They might have had their differences in the past, but Farah and SRK do have some great chemistry together; and that comes across on their hat-trick venture Happy New Year!
It’s no new story and like with the recent few movies, you’ve seen it all before. A family is destroyed because of the antagonist, and the family is thirsty for revenge (doesn’t this remind you of Bang Bang??). The family here happens to be a bunch of buddies, who decide to rob a high security vault, aka Ocean Eleven style, to put the villain in trouble. Though it all seems redundant, Farah does a decent job of keeping the film on track without making it boring. There is a lot of richness associated with the movie which gives it a nice look and feel. While direction is pretty neat, the screenplay could have been a better. A movie like this needed to be crisp, and a run time of 180 minutes just bogs you down. Nevertheless, she does a good job altogether for the movie is pretty entertaining. And ya, worth mention are the witty one-liners from old classics (should I be referring them to as classics? :-O)
On acting front, it’s SRK show all the way. And for once (after long), he puts away his stupid antics and comes up with a neat performance. While his body did look good, his face is starting to show age. Deepika comes into the movie one hour through, and does a decent job. I thought she looks over-toned, and would have looked better with some flesh on her belly. Abhishek overacts (like usual); good for him that his character needed over-action. Boman Irani is pretty good as the old chap, while he too seemed to overact on occasions. It’s nice to see Sonu Sood playing a positive role, and he comes up with a good act. However, his intro and first fight were sad and totally unnecessary.
Music by Vishal-Shekhar is could have been way better. But for the title track, everything else is more or less mediocre. Background score by John Stewart Eduri is decent. Editing by Anand Subaya could have been crisper. As already mentioned, the length pulls you down and a few edits seem really necessary. Cinematography by Manush Nandan is neat. Dialogues by Mayur Puri are entertaining. On the downside, you’d expect better dances in a film by a choreographer.
Is it worth your time and money??:The movie is entertaining and you never tend to get bored. The plus points are star cast and lavish sets and locales, while the length and pace play spoil sport. A few edits would make the film more engaging. It’s a good watch nevertheless, but only if you walk in without any pretensions; otherwise, you’d find it to be another run-off-the-mill flashy masala films.
Here’s another restaurant with raving reviews I’ve been wanting to visit for a while. I’ve been told that this place is always busy, especially over the weekends, so I called in on Friday to reserve a table for lunch either for Saturday or Sunday. I was turned down for they were already full. I again called in on Saturday morning and was told the same, but they suggested to try walking in. Taking my chances, I reached AB’s a little after they opened for the day, and was seated in a jiffy at a table for two in between the buffet and the wish grill without any hassle. Surprisingly, the place was full by then itself. The interiors of the restaurant were good, and I was pretty impressed with the overall ambiance of the place.
The initial few minutes were lull, and it took a while for someone to attend to me. After about ten minutes, the griller was placed on my table, and everything was in place for a long meal.
First came Crispy Corn. Though they tasted good, I would have preferred them to be hot and more crispy.
Then came the grills: Stuffed Mushroom in Tamarillo Sauce, Mama’s Caribbean Cottage Cheese and Cuban Grilled Vegetables. The grilled veggies mostly had peppers with corn on the cob, which tasted decent. The paneer was really soft and tasted yum along with the condiments, especially the mango and chilli sauces.
But the best of the lot happened to be Stuffed Mushrooms. They were perfectly grilled and had the right amount of seasoning to make them delicious. I’ve said this often, but these were some of the best I’ve had in recent while. Yum!!
While I hogged on 3-4 skewers of paneer and mushrooms, I was offered a choice of complimentary drink as part of their first anniversary. I chose Blue Curacao Mocktail which turned out to be pretty good.
Then came Falafel with Humus in Pita Pocket. This was a disappointment as the Falafel turned out to be hard, and the pita too wasn’t great. I informed the floor chef about the same, and he got me a hotter one, which turned out to be better, but still not the best.
Next, the final starter of the day’s menu was served: American Cheesy Potato. These turned out to be more or less the same as what I had at Aao Khao a couple of weeks ago; aloo tikkis with spicy cheesy sauce. While the sauce was good, the tikkis weren’t really up to the mark for they were pretty hard and undercooked.
