Holy Basil | Restaurant Review

Place: Holy Basil, Radisson Blu Plaza 
Location: Road No. 6, Banjara Hills 
Cuisine: Chinese, Thai, Japanese 
Meal: Lunch

Walked into Radisson Blu Plaza for lunch last weekend. Holy Basil, one of their main restaurants across the lobby serves authentic Chinese, Thai and Japanese dishes. The place is brightly lit, and I made myself comfortable in the center of the restaurant.

Most of the food on their menu looked pretty tempting. Wanting to try a bit of everything, I ordered Veg Sushi and Kung Pao Mushroom for starters.

The Sushi was served in about 10 minutes, and looked very good. I’ve had Sushi only at Urban Asian before and was expecting similar kinda taste  but these turned out to be different. These were kinda sticky, and pretty much bland. I spoke to the chef about the taste, and he told me they were supposed to taste like that. However, I liked the Urban Asia ones better.

I’ve heard people talking about Kung Pao Chicken, so was really looking forward to tasting the mushrooms. And they turned out to be awesome. A mix of button and shiitake mushrooms in spicy kung pao sauce, they were absolutely yummy. No wonder people go gaga over the chicken dish.


I also tasted a portion of Veg Tempura, which was very crunchy and had a very nice flavor to it.

For the main course, I asked the Japanese chef to recommend something special, and he suggested I try some Noodles, with Sauteed Tofu and Mushrooms. The food was cooked at the open kitchen near the table and served in a matter of minutes. The Noodles came with lots of crunchy vegetables, and was spicy and tangy, different from the regular Chinese noodles. The Tofu and Mushrooms had a nice flavor to them and tasted pretty decent.

While I lived in the US, I used to hog on Basil Fried rice at a small Thai restaurant at Plattsburgh, NY, which tasted amazingly delicious. Ever since I came back to India, I’ve been trying to find something similar. I asked the Thai chef if she could make any thing similar, and she kindly obliged. The outcome was better than the one I remember having in the US. Spicy, with nice basil flavor, it was simply delicious.

For dessert, I was tempted to try their Chilled Mango Pudding with Fresh Cream and Ice-cream., but zeroed on Chocolate Spring Roll. Two tiny spring rolls stuffed with chocolate were served with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice-cream. The combination was absolutely toothsome.

Overall, it was a delicious meal. I loved their Kung Pao Mushroom and the Basil Fried Rice. The service was pretty good as well. All the dishes are priced on the higher side, so if you can afford, go give this place a try. I’m guessing you wont be disappointed!!

Food: 9/10
Service: 9/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Meal for 1: NA

Verdict: 9/10

Republic of Noodles | Restaurant Review

Place: Republic of Noodles, Lemon Tree 
Location: Opp. TCS, Hitech City 
Cuisine: Thai 
Meal: Dinner (with amma and bro)

My brother had dined at Republic of Noodles a while ago and loved their food. So when he saw a Snapdeal, we were all for it, and were here on a Saturday night for dinner. The place was empty and we were the only guests for a while. The ambience was pretty decent, and the decor was alright. We made ourselves comfy at a corner table.

We were a little hesitant to order appetizers, but ended up ordering Grilled Mushroom with Burnt Chilly and Tamarind Marinade. We were told it would be very spicy, but decided to try it. For the main course, we had Bangkok Style Pad Thai Noodles and Thai Chilly Basil Fried Rice.

Though the restaurant was empty, it took quite a while (about 30 minutes) for the food to be served. The starters and the main course were served together. The quantity of Mushrooms was very less. They were cold, and not even close to spicy, and all we could taste was the tamarind. Disappointment!

The Thai Chilly Basil Fried Rice was yummy. It had lots of vegetables and the rice was perfect. I’ve been craving for some good Basil Fried rice for a while now, and this was what I needed.

The Pad Thai Noodles were very well presented. The noodles tasted good, but I thought they were a little too sweet than sour. While eating, my brother found a huge chunk of something on his plate. We initially thought it was a piece of chicken or some kind of meat, but to our horror, it turned out to be a paper napkin. We immediately called for the waiter, and he confirmed the same. The whole staff came down to our table and started apologizing for the fiasco. It was apparently a paper napkin they used to clean their vessels before cooking. Whatever the case, that was something unacceptable.

The ambience was decent, and the food was alright. The prices are much higher than any other Thai or Chinese restaurants in town, but not many complaints for that. It was the paper napkin incident that spoiled the meal for us. Thankfully, the staff was courteous enough to accept their mistake. Even after our insistence for the bill, they waved it off for us. I just hope such incidents don’t repeat again.

To be fair, give it a shot at your discretion!!

