Place: Kailash Parbat
Location: Food-court, Forum Mall, Kukatpalli
After watching a movie at PVR, amma, dad and me walked in to the humongous food-court in the Forum Mall. This place had quite a few options, and I decided to try Kailash Parbat which has been on my wish-list for a while now, while amma and dad ordered Dosas from some Dosa place.
Their menu had lot to offer, and after some thinking, I zeroed in on the Veg Combo Meal, which came with 2 Chapatis, 3 Curries, Dal, Pulav, Buttermilk and Gulab Jamoon.
It took about 15 minutes for my order to get ready. The thali meal was well presented, and had Chole, Paneer curry and Aloo Gobi has the three curries. The Dal tasted yum with subtle flavour, while Chole was spicy and good. The paneer gravy was mild and the paneer was very soft. Aloo Gobi was a little disappointing for the gobi wasn’t fresh. The chapatis were super soft and the pulav was flavourful. The Gulab Jamoon wasn’t too sweet, which is exactly what I wanted.
Overall, a pretty good meal. On the down side, I had to shell out about 270 bucks for this meal. Nevertheless, the meal is fulfilling and tasty, so you might give it a try on your next visit to the mall.
Location: Ahuja Estates Lane, Next to Palace Heights, Abids
Meal: Dinner (with amma and dad)
On Christmas, we headed out for a drive and decided to dine at Santosh Dhaba (Jaya International lane). But I realized that they opened a new restaurant next to the Santosh Dhaba Extension, and decided to try it instead. The place was packed with people waiting to get in to both Extension and Jashn. We had to wait for about 15 minutes before we were seated. On ambiance front, the place has good interiors (to give it the fine dine touch), but the tables were cramped next to each other. And there was the reverberating noise; it was like you were at a market rather than a restaurant.
Having walked in, we decided to sit through. But the surprise element was yet to be discovered – a look at their menu. They had more variety than what Santosh Dhaba offers (Italian, Chaat, etc.), but one look at the prices and you’d wonder if you walked into a star restaurant. Everything was overpriced, a Naan which would cost about 20 bucks at the Extension next door was 50! (and I’m guessing they came from the same kitchen). We somehow managed to ignore this and ordered Manchuria as starter, and Bulbul Kofta along with Roti, Aloo Paratha and Stuffed Kulcha for main course.
People at the adjacent table placed their order at the same time as us and their main course was served but our starter was yet to come; that’s how long it took for the Manchuria to be served. And after such a long wait, they turned out to be among the most terrible Manchuria I’ve ever had. Soggy and overcooked, they barely had any flavour. When we informed this to the steward, he just ignored us.
Thankfully, the main course didn’t take long to be served. The Kofta tasted decent, but was nothing spectacular. Roti and Aloo Paratha were alright. The Stuffed Kulcha, which is usually stuffed with cashew nuts, barely had any.
I wanted to order more, but decided against it given the mediocre food and service. Oh yea, the service – though there were waiters standing right next to our table, they wouldn’t hear us out cos it wasn’t their table (all that we had asked them was to get us a fork and some ketchup). In all, one of the most disappointing meals in recent times. Given that its’ from the house of Santosh Dhaba, it’s a bigger disappointment. Never ever coming back, and I suggest you stay away as well.
Place: Shubham Dhaba
Location: Kondapur Main Road
Meal: Lunch (with Foodie friends)
One of my foodie friend has been long telling me about how yum the food is at Shubham Dhaba, but I never got the opportunity to visit. Now that there was a foodie meet, I wasn’t going to miss it and on a lazy Saturday afternoon, here I was to hog along with some foodie friends. Ambiance of the place is nothing great, more or less similar to Santosh Dhaba, Abids.
They had a fixed meal for the meet which had a couple of drinks, starters, main course, a rice item and Dal Batti Churma. Their famous Train Papad was served a few minutes into the meal.
I’m not a fan of papad, but thought this was quite innovative – 4 papads with different toppings/chutneys served together. I liked the Imily chutney one the best.
Next came in the Achari Paneer Tikka. While the paneer was fresh, it wasn’t well marinated and so it felt like I was eating raw paneer. When we informed this to the waiter, we got another serving which tasted better but still wasn’t perfect.
Gobi 65 was served next. While this was pretty good, the gobi was overcooked which kinda made the pieces soggy.
The last starter was Veg. Manchuria which turned out to be excellent. They were crunchy and had perfect taste. These definitely were the best manchuria I’ve had in recent times.
While hogging on the starters, we asked for Buttermilk, Lassi and Masala Thumps Up. The Buttermilk was thick and creamy, while the Lassi was too sweet for my liking. The Masala Thumps Up was alright
While I was full with the food so far, the main course was served – Shubham Special Marwadi Curry and Deewan-E-Khaas, along with some Aloo Paratha and Butter Naan. The Marwadi Curry turned out to be super creamy with full of nuts, and tasted delicious. The Deewan-E-Khas was equally good and tasty. The breads were alright.
Next, Special Fried Rice was served with Dal Tadka (I know it’s weird combination). The fired rice was again excellent with the quality of rice being perfect. The Dal too was pretty decent.