Apart from the five listed starters, there also happened to be Grilled Pineapple which turned out to be toothsome!
Post my feedback about the Falafel and Potatoes, the floor chef offered to serve me some off the menu starters. First came in Honey Chilly Potato Fries which turned out to be pretty good. However, I would have preferred them to be more crispy and spicy.
Finally, he served me some Crispy Cheese Rolls which turned out to be really good. The paper-thin crust almost melt in my mouth with every bite; yummy!
I hadn’t even started on the main course, but was almost stuffed. After a small break, I headed out to the wish-grill.
At first, I had no clue on what exactly I was supposed to do, but soon understood that I had to choose from the choice of vegetables, rice or noodles, and pick a sauce for them to be tossed/grilled with. I choose some veggies with noodles and Szechuan Basil sauce (which in itself was delectable). I was given a paper coupon, and a few moments later, the dish was served on my table.
This looked really good, and tasted equally yum. The chef had added some more veggies apart from my choice, but I didn’t really care for it turned out to be a delicious dish! If I weren’t stuffed, I would have liked to try another combination with a different sauce.
After two hours of munching, it was time to head to the buffet. Ironically, I just had a taste everything for my tummy wouldn’t take any more food for the day.
Though the salad counter looked good, I decided to skip it.
The Taco Twist Soup looked and sounded good, so decided to give it a shot. It actually tasted very different from regular soups, in a good way.
They had Lahori Paneer, Vegetable Jalfrezi, Corn ka Bharta, Kala Dum Aloo, Rasgulle ki Sabzi and Dal Makhni as part of their Indian offerings. The Paneer tasted very good while the rest were decent. Worth mention is the Rasgulle ki Sabzi which had yummy Rasgullas in a creamy sauce; not what you expect, but it actually turned out to be a pretty good experiment. The Dal also turned out to be delicious. They also had Biryani which was, like in any buffet, mediocre. They had Thai Green Curry which was too thin and lacked flavour. The Butter Naan served along was soft and good.
I couldn’t eat any more, I was done. But wait, I still had to taste the desserts. Why god, why!? 😛
They again had a huge offering and I decided to have a taste of everything; all of them turned out to be succulent.
And I ended my laborious meal with a Black Forest ice-cream which was made with loads of nuts; yummilicious!
After three hours, I was done eating. No wonder it’s so difficult to find a table at this place for everyone would just settle down for hours. I ate to my heart’s content after a long time, and how much did it cost? 560 bucks? That’s it, seriously? This is probably the best value for money meal I’ve come across in a long time in Hyderabad. Add to that some personalized service, and you’re in for some pampering. Yes, not all items were great but who cares when most of their huge offering are excellent. It’s a meal worth every penny. Give it a shot if you haven’t yet, and make sure you walk in with a good appetite.
For a foodie meet, dropped in to this small place on Kondapur-GachiBowli road. It’s a small air conditioned, self-service, no seating joint, with pretty neat ambiance. With the kinda food offering, it reminded me of 13 Dhaba, butwith much better atmosphere.
As part of the foodie deal, we were in for a long treat: Cajun Spice Potato, Rajma Chawal, Chole Chawal, Kadi Chawal, Chole Bhature, Amritsari Kulcha, Daal Makhani, Matar Paneer, Roti or Naan, Lassi, Butter Milk, Gulab Jamun, Desi Ghee Jalebi, all for 200 bucks. No, I didn’t eat them all, just tasted a few 😛
The Cajun Spice Potatoes happened to be Aloo Tikkis served with spicy creamy cheese sauce, and chopped onions. The combination was just perfect, and tasted brilliant. It was one of the best starters I’ve tasted in recent while. I couldn’t stop licking the sauce off my fingers. Yum!
I asked for an Amritsari Kulcha with Mutter Paneer and Dal Makhni. The Kulcha wasn’t really great for there was not much stuffing, and tasted bland. The Mutter Paneer too was kinda sad; the paneer was alright, but the gravy was too tomatoey and lacked enough masala. I had a taste of Chole, which also wasn’t really great. However, the Dal Makhni happened to be delicious for it was creamy and just perfect. A saviour in terms of main course dishes.
