Karachi Bakery (Banjara Hills) | Restaurant Review

Place: Karachi Bakery
Location: Road No. 1, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Bakery, Fast food
Meal: Dinner (with amma)

Was travelling along Banjara Hills with amma a couple of weeks ago, and decided to stop by at Karachi Bakery for a quick meal. Not till then did I know that this place served only vegetarian savories.

Anyways, I ordered a Cheeseburger and a Hyderabadi Club Sandwich, and it took a while for the order to be served.

Karachi Bakery Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Veg. Cheeseburger

The burger came first and was piping hot. They microwaved it for too long and I couldn’t take a bite for almost ten minutes after it was served. On taste front, it turned out to be pretty good. Cheesy, with a lot of curry in between, yummy.

Karachi Bakery Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Hyderabadi Club Sandwich

The Sandwich was served almost when we were done with the Burger. It turned out to be quite disappointing for there was nothing Hyderabadi about it, and neither was there a cutlet/tomato omelet to make it a club sandwich. It was just a multi-layer grilled cheese sandwich wit tomato and cucumber, served with some coleslaw. It did taste good, but disappointment. Surprisingly, it was even priced higher than the burger.

To end the meal, I asked for a chocolate mini cupcake.

Karachi Bakery Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Mini Cupcakes

And for 20 bucks, I thought it was a pretty decent one.

All the pastries at the counter looked really good and tempting. Unable to resist, I asked for take-away of a Belgian Black Forest, a Chocolate Mousse Cake, and a Tiramisu.

Karachi Bakery Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Belgian Black Forest Pastry

The moment I reached home, I dug into all three for a taste, and the Belgian Black Forest pastry turned out to be the best of the lot. It was creamy, chocolaty, and really moist. Overall, yummilicious!!

Karachi Bakery Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Chocolate Mousse Cake

The Chocolate Mousse Cake was the second best. This had loads of cream (which I’m guessing was the mousse). I loved it!

Karachi Bakery Review by Sasikanth Paturi

The Tiramisu was a little disappointing after two yummy pastries. It kinda tasted sour, and there was nothing great about it.

Overall, a pretty good meal. But for the sandwich and Tiramisu, everything turned out to be delicious. And the best part is that everything is priced reasonably, and there was total value for money. I’ve heard good things about their cakes, and after experiencing them myself, I certify them yum. Go hog!

Food: 8.5/10
Desserts: 9/10
Service: 8/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Meal for 2: Rs. 370/-

Verdict: 8.5/10

Kathmandu Momos | Restaurant Review

Place: Kathmandu Momos
Location: Yashoda Hospital Bus Stop, Opp. Saboo Motors, Somajiguda 
Cuisine: Chinese
Meal: Dinner

Having read quite a bit about this small stall selling Momos (another Hidden Gem on Zomato), I ventured out to give them a try. The place was quite difficult to find for it is a small stall within a bus stop, with just a banner and no lights. For anyone searching, just look for a man standing across a table at the bus stop opposite Saboo Motors/Inner Circle. Being a roadside stall, there’s no place to sit and eat; it’s more like having pani puri off a bandi.

I discovered the place a little past 9:00 PM, and the owner, Om Prakash, was in the process of packing things up. All he had were the last 10 pieces of Paneer Momos, 6 of which were reserved by someone else (on phone). So without a choice, I opted for the remaining 4 Momos. The usual options are Vegetable, Chicken and Paneer.


Three of the Momos were piping hot and really soft, while one was a little hard. On taste front, they were actually as good as the ones I had on my visit to Leh. The paneer filling had a nice flavor to it, and the Momos tasted yum along with the tangy, spicy szechuan chutney. I was left craving for more, for another night.

Priced reasonably (50 bucks for a regular plate of 6 Paneer/Chicken, and 40 for Vegetable), this place is really a hidden gem in Hyderabad. I’m going back soon to try their Vegetable Momos. Give it a shot and lemme know what you think 🙂

Food: 9/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: N/A
Meal for 1: Rs. 30/- (for 4 Momos)

Verdict: 9/10

Theobroma (Mumbai) | Restaurant Review

Place: Theobroma
Location: Colaba/Lokhandwala
Meal: Dessert

I’ve always loved cakes and pastries more than ice-creams when it came to desserts, and Theobroma serves the best pastries in Mumbai, so I had to be here. After the heavy meal at Cafe Churchill, which included a Blueberry Cheesecake, and a long walk along Gateway, me and a friend dropped in to their store at Colaba. At around 4:00 PM, the place was pretty much packed (as usual).

