Just Parantha | Restaurant Review

Place: Just Parantha
Location: Rd. No. 12, Banjara Hills, further to Santhosh Dhaba
Cuisine: Punjabi
Meal: Takeaway

I saw this place once while travelling on Rd. No. 12 and wanted to try it ever since. So here I was to pick up dinner one night. It’s a small joint, something similar to a pan dabba to look at. Its got a couple of chairs laid outside to sit and eat at the place. It serves a wide variety of paranthas and Punjabi curries.

I ordered Pyaaz, Gobi, Aloo Meethi and a special paranthas. I wanted to order Paneer Masala, but they were out of that. I ordered a Shahi Paneer to go along. I wanted to order Pulao, but they were done with that as well. I also ordered a couple of Phulkas. It took a while for him to prepare all of these. He had customers pouring in. Roaring business. He gave some pudina chutney along with the paranthas. I also took a Punjabi Badam milk bottle.

The paranthas were absolutely delicious. The special parantha was the best of the lot, Pyaaz was excellent. I was not so happy with the Gobi initially, but it was really good. I dint taste the Aloo Meethi, but I suppose it was good. The Phulkas were soft and fluffy. The Shahi Paneer was alright. It was a little sour, and wasnt fresh. I figured that all the subjis were precooked. The pudina chutney wasnt so good either.

The best part of my meal though was the Badam milk. It tasted like little drops of heaven. It was really creamy, full of cut badam pieces. It wasnt too sweet either, which made it taste perfect.

On the whole, a very decent place. It was an easy on the pocket meal. The paranthas were very reasonably priced at 20 bucks a piece (except the special which was 30).  The subji was 70 bucks. The size of the parantha was pretty good as well.

I would definitely recommend this place to anyone who’s looking for a good meal. Dont forget to try their badam milk.

Food: 8/10
Ambiance: NA
Service: NA
Meal for 3: Rs. 185/-

Verdict: 8.5/10

Sri Sai Santosh Dhaba | Restaurant Review

Place: Sri Sai Santosh Dhaba
Location: Beside Anand Theater, Begumpet
Cuisine: North Indian
Meal: Dinner

On a fine evening, me and my friend were travelling towards Begumpet. We happened to be really hungry, and stopped at this Dhaba Ive been wanting to visit for a while. Its a small place, right on the main road. Walking in, it looked alright and was not crowded. The decors seemed ok, and tables were fine. And so, we were ready to hog.

Firstly, I noticed that the prices were pretty reasonable and comparable to my favorite Santosh Dhaba. We ordered Rani Kofta, a Garlic Naan, Stuffed Kulcha and Kaju Biryani.

There was only one waiter serving about 4 tables and it took forever for the order to arrive. We were getting really impatient and I was on the verge on screaming at the guy when food was finally served. The Kofta looked good, but seemed less in quantity. It was empty in just one serving for each of us. The gravy was thick and really tasty, but the Kofta ball was a little raw.

Ive never tasted Garlic Naan before, but I thought that this one was pretty good. It was well baked, had chunks of garlic to give a good flavor. On the other hand, the Stuffed Paratha was a big disappointment. It wasnt stuffed properly and was under cooked. 

Next came the Kaju Biryani.  And it turned out to be really good. I was disappointed that there were not many cashew nuts, but the masala was really tasty and spicy. The quantity served was also really good. A happy ending to an average meal. (I thought it was little overpriced at Rs. 150/-)

Overall, a decent place with decent food. The service wasnt too great, and neither was the ambiance. Every time the door opened, the place was close to rattling because of the traffic outside. I still prefer Santosh Dhaba, especially for their super fast service. But a change is good once in a while, and this place fits the bill.

Food: 8.5/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Meal for 2: Rs. 267/-

Verdict: 7.5/10

Utupura Kerala Restaurant | Restaurant Review

Place: Utupura
Location: Road No. 10, lane adj. Karvy, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: India, Kerala Food
Meal: Dinner

Amma and I were planning to hog on Onasadhya on Onam for about a week. We couldn’t eat at the restaurant, so instead brought parcel. I did read that this place is small does not have great ambiance, but on Onam, it was jam packed. I had to wait for more than 30 minutes to get my parcel.