I next asked for a portion of Dal Chawal, which as expected tasted yum. That apart, I had some Rajma Chamwal, which was pretty good. The Kadi Chawal could have been better.
Surprisingly, the Lassi was very thin and tasted average, while the Butter Milk was creamy and thick.
Both the desserts, the Gulab Jamoon and Jelebi were pretty good.
Overall, it was a decent meal. While few items were excellent, others needed a lot of improvement. Bottom line, give this place a try if you’re in this part of the city. I thought it was definitely better than the dhaba along the road; lemme know what you think.
Meal for 1: Rs. 200/- (as part of the foodie deal)
Place: Olive Bistro
Location: Near Ambedkar University, Jubilee Hills
Meal: Dinner (with a friend)
Olive Bistro has been on my to-go list for a long time now, but there’s never been an occasion to do so. Come Hyderabad Gourmet Week, I finally got the opportunity to visit this place along with a friend. Their special menu looked good and was priced reasonably, so here we were. Our automated reservation was for 7:00 PM on a Sunday evening, but I called and changed it to 9:00 PM. We landed a little early, and were led to a table with my name card, in the closed section of the restaurant without any fuss. The interiors of this section were pretty neat, and the ambiance outside seemed nice (I didn’t explore much).
As part of the Gourmet meal, we were to choose for a starter, main course and a dessert from a fixed list. My friend asked for Farm House Minestrone Soup, Spinach, Olive, Sun-dried Tomato, Corn & Feta Pizza, and Olive’s Signature Bread & Butter Pudding, and I ordered for Cottage Cheese Skewer, Mushroom Fricassee, and Coconut & White Chocolate Panacotta.
The Minestrone Soup was served in about 10 minutes and tasted pretty good. It was thick, tomatoey and had strong Basil flavour.
I know that ordering Cottage Cheese Skewers at an Italian restaurant is a crime, but there was no better alternative on the list. Four chunks of marinated cottage cheese were served along with garlic sauce, and while the sauce was yummy, the paneer didn’t really taste great. If it weren’t for the sauce, I don’t think I’d even consider eating them.
The Mushroom Fricassee was served a while later, and it looked pretty good. On taste front, it was an absolute delight and exactly the way I wanted it to be – creamy, with tons of mushroom, again with a touch of basil. The sauce though could have been little more thicker.
The pizza, which was served after ages, tasted pretty good. However, I thought the crust was too thin, and I would also have preferred more Feta.
It took another forever for the desserts to be served, and both of them looked mouth-watering good. The pudding, though a little too sweet for my liking, tasted really good along with the peaches and cream.
The panacotta tasted absolutely delicious. The coconut flavour was very subtle, and the Mango Jelly served along was perfect.
Overall, it was a pretty good meal. Apart from my starter, everything else tasted decent. However, but for the desserts, nothing was exceptional. And while the ambiance is decent, the service was terribly slow, and I had to keep calling for the stewards over and over even to get some water. For the price you’re paying, you kinda expect everything to be perfect, and that’s where I was disappointed. Nevertheless, if you are willing to excuse such service lapses and have the money to spend, then Olive Bistro could be on your Italian fine dine list.
Place: Deli 9
Location: Road No. 1, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Global, Bakery
Meal: Dinner (with couple of friends)
Deli 9 is currently having a Global Burger and Cheesecake Festival, and few of my vegetarian foodie friends suggested that we drop by to give try their veggie offerings. For some reason, I’ve never visited Deli 9 thus far cos I’ve perceived it as a high-priced cafe for the rich folks, an opinion I formed ages ago after one visit to Fusion 9. Back then, this was one of the only expensive deli’s in town, but given that you spend 300-400 for a Burger at any other restaurant in town today, it doesn’t look so bad after all. So here we were at the Banjara Hills outlet which has pretty good ambiance.
While waiting for our fellow foodies to arrive, a couple of us ordered Crusty Garlic Foccacia with Cheese, and four pieces of cheesy garlic bread were served in about 10 minutes.