We walked to the counter, and while we’re deciding on what to indulge on, the elderly lady at the counter suggested we try the Vodka Chilli Cheesecake. That apart, we asked for a Devil’s Mousse Cake.


We took a seat in a corner, and the cakes were served immediately. The Cheesecake tasted very different from what I’ve ever tasted before (probably because of the liquor) and had a strong aftertaste thanks to the chilli. Thought not my favorite, it was good nevertheless.


On the other hand, I absolutely loved the Devil’s Mousse. This flourless cake was creamy, very light, and melt in my mouth. I wouldn’t mind travelling to Mumbai again just for a taste of this cake. Yummilicious.

The very next day, met a few college friends and we dropped in to the store at Lokhandwala. Surprisingly, this place was empty, and had fewer options compared to the store at Colaba. While others tried a sugarless Brownie and Red Velvet Cheesecake, I opted for Banana Caramel Cupcake. I had tried their Blueberry mini cupcake the last time around at Colaba, and it turned out to be the best cupcake I’ve ever tasted, so had high expectations from this one.


While it wasn’t as great as the one I remember, it was still pretty good. I don’t think it was fresh, and that is the reason it didn’t taste great.

If you love your desserts, this place is a must try in Mumbai. They have stores all over the city, but I’d suggest you try the one at Colaba. Everything is reasonably priced, the ambiance is pretty neat, and most of the cakes and pastries are excellent. I wish they opened a branch in Hyderabad. Go try their cakes now!

Food: 9/10
Service: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Avg. Price per slice: Rs. 90/-

Verdict: 9/10

Hazzel Ice Cream Cafe | Restaurant Review

Place: Hazzel Ice Cream Cafe
Location: Near Peddamma Temple, Road No. 10, Jubilee Hills
Cuisine: Desserts, Fast Food
Meal: Ice Cream (with friends)

Met a couple of friends the other night, and after hogging on the last order at Maharaja Chat, decided to stop by at Hazzel for ice cream. I was the one who dragged them here, thanks to the reviews. Walking in at around 11:30 PM, we were surprised to find the place packed. The ambiance is pretty neat, with the place is brightly lit. We sat in a corner, and waited for someone to hand us a menu.

After about 10 minutes, we were handed a pretty badly torn menu (one menu for 3 people). The first few pages were filled with food items (I thought this was an ice cream corner :|). We finally found the page with the ice cream offerings, and there were quite a few. After a long discussion, we finally decided on a Sticky Chewy Chocolate, Chocolate Almond Fudge and Chocolate and Cream.

It took forever, and I mean forever for the ice cream to be served. And this wait was even more painful as the guy at the counter was mashing ice creams (aka Cold Stone style) so loudly that we couldn’t hear each other across the table. He could have bought a building down with the amount of sound pollution. Anyways, after about 15 minutes, the first ice cream was served.


The Sticky Chewy Chocolate it was, and it was just alright. It had some gooey chocolate sauce along with chocolate ice cream and a couple of brownie chunks. It was a decent ice cream, but nothing memorable.


After another 10 minute wait, the Chocolate Almond Fudge was served. My friend asked for some caramel sauce on this one, but there was none. This tasted similar to the first ice cream, with the gooey chocolate replaced by very little fudge. Again, nothing special.


After an hour since we entered the place, my ice-cream, the easiest one to make of them all, Chocolate and Cream was finally served (My friends had almost finished their ice-creams by now). This one looked great, and the cream tasted yum. However, the chocolate fudge on the bottom was very very sweet, and spoilt the entire ice cream when dug into. The chocolate ice cream and cream were the only palatable items.

Overall, a disappointment. None of the ice cream were out of this world good, and the noise at the place was a huge put off. I read a couple of reviews calling this place economical and pocket friendly, but I wouldn’t agree. For 500 bucks, I could have had close to 10 Kwality Walls or Amul ice creams. But for the hype and the noise, there’s nothing special about this place.