The food turned out to be great though. The Sadhya had 17 items (I believe one item was missing). I am not fully aware of the items served, so Il skip that part. It was served with brown rice. I and amma struggled to finish one meal. I initially felt that it was too expensive, but later realized that the price was justified. I was really impressed with the food and decided to give the place another try, this time for regular mallu food.

So here I was again 3 days later, this time for dinner with mom and dad. It is on the first floor of an apartment building, on the lane next to Karvy office. As mentioned, it’s a small place with so so ambiance. It is basically an apartment turned into a restaurant. From the looks of it, it seemed like a famous food joint for nearby office crowd (lunch) and non-veg eaters. It wasnt packed for dinner though.

As expected, there was nothing much vegetarian on the menu, except for Appam, Idiappam, Porotta, etc., and a couple of wet dishes like Stew, Veg. Korma, Channa Masala and Mushroom Masala. The Appams and Porottas were reasonably priced, but the rest seemed to be a little expensive. Anyways, we ordered Appam with Veg. Stew, and Porotta with Channa Masala (I wanted to order Veg Korma, but the guy suggested Channa Masala).

It took about 10 minutes for the items to be served. Weirdly, the Stew and Channa Masala were served first without the Appams or Porottas. The Appams were cooked at a live counter at the other end of the restaurant. The Stew smelt really good and tasted excellent. It was a little sweet and I could make out that it was made of fresh coconut milk. The Appams were very good. The Channa Masala was a little disappointing though. It was made with black channa, and was a little thin. The Porottas were the best I have had in twin cities. They were amazingly good, and I immediately ordered for another one.

We did order Idiappams and a Chapati later on. The Chapati turned out to be really soft, while the Idiappams were cold and were not so great.

Overall, we were satisfied with the food. And it went easy on the pocket as well. A little better ambience, and better service could have made this a great experience, but it was good one nevertheless. From the menu, and as expected, this place should be a feast for any non vegetarian. For my vegetarian friends, as long as you don’t mind beef and fish being served around you, this is a place you should try. As I said, their Porottas are the best I have had so far!

Food: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 6/10
Service: 7/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 216/-

Verdict: 7.5/10

Santosh Banjara | Restaurant Review

Place: Santosh Banjara
Location: Rd. No. 12, Banjara Hills, next to Pizza Hut
Cuisine: North Indian
Meal: Dinner

I’ve been wanting to visit this place for about a month now, finally did with mom and dad. This branch they opened up a year ago, main Santosh Dhaba is at Abids, opposite Rajdhani Hotel. They do have another branch opposite Paradise in Secunderabad. They serve awesome vegetarian food, usually within minutes of placing the order. They have more than 50 varieties of North Indian curries on their menu.

We ordered Rani Kofta and Paneer Lababdar, along with Butter Naan, Roti and Stuffed Kulcha this night. I usually order their Special Dish (Kofta stuffed with Cashew nuts) which tastes really good, but wanted to try something different this time around. In less than 5 minutes, everything was served at our table.

The Rani Kofta was a red spicy gravy, but to my surprise, there was not a Kofta piece. The Kofta was pretty mashed up. The gravy was full of onions, which made it taste really good. There were a couple of paneer pieces here and there. Paneer Lababdar was ‘laajawab’. It had huge chunks of paneer in it. There was not much gravy, but whatever was there tasted good. Yummy food, but my only complaint, too oily!

The Tandoori Roti was kadak, and was alright. It was pretty huge. Butter Naan was not so great, I’ve had better. But the Stuffed Kulcha was excellent. It was stuffed with cashew nuts and aloo, and was baked to perfection. Not too greasy either. It made my meal.

Overall, a good Indian meal for a decent price. They have so many more dishes I want to try out. I hope there is a day when I’ve tasted their whole menu. The ambiance of the restaurant (all three branches) is not so great. But the food balances it all. The ones at Paradise and Abids are little cheaper than this one.

