Place: Kwallity Udupy’s Ahar Location: Yousufguda Cuisine: Tiffins and Fast Food Meal: Dinner/Take away
Having read good reviews about this tiffin place, I was eager to try it out. Since it’s located near my house, I asked dad to bring a Dosa for breakfast on a particular day. These guys boast of more than 50 varieties of Dosa, but I first wanted to try the simplest, Masala Dosa. While I was expecting something yum, it turned out to be pretty ordinary and left me unimpressed. The chutneys and sambar too weren’t great.
On another occasion, we brought in Aloo Paratha, Chapati and Dum Biryani for dinner. The Chapatis, which were served with two kinds of curries, were pretty good. However, the curries weren’t great. One of them had too much pudina which made it really strong, while the other had less salt. The Biryani turned out to be coloured rice with loads and loads of garam masala and no taste, an utter disappointment. Aloo Paratha turned out to be saving grace for they were soft and palatable.
Wanting to give it another chance, I decided to dine at the place. Walking in, I was pissed by the cashiers rude attitude, who turned nice after I ordered a something worth was 80 bucks. Anyhow, I ordered for a Chinese Combo which was ready in about 10 minutes.
The combo had four pieces of Manchuria, some Noodles and Fried Rice. The Manchuria was soft and alright but the gravy had too much garlic. The Noodles were tasty but were dripping in oil and the Fried Rice lacked flavour. It’s then I realized that the bandi wala next door serves better Chinese food than these guys.
Overall, mediocre experiences. Like mentioned in few reviews, there were no neatly dressed attendants and neither the hygiene of the place worth mention. The entire place was in fact very muddy on the day I dropped in. Add to that the arrogance of the cashier. I don’t think I’m ever coming back to this place, even for a take away any more.
Food: 6/10 Ambiance: 5/10 Service: N/A Price: Rs. 80/- for the Combo
What happens when you pick up story lines from a bunch of movies and make a pot-pourri? You get a boring Rabhasa!
I never got to watch Santosh Srinivas’s first film Kandireega. By the looks of it, it must have been a better film for he actually got chance to direct another with the same producer. The problem actually is not with the director, but the script. Rabhasa offers nothing new: a young man fighting not for his love, but for his family. The only twist here is that he’s fighting for some stranger’s family reunion. To add value Santosh tried to twist the screenplay, but that doesn’t work well. Add to that innumerable number of uncanny fights, and there you go, another boring film aimed only for the masses. While direction is good in parts, it’s mediocre for most of the film.
NTR, who finally gets a release after a long time, is perfect to play the lead. But the problem is that you’ve already seen him play similar character in the past. So it’s a cake walk for him, but his choice of doing same roles baffles me. While he looks slim and fit in few scenes, he needs to lose weight (again). Samantha has a full fetched role and she’s alright (but for in few scenes). She looked really glamorous. Pranitha has a small role to play and doesn’t make an impact. I was surprised by the number of negative characters in the movie. While everyone starts off strong, they all end up being pussies with no one making an impact. Bramhanadam entertains in the second half, but again it’s the same old bakra character.
Music by Thaman is, as my cousin puts it, same-to-same. But for ‘Rakasi Rakasi’, you’ve heard every other tune in the past (just like you’ve watched most scenes of this film somewhere). Editing by Venkateswara Rao is alright. Cinematography by Shyam Naidu is pretty good. However, the graphics could have been better. You expect good dances in an NTR movie, but there was nothing on offer.
Is it worth your time and money??:Unless you are a fan, you can probably give this one a miss – not because it’s a bad film, but since you’ve already seen most of this in the past. NTR is a definite asset to the film, but I am not sure if people want to see him play the same roles again and again.
Worth mention:Cinematography. And to an extent, Bramhanadam’s episodes.
Rani Mukerji is definitely one of the best actors of this age and has enough talent to carry a movie on her shoulders. However, even she can’t do much when the script is meek and too predictable.
After four years of hiatus, director Pradeep Sarkar is back with another female oriented movie. Parineeta was a path breaking debut for both Vidya and Pradeep. While Vidya proved her mettle with every film thereafter, he failed to make an impact. And now, he’s back with his fourth feature Mardaani which has its heart at the right place, but unfortunately lacks the punch.
Inspector Shivani (Rani) plays a blatant crime branch cop trying to nab a child sex trafficking racket in this two-hour crime drama. While Rani does justice to her role, the circumstances in which she does them seem too contrived. Emotions seem muted, therefore episodes which are supposed to make your tummy churn seem like run of the mill stuff. And though the scenes between Rani and her antagonist are well conceived, it all results in a boring climax face off. While screenplay is pretty decent, the direction is pretty mediocre.
If it weren’t for Rani, a movie like this would/could have gone totally unnoticed. While she brings charm and adds flare to the film, the weak script fails her. However, she needs to be commended for her effort. Tahir Bhasin is very good as her counterpart and has a bright future. The rest of the cast is alright.
Music and background score by Salim-Sulaiman is pretty decent. Editing by Sanjib Dutta is neat and cinematography by Artur Zurawski is very good.
