Archive for Indian Food

Flavours of TMH

Place: Flavour of TMH
Location: Taj Mahal Hotel, Rd. No. 92, Jubilee Hills
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Dinner (with amma and dad)

As mentioned in my previous reviews of Taj Mahal Hotel (Narayanguda; SD Road), amma and dad happen to be fans of TMH. So when we got to know that these guys opened their new branch in Jubilee Hills, there was excitement, which eventually made us drop by for dinner on a weekday. The place looked fancy when compared to the other branches, and pretty busy, mostly because of the large number of stewards and waiters.

They had huge hard-bound menus, and it took us a while to digest their offerings, for almost every item of their South Indian fare was priced exorbitantly. A single cutlet which costs less than 50 bucks at any other TMH in town, was priced at 90 (+taxes). Anyway, I ordered it for amma, apart from the Ghee Karapodi Idli for dad, and Chole Bhature for myself. I also wanted to try one of their continental offerings, so ordered for Cottage Cheese Satay.

While we wait for our food, we had to shift tables for the mats on ours were stinking, thanks to the food stuck onto them which wasn’t cleaned properly. When we informed this to the steward and waiters, all they did was stare at the food stuck onto the mats and smile, instead of cleaning them. When we moved to a different table, they began to treat us as new customers and again came to take our order. Total chaos it was!

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Ghee Karampodi Idli

Once things were sorted, our food came by. Dad seemed to like the idli. I tasted the sambar, and it was pretty decent.

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Veg. Cutlet

The Cutlet came in next, with some chips and the special sauce. The cutlet tasted good, as it should have been. However, the sauce wasn’t up to the mark for it was too thin and lacked expected flavour.

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Chole Bhature

I ordered for Chole Bhature mainly to compare it with what is offered at Chutneys. And it was comparable. While the Bhature was a little thicker than I’d prefer, the chole tasted tangy and yummy. The quantity too was sumptuous.

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Cottage Cheese Satay

The best part of the meal unexpectedly turned out to be the Cottage Cheese Satay. Six large chunks of paneer perfectly marinated in spicy peanut based sauce served with more peanut sauce; yummilicious. The paneer was super fresh and the peanut sauce was finger licking good. In fact, I asked two extra portions of the sauce, it was that yum.

Overall, a good meal. Almost every item tasted good, with the Satay turning out to be the best. On the downside, the service was terrible. They had about 20 people waiting tables, which made the place crowded. And there was absolutely no coordination among these guys. They guy serving water at the next table won’t attend to us cos it wasn’t his table, it was that bad. All this in addition to the inordinate pricing. Yes, the restaurant is in a prime location, but you can’t be unreasonable. The prices of their South Indian fare is almost 15-20% higher than the surrounding Chutneys or Minerva Coffee Shop. And surprisingly, everything else on the menu was reasonable. Bottom line, unless you’re coming in for the North Indian or Continental fare, it’s better to visit the other TMH in town.

Food: 8.5/10
Service: 5/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 551/-

Verdict: 7/10

PS: We realized after reaching home that they billed us incorrectly. It was supposed to be around 800 bucks but they billed us only for 551. Again, this shows how incompetent their service was.

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Vasanta Bhavan

Place: Vasanta Bhavan
Location: Road No. 14, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Dinner/Lunch (with amma and dad)

Vasanta Bhavan has been a new addition to the vegetarian restaurants serving authentic South Indian dishes. Though it’s been a while since this restaurant opened, it was not till a couple of months ago did we drop in, twice in a month. The restaurant is pretty huge, and well done with a traditional touch to it.

On our first outing, we ordered Pongal, Ghee Dry Fruit Rawa Dosa and Chilli Parotta. We also ordered a portion of Shanghai Rolls. We enquired about the Thali and were told it isn’t served for dinner.

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Shanghai Roll

The Shanghai Rolls were kinda oily and rolled up pretty thick. The stuffing however tasted decent. Not a great start to the meal though.

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Pongal

For 125 bucks, the quantity of Pongal served seemed meagre. On taste front, it was just alright, nothing spectacular.