These happened to be the best garlic bread I’ve had in the recent past for the bread was perfectly baked and had the right amount of garlic and cheese. If this was anything to go by, we were in for an amazing meal.
Once everyone arrived, we ordered one each of their veggie offerings for the Burger festival – a Veggie 9 Burger, Japanese Ramen Burger and a Lebanon Chickpeas Burger. It took forever for the burgers to be served but we weren’t really complaining. Each burger was served along with exactly six Potato Wedges. I was hoping some kinda dipping sauce or salad, but there was none.
The Veggie 9 Burger had a decent patty sandwiched between multi-grain bread, with some lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and a slice of cheese. The patty was good, however, it was kinda dry and didn’t seem really fresh. While it wasn’t the best burger, it wasn’t a bad bet.
The Ramen Burger looked puny in comparison with others for the bread was replaced with sautéed noodles, and was served with the same veggie patty. While the combination did taste good, the noodles, though well done, were kinda oily which resulted in an oily after taste.
The Chickpea burger had a patty served in between burnt pita bread along with hummus and finely shredded lettuce. Apart from being burnt on one side, the pita bread was really soggy and tasted terrible. The hummus too had no flavour and was more like a chutney. The biggest disappointment of the evening thus far!
And ya, the potato wedges were among the worst ever for they were dripping oil and had no flavour or seasoning – they were deep-fried potato pieces, period.
Now come the best part of our meal – the cheesecakes. They had 9 different offerings but none seemed appealing. We decided to share a Nutella Cheesecake and a Lemon Cheesecake.
First off, the Nutella Cheesecake didn’t look like a cheesecake. It was more like a gooey brownie and tasted exactly like that. Why call it a cheesecake, I’ll never understand. It was too sweet for my liking (because of the Nutella), and overall an average piece of cake.
The Lemon Cheesecake happened to be a piece of rubber and disgrace on the name of cheesecake. Hoping that it had gone stale and that was the reason it tasted bad, I informed the waiter about the same. In response, I was told that it was supposed to be like that for it was a set cheesecake. Brilliant. I actually can’t believe that they serve something so terrible for 150 bucks, and have an excuse for it. It was taken back when I complained about the taste; I was hoping for a replacement, but there was none.
A meal which actually started of pretty well turned out to be a disaster with every item. Forget the burgers, if a place serves this kinda cheesecakes during a supposed festival, then there’s something terribly wrong. The Burgers too weren’t anything special and spending 195 bucks for each of them while the regular one was available for 115 is purely our mistake. The service too was exceedingly slow. A meet at the adjacent Karachi Bakery would have been more fruitful (and pocket friendly).
The festival is still on if you’d like to experience it (till October 30). Good luck!
Vishal Bhardwaj has always made movies which stand apart from the rest. He’s already adapted two of William Shakespeare’s classics in the past (Maqbool – “Macbecth”, Omkara – “Othello”), and Haider (an adaptation of “Hamlet”) is another example of why he’s one of the finest Indian directors today.
Kashmir is considered paradise on earth, and Haider is a movie which showcases the plight of the people living in this paradise. Vishal does this by seamlessly integrating the tragedy of Hamlet into the riots of Kashmir (1995) which causes a number of civilian disappearances. Though a little slow towards the beginning, Haider kicks in beautifully thanks to some exceptional screenplay and direction. The way the entire storyline is showcased in one song is pure brilliance.
Shahid does an exceptional job in the lead role, and his performance at Lal Chowk is absolutely brilliant. Kay Kay Menon gets a meaty role, and for the fine actor that he is, performs with great ease. Sharddha Kapoor looks perfect as a Kashmiri beauty, and Irrfan shines in his brief appearance. But the real star of Haider is the mother torn between her man and son, Tabu She downplays for the most part, but does it so beautifully that you can’t help but fall in love with her character. Brilliant!
Music by Vishal Bhardwaj is another asset to this beautiful tragedy. The background score is probably the best I’ve come across for a Bollywood film – exceptional. Editing by Aarif Sheikh is perfect and cinematography by Pankaj Kumar is beautiful.