Is it worth your time and money??:It’s not a bad film, no. Nevertheless it could have been so much better. But for Rani, there is nothing special the movie has to offer. Watch it only for her.
Place: Reshmi’s Classic Restaurant Location: Opp. Nanking, Parklane, Secunderabad Cuisine: Indian Meal: Dinner (with amma and dad)
I’ve been to Reshmi’s a couple of times in the past, and thought it was alright. But recently, I’ve been hearing a lot about this place, stating them to be the best North Indian food serving restaurant in town. A little curious as to what I missed, I visited the restaurant few days go with amma and dad. Ambiance of the place remained the same as I remember, decent. We sat at a table on the far end, facing the road.
I had already gone through their menu and decided on what to order – Smoked Paneer, Lasooni Tadka Palak and their Kofta Biryani. Dad wanted to have starters, so we asked for Shanghai Rolls, which were unavailable. So we asked for Veg. Bullets (I know that their Stuffed Mushrooms are pretty good, but since dad doesn’t eat mushrooms, had to order an alternative). For roti, we ordered a Butter Naan, Pudina Paratha and Tandoori Roti.
We were told that the starters would take around ten minutes. In the mean time, the accompaniments were served.
Ten became twenty and finally the Veg. Bullets were served, and they didn’t look appetizing (because of their shape). On taste front, they were a little undercooked (I could taste the dough) and weren’t great. Not a good start to the meal.
Even before we finished the bullets, the main course was served. The Smoked Paneer, served in a kadai, tasted yum. The gravy was creamy and the paneer pieces were amazingly soft. The Lasooni Tadka Palak was also delicious, but on the downside, it was oozing oil which was quite a turn off.
The Butter Naan had layers and was very good. The Pudina Paratha was soft and equally good. The Roti on the other hand could have been better.
I was pretty excited to taste the Kofta Biryani which was served next. While the rice was good and flavourful, to my surprise (and disappointment), there were no koftas in the biryani. Instead, they had a few hard Manchurian balls. While I do like Manchuria along with biryani, these didn’t taste great for they were pretty hard (and didn’t seem fresh). And moreover, they weren’t koftas!
Overall, a decent meal, but nothing extraordinary. Yes, the place did serve some authentic North Indian food, most of which was yum, but I wouldn’t call it the best in town. The service was pretty good, and everything was priced reasonably. However, I thought the quantity of the curries could have been better. And the Manchuria instead of Kofta was a huge disappointment (did they think no one would notice??)
Bottom line, give it a shot if you haven’t yet for it’s a decent place, but don’t expect anything extraordinary.
Place: Delhi-39 Location: Near Gachibowli Flyover Cuisine: Indian Meal: Lunch (with friends)
A couple of weeks ago, we headed out for lunch towards Gachibowli and decided to stop at 13 Dhaba. At around 12:30, the dhaba wasn’t open yet, so instead dropped into Delhi-39 across the road. Walking in, the place looked pretty shabby, but a friend who had tried this place in the past spoke well about their food, so decided to stay. The A/C was turned on, and we settled.
After extensive thought, we ended up ordering Delhi-39 special subji, Malai Kofta, Dal Tadka along with some Roti, Masala Kulcha, Laccha Parothas and a Delhi-39 Special Naan.
It took a while for the food to be served (around 15 minutes), but it sure did look yum when served. The Delhi-39 special curry turned out to be paneer masala in a rich creamy gravy. The paneer was very fresh, and the gravy was finger licking good. It was one of the best panner subji I’ve had in recent times. The Malai Kofta too was excellent, with rich gravy and soft kofta balls. The Dal was decent.
The Masala Kulcha was perfect. I expected the maida Parothas, but they were instead made with wheat flour and tasted great. But for the tandoori roti (which was very dry), everything turned out to be soft and yum.
Overall, an excellent meal. The ambiance might paint a bad picture, but the food totally made up for it. The service was decent, and the pricing too was nominal. I’d gladly give this place another try instead of the hyped dhaba across the road. Go hog!
I never imagined a day where I’d buy ticket in black to watch Sharwanand’s movie. I don’t think even he would have dreamt of this day (let’s be honest) where he would come across Housefull boards all over. But, here it is…
Having enjoyed a couple of Sujeeth’s short films in the past, I was eager to watch this film. Run Raja Run tells the story of Raja, a happy-go-lucky dumb guy who falls in love with police commissioner’s daughter. Add to this a parallel story of major kidnaps happening in the city. Instead of making a pure comic thriller in a subtle manner, Sujeeth chose to add all the regular masala required for a Telugu commercial film. While this hampers the pace of the film on most occasions (unnecessary songs, comedy tracks), he stills manages to hold the film together. The first half was pure fun and thoroughly enjoyable. However, the second half could have been handled better. The fierce commissioner turns out to be a joker in the latter half thanks to some uncanny characterization, and this to be a major flaw of the movie. That apart, the direction is pretty neat in general. The screenplay though could have been better, especially towards the climax.