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Ghee Dry Fruit Rawa

The Rawa Dosa was even more disappointing. It wasn’t roasted properly and there were barely any dry fruits. The Sambar was decent.

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Chilly Parota

The Chilly Parota was served with Raitha, and I had to request the waiter twice to get some korma. Parota tasted alright, but was also a little too spicy for my liking.

Overall, our first meal wasn’t really worthwhile. Nevertheless, wanting to give them another chance, we dropped in again a few days later for lunch. This time we ordered a Sambar Rice, a South Indian and a North Indian thali.

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Pudina Soup

Unlike most North Indian Thali, this one came with Pudina Soup which turned out to be excellent. Amma actually loved it.

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North Indian Thali

The thali had Butter Naan, Paneer Butter Masala, Channa Masala, Mixed Vegetable, Dal, a bowl of Biryani, and sweet. The Naan was soft, and all the curries were delicious, with PBM being the best of the lot. The biryani too was appetizing.

The South Indian thali and the Sambar Rice were also pretty good. While our last experience wasn’t fruitful, this time we were satisfied on food front.

But wait, this wasn’t it. While the service on our first visit was passable, this time it turned out to be atrocious. On a Sunday afternoon, when the restaurant was packed, their air conditioning wasn’t working. We were sweating like crazy, and not one guy was responding when we were enquiring about the situation. Almost every waiter had an attitude, and I happened to lose it when I caught one sneering my dad at the counter. Air conditioning not working is acceptable, but you definitely can’t have people walking carelessly around the restaurant, with a sneering attitude.

The manager offered a discount on the bill when I brought this to his notice, but this ain’t the solution. We came in the second time wanting to give the restaurant another chance, and while the food was good, I don’t think I’m ever coming back to this place; not in the near future at least.

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 3/10
Ambience: 7/10
Meal for 3: ~ Rs. 540/-

Verdict: 5/10

Spicy Venue

Place: Spicy Venue
Location: Road No. 10, Jubilee Hills
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Take-away

A couple of days after trying the Mushroom Biryani at Kritunga, it was time to taste the one at the other place I’ve heard a lot about – Spicy Venue. I’ve been to the restaurant once before for lunch, to try their Thali, which is also talked about quite a bit; but I didn’t find it to be anything great.

This time I wasn’t here for the Thali, it was time for some Mushroom Biryani.

Spicy Venue Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Mushroom Biryani

First impression, the quantity served was significantly less than the biryani I had tried a couple of days ago. On taste front, while the mushrooms were good, there was a lot of moisture in the rice. The masala too wasn’t anything great. In comparison, a disappointment; actually even without comparing, it was mediocre.

When I pay 60 bucks more than the other place, I definitely expect something better, or in worst case, something on similar lines. But the Mushroom Biryani at Spicy Venue ticked all the wrong boxes, be it on price, quantity and taste. It just wasn’t worth it.

Food: 7/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: N/A
Meal for 1: Rs. 236/-

Verdict: 6/10

Kritunga Restaurant

Place: Kritunga Restaurant
Location: Lane opposite Huda, Ameerpet
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Take-away

A lot of people have told me about the Mushroom Biryani at Kritunga. I walked into their Panjagutta branch a few months ago, but they were out of Biryani for the day. A few days ago, I walked in to the Ameerpet branch, but had no luck again; but this time, I tried their Mushroom Curry which was absolutely delicious.

So here I was again and this time I got what I wanted.

Kritunga Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Mushroom Biryani

And true to what people said, this Biryani was excellent. The mushrooms were very well cooked in masala gravy. The rice too was perfect. The quantity was good enough for two people.

Overall, loved the Biryani. For 170 bucks, I think it’s totally worth it. I’m told all the Kritunga’s in town serve similar tasting Biryani; so if not at Ameerpet, go try the food at the one near your house.