Food: NA
Service: 8/10
Ambience: 8/10
Meal for 3: NA

Verdict: NA

Shanghai Chef | Restaurant Review

Place: Shanghai Chef 
Location: Madhapur Main Road, Next to Hyderabad House 
Cuisine: Chinese, Thai 
Meal: Dinner

Last weekend, met some guys from couchsurfing and we then decided to eat Chinese at Mainland China. On the way, we changed plans and instead dropped in at Shanghai Chef in Madhapur. The place had nice interiors, and the ambiance was pretty neat. It was quite crowded, but we (a group of five), found a table without having to wait.

Once seated, it took forever for the waiter to attend to us. After a long wait, he was ready to take our order. We were doing individual orders; I had a Virgin Pina Colada (coconut milk and Pineapple juice) to drink and Vegetable Dim sums to start with. I wanted to have their Basil Fried rice, but after 15 minutes of placing the order, the guy comes out and tells me that they had no Basil. So went for the Pad Thai Noodles.

The Pina Colada was good, but very sweet for my taste.

The Dim Sums were boring. They were well cooked (steamed), but tasted bland. We asked for some Chilly Garlic sauce, but all we got was Coconut Mint chutney.

After another long wait, the Noodles were served. Thankfully, they tasted good. The noodles were well cooked and the veggies had nice flavor to them, a bit spicy, yet perfect. The quantity served was also good.

Overall, it was a decent meal, but the service was horrible. Initially, it was understandable for the place was full, but even after it got empty, it was the same. The pricing was decent, and so was the quantity, but for the horrendous service, I might not be coming back to this place for a long time.

Food: 8/10
Service: 4/10
Ambiance: 7.5/10
Meal for 5: Rs.  1540/-

Verdict: 6.5/10

Thai Express | Restaurant Review

Place: Thai Express 
Location: Above Qmart, Road No. 3, Banjara Hills 
Cuisine: Thai (and Chinese) 
Meal: Dinner (with mom and dad) 
After a really long time, here I was trying out a new restaurant. Wanted to try Thai Express, which was right next to my house for a really long time. Called in advance and made reservation for three, but when I walked in, the place was pretty empty. It had good ambiance, and the decors were pretty decent. We were promptly seated at a table for 6.

Though the place was empty, it took a while for the waiter to attend to us. We ordered the Tom Kha soup and Golden Money Rolls for starters. I wanted to have Basil fried rice really bad, for I loved the one they served at Thai restaurants in the US. They had Basil curry served with white Rice, but no Basil Fried Rice. So instead went for their special (recommended) Tom Yum Fried Rice, along with Veg Drunken Fire Noodles. I wanted to order another vegetable dish, and when I asked the waiter, he suggested Phat Thai Vegetables with gravy.

It kinda took forever for the soup to be served, and further long for the rolls. The soup looked yummy, but it wasn’t as good as it looked. It was very thin, and was made of watery coconut milk. The vegetables, were a little raw as well. Flavor was alright, but overall, disappointment.

The rolls, thankfully were awesome. Crispy, perfectly baked, and the stuffing was spicy and tasty. The sweet chilli sauce (mix of duck sauce and chilli sauce) was yummy.
After a long long long wait, rest of the food was served. The food was presented very well, and I really was hoping that it would be as good as the rolls if not the soup. The Drunken Fire Noodles with Vegetables was excellent, and was the best of the lot. It was spicy, and perfect. There was a slight lemon touch, which made it taste delicious. I wish he’d given more of the crushed peanuts.
The Phat Thai Vegetables was served with white rice. Though the curry tasted alright, the rice was of bad quality, and a little over cooked. For a recommended dish, I honestly expected something better than this.
The worst of the lot though was the Thai Express Special Tom Yum Fried Rice! It was fiery spicy, and had no flavor to it. I asked the guy to modify it by adding a little salt, but that made no difference. He infact made it more spicy. Again, the quality of the rice was bad. Pathetic!!
Overall, a big disappointment. Except for the Golden Money Rolls and Drunken Fire Noodles, the rest of the food was bad, if not pathetic. The quantity of the Noodles and the curry was good, but the amount of rice was really less. For such exorbitant prices, I’d expect better quantity. Added to that was the horrible service. I had to keep asking the waiter to fill my water glass every time it got empty. The best part was when I asked him to fill my glass, he did, but didn’t bother to fill either dad’s nor mom’s glasses which were both empty as well!!
I am definitely not going back to this place for a really really long time. Visit at your own risk, but if you do, do try their rolls and noodles.
Food: 6.5/10
Ambiance: 9/10
Meal for 3: Rs. 1080/-
Verdict: 5/10