McDonald’s | Restaurant Review

Place: McDonald’s
Location: Delivery
Cuisine: Fast Food
Meal: Brunch (at home)

My last review of McDonald’s was back in 2013, and I said I’m no longer lovin’ it. Since then, over the last 8 years or so, I haven’t dined or ordered from McD but for the one-off visit to get a McFloat. I’ve realized over the years that most of the fast-food chains are not worth it for they all serve something very different from what is advertised (read on to understand what I mean).

So come last week, I get a call from an agency in Mumbai who wanted me to try and review McD’s Maharaja Mac meal and McSpicy Paneer burger. I said yes, and the burgers were delivered last morning.

Maharaja Mac Meal

On most occasions, fast food like pizza or burgers are not packed properly which results in them becoming squishy by the time you take a bite (I recently had a pizza delivered in a very bad, almost inedible state). Thankfully though, McD ensured that this was not the case today for they ensured very good packaging. Everything was in its place, and care was taken to ensure that the fully cling-wrapped coke was kept away from the burgers. 

As per their website, the Veg Maharaja Mac is supposed to be a Big Mac sesame seeds bun sandwiched with rich & crusty cheesy corn patty, topped with chunky vegetable-cocktail sauce served with pungent jalapeño slices, red onion slices, cheddar cheese slice & crisp iceberg lettuce. Sounds delicious right?

Now let us talk reality; the Veg Maharaja Mac was actually a Big Mac sesame seeds bun sandwiched with rich & crusty cheesy crunchy corn patty, topped with chunky vegetable-cocktail chipotle sauce served with (barely any) pungent jalapeño slices, red onion slices, cheddar cheese slice & lot of crisp wilted iceberg lettuce. It still doesn’t sound bad, but for someone who loves their cheese, not having the cheese slice or the cheesy patty is a big turn-off. 

The burger was huge and it took effort to take a bite. It tasted good, the few jalapeños and onion slices added a nice flavor, and the corn patty was crunchy. It was quite a meal in itself, and I was struggling to finish it. I however missed the cheese!

The McSpicy Paneer, thankfully, was much simpler with creamy sauce and crispy lettuce, and of course the paneer patty. Everything was as it needed to be, again with the same chipotle sauce and the burger was alright. The lettuce however was almost bad and added a bitter after taste. 

The Fries were standard, and Coke was, well, Coke 🙂

Overall, the burgers were decent but the lack of cheese in the Maharaja Mac and bad lettuce in the McSpicy Paneer were let off. I know every experience is different at McD (or even Burger King) and depends on the crew members working on the order, but they need to make sure and be stringent to ensure that the crew sticks to the recipe and does not miss steps. 

Food: 7/10
Packaging: 8.5/10
Delivery Experience: 8.5/10
Meal for 2: N/A (Tasting)

Verdict: 7.5/10

McDonald's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Guilt Trip | Restaurant Review

Place: Guilt Trip
Location: Road No. 9, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Fast-food
Meal: Dinner (with better half)

We wanted to drop into The Gallery Cafe again, but given that those guys were having an off day because of some power issues, we came down to Guilt Trip. While we’ve had desserts here on a couple of occasions before, never sat in for dinner. We settled down in a corner of their brightly lit lower floor lounge. The seating arrangements could have been more comfortable, but I guess they are fine for a small place like this one.

We ordered for a Margarita pizza, Pomodoro Pasta, and a Devils Own.

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Devils Own

The drink was served first, and this tasted alright. While the sugar was alright, I thought there was more coffee than required.

Guilt Trip Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Margarita

An oval-shaped pizza was served soon, and it looked yum. On taste front, while the crust was good, there were more than a couple of burnt edges. There could have added more cheese as well.

Guilt Trip Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Veg. Pomodoro

The Pasta turned out to be the best dish of the night. It was creamy enough, and had perfect seasoning.

To end the meal, we ordered for a Chocolate Mousse.

Guilt Trip Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Chocolate Mousse

Surprisingly, this had more white chocolate than dark chocolate (I’ve never come across a white chocolate mousse before). It tasted alright but it definitely didn’t meet my expectations. In fact, while people swear on this place for their desserts, I’ve never experienced nirvana on any of their stuff. Either my expectations are too high or other people’s tastes are very different from mine.

Overall, a passable meal. With friendly service and decent ambiance, Guilt Trip should be a good hang out joint for teenagers and college folk. Maybe I’ve grown too old to relish such atmosphere.