Food: 9/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: N/A
Meal for 1: Rs. 170/-

Verdict: 9/10

Rayalaseema Ruchulu

Place: Rayalaseema Ruchulu
Location: Opp. Railway Station, Lakdikapul
Cuisine: South Indian
Meal: Lunch (with a friend)

I’ve been told that Rayalaseema Ruchulu serves yummy Ragi Sangati, but never ventured to try it. A friend of mine was in town from Bangalore, and given that she wanted to try local delicacies, I was finally here, at the Lakdikapul branch. The place was packed on a Sunday afternoon, and we were lucky to have a found a table without waiting, on the first floor. The ambiance was alright, no qualms about it.

We wanted to try the Thali, but it being a Sunday, they weren’t serving one. So we ordered for 3 portions of Ragi Sangati with Gutti Vankaya and Mutton curry (for my friend). We also asked for Lassi.

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Gutti Vankaya Kura

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Ragi Sangati

The food was served pretty soon. The quantity seemed like a lot on first glance. The Gutti Vankaya Kura was spicy, but pretty delicious. The eggplant however, wasn’t well cooked. But still, a yummy curry. The Ragi Sangati was decent; what can possible go wrong with it?

The spice was too much to handle, especially for my friend who found the Mutton curry too hot. We were eagerly awaiting for the Lassi, but it didn’t arrive until we were almost done with the meal; pathetic service and coordination between waiters.

Overall, both of us were satisfied with the food, but the service was bothersome. And then came the bill; whopping 1200 bucks for a meal for 2. We could have had a full course buffet (a more satisfying meal) for the same price. Maybe its worth the price for the meat eaters, but I don’t see any value for the veggies.

Food: 8/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Meal for 2: ~ Rs. 1200/-

Verdict: 7/10

Filmy Tadka

Place: Filmy Tadka
Location: Opposite Reliance Fresh, Shivam Road
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Lunch (with family)

Was meeting my relatives and decided to eat out rather than cooking something at home. After doing a bit of research on Zomato, zeroed in on this small Indian joint on Shivam Road. Finding it was a challenge for the place didn’t look like a restaurant from outside. Once in, we realized that the place was named Filmy Tadka because of its filmy décor. It had partitions which looked like film reels and a few filmy posters on the walls.

It’s a small restaurant with around 10 tables, most of which were empty when we walked in. But there was one huge gathering which was making more noise than we could handle. Anyway, we looked at the menu and asked for 3 South Indian Thali, a North Indian Thali for myself and Sambar Rice for amma. The South Indian Thali wasn’t available so we all went for North Indian Thali. We also ordered for a Paneer Mali Tikka for starter.

Filmy Tadka Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Tomato Soup

The soup (part of the Thali) was served in about 10 minutes. It was thick, creamy and pretty yum. The waiter was kind enough to serve an extra bowl of soup for amma as well (though she didn’t order Thali).

Filmy Tadka Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Paneer Malai Tikka

I ordered for the Paneer Malai Tikka because the description was quite tempting. However, it didn’t really live up to my expectations. Not that it was bad; the paneer was pretty fresh and well marinated, but it lacked that punch I was looking for.

Filmy Tadka Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi

North Indian Thali

The Thali was served with 2 pieces of roti, Dal, Mixed Vegetable curry, Paneer curry, a bowl of Pulav, white rice, sweet and papad. The roti was soft and both the curries were yum. The paneer curry was actually delicious. Dal derves a mention. We were offered extra roti, and I asked for the same.

The rice (both pulav and white rice) were very cold and we asked them to reheat and serve; and they did so without any row. We were actually under the impression that curries were limited, but they served us more when asked for. The sweet was decent.

Overall, a good meal. There were a few hiccups with respect to the service. There were just two guys managing all the tables and it got difficult as crowd started coming in; we had to constantly keep calling for the waiter before the guy would respond. The ambiance didn’t impress, mainly because of the huge (loud) gathering. That apart, the food turned out to be very good. Give it a shot if you’re in the surrounding area; I’m guessing you won’t be disappointed with the food.

PS: I observed that they’ve changed their menu recently. I hope food and taste are still the same.