The last item of the meal was Dal Bati Churma. I was totally stuffed by the time this was served so just had a spoonful to taste. It turned out to be oozing with ghee and tasted delicious.
Overall, a pretty good meal. While the first couple of starters weren’t great, the rest of the meal turned out to be palatable. My only concern is with the consistency of the dishes for the taste kept varying with every serving. And also, the food is full of ghee and butter, so it’s definitely not for figure/diet conscious people. That apart, the service was alright and the prices were pretty reasonable. If your bored of the same food at Santosh Dhaba, Shubham is a must try place for you.
Place: Eat India Company
Location: Road No. 36, Jubilee Hills
Meal: Lunch (with a friend)
On a Sunday afternoon, decided to meet a friend at Urban Asia. Only when we walked in did we realize that they have a brunch on Sundays and don’t serve a-la-carte. Most of the stuff on the brunch spread was meat and so we didn’t see a point of spending 800 bucks on it. Next stop, Eat India Company on the floor below. This place has very Indianised ambiance, and we made ourselves comfortable at a table for two in a corner.
They had two different menus for starters and main course which I thought was pretty neat. We ordered Bharwan Dhingri for starters, and Patiala Shahi Paneer with some bread for the main course.
It took about ten minutes for the starters to be served, and I thought the presentation and quantity were pretty good. The description on the menu read beetroot and cottage cheese stuffed mushrooms, but I didn’t find any beetroot. However, they were very well done mushrooms with perfect stuffing and coating. Yum!
The main course was served pretty soon, and again I was very impressed with the quantity of curry served. On taste front, the panner was super fresh and melt in my mouth, and the gravy happened to be the best I’ve had in recent times. Creamy and silky, it was finger licking good (I actually ended up cleaning the bowl with my fingers). Super yum!
For breads we ordered Atte ki Roti and Atte ki Laccha Paratha. While the roti was a little dry for my liking, the paratha was excellent. It had perfect layers and was very well-baked.
To finish off the yummy meal, we ordered a couple of Kulfi – Kesar Badam and Pista, both of which turned out to be delicious.
Overall, a super satisfying meal. It’s been a long time since I had such perfect meal. To add to the good food, the service was perfect and so was the ambiance. While the prices are a little on the higher side, I think they are still reasonable for the quantity served. I hope they maintain the same quality (and quantity) unlike their sister restaurant Via Milano. I’d put this on my best restaurants list for sure. Go hog!
Place: Olive Bistro
Location: Near Ambedkar University, Jubilee Hills
Meal: Lunch (with few foodie friends)
About a month ago, was called upon by a few foodie friends for a tasting session at Olive Bistro. Though I visited the restaurant pretty recently, decided to give it a try for it would give me an opportunity to try more dishes. On a bright afternoon, here I was with six other foodies inide the closed dining section. Ambiance wise, the place looked very bright (for the shades were pulled up), and it actually looked better than during the night-time.
We started off with drinks, and I asked for Peach & Apricot Milkshake. A while later I also ordered for a Litchi Iced Tea.
The milkshake was creamy and the flavour was perfect. While it was a little too sweet for my liking, it was still a great shake. The Litchi Iced Tea was absolutely perfect and one of the best iced tea I’ve ever had.
Next I asked for the Mushroom Soup. This again was very thick and creamy, and tasted excellent. I loved the strong mushroom flavour.
While other foodie friends ordered a lot of meat starters, I asked for Veg. Pizza Pockets (Panzarotti) and Saffron Arancini.
It is well-known that the service at Olive Bistro is slow, but the fact that it took close to an hour for these to be served was quite disappointing. Furthering adding to my misery (and hunger), neither of them tasted any good; the Pizza Pockets had barely any filling in them with no sight of cheese, while the Arancini stuffing seemed uncooked. I was really hungry and craving for food and that was the only reason I gulped them without any qualms.
Everyone at the table wanted to try The All Veg on a Thin Crust pizza, so.
The pizza was served in reasonable time (surprisingly) and was bigger than what was served the last time I was here. While the crust was neat, I was not really satisfied with the pizza for it tasted pretty bland and there was barely any cheese.
For the main course, I ordered Roast Almond & Creamed Spinach Ravioli.
For some reason I was expecting this to be served in a creamy sauce, but it was in fact served in a dry tomato sauce. While it tasted alright, the ravioli stuffing was also pretty dry and I could neither taste the almonds nor the creamed spinach. Not the best ravioli.
To finish the meal, on recommendation, I ordered for OB Signature Profiteroles.
While Profiteroles were not something I would have ordered in general (for I would have preferred something more creamy), these tasted pretty good and crunchy.
Overall, while few items tasted good, it wasn’t a great meal altogether. I was more or less disappointed with the starters and the main course items, so it actually a disappointing meal. To add to that, the service was pathetic. If I were paying for the meal (not a tasting session), I would have probably stormed out of the place for such lethargic service. The restaurant might have a huge fan following and tons of regular customers, but it can definitely count me out of that list for I don’t think I’d be coming back to this place in the near future again even if it is a tasting session.
Meal for 1: N/A
Place: Roll On
Location: Adj. Mom and Me, KPHB Colony
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.
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.
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.
Meal for 1: Rs. 80/- for the Roll; Rs. 90 for the Paratha
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!