Needless to say, The Golkonda's
sleek and almost avant garde avatar since 2007 has rubbed off on the restaurants, too, and Melange - the ertswhile Skylight - is no exception. The lounge coffee shop looks glossy with the face-lift - a huge overhead screen to watch TV on is just one of the bells and whistles. Fortunately, it continues to be value-for-money for what it offers.
Though located at the far end of a rather modest lobby for a star hotel, Melange is spacious, with about 15 tables, and a separate smoking zone. The furniture is elegant if not fancy, and while the place itself looks not much different from a normal star-hotel lobby coffee shop, the slicker interiors of the hotel and the tall vertical chute right up to the skylight at the rooftop lend it some character and some sophistication.
Melange offers "global cuisine" - the 100 or so items on the menu are, indeed, a Melange from across the globe. There's Chinese, Indian, Southie, Thai, Conti and even Afghani on the a la carte
menu - a dish or two from everywhere. So you have Fried Prawn & Calameri, Afghani Lamb Kebab, Satay, Torpendo Peppers, Caeser's Salad, Tom Yum Soup, burgers and sandwiches, quesadillas, Allam Kodi, Pork Chops Peri Peri, Kadai Paneer, Mushroom Rissole and Chicken Stroganoff and Tenderloin Steak among others, all on the same page.
There's a smaller, separate menu for non-peak hours, which has mostly a dozen items like puri, parathas, waffles and pancakes, and the elaborate menu is available during lunch and dinner times. Melange is however more popular for the buffets, especially the popular Golkonda midnight biryani buffet from 11pm-2am.
Breakfast buffets (7:30am-11am) cost Rs. 200, Rs. 250 and Rs. 300 per head for Continental, Indian and American respectively - cereal and eggs are available only in the latter. The lunch buffet (12:30pm-3pm) costs Rs. 400 per head (Rs. 600 per couple), and while dinner is primarily from the a la carte "global cuisine" menu, the midnight biryani buffet at Rs. 600 per couple (Rs. 400 per head) is a good draw for all the owls.
Soups, starters and bread rolls apart, the midnight buffet has 3 veg and 3 non-veg main course dishes apart from the biryani (veg and non-veg), and the standard plain rice, sambar and curd. Plus, of course, a smattering of desserts.
The food is star-hotel fare - they delight in keeping it friendly to delicate stomach-linings. The good part, however, is that the prices are fairly wallet-friendly for the ambience and service - a chola bathura or plate of puri costs Rs. 75.
Melange is a good choice for some exclusivity in the Masab Tank / Lakdi-ka-Pul area, given the sheer address - The Golkonda. And yes, if Rs. 300 counts as change on a late, hungry night, remember the midnight biryani. (And if you understand concept behind the men's loos, tell us.)