Another place with raving reviews, another disappointment!

Desserts: 7/10
Service: 4/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Price for 3: Rs 494/-

Verdict: 6/10

K&C Bakers & Confectioners | Restaurant Review

Place: K&C Bakers & Confectioners (The Original King and Cardinal Bakery)
Location: Himayat Nagar X Roads
Cuisine: Bakers, Fast Food
Meal: Dinner

There are tons of places boasting to serve the best burger in Hyderabad, but nothing beats the ones you get at the original King and Cardinal Bakery. Forget Universal, Pick and Move, Big Byte, the burgers here are, wait-for-it, legendary!

The bakery has been split into two in the last few years, with another branch located two building next to it (which is called King and Cardinal). The newer place has better ambiance, and is a tad bit expensive than K&C, and their burgers are equally good. But I’d prefer the original K&C any day, which is on a lower ground compared to the newer place on every front but for the taste.


For 50 bucks, these guys serve a sumptuous and juicy burger (I know it’s weird calling a veggie burger juicy, but this one is, trust me). The patty is yum, and their mayonnaise is finger licking good, oozing out with every bite. The bun too is super soft and fluffy. Overall, an amazing burger experience.

If your love your burgers, K&C must be on top of your list. The place, service and ambiance aren’t great, but who cares when their burgers are awesome. Their pizza’s are pretty famous too, but I’ve never tasted one so far (maybe next time). As of now, go grab their burger!!

Food: 9.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 50 /-

Verdict: 9.5/10



I also tried out the Veggie Burger at the newer King and Cardinal, which has better ambiance. Priced the same, this burger gives close competition to the one at K&C, but is no where close to the original’s legendary taste.

Ram Ki Bandi | Restaurant Review

Place: Ram Tiffin Center (Ram Ki Bandi)
Location: Adj. lane to Arrow, Road No. 2, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Indian Tiffins
Meal: Lunch

Update: Ram Ki Bandi, Banjara Hills, has now upgraded to an air-conditioned joint with ample seating, and is open all day long 🙂

Read on…

I’ve been reading and hearing some raving reviews of Ram Ki Bandi at Nampally for a long time now, but never got an opportunity to visit the place as it’s open only in the mornings, and is kinda far from my place. But now that they’ve opened a new branch at Banjara Hills, I wasn’t gonna stay put. On a weekday afternoon, here I was to hog.

This place serves Idly, Vada and their speciality, dosas. On ambiance front, its put up in a small hall with standing area, nothing great. Who cares about the ambiance when the food is finger licking good? Anyways, I ordered a Butter Paneer Dosa, and was served in about five minutes.

Ram Ki Bandi Restaurant Review
Paneer Masala Dosa

Having seen how the dosa was being made, with tons of butter and paneer, my mouth wouldn’t stop watering. I gulped it down piece by piece, and realized that all the reviews I’ve heard so far weren’t exaggerating (surprisingly). This dosa was simply yum. It was crispy, and the masala rubbed across with the butter and paneer gave it an amazing taste, while the chutney served along also was delicious. I absolutely loved the dosa, but was kinda disappointed with the size for it didn’t even fill half of my tummy. So now ordered a Butter Cheese Dosa, which turned out to be even better than the Paneer Dosa. Awesome stuff!

Having tasted some amazing dosas at Khau Galli, Ghatkopar (Mumbai), I’ve always been apprehensive of the kind and variety you get in Hyderabad. Ram Ki Bandi served something on par with the dosas you get at in Mumbai. I wish and hope they would increase their menu offerings (such as Spring Roll Dosa, etc.).

Give this place a try if you haven’t yet. It’s something every Hyderabadi must taste 🙂

Food: 9.5/10
Service: 9.5/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 120/- (60 bucks for each dosa)

Verdict: 9.5/10

Click to add a blog post for Ram Tiffin Center on Zomato

Big Byte Bakery | Restaurant Review

Place: Big Byte Bakery
Location: Srinagar Colony Main Road
Cuisine: Pizza
Meal: Dinner

I’ve been hogging at Big Byte from the day it opened 20 years ago. Their Chocolate Eclair and Black Forest pastry were my daily treats after school for close to 4 years. All their pastries are yum, and so are their Burgers. My personal favorite is the Paneer Burger.