Is it worth your time and money??:As a film, Haider is exceptionally well made. But unfortunately, it isn’t a movie for everyone. So watch it only if you enjoy tragedies, or are eager to watch some amazing performances entwined into a perfect script.
Worth mention:Tabu; Shahid’s performance at Lal Chowk; background score.
The trailer made a lot of noise, and the promotions have been extensive. If that’s anything to go by, the film’s a disaster. And bingo!
I’ve never been impressed with Siddharth Anand. All his previous films bombed big time at the box office, so one would have thought that he’d make sensible films now at least. But no, all he does is make a film which makes no sense. Bang Bang is an empty pot, makes a lot of noise. And he does this when he has a relatively average script (Knight and Day) at hand. Instead of just sticking to it all through, he just creates a mess, thanks to some slow and terrible screenplay. I mean, he ripped most of the original’s dialogues and some episodes frame to frame, then why not stick to the original screenplay in whole? Right from the word go, everything in the movie seemed too contrived, and there’s no such thing like logic. Common, no one moves countries so easily without being noticed; and what’s with the race car? Another big problem is that Bang Bang feels like a Hindi movie you’ve already seen, and therefore is very predictable. Direction is mediocre, and someone needs to tell Siddharth Anand that just visuals, stunts and fights aren’t good enough; he still needs to use the script which he officially borrowed (apparently) in an slick manner. It’s supposed to be a thriller for gods sake, not a drama!!
Hrithik looks amazing, and puts his best foot forward (like always). He carries the entire film on his shoulders, but that isn’t good enough. Katrina looks fine and acts in bits and pieces. She’s hot, ok, but she’s no Cameron Diaz! Both of them dance exceptionally well, especially in the title track. The rest of the cast, well, is alright.
Music by Vishal-Shekhar is decent. The title track is really peppy and ‘Meharabaan’ is good as well. Cinematography by Vikas Sivaraman and Sunil Patel is pretty good. Editing by Akiv Ali could have been way better.
Is it worth your time and money??:Unless you have nothing better to do over the weekend, give Bang Bang a miss. Hrithik is the only plus point in this sinking film.
Worth mention:Hrithik’s MJ moves in the title track. But you have to sit through 156 minutes to see this, so all hail YouTube!
At at time when hero has to flex his muscles or say a punch dialogue in almost every scene, when fights dominate most of the movie while logic goes for a toss, here comes an entertainer with just 3 fights in the entire movie (I wish I could say logical, but err… never mind).
Like every other movie in recent time, Srivas’s Loukyam borrows a lot of content from other films; hero helps villain’s sister escape from wedding, later falls in love with another sister, and then tries to make mends with him. Watched it already, haven’t you? But what makes this film different is the directors take on the same old story. Srivas brings in a lot of freshness while infusing abundant amount of comedy, thus producing a perfect entertainer. Overall, direction is neat while screenplay could have been better. If only he could make it a little more realistic (I know that’s a big ask for today’s Telugu movies).
Gopichand looks really fit and comes up with a pretty good performance. Rakul Preet Singh looks great and does a decent job. She does look to have a bright future. Chandra Mohan has a meaty role and does well. Sampath Raj is decent, while Rahul Dev, and to an extent Mukesh Rishi are wasted. Pruthvi Raj is brilliant as “Boiling Star”, especially during the climax fight. But the real star of the movie is Bramhanandam. He does a full length role and entertains to the maximum. If not for him, Loukyam would have been out and dusted by now. Hats-off to Srivas for utilizing him perfectly.
Music by Anoop Rubens is forgettable, and background score should have been better. Cinematography by Vetri is good while editing by Sekhar is alright. There were a couple of sound/dubbing issues which should have been taken care off.
Is it worth your time and money??:Yes, we have an entertainer at hand. It might not be the best film you’ve watched in recent times, but it sure makes you walk out of the theatre satisfied. Plus point is comedy while the routine storyline might disappoint a few. Nevertheless, it deserves a watch.
Worth mention:Bramhanandam’s track and Pruthvi Raj’s episode during the climax fight.