Swathi Tiffins | Restaurant Review

Place: Swathi 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 favourite. 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

Olives and Cheese | Restaurant Review

Place: Olives and Cheese 
Location: Trimulgherry, a little further from RTA Office, Secunderabad 
Cuisine: Italian 
Meal: Dinner

Update: Restaurant shut down a while ago.

Olives and Cheese is a new Italian restaurant in town. The place is small yet bright. They serve a wide range of Soups, Antipasti, Breads, Pizzas, Pastas, Sandwiches and Salads, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. They have a small desert menu.

I read about this place on Burrp, listed as a cheap fare Italian restaurant, famous for its Pizzas, so here I was. Drove exactly 11 kilometer to taste their pizza. The place was not so full at 9:00 PM, and I settled down in a corner. There was no music playing, probably because of the cricket match on TV.

I ordered a Szechwan Mushroom Delight pizza. I dint want Capsicum on my pizza, so I asked them to replace it with Olives. For a restaurant named Olives and Cheese, they were out of olives. So I asked him to replace it with Babycorn. Unfortunately, they were out of Babycorn too. So finally settled in for Jalapenos. Unable to withstand the temptation, I also ordered a Fettuccine in Alfredo Sauce pasta.

I was hoping for the pizza to come out first, but it was the pasta. It was really cheesy and creamy, just the way I like it. They added Mushrooms, Zucchini and Onions to it. The portion was sumptuous. I was almost full, and was wondering why I ordered a pizza. Pretty good start I should say.

It took a while for the pizza to arrive. This gave me time to make space in my tummy. I asked for a thin crust, but they actually brought a regular crust, which was not so thick after all. It dint matter much cos the crust was really good. The cheese dint seem to be mozzarella, and therefore was breaking way in chunks. But still it was a decent pizza. It wasnt huge, about 8″ in size. I liked the pasta better.

Overall, a pretty decent experience. Its no where close to Little Italy (one of my favorite restaurants in Hyderabad). But for its prices, its worth it. They started turning off the lights and closing down the place while I was in there, at 10:30 PM, which was a turn-off. Anyways, I would definitely go back to this place, even if its a long ride. I would also recommend it to you guys.

Food: 8.5/10
Ambiance: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Meal for 1: Rs. 238/-

Verdict: 8/10

PS: It’s ironical that this place opened just after I left to the US. Back then, I always used to hang out a lot on this road, and there was no good place except for Vacs and McD. Now I see that there are quite a few restaurants here.