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Home Hyderabad Food Pages

Hyderabad Food Pages

If food is culture; then you can experience the cultures of people around the world through their food. For those who cannot traverse the length and girth of the world to savour the varied hues and tones of global cuisine, Mozzarella takes you down the path that leads to it, right here in Hyderabad. It helps you explore their culinary and cultural traditions; with style and panache. So, you have Mexican, Italian, South Asian, Mediterranean and of course Indian to choose from!

What started off as an off-shoot of Zafraan Laguna and a restaurant purely catering to the palate of the oft-neglected lot - the vegetarians; it soon caved in to the demands of the non-vegetarians and became a full-fledged non-vegetarian place. Either way, it is hitting the popularity charts with gusto!

Mozzarella is part of the Zafraan group of Maan Hospitality and Mithun Khaitan is the brain behind the success story. Zafraan group is a leading versatile, multi-concept restaurant group with seven stand alone restaurants including Zafraan Exotica, Zafraan Nirvana, Zafraan and Chinese Whispers. 

But what makes Mozzarella so popular and what is it that is so different; that it’s a hit with the gastronomic experts? Is it the food, is it the ambience, is the presentation or is it the taste? Speaking for myself, I’d say without a doubt that it is all of the above and more! But for that you would have to experience it yourself, first hand! As Vikram Mehta, Business Head, Hyderabad & Pune, Maan Hospitality Pvt. Ltd. says, “It is the food and the ambience, which is like a Zen. We have created an ambience around Buddha, in fact, in all our properties and we have the best of the well-trained chefs, which makes all the difference.”

So, how has the response been from Hyderabadis towards cuisine that goes way beyond the proverbial biryani and haleem? “Indians who have been abroad try the global cuisine while the expat crowd is keener on trying out our Indian cuisine. Keeping that in mind, we have worked out a menu to cater to their palate,” says Mehta and adds, “We are trying to be as authentic as possible and trying to cater to local tastes as well; for example we check if they would like more or less sauce in their pasta.” Flexible to adapting to people’s needs is what he feels is the right thing to do.

With so many cuisines’ to choose from that makes your mouth water, picking one is rarely a snap decision. What tops the charts here are the Nachos (Mexican dish usually served as an appetizer wherein cheese is melted over corn chips), Cheese Jalapeno Peppers, Mezze Platter (selection of Greek and middle-eastern small dishes like hummus, ganoush, pita), Falaffel (patty made from ground chickpeas or fava beans and served in a pita, which acts as a pocket), Pizzas (here they are wood-fired and thin crust), Malaysian Flaky Paratha (fried multi-layered paratha), Burmese Khansek (noodles with nice condiments), to name a few!

An innovative offer while you dine at their restaurant is; if you order a pizza, pasta or a grill dish, you get the dessert free. Makes you eat more too, for the price of one! This offer is for lunch only and from Monday to Saturday. For Sundays, they have an elaborate brunch! An ideal place to enjoy their brunch would be at their perfectly set-up cosy Private Dining Room, after which it will be a task for you to get yourself home! 

Head Chef of Mozzarella N. Bala Chennaiah, who specializes in authentic Italian and Lebanese cuisine, says, “People are opening up to trying other cuisines and with a little bit of modification to suit Indian tastes, they like it.” The imported ingredients too help make all the difference, he adds.

Other must-try items on the menu card are Bruschetta (hearty appetizer from central Italy which consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, toppings of spicy red pepper, tomato, vegetables, beans, cured meat and cheese), Almond Broccoli Soup, Fattoush Salad (traditional Levantine salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread, khubz ‘arabi, combined with mixed greens and other vegetables), New Zealand Lamb Chops (New Zealand baby single-rib lamb chops), Norwegian Salmon (salmon with dill, cognac and lemon juice), Burmese Khow Sewy (a delicious concoction of noodles, spicy chicken and numerous toppings with a squeeze of lemon which adds the signature tanginess), amongst others. On the home-front, the Indian fare here like Amritsari Chole Kulcha is really good but do try out the ‘different’ dishes like ‘Charcoal Roasted Mushrooms’ (drizzled with parmesan).

Their desserts are not far behind in tickling your taste buds! On one end you have the moist Chocolate Mousse Cannelloni and tasty Tiramisu and at the other end you have the crisp, flaky Baklava!

They recently had a Grill Nights & Martini Madness Food Fest and will be having more fests soon! So, watch out for them!

There is a world of flavours awaiting you at Mozzarella - it not only pleases your eyes with its soothing ‘zen-like’ ambience and brilliant presentation of dishes but also with its passionately made food.

Uber cool interiors and superb cuisines; Mozzarella will make you melt away with its dishes, a symphony of spices and flavours. Accompanied by a great selection of spirits, a great dining experience is guaranteed!