If you are looking to dine at a good vegetarian dabha in Hyderabad, this is a place be at. Dont forget to hog on their Stuffed Kulcha.

Food: 9/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 360/-

Verdict: 8.5/10

Southern Food Corner (SFC) | Restaurant Review

Place: Southern Food Corner
Location: Road No. 10, Banjara Hills, next to City Center
Cuisine: Indian and Chinese
Meal: Lunch (3 consecutive days)

 

I was at project management workshop on Rd. No. 10 for the last 4 days, and happened to lunch out everyday. The first day I chose McDonalds, for a McVeggie Combo. I dont think I need to write a review on that, so skipping it. The next 3 days, I happened to visit this small restaurant called SFC, which is right next to City Center.

 

It looked like a pretty decent place from outside, with both self service and seated service options. The self service section looked a little crowded with chairs and tables placed in a haphazard manner. It dint look so clean either. But having walked in, decided to give it a try.

 

On a Friday, the place was jam packed, full of office crowd. I opted for the self service section. They had quite a huge menu – South Indian, Chinese and North Indian. Their South Indian food was selling like hot cakes, but being me, I ordered a Chole Batura. It was out in about 5 minutes. It was a little oily to look at, and I thought he gave very little Chole for such huge Batura. The Chole tasted a little sour, but was good. The Batura too was light. I had to get some extra Chole to finish it off. On the whole, decent food.

 

On the second day, I was kinda forced to return to the place, as I was with a bunch of people. We happened to sit on the first floor, the service section. This looked much better than the self service on the ground floor. They had Air-Conditions, but they weren’t turned on. People around me ordered Masala Dosa and Lemon Rice. The Dosa was huge, looked really crispy and tempting. My mouth was infact watering. I again ordered something different, Veg. Soft Noodles.

 

It took a while for it to be served, by which every one around me were done with their meal. But it was worth the wait. A huge bowl full of Noodles was placed in front of me, with Hot Garlic sauce. I normally dont tend to order only Noodles for the reason that I like to eat it with an accompaniment. But seeing the Hot Garlic sauce made me really happy. The noodles was yummy good. It was properly cooked, the vegetables in it were crunchy, and it wasnt too spicy either. The Hot Garlic sauce added extra taste, and was tangy. Impressed!!

 

I wanted to come back to this palce after my last meal, but no so early, the very next day. This time it was a much bigger gathering, and we again took to the first floor. Everyone today ordered MLA Pesarattu. I happened to have the same last night at Chutneys (review), so this time ordered American Chopsuey.

 

Again, it took a while. The MLA Pesarattu looked really good. Everyone around me were going gaga about it while I waited on my food. Again, large quantity of food was served. The Fried Noodles and the Sauce were served separately. Adding the noodles into the sauce, it tasted delicious. It was actually as good as the American Chopsuey I had at Nanking about a month ago (review). Serving the Fried noodles separately helped them remain crispy. The sauce was not so sweet, and the vegetables were very very crunchy. Excellent food this time around. I happened to empty the dish in about 10 minutes and everyone around me were actually surprised to see me eat so much.

 

Overall, a good find. Though I wasnt impressed initially, the Noodles served with the Hot Garlic sauce, in a slightly better ambiance on the first floor got me to write this review. The South Indian food looked really good, and people were saying good things, so am assuming that it was actually good. For a food place at Banjara Hills, the prices were very very reasonable as well. Also, the quantity of food served (on all 3 days) was excellent. I would definitely come back to this place. Its Certified!!

 

Food: 9/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 60/-
Meal for 6: Rs. 300/-
Meal for 11: Rs. 600/-

 

Verdict: 8.5/10

Shanbhag | Restaurant Review

Place: Shanbhag
Location: Basheerbhag, under the flyover
Cuisine: North-Indian
Meal: Dinner

Shanbhag is one of my all time favorite restaurants. It holds the honor of being my first favorite restaurant too. Being as old as I am, it was one place I used to throng every now and then while I was a kid. There is a branch at Panjagutta, but the main Shanbhag menu is still served at Basheerbhag. So here I was on a Friday evening, with mom and dad.

