Mall Review: The City Centre, Hyderabad

MallThe Charminar with old-world charm, the city’s tehzeeb and the globally renowned Hyderabadi Biryani—rings a bell? Yes, to an outsider, Hyderabad, as a city is identified with these entities. An emerging capital of Information Technology, Hyderabad, unlike other tech-cities such as Bangalore and Gurgaon, is still on the verge of cosmopolitanism. But a closer look reveals that under this image of nawabi culture, what is contributing to that whiff of change and modernism in the city, is the metropolitan trend of being fashion-conscious and brand-savvy. Hyderabad’s youth has donned a new look; a look that includes everything from wearing low-waist Levis to hanging out at uber cool coffee joints like Café Coffee Day and Barista. And not surprisingly, cashing on these new trends, are the city’s coolest malls offering all the essentials of a trendy lifestyle. Here is a review of a shopping mall which is the newest addition to Hyderabad’s ever-growing kitty:

Name: City Centre

Location:Banjara Hills, Hyderabad

Overall Customer Convenience: Good

My Rating: 3.5/5(Very Good)

My Take:

The first time I walked into this trendy-looking hangout, located in the centre of the city, I heaved a sigh of relief. Generally, I dread going to malls, what with the constant crowd of people thronging its restaurants, its movie halls and its restrooms, leaving no scope to make shopping a relaxing, delightful experience. But this was different. Though there were many people making a beeline for the newest McDonald’s outlet and the Globus store, a youth friendly fashion brand that was holding a sale, the mall still managed to look spacious.

The City Centre boasts of having the best food court in town offering the most lip-smacking delicacies anyone can offer(‘Aromas of China’-Chinese, ‘Saheb Sindhi Sultan’-Sindhi Cuisine and Indijoe’s-Multicuisine), It includes a glamorous pub quirkily named, ‘Phirangi Paani’,which has managed to earn itself a solid reputation in a very short span of time and has emerged as the one of the favorite youth hangouts for youngsters aged above 21years.(However, I did manage to sneak in with my 16 year old friends!)

Where it scores:

Malls, most often tend to overdo their interiors with overzealous posters of fun, food and frolic or, at the other extreme, tend to appear extremely insipid, dry and commercialized with just bare white walls and jazzy signboards. However, where City Centre scores the most is in its distinct sense of character. (Yes, a mall can have a character!) Be it the correct sense of lighting, wall -to wall- carpeting in the food court, Vitrified tiles or the impressive paintings of each type of cuisine on its walls, it makes a visitor immediately spot its individualistic quality.

Additionally, the ‘Crossword Bookstore’ that it has, is the first of its kind in the city, and has already hosted various book launches and book reading sessions.

Among its advantages over other malls, what cannot be missed is the ease in which a particular store on a certain level can be reached. While one has to go through the torturous experience of either awaiting one’s turn in the ever-crowded elevator or taking complete circles of a particular level to reach the escalator in most malls, The City Centre has four modes of mall-travel-The Escalator, The Elevator and two flights of stairs, all located at close proximity of each other. Hence, one doesn’t lose time and companions in merely wandering all over the mall in search of a certain store.

A Frustrating Nuisance:

But you are in for a day of constant worrying if you happen to bring along a toddler for shopping with you. The steel bars of the railings, around each of the 5 stories of the mall have gaps wide enough to slip an infant through, making it very dangerous to leave them wandering without guidance. This factor is especially worrying in the game zone, a hub for young children, placed at the 4th floor. Its very height is dizzying. Not a perfect environment for enjoyable family shopping, huh?

However, its an ideal place to hangout with adults or teenagers, for an entire day dedicated to purchasing, window-shopping, eating, drinking,(without creating a dent in your wallet) and burning off those heaped calories by walking to the almost buried vehicle parking lot, located 2 levels below the basement.

What you can always do here:

However, if, by any chance, your budget limits your dreams of those shopping extravaganzas and that oh-so-desired Thai meals in one of the swanky restaurants, then you could always grab a burger and a Coke from the McDonald’s outlet, settle yourself on one of the numerous staircases at the entrance of the mall and feast your eyes on the college-going eye candy that seems to be centered around City centre at all times of the day!

Neha Bhat