Food: 8.5/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Meal for 5: Rs. 1350/-

Verdict: 8/10

Bikanerwala

Place: Bikanerwala
Location: Road No. 1, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Dinner

Me and a friend dropped into Bikanerwala wanting to have a light meal. Instead of walking up to the restaurant on the first floor, we decided to order at the food-court. I’ve never enjoyed the ambiance in the food-court section here, for it’s always crowded, and therefore, loud. My friend ordered Dahi Puri, while I opted for the North Indian Thali.

The food was ready soon, and we were busy hogging.

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Th thali came with a Paratha, Mixed Vegetable Curry, Paneer Butter Masala, Dal Makhni, Rice, Boondi Raitha and a sweet. On first sight, the quantity looked less, and I was apprehensive if this would fill my tummy. The Mixed Vegetable Curry was perfectly cooked and was one of the best I’ve had. The PBM was creamy and perfect. As expected, the paneer was fresh and melt in my mouth. The dal had too much masala, but was yum. All of them were made with shuddh ghee, and I could taste it in every bite. The parata was also baked in ghee, and so turned out to be super heavy.

The sweet turned out to be excellent.

Overall, an excellent meal. What I thought wouldn’t fill my tummy actually got me stuffed thanks to the ghee used. However, at 300 bucks, I think it’s quite an expensive affair.

PS: Kailash Parbat has similar thali priced lower, with more quantity.

Food: 9/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 300/-

Verdict: 8/10

Kailash Parbat

Place: Kailash Parbat
Location: Food-court, Forum Mall, Kukatpalli
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Dinner

After watching a movie at PVR, amma, dad and me walked in to the humongous food-court in the Forum Mall. This place had quite a few options, and I decided to try Kailash Parbat which has been on my wish-list for a while now, while amma and dad ordered Dosas from some Dosa place.

Their menu had lot to offer, and after some thinking, I zeroed in on the Veg Combo Meal, which came with 2 Chapatis, 3 Curries, Dal, Pulav, Buttermilk and Gulab Jamoon.

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It took about 15 minutes for my order to get ready. The thali meal was well presented, and had Chole, Paneer curry and Aloo Gobi has the three curries. The Dal tasted yum with subtle flavour, while Chole was spicy and good. The paneer gravy was mild and the paneer was very soft. Aloo Gobi was a little disappointing for the gobi wasn’t fresh. The chapatis were super soft and the pulav was flavourful. The Gulab Jamoon wasn’t too sweet, which is exactly what I wanted.

Overall, a pretty good meal. On the down side, I had to shell out about 270 bucks for this meal. Nevertheless, the meal is fulfilling and tasty, so you might give it a try on your next visit to the mall.

Food: 8.5/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: N/A
Meal for 1: ~ Rs. 270/-

Verdict: 8/10

Jashn

Place: Jashn
Location: Ahuja Estates Lane, Next to Palace Heights, Abids
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Dinner (with amma and dad)

On Christmas, we headed out for a drive and decided to dine at Santosh Dhaba (Jaya International lane). But I realized that they opened a new restaurant next to the Santosh Dhaba Extension, and decided to try it instead. The place was packed with people waiting to get in to both Extension and Jashn. We had to wait for about 15 minutes before we were seated. On ambiance front, the place has good interiors (to give it the fine dine touch), but the tables were cramped next to each other. And there was the reverberating noise; it was like you were at a market rather than a restaurant.

Having walked in, we decided to sit through. But the surprise element was yet to be discovered – a look at their menu. They had more variety than what Santosh Dhaba offers (Italian, Chaat, etc.), but one look at the prices and you’d wonder if you walked into a star restaurant. Everything was overpriced, a Naan which would cost about 20 bucks at the Extension next door was 50! (and I’m guessing they came from the same kitchen). We somehow managed to ignore this and ordered Manchuria as starter, and Bulbul Kofta along with Roti, Aloo Paratha and Stuffed Kulcha for main course.