It was supposed to be a simple meal as none of us were really hungry. But looking at a menu I was so familiar with (albeit the prices) made me order the usual – Malai Kofta, Veg. Sizzler, Butter Naan, Masala Kulcha, and the ever so famous Ghee Rice. The Sizzler normally takes a while in the making, so it was quite a wait before dinner was served.

The Malai Kofta was excellent, creamy and butter oozing out of ever bite. It was probably not as great as what it was maybe 10 years ago, but still, was finger licking good. Their Sizzler is not what you get at every other restaurant. It’s rather a mixed vegetable curry served on a sizzling plate with a cutlet in between. On first sight when served, it looked lesser in quantity than the last time I had it. It tasted alright, nothing so great. It was much better before.

The Butter Naan was really good. Again, their Naan is one of the best I have had in the city. It was served tepid though. Mom and Dad ordered the Masala Kulcha, which turned out to be a bad choice. For 45 bucks a piece, it was totally dry and dint have any stuffing in between.

Then came the Ghee Rice, my all time favorite food. It smelt as good as ever. It tasted good too, but dint have enough salt in it. Adding a little made it taste excellent. I was a little disappointed that it dint have as many cashew nuts as it once did, but the amount of ghee was still the same. The gravy it is served with is their trademark recipe. My brother, while he was a Chef, tried to cook something similar but never could match their taste. It was full of flavor, delicious.

Overall, a walk into the past. The food was really good, but I have to admit that it was much better before. Before their change of menu, the one at Panjagutta served much better food than the Basheerbhag branch. But now Ghee Rice is available here only. The quantity of food served was good (we had to pack and bring home most of the food). Prices were alright for today’s times (I remember the Ghee Rice being Rs. 18/- once upon a time, now Rs. 75/-). The place needs a revamp, the furniture was in horrible state. They probably need a change of cutlery as well.

If you’re not a diet conscious person and looking for a place to hog properly, Shanbhag is the place to go to. Their Panrer Butter Masala used to be out of the world, so give it a try. Tiffins are great as well, try the Rava Bun, Rava Masala Dosa or the Besibele Bath.

Food: 9/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Service: 8.5/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 455/-

Verdict: 9/10

Chutneys | Restaurant Review

Place: Chutneys
Location: Nagarjuna Circle, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: South-Indian
Meal: Lunch

Ive been wanting to go to Chutneys for a long time, it being the closest restaurant to my house, but have been avoiding it for the reason that I feel like having their entire menu whenever I am here. Now that my parents are back from the US, I had some company to help me with my ordering. So, late Sunday afternoon, we headed off to Chutneys. They have three other branches now, but I still prefer the one in Banjara Hills.

We had to wait for about for about 10 minutes for a table at 3:30. We were seated on the first floor, which they renovated recently. It looks much better than what it used to be before. We ordered Poori-Upma, Baby-corn Masala Dosa, MLA Pesarattu and Chole Batura. They guy was quite surprised with my ordering, but he dint know that I could have more of it.

First came the Poori-Upma, along with their usual four chutneys – Coconut, Ginger, Groundnut and Roasted Chickpea. I love the first three, with coconut and ginger being my favorite. The Upma was amazingly delicious. Ghee was oozing out of it and was full of cashew-nuts. The Poori was alright, the combination was really good. It was served with the masala curry of Masala Dosa and a wet Aloo kurma, which was tasty. Then came the MLA Pesarattu. Thanks to the Upma again, it was delicious too. The Pesarattu was crisp and perfect.

The Baby-corn Masala Dosa was served next. I think it took a while for it to reach our table from the kitchen, cause it wasn’t hot. But it was really crispy, just the way I like it. The masala was a little too spicy, but still good. I remember him serving this Dosa with butter smeared over it, but there was no butter this time around. Disappointing!