Chef’s Recommendations’:
Fattoush Salad.
Soup: Minestrone Soup.
Starters: Charcoal Roasted Mushroom, Vegetarian Mezze Platter, Chi Charmoula, Pan Fried Fish.
Main Course: Pizza or Pasta, Malaysian Curry, Burmese Khow Suey.
Grills: New Zealand Chops, Norwegian Salmon.
Desserts: Tiramisu, Blue Berry Cheese Cake.


Banjara Hills

4 stars

Month: December 2010.


Pickles, a quiet little place within Hotel Baseraa, is a place that I remember going to late in the night and was never disappointed with its fare of food that read beyond the usual biryani and sandwiches! The stylish looking place that overlooks the busy traffic through huge French windows, with its bright and cheerful interiors is hugely popular, which is why it is most certainly teeming most of the time; thanks to its wonderful cuisine.

“The four colours of the four peppers on our logo represent the different and varied cuisines that Pickles has to offer,” says Vincent Alfred Lucas, Executive Chef of Pickles and elaborates further saying, “We offer 24-hour service with a midnight buffet and a multi-cuisine menu to choose from.” Multi-cuisine here spells out as Chinese, Continental, Italian, Lebanese, Indonesian, Thai, American, Mexican, Fusion and of course the usual North and South Indian fare!

“Our restaurant is different because we have all types of people coming in here. Some of the dishes are Indianised, which is because our guests like it that way,” says Vincent and adds, “Our USP is the buffet which includes a large spread of Indian dishes and desserts.”  

They have a buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner with an exhaustive menu. The early morning joggers can enjoy their breakfast from 7 am to 10.30 am, while the hungry luncheoners can eat to their heart’s content from 12 noon to 4 pm and the late diners can while away late into the night beyond midnight! While their buffet is the most popular thing in the restaurant, the most popular items include Tandoori starters like Bhatti Ka Murgh; Mutton Rogan Josh and Chiken a la Kiev.  

Instead of flooding you with too much choice with all its diverse flavours I’d list out a handful from each that you definitely have to dig into and enjoy!

Coming to a la carte in starters, there is nothing better than the Andhra Fire Crackers (diced paneer tossed in a fiery sauce, topped with crushed peanuts) or the Sizzling Sticks (crispy fried spicy minced vegetables coated on sticks and tossed in Oriental sauce) for the vegetarians; and Mongolian Fire Bites (Chicken dices tossed in fiery Mongolian sauce along with peanuts), Winglets Mexicana (crispy fried chicken winglets tossed in Mexican sauce and served with fruit salsa) or Creole Chicken Fingers (a Latin American favourite - crumb fried chicken fingers with Creole seasoning) for the non-vegetarians. 

Nothing can beat the good ol’ Ceaser Salad (crisp lettuce dressed in Ceasar, topping with grated Parmesan and croutons) for the vegetarians and the Grilled Chicken Citrus (segments of citrus fruits with crispy greens, topped with grilled chicken breast in choice of dressing - red wine vinaigrette, balsamic vinaigrette and honey mustard) for the non-vegetarians. For soup, one could try out the Minestrone Soup (the great Italian soup with pasta and oregano) or the Fiery Roasted Tomato Soup with Fresh Basil (cream of tomato soup, orientated by roasting the tomatoes before and finished with basil). 

Heading to the section that are the real tummy-fillers, a.k.a. the main course, one can try the Indonesian favourite Nasi Goreng (chicken and prawn fried rice served with satay peanut sauce and crowned with a fried egg) or the Lobster Thermidor (lobster cooked in sea food veloute with a touch of mustard, served with garden fresh vegetables and potatoes). My personal and eternal favourites are the Chicken a la Kiev (chicken breast pocket stuffed with spinach, cheese, butter, then dusted with flour and bonded with egg and then oven grilled and served with tartar sauce) and the Chicken Teriyaki Breast (chunk of chicken breast, marinated with egg, salt and grilled and served with English vegetables, seasoning, spray of sesame oil and teriyaki sauce and spring onions). The vegetarians need not lose heart; they can try the Gnocchi Au Gratin (potato dumplings simmered in vegetable veloute with a touch of spinach, cheese and gratinated).

‘Yummy Grabs’ (as they call it) from the Indian fare that you MUST try are the Mutton Rogan Josh (a Kashmiri specialty where tender lamb is cooked with authentic herbs and spices and flavoured with rattan jog); Murg Tikka Makhani (classic chicken tikka in spicy tomato gravy, enriched with butter and cream) and Khumb Mutter Hara Pyaaz (mushroom, green peas and spring onion leaves tossed together and finished with Chef’s special Indian herbs).