Sharwanand is very good in the lead role. You needed someone who could ooze out innocence for this role, and he happened to be the perfect fit. His comic timing turned out to be bang on. Seerath Kapoor is cute as the leading lady. Sampath Raj had an important role to play and he does justice to an extent (but for the latter half where he loses it because of the characterization). Adivi Sesh is decent, while rest of the cast is alright. Vidyullekha Raman was trying too hard to ape Urvashi.
Music by Ghibran is alright. While a couple of songs are hummable, most of them act like speed-breakers to the film’s pace. Editing by Madhu is neat while cinematography by Madhi is of top-notch quality. The entire film is very colorful and has a jolly feel to it.
Is it worth your time and money??:While it could have been better, Run Raja Run is still a good film. After Oohalu Gusagusalade, it’s another must watch small film.
Worth mention:The first kidnap, and most of the dialogues.
Place: A’la Liberty Location: Road No. 12, Banjara Hills Cuisine: Buffet Meal: Lunch (with amma and dad)
On a Sunday afternoon, I finally dropped in to A’la Liberty for their buffet lunch. To make sure we didn’t have to wait, I called in early and reserved a table for 2:00 PM. When we walked in, we were directed to a table which was still being cleaned up. Eventually, we were put across another one right next to the buffet spread. Ambiance wise, I thought the place was too crowded in every sense. Apart from being packed, the tables were placed very close to each other, to an extent that I had to couch every time someone from the next table had to get up. Unimpressed by the ambiance, I was hoping the food and service to make it up.
Once we were seated, even before we had settled in, the waiters started serving a couple of starters into one of our plates. This was very odd for the food left on the servers dish after serving the adjacent table was being dumped into my dad’s plate while the other two plates on the table were left empty. So while dad started his meal, me and amma were left waiting.
While hoping for the starters, we were served instead with two bowls of Sweet Corn Soup (while there were three people at the table). Argh! The soup tasted pretty bland and was forgettable. It’s another story on the number of times I had to ask the waiter for a pepper shaker before I was handed one.
Finally, after almost 15 minutes since my dad was served, I had the some starters on my plate. They had Dragon Rolls, Yogurt Paneer, Beetroot Chop and Pudina Aloo. The rolls were crispy and pretty good while the baby potatoes were average. The Beetroot Chop was the best of the lot, crunchy with a nice flavor. The paneer was also pretty good, for it was very fresh and had a tangy taste. Decent starters, but nothing out of the world. I was told that their starters are the best part of the meal, but I wasn’t really impressed.
After finishing with the starters, I walked towards the spread to check out whats on offering. While they had covered most cuisines, it wasn’t exorbitant either. I started with some Pani Puri and Dahi Papdi, and both of them turned out to be good. I actually loved the Dahi Papdi.
On Italian front, apart from the Mini Pizza, they had Baked Vegetables and a live pasta counter. First serving of the pizza was thick and soggy while the second turned out to be good. I asked for some pasta in white sauce, which turned out to be alright. I thought the sauce was too thin, and adding a couple of vegetables could have made it better. There was very little of the Baked Vegetables left in the bowl on the spread, most of it dry. I was apprehensive of its taste, but it turned out to be delicious, way better than the pizza or the pasta.
Next I headed out to try their Chinese offerings – Noodles, Fried Rice and Dumplings in Manchurian sauce. But for the Manchurian sauce being a little sour, the rest tasted decent.
Heading towards the Indian section, they had Paneer Makhni, Nargisi Kofta, Veg. CHatpat, Jaipuri Bhendi and Dal Makhni. They also had Kadi Pakodi which I didn’t taste. All the curries tasted good along with the Butter Naan and Kulcha served along. The kofta was the best of the lot, with the gravy being thick, creamy and yummy. The paneer also tasted very good.
I had a taste of the Biryani which like in any other buffet turned out to be mediocre.
For desserts, they had Badam Moong Dal Halwa, Angoori Gulab Jamoon, Mango Malai Marvel, Blueberry Cheesecake, Truffle Pudding and Cupcakes on offer apart from cut fruits and four flavors of ice-creams. But for the cup cakes, everything else turned out t be delicious. I loved the Mango Custard and the Cheesecake the best (though it wasn’t the best cheesecake, it tasted yum).
Overall, an average meal. While most of the food was good, I thought there was still scope for improvement. However, I was very very unhappy with the service and ambiance of the place. I do understand that the place is packed on most occasions and it gets difficult to manage, but lack of basic courtesy by servers and stewards is unacceptable. Apart from the dumping of food on one of the three plates at the table, when I asked a waiter to get me some Naan, I was indifferently asked to instruct the waiter at my table instead. How was I supposed to keep tabs on who was responsible for my table when there were at least five people attending to us in the hour we sat there?
And add to that a fish market kinda ambiance. There were quite a few customers standing and eating their food at the buffet itself instead of moving to their tables. This continued for really long, to a point where I had someone standing over my head and eating desserts (for I was seated right next to the spread). Irritated, I had to complaint to the manager before he made them move to their tables.
Small details make a big difference, and such details were not attended to at A’la Liberty. The food wasn’t out of the world good wither for me to disregard the other major flaws. I doubt if I’d ever venture back to this place again (I’d rather prefer a more reasonable spread at Ohri’s Jiva Imperia).