But over the years, their food quality has been reducing while their prices have been on a substantial rise. The ambiance has also lost its charm, is now pretty untidy. I happened to find cockroaches around their pastry cabins on more than a couple of occasions. I’m gonna think twice now before I have any of their pastries!

Anyhow, on this evening I was craving for a pizza but didn’t want to spend hundreds on a Dominos or Pizza Hut, and so was at Big Byte to have their special, Veg Pataka Pizza (double layered). I asked for a take away, and had to wait for about 15 minutes.

Big Byte Bakery Review by Sasikanth Paturi
Veg. Pataka

The pizza looked really good, but wasn’t that great to taste. The base wasn’t baked properly, and the tomato sauce tasted more like ketchup. I asked for pizza sans capsicum, but was served a pizza with barely any other veggies (just a couple of onions and tomatoes). The cheese too was very light, and was coming off the slice in just one bite. A disappointment, and my craving wasn’t satisfied.

Big Byte, along with Baker’s Inn and Midway (now closed), happens to be few of the best bakeries from the 90’s. But unless they improve on their quality and their standards, I don’t think I’d be returning to them for my baking needs.

Food: 6/10
Ambiance: 5/10
Service: 5/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 130/-

Verdict: 5.5/10

Mexican Grill Subs | Restaurant Review

Place: Mexican Grill Subs
Location: Road No. 45, Jubilee Hills
Cuisine: Sub/Pizza
Meal: Dinner

I came across this place a couple of days ago while travelling on Road No. 45. A little curious, I checked out their Zomato page and discovered that they serve fat-free subs. Given that I’ve been trying to control my diet for the past few days, thought I’d give this one a try and rode up to the place. It’s a small joint, with just a couple of tables inside, and a couple outside facing the road. I was greeted politely when I entered, and offered a menu.

Though named Mexican Grill, I honestly didn’t find anything Mexican about the place, and neither is anything grilled (at least on vegetarian front). They had five choices (veg), and I opted for a six-inch Herb Chilli Patty on Parmesan Oregano bread. There was an option of having the veggies on a corn bread pizza base. The quantity of veggies put on the sub were decent, and the patty was similar to the Aloo Patty of Subway sans the oil. I asked the sub to be toasted with the veggies, and then for a little of all the sauces.

The only two tables inside being occupied, I opted for a takeaway. Though the sub remained hot by the time I reached home and took a bite, the bread had become very soggy (I’m hoping it would have been good had I eaten it there). Bread apart, taste wise, it was pretty good. The patty was tasty, and the veggies were crunchy. A bit of honey (one of their sauces) gave it a nice flavor.

It would be nice for these guys to have more vegetarian options on their menu, as well as incorporate Mexican style in some form (maybe offer baked Nachos or something). I would have also loved the sub to be grilled instead being toasted like at Subway or Quiznos. The price also might seem on the higher side if not opting for sub of the day. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my sub, and might come back to the place soon. It definitely is better than the Indian Subway!

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambience: 7/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 126/-

Verdict: 7.5/10

McDonald’s | Restaurant Review

Place: McDonald’s
Location: S D Road
Cuisine: Fast Food
Meal: Dinner (with cousins)

First off, let me make it very clear that I love McDonald’s, or at least used to until my visit to the store on S D Road. Wanting to have some fries and ice-cream, we decided to drop in at McD on a Sunday evening. I ordered for a medium McAloo Tikki meal, asking for Coke Float instead of the Coke, Peri-Peri mix, a McFlurry ice-cream and a portion of the Crispy Veggie Poppers. The bill came up to Rs. 195/-, and I paid using my credit card.

While I was waiting for my order to arrive, I started to calculate why the bill turned up to Rs.195/-. I checked the bill, and was charged as follows.


In a nutshell, I was charged Rs. 102/- for the medium McAloo Tikki meal, Rs. 13/- for the Peri Peri mix, Rs. 25/- for the Poppers, and Rs. 22/- for the McSwirl, which comes upto a total of Rs. 162/-. I was surprised to see that I was charged Rs. 33/- as taxes. I don’t remember McD ever charging taxes on their food, for they were always inclusive, but having stayed away from India for a while, I thought it must be some new regulation, and was actually fine with it.

