad (my favourite!), and Nicoise.
Link also has a fantastic collection of freshly baked bread at eye-catching prices (starts from just Rs. 75). The range includes everything from desi Masala and Onion bread to Scones, Crosspoint, Baguette and Ciabatta. The range of bread on offer is terrific and the prices are on par with what you’d pay in retail stores.
The beverage selection includes herbal tea, regular tea, and fresh fruit juices. However, the real focus is on coffee. Coffee is available in several of its popular avatars – Cappuccino, Espresso, Latte, Ristretto, Americano, and Decaf, as well as some unique creations. There are over half a dozen speciality alcoholic coffees that are an absolute treat for someone like me. My favourites were Espresso Martini with Vodka, Espresso, and Kahlua and Piper Coffee with Whiskey, Coffee, Honey, and Cream. The latter has a distracting amount of cream loaded on top, so you’ll have to request for the cream to be cut down to be able to really enjoy the coffee.
Link Café is open round the clock and has a late-night alcohol license (till 4 AM). The dishes are priced quite reasonably and don’t have the ‘star hotel premium’ that often scares people away. Appetisers start from Rs. 250, while Pizzas are available from Rs. 400. The food is not fancy but it is delicious and comforting. The coffee is excellent and the fresh juices are refreshing. Combine all of this with the quiet, classy Sheraton ambience and service and you’ve got a winner.