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Meal for 2: Rs. 663/-

Verdict: 7.5/10

Guilt Trip Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Gallery Cafe | Restaurant Review

Place: The Gallery Cafe
Location: Road No. 10, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Fast-food
Meal: Dinner (with better half)

At a recent Zomato meetup, heard people talk about this new cafe in town, and eventually decided to drop in on a Friday evening with my better half. Located almost opposite Ofen, The Gallery Cafe is a brightly lit restaurant with some neat interiors. As the name suggests, it’s a small gallery with limited number of tables. There was just one table occupied when we walked in, and we made ourselves comfortable in a corner.

I had already had read through their menu, so ordered for food right away; Cheese Corn Nuggets with Tartar sauce, Grilled Pannini with Cheese, and Spaghetti in Fine Herbs and Cream sauce.

We also ordered for a drink, Double Chocolate Shybby. This was served pretty quickly and tasted yum. Though a little too sweet for my liking, the extra dose of chocolate was much required after a long day.

The Gallery Cafe Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Cheese Corn Nuggets

The Nuggets came in soon enough. While the quantity served seemed minimal, they tasted amazingly good thanks to the overload of molten cheese under the crisp coating. They went perfectly well with the Tartar sauce served along.

The Gallery Cafe Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Grilled Pannini with Cheese

The Panini was served with Coleslaw and Fries, and tasted equally good. The bread was fresh and the stuffing was near perfect (thanks to the cheese). The Coleslaw tasted decent while the Fries could have been crisp.

The Gallery Cafe Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Spaghetti in Fine Herbs and Cheese Sauce

Next came in the extra creamy Spaghetti, and that is exactly what the doctor ordered for. With perfect flavour and seasoning, it turned out to be yummilicious! The toast bread served along could have been better though.

Overall, a sumptuous satisfactory meal. Almost everything tasted perfect, thanks to an overload of cheese. The ambiance is great; you can bring in a book and chill, or work through the day thanks to electricity ports at every table. The service is prompt and the prices too are pocket friendly. Definitely one of the best cafes in town. Give it a shot!

Food: 9.5/10
Service: 9/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Meal for 2: Rs. 620

Verdict: 9/10

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The Big Mouth | Restaurant Review

Place: The Big Mouth
Location: Next to Ram Ki Bandi, Road No. 2, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Fast Food
Meal: Take away

Having read a  few good reviews about this place, dropped in one night to get some food for myself, amma and dad. The Big Mouth is a small kiosk next to a couple of other food joints including Ram Ki Bandi. There was one guy managing the place, and he was attending to another order when I reached.

I had to wait for about 10 minutes before he could take my order, and I asked for Couch Potato and Mushroom Italiano sandwiches, Chilli Cheese Burger, and a portion of Pav Bhaji. The guy started making the sandwiches one after the other, and so it took a while for my order to get ready.

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The sandwiches had gone cold by the time I reached home and I had to grill them for a couple of minutes before biting in. The sandwiches were stuffed adequately, and amma loved the Couch Potato sandwich. The Mushroom Italiano sandwich was equally yum, with butter oozing in every bite; one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in Hyderabad.

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After biting into some yummy sandwiches, it was time for the Burger, which was quite small in size. It was stuffed with cheese, veggies and a thick patty, but overall, wasn’t really palatable. The bun wasn’t fresh, and the patty too didn’t taste good. Kinda disappointing.

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Pav Bhaji was probably an odd choice/order, but I opted for it wanting to taste most of their offerings. This was a major let down as the bhaji was very thin and lacked the punch. The Pav again wasn’t fresh.

Overall, a mixed meal. While the sandwiches were really yum, rest of the meal wasn’t up to the mark. The fact that I had to wait for about 30 minutes, standing, to get my food wasn’t a good experience either; they definitely need more people to manage the store. I might come back for the sandwiches, but then again, for 70 bucks, I could eat something more and fulfilling, can’t I?

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: N/A
Meal for 3: Rs. 435/-

Verdict: 7/10

Wich Please | Restaurant Review

Place: Wich Please
Location: Next to Domino’s, Gachibowli
Cuisine: Fast food
Meal: Snack

Wanting to explore, decided to visit this town near Hyderabad, a town which came into existence only in last few years, a town I know nothing about: Gachibowli. Once in the town, I looked for a place I can hog at on Zomato, and zeroed in on the second highest rated place, Wich Please. This joint happens to be a small stall next to Domino’s store. I observed that the place had no stools or chairs around for people to sit on while eating. It might be a small kiosk, but that’s something you’d expect as a bare minimum.