Finally, Chole Batura. Yum! The Batura was a little oily, but not soggy. The Chole was again delicious. I finished the Chole after my part of the Batura was done. All together, I ended up eating most of the meal, with little help from Mom and Dad! (they weren’t really hungry you see)

Overall, a very good sumptuous meal. I infact skipped dinner that night. The food really tasty, chutneys finger licking good. I dont like their Sambar one bit though! They can do much better than what they currently serve. But again, who needs Sambar when you have such good Chutneys.

If your hungry for some South-Indian Tiffins, Chutneys is the place to be. Its a wee bit expensive, but serves good vegetarian food.

Food: 9/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Service:8.5/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 470/-

Verdict: 9/10

Swathi Tiffins | Restaurant Review

Place: Swati Tiffins Location: Mehdipatnam, behind the bus stand. Cuisine: Tiffins and Indian Meal: Take-away

Again, a small tiffin center which came up with a restaurant at a later stage. This though, is not a place where in you would like to sit and have a meal. It used to be a decent place about 6 years ago, but lack of maintenance makes it impossible for me to sit and have a meal here anymore.

The food though, is still impeccable. The Butter Naan here, to my knowledge, is the best you get in the city! As a kid, this was the closest place to my house where you got decent food. I used to throng this place very often for its Paneer Butter Masala and Malai Kofta. Both of them are lip-smacking, and their Biryani is excellent too. Also, they are very reasonably priced.

The other day though, I decided to order something different, Kaju Paneer Masala, along with the usual Butter Naan. And it was a decision I would not regret. I have a new favorite. It was delicious!! Unlike other places where they add Kaju just for the heck of adding it, the curry was full of Kaju, and Paneer. A big box full of the curry helped me with lunch and dinner. It was not too spicy, creamy and perfectly cooked.

As mentioned, their Butter Naan is the best in the city. The way they make their Naan is very different. It is full of layers infused with butter in between, something like a parota. Each layer is very thin and perfectly baked. Because of it layers, one Naan is as good as having two.

Overall, for the price I paid, I had a delicious meal on a lazy afternoon, and dinner for the night (No wonder I am putting on weight!!) I would also recommend their Vegetable Biryani. Unlike other places, they serve dum biryani with the curry stuffed in between the rice. If you passing by Mehdipatnam, pick up dinner for your self.

Food: 9/10 Ambiance: NA Service: NA Meal for 1: Rs. 140/-

Verdict: 9/10

Sandarshini | Restaurant Review

Place: Sandarshini
Location: Masab Tank, towards Banjara Hills Rd. No. 1
Cuisine: Indian
Meal: Lunch – Thali

I’ve been visiting Sandarshini since when it opened about 10 years ago. It started off as a tiffin center, but slowly expanded as a restaurant. They have a air-conditioned dine in over the tiffin center. It’s not a hi-fi place, but one where you get decent vegetarian food for reasonable prices.

The other day while I was here for lunch, I ordered a North Indian Thali. Priced at Rs.120/-, I should say it was quite a meal. I’ve had the thali here before, long time ago, and am impressed to say that it was as good as it used to be.

They started off serving Tomato soup and papad. The soup was pretty decent, nothing great. Then came the thali: Butter Naan, Paneer Butter Masala (PBM), Channa Masala, Mixed vegetable, Pulao, Rice, Dal, Rasam, Sambar, Curd, Raitha and Gulab Jamoon. Quite a meal, isn’t it?? And I was surprised to see the size of the Naan. It was humongous. I used to order extra roti on my previous visits, but this time, there was no need for that.

The taste of the three North Indian curries was really good. Naan was soft. The PBM was actually excellent. I was almost full by the time I finished the Naan. The Pulao though was disappointing. The Dal was good, Rasam and Sambar were alright. Gulab Jamoon was a little under cooked. They served Vanilla ice-cream when I was done with the meal. The Jamoon tasted much better with the ice-cream.

Overall, a sumptuous meal at a very reasonable price. Other dishes, especially their Masala dosa happens to be really good as well. If you’re looking for a good tummy filling meal without burning a hole in your pocket, this is the place.

Food: 8/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 124/-

Verdict: 8/10