Jashn Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Veg. Manchuria

People at the adjacent table placed their order at the same time as us and their main course was served but our starter was yet to come; that’s how long it took for the Manchuria to be served. And after such a long wait, they turned out to be among the most terrible Manchuria I’ve ever had. Soggy and overcooked, they barely had any flavour. When we informed this to the steward, he just ignored us.

Jashn Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Bulbul Kofta

Jashn Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Aloo Paratha and Stuffed Kulcha

Thankfully, the main course didn’t take long to be served. The Kofta tasted decent, but was nothing spectacular. Roti and Aloo Paratha were alright. The Stuffed Kulcha, which is usually stuffed with cashew nuts, barely had any.

I wanted to order more, but decided against it given the mediocre food and service. Oh yea, the service – though there were waiters standing right next to our table, they wouldn’t hear us out cos it wasn’t their table (all that we had asked them was to get us a fork and some ketchup). In all, one of the most disappointing meals in recent times. Given that its’ from the house of Santosh Dhaba, it’s a bigger disappointment. Never ever coming back, and I suggest you stay away as well.

Food: 6.5/10
Service: 5/10
Ambiance: 6/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 720/-

Verdict: 5.5/10

Shubham Dhaba

Place: Shubham Dhaba
Location: Kondapur Main Road
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Lunch (with Foodie friends)

One of my foodie friend has been long telling me about how yum the food is at Shubham Dhaba, but I never got the opportunity to visit. Now that there was a foodie meet, I wasn’t going to miss it and on a lazy Saturday afternoon, here I was to hog along with some foodie friends. Ambiance of the place is nothing great, more or less similar to Santosh Dhaba, Abids.

They had a fixed meal for the meet which had a couple of drinks, starters, main course, a rice item and Dal Batti Churma. Their famous Train Papad was served a few minutes into the meal.

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Train Papad

I’m not a fan of papad, but thought this was quite innovative – 4 papads with different toppings/chutneys served together. I liked the Imily chutney one the best.

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Achari Paneer Tikka

Next came in the Achari Paneer Tikka. While the paneer was fresh, it wasn’t well marinated and so it felt like I was eating raw paneer. When we informed this to the waiter, we got another serving which tasted better but still wasn’t perfect.

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Gobi 65

Gobi 65 was served next. While this was pretty good, the gobi was overcooked which kinda made the pieces soggy.

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The last starter was Veg. Manchuria which turned out to be excellent. They were crunchy and had perfect taste. These definitely were the best manchuria I’ve had in recent times.

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Buttermilk, Masala Thumps Up and Lassi

While hogging on the starters, we asked for Buttermilk, Lassi and Masala Thumps Up. The Buttermilk was thick and creamy, while the Lassi was too sweet for my liking. The Masala Thumps Up was alright

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Shubham Special Marwadi Curry

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Deewan-E-Khaas

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Assorted Breads

While I was full with the food so far, the main course was served – Shubham Special Marwadi Curry and Deewan-E-Khaas, along with some Aloo Paratha and Butter Naan. The Marwadi Curry turned out to be super creamy with full of nuts, and tasted delicious. The Deewan-E-Khas was equally good and tasty. The breads were alright.

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Shubham Special Fried Rice

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Dal Tadka

Next, Special Fried Rice was served with Dal Tadka (I know it’s weird combination). The fired rice was again excellent with the quality of rice being perfect. The Dal too was pretty decent.

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Bati

Shubham Veg Dhaba Review by Sasikanth Paturi

Dal and Churma

The last item of the meal was Dal Bati Churma. I was totally stuffed by the time this was served so just had a spoonful to taste. It turned out to be oozing with ghee and tasted delicious.

Overall, a pretty good meal. While the first couple of starters weren’t great, the rest of the meal turned out to be palatable. My only concern is with the consistency of the dishes for the taste kept varying with every serving. And also, the food is full of ghee and butter, so it’s definitely not for figure/diet conscious people. That apart, the service was alright and the prices were pretty reasonable. If your bored of the same food at Santosh Dhaba, Shubham is a must try place for you.

Food: 9/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 300/- (Foodie Deal)

Verdict: 9/10

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