Anyway, after some thinking, decided to have the Special Mayo Wich. The description read: finely diced veggies in mayonnaise and cheese. Sound yummy right?

And I observed the guy make the ‘wich’. On a loaf of Spencer’s bread, he put some coleslaw, and sprinkled some masala powder. Next, he took one more slice, added more coleslaw and placed it on the first loaf. He then covered it with another slice, and started toasting it. A little surprised, I asked him where the cheese was and I was told it’s mixed in the mixture. Where??

I had expected something extraordinarily good, but to my utter disappointment, I was served a triple deck coleslaw toast. Hoping that it would taste good, I took my first bite standing on the main road, and my feeling was ‘what the heck is this!’. The coleslaw was cold, and tasted really weird. When I told the guy that the stuffing was cold, his reply was ‘Is it? How can that be?’. The bread wasn’t toasted properly either and barely had any butter. And forget the cheese.

For a place with a tagline ‘why you eat no sandwich!’, it served one of the saddest sandwiches I’ve ever had in my life. I’ve just tasted one of their many offerings, but that’s given me an insight on what’s in store. Obviously I wouldn’t have any more of their sandwiches.

I can’t believe that I actually went searching for this place! And I can’t believe I shelled out 80 bucks for some coleslaw between slices of bread!

Food: 6/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: N/A
Meal for 1: Rs. 80/-

Verdict: 5/10

Bikanerwala | Restaurant Review

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

Roll On | Restaurant Review

Place: Roll On
Location: Adj. Mom and Me, KPHB Colony
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Dinner

I’ve been wanting to try this place since I’ve read about it on Zomato. I dropped down one night after a movie at Cinepolis, but it was already too late and they were done with all the veggie stuff. So here I was on another occasion, on my way to catch another movie. Roll On is a no fancy joint, a small kiosk on the corner of the road with a couple of stools laid in front of the kiosk.

I asked for a Mushroom Olive Cheese Roll, and it took about 5-10 minutes before I was handed the roll.

Roll On Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Mushroom Olive Cheese Roll

Unlike most other places which serve a maida based roll, this place served a wheat chapathi (which was good). The roll was oily, but on taste front it was very good. They used green Olives instead of black and the stuffing was perfect. For 80 bucks, this seemed more like an appetizer though.

Here I was again a few days later after watching another movie at PVR to try something more fulfilling; I ordered for an Egg-less Mushroom Cheese Shahi Paratha.

Roll On Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Mushroom Cheese Shahi Paratha

This time it took a bit longer, about 15 minutes for the paratha to be served. On first sight, the quantity seemed better. Taste wise, though pretty spicy, the paratha was excellent; there was tons of cheese with yummy mushroom masala. I was expecting for it to have some mayonnaise as well, but because I asked for a egg-less paratha, they skipped it. Nevertheless, it turned out to be yum and filled my tummy.

Overall, a decent joint which serves some good rolls and parathas. The rolls are a little overpriced, especially since they don’t really fill your tummy, but the Shahi Paratha was total value for money. Definitely worth a try if you’re in this part of the town, but only if you are willing to ignore the calories.

Food: 8.5/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: N/A
Meal for 1: Rs. 80/- for the Roll; Rs. 90 for the Paratha

Verdict: 8/10

Aao Khao | Restaurant Review

Place: Aao Khao
Location: Kondapur Road, Gachibowli
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Lunch

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, but with 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 😛

Aao Khao Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Cajun Spice Potatoes

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!

Aao Khao Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Amritsari Kulcha and Chole
Aao Khao Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Amritsari Kulcha with Dal Makhni and Mutter Paneer

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.

Aao Khao Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Rajma Chawal
Aao Khao Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Kadi Chawal

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.

Aao Khao Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Lassi and Butter Milk

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.

Food: 8/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: 8/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 200/- (as part of the foodie deal)

Verdict: 8/10

Deli 9 (Banjara Hills)

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.

Deli 9 (Banajara Hills) Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Garlic Foccacia with Cheese

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.

Deli 9 (Banajara Hills) Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Veggie 9 Burger

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.

Deli 9 (Banajara Hills) Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Japanese Ramen Burger

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.

Deli 9 (Banajara Hills) Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Lebanon Chickpeas Burger

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.

Deli 9 (Banajara Hills) Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Nutella 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.

Deli 9 (Banajara Hills) Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Lemon Set Cheesecake

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!

Food: 5.5/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 1270/-

Verdict: 6/10

Udupy’s Ahar | Restaurant Review

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.

Udupy's Ahar Restaurant Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Chinese Combo

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 

Verdict: 5.5/10