Then I look up at the display menus behind the counter, and see their new double burgers. This is what I saw.


If you observe closely, you will find the price for the Double McAloo Tikki medium meal as Rs. 100/-. I was startled by this. Being charged Rs.102/- for a single burger when the double burger was priced at Rs. 100/-, I immediately asked the guy at the counter about the same, and he informed me that the 102/- was including the taxes, which wasn’t the case. When I demanded for a better answer, he called upon a bunch of guys, all of them arguing that Rs. 102/- was the right price. I wasn’t planning to budge and therefore stood my ground.

They took my bill in, discussed a bit, and a while later, a new guy calling himself the manager (though he didn’t look like one) walks up to me and says that they have a new menu and the prices haven’t been updated yet on the display menu. When I asked how that was possible, he didn’t have an answer. I demanded to know the price of the McAloo Tikki meal. They actually didn’t know the price, and were punching it into the machine to tell me how much it costs. This time around, they came up with an even better number of Rs. 126/-. I was shocked to see this attitude from one of the best service restaurants in the world.

The manager, Sai Kiran, asked me to take a seat and enjoy my meal while he sorted things out and got back to me. My cousins and myself walked up to the first floor to sit and eat. Ten minutes later, he walks up and says that there has been some error, and wanted my phone number and email so that they could get back to me later. When I demanded an answer right then, he went back again and came back after another ten minutes. He said that the menu which was displayed was the lunch menu, and therefore had different prices. The display menu didn’t mention anything about lunch, and so I asked him for better explanation. He requested that I come down with him which I did.

While he was trying to argue with me and convince me that what was billed was the right price, I asked him to give me prices of the items in the meal individually. The McAloo Tikki cost Rs. 25/- (which was on the display), medium fries and Coke costed Rs. 42/- and Rs. 51/- (prices they had quoted) respectively. This total comes up to Rs. 118/-. A McChicken meal, with a burger priced at Rs. 75/- costs Rs. 122/- (can be seen in the left corner of the picture) instead of Rs. 168/-, a discount of Rs. 46/-. The Masala Grill Veg., which costs Rs. 39/- had a meal priced at Rs. 92/-, a discount of Rs. 40/-.The McAloo Tikki had a discount of Rs. 16/-. When I asked how this was logically possible, neither of the guys trying to argue with me had an answer.

While all of this was happening, they showed me the display again and again and tried to argue that the Rs. 100/- displayed for the Double McAloo Tikki was the lunch menu, rolled it over to show a new dinner menu, where in there was no McAloo Tikki meal. Both the menus, before and after the roll, looked exactly the same, and none of them had any mention of Lunch menu on it. This argument went on for a while, where in the bunch of guys including the manager would agree on the mistake that there was no mention of lunch on either of them, but had no answer. They said the marketing guys were responsible for the prices and display menus.

Another customer who overheard my argument joined in and pointed out on how the prices for the same item were different before and after the roll over; The Double McVeggie meal was priced at Rs. 139/- (as seen in the picture) on one side, and at Rs. 131/- on the other (I wanted to click a picture, but the manager didn’t let me). The manager told the customer that the rollover was the lunch menu, satisfied him and sent him away. Something I realized however was that the menu which showed Rs. 139/- was the claimed lunch menu, with the Rs. 100/- Double McAloo Tikki (picture), while the other menu, the supposed dinner menu had the Double McVeggie priced at Rs. 131/-. So the dinner was actually cheaper than the lunch. In either case, there was an error. When I asked the manager about the same, he was clueless. When I asked him for the printed menu with prices, he refused to show it to me. The fact that the same item had two prices on their menu came as a real shocker.

Having just completed my Global MBA, and having done more than a couple of cases on the efficiency and high service standards of McDonald’s, I was absolutely stunned at what I was discovering. It looked like they had no fixed price for any item, and were charging whatever they seemed right, and we as customers were paying it without questioning. If it were just a one-off where in I was charged wrong and was refunded, I would have shut up and left. However, it doesn’t seem like a one-off thing but something they do very often. Being given the bill after the cash has been paid, on most occasions, we have no clue on how much we are being charged for each item, and taking this as an advantage, McD seems to be, for lack of a better word, looting its customers.

