Located smack in the middle of Road No. 1, Grill Room finds pride of place through its, er, place. A sister concern of Fusion 9
that started in 2006 (F9 started in 2003) replacing the lounge Cinnebar Redd, Grill Room, located upstairs, is a dinner-only place with a menu that could as well have been part of F9 given that F9's USP is its variety of cuisine. The logic must have been that in Hyderabad it doesn't hurt to have one more restaurant. Can't argue with that.
The interiors comprise a bar-cum-lounge-cum-smoking-zone, and dining tables that can accommodate about 50. Plus, a large screen to watch TV, and music that drowns out the TV - and a glass encasement where you can see the uniformed chefs actually cook your order on their charcoals, tandoors and hot plates. Food doesn't taste quite the same if you see it cooked, does it? Grill Room apparently doesn't think so.
Grill Room is expensive - a meal for a couple costs Rs. 800 on average, without alcohol - and the seating and service reflect that. If you have the money, they like you for it. You can sprawl out in plush upholstery with a fag and a glass and a mezze/kebab platter or stick, lazily exchanging the latest gossip on the fund-raising/M&A scene, and then move to an Arabic/tandoor dinner just to complete the formality. And take 3 hours over it.
The name says it all - sticks, kebabs, steaks and gyozas stud the menu, which still stays multi-cuisine since they are from all over the world. The menu expectedly has more appetizers than main course items, with a whole page of mezzes (they call this Arabic Lounge), another of sticks, 4 kinds of gyozas (Oriental dumplings), and an array of tandoor starters (kebabs). A typical starter can cost Rs. 200, and yes, you'd want something to wash it down with for best results, which can be a significant hidden cost.
For the main course, there're some North-Indian dishes (dal makhani, jeera alu, and your paneer favorites) and rotis/kulchas/naans, and some pulaos/biriyanis. You could, of course, order from Fusion 9's menu, too. And the desserts, mostly chocolate manufactures like pies, fondants and brownies, cost upwards of Rs. 200 each.
It's easy to not know how to eat what you've ordered at Grill Room if you've ordered from the Arabic menu, especially a mezze. In which case it can get embarrassing, too, since just as you can look at the chefs cooking, they can look at you eating. Also, the food, typical of stuff at an expensive place, is low on salt and spice - if you have the money to spend at a place like this, you probably messed up your intestinal linings and cholesterol levels long back.
It's unlikely that Grill Room will turn your favorite restaurant - that would be reserved for Chutneys
, Mainland China
and your neighbourhood dhaba - but it's a good dig into some unorthodox stuff. And if it's a lounge you are looking for in the middle of the business district, it's Thanksgiving.