Location: Road No. 10, lane adj. Karvy, Banjara Hills
Cuisine: India, Kerala Food
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!
Meal for 3: Rs. 216/-
Place: Santosh Banjara
Location: Rd. No. 12, Banjara Hills, next to Pizza Hut
Cuisine: North Indian
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.
Meal for 3: Rs. 360/-
Location: Basheerbhag, under the flyover
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.
Meal for 3: Rs. 455/-
Location: Raj Bhavan Road
Cuisine: Multicuisine Buffet
After my high profiled job interview yesterday morning, I felt like eating a heavy meal. Someone recently told me about this place called ‘Nautanki Galli’ at Hitech City, so decided to give it a try. The place was great, but the buffet priced at Rs. 388/-, was full of non vegetarian food. So I decided to give this one a skip, and instead go to their sister restaurant Jivas (both owned by Ohri’s group). Picked up mom and dad on the way.
I love this place for their lavish buffet. The moment we were seated at our table, a plate of starters – veg Kababs and veg Manchuria, was served. A little later came in Noodle soup, followed by Papdi Chat. Both the Kababs and Manchuria were yummy delicious. The soup was nothing great, but again, the Chat was really good.
Once done, I started off with their Chinese food – Schezwan Noodles, Vegetables in Hot Garlic Sauce and American Sweet Corn Fried Rice. The Noodles was appetizing. The Rice and Hot Garlic Sauce were alright. The Rice though tasted much better with the Manchuria.
Next, the Indian food. On this day, they had Mutter Paneer, Aloo Tindoora, Baingan Masala, some Mixed Vegetable curry, and Biryani. There was a live Phulka counter, but I preferred their Butter Naan. The Naan was good, but the curry’s weren’t so great. The Paneer was not so fresh, Baingan Masala was too thin, and the other two were just alright. I don’t like their Biryani much, so I preferred to skip it. Also, I was already bursting!
Tried a little of their Besi Bele Bath. It dint taste good initially, but was actually good. I gave a skip at their Dal Makhni, Tomato Dal and Curd Rice.
Finally, plunged into their deserts section – Mango Ice-cream, Chocolate Pastry, Rasgulla and Sooji Halwa. The Rasgulla and Sooji Halwa were out of the world. I wanted to have more of them, but there was no place left in my tummy. The Pastry too was excellent.
Overall, a lavish, sumptuous meal for a very decent price. Wanted to take pictures, but was too lazy after eating so much. The ambiance was great, but the place was a little too loud for they were two big parties sitting at the adjacent tables. You get similar vegetarian buffet at Bikanervala at Banjara Hills, at a slightly higher price.
Meal for 3: Rs. 699/- (Rs. 185 + Taxes per person)
* This restaurant is now moved to a new location and renamed as Jiva Imperia.
Looks like I have a new favorite Chinese restaurant other than Chopsticks. For their prices and quantity, this place is a winner!! Only if they had better variety on the vegetarian side of things. I saw the guy at the next table struggling to finish the fried rice he ordered. A nice family restaurant, and a bargain for my non-vegetarian friends. On the downside, the place was a little to loud. Also, the cutlery they used was quite old. The main restaurant has better interiors than the extension, but is cramped for space.