Having been a fan of McD for as long as I can remember, I nevertheless hope that this was an honest mistake and they rectify it. In the case that it isn’t, McDonald’s will no longer be the place I’d be visiting for a long time. If you plan to, I’d suggest that you double-check your bill, for you never know how much the original prices of the items are.

As of now though, I’m no longer lovin’ it!

Update: I got a call this morning from the manager Sai Kiran. He apparently spoke to the head office about the prices and this is what he had to say – “Normal McAloo Tikki meal is Rs. 102/- and the Double McAloo Tikki meal is Rs. 105/-“. A difference of 3 bucks for an extra patty. When I asked him how the display said Rs. 100/-, he said the prices were printed wrong on the menu 🙂

Verdict: N/A

P.S.: I was told I would be getting a refund for they agreed there was an error, but was never offered one.

Ohri’s Banjara | Restaurant Review

Place: Ohri’s Banjara
Location: Road No. 12, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: Indian/Continental
Meal: Dinner (with a friend)

Dropped in at Ohri’s Banjara for dinner the other day with a friend, and it turned out to be a dinner full of surprises. We first walked into Serengeti, but since both of us didn’t have a heavy appetite that evening, decided to munch on something at Eatmor on the ground floor. The place was pretty empty when we walked in around 8:00 PM, but got full as the night progressed.

We wanted to try their Andhra Firecrackers (veg). That apart, I wanted to have something new, so decided to order a portion of Veg. Dumplings. I’ve been craving for good dumplings in the recent past and was looking forward to them. I also ordered for my regular at Ohri’s, the Big Chill.


The Big Chill was served first, in about 10 minutes. As expected, the drink was very good – chocolaty, with a hint of coffee flavor, and loads of cookies and cream.


The Andhra Firecrackers were served next. I usually love this dish of theirs, but on this day, the paneer was stale, and therefore, they didn’t taste good. They infact were soggy and uneatable after a point.


The big surprise though was when the Veg. Dumplings arrived. Traditionally, dumplings are cooked balls of dough, either based out of flour, potatoes or bread (more on dumplings can be found here). But the ones they served looked very different, so I called the waiter and made sure that he got the right order. Though he concurred, the things they served us are usually called Cutlets, which by the way, used to be very good at the erstwhile Havmor (Ohri’s Basheerbagh). I was in no mood to argue with him and decided to dig in. They tasted alright, but were a little spicy, and a couple of them were a little undercooked. My want of having dumplings down the drain!

For the main course, my friend ordered Chole Batura, while I ordered for something called Mushroom and Herbs. It took time for the order to be served, but since we were in no hurry, didn’t bother much about it. The Chole Batura was served first, and it tasted pretty good. My friend was happy with it.


The second surprise was when the Mushroom and Herbs was served. What I thought would be a main course in fact turned out to be a thick soup. It was creamy, with loads of mushrooms, but had loads of Dill which wasn’t very fresh. This made it inedible in a way (or atleast, I found it inedible). The garlic bread served along also turned out to be very soggy. It was a big disappointment, and I actually stopped eating mid way through.

To finish things off, my friend wanted to order a Bull’s Eye, and so we did.


It took forever for the dessert to be served. When we dug in, we realized that the brownie was not fresh and it was really difficult to cut through it. We informed  this to the waiter, and he replaced the dessert for us. But again, it was no better, and so we decided to gulp it the way it was. Other than the ice-cream with chocolate sauce, there was nothing good about it.

Overall, a mediocre meal. Except for the Chole Batura, and may be the so-called dumplings/cutlets, everything else tasted poor. To add to this, the bill came to a whopping 1300, thanks to 300 bucks of taxes and service charges. Other than the ambiance and maybe the service, there was nothing worthwhile about our visit, barring the couple of surprises. I don’t think I’ll be going back to this place for a long time, not even for my beloved Big Chill.

Food: 5/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Meal for 2: Rs. 1300/-

Verdict: 6/10