For those who are in the mood for something not too heavy they have a choice of sandwiches, wraps and more! The Pita Vita (Lebanese Pita pockets stuffed with Indian delights) is a hot pick here! In the others, Penne Arabiata (pasta with spicy tomato sauce) and the Pickles Special Pizza (mushroom, chicken sausage, onions, bell peppers and tomatoes) are too good to resist!
The Hot Chocolate Brownie or the Rum and Raisin Mousse vies for the top spot here in desserts, and I’d leave the choice to you!

How can we forget the pickles trolley that they have? It carries a wide range (close to 25 varieties) of pickles, from bell pepper to ginger and many others you've not heard of before! Their bar is open at regular hours and it also stocks imported wines and spirits. It also has a selection of Zodiac mocktails, for those of you who want the best to suit your sun-sign!

The restaurant has won many awards, including the award from the AP Tourism Department, on many occasions.
In fact, it would not be an understatement to say that this is the best place to eat at, anytime of the day or night, this side of town! From an early breakfast to a late midnight snack, here you can have it all! 

Chef’s Recommendations’:
Tom Yum Gung, Minestrone Soup.
Starters: Bhatti Ka Murgh, Wings On Fire, Sangam Kebab, Chicken Malai Kebab, Talwar Kebab, Loose Fried Prawns.
Main Course: Mutton Rogan Josh, Dal Makhani, Chicken Chettinand, Murgh Lababdar, Apollo Fish, Iguru Royalu.
Dessert: Hot Brownie, Cream Caramel Custard Gateaux, Rasmalai, Double Ka Meetha.

Pickles @ Hotel Baseraa


4 stars

Month: November 2010.

Opened about a year ago, ‘The Grand Wok - China Bistro’ is already high on the popularity charts. Started by the new breed of restaurateurs, N. Sasank (from the IT field) and K. Ajay Kumar (from the catering field), it came into being more out of necessity if not anything else. “We did not find any good Chinese restaurant in Hyderabad, so we thought of starting one,” says Ajay. Howzzat for starters! Not just that, to make the visit to the restaurant truly memorable and authentically Chinese, they got everything from the interiors to the cutlery to the lights to even the main ingredients, all the way from China!

A slight twist here is that, since Hyderabadis are known for their spicy cuisine and can’t do without spice even on their pasta, the authentic Chinese food has been tweaked a bit to cater to the local culinary palate. Says Ajay, “You cannot have authentic Chinese; it is very different from the Chinese that our Hyderabadis eat. So we changed it a little bit. We use Himalayan chillies and we also get our main ingredients from China and Thailand.” 

Experience their most delectable Chinese cuisine and classic mocktails all served in the stylish, high-energy bistro. The menu boasts a collection of dishes that are exquisite, authentic, with distinctive and subtle flavours. The interior of the restaurant is a visual treat, fusing modern design with strong Chinese overtones; with a couple of ancient Chinese art works adding to the magical ambience.

So, what makes them so popular? “Our specialty dishes like Lettuce Wrap, Chilli Stick, Dumplings, variety of sea food like squid and lobster, apart from the usual fare”, as he further adds, “Our food is our main USP, the ambience only helps accentuate it.”

How much Chinese food can you really devour? With a whole lot of mei wei (delicious in Chinese) food in front of you, the answer is rather simple. A lot!

Leading you down to their menu, here are a few samplers. For starters, try the Hunan Tofu (fried Tofu tossed in delicious spicy Hunan sauce) in the vegetarian section and Tai-Pei Chicken (chicken marinated in spicy sauce, deep fried and tossed in sweet and spicy sauce) or Tamang’s Chilli Chicken (soya flavoured spicy chicken dices), Crispy Konjee Lamb (crispy fried shredded lamb tossed with Konjee sauce) or Sichuan Fish (crispy slices of fish in Sichuan sauce with stir fried vegetables) or Orange Peel Prawns (tossed with hot chillies and fresh orange peel) in the non-vegetarian section. For crab lovers, the Sichuan Crab Cake (crab cake cooked in spicy Sichuan sauce) is a must! Nothing says ‘signature appetizer’ quite like the Chicken Lettuce Wraps, draped with chilli soya and honey sauces! Accompanying soups that would complement the starters are the classic Sweet Corn or Lemon Coriander (fragrant and a healthy soup flavoured with fresh lemon and coriander) in both vegetarian and chicken versions.

Coming to the main course, try Tsing Hoi Corn Potato (small cubes of potato and corn served in spicy, sweet and sour red sauce) or Cantonese Style Baby Corn (broccoli and baby corn cooked in spicy chilli sauce) in vegetarian and Kung Pao Chicken (quick fried with cashew nuts, chilli peppers and scallions) or the hot favourite Devil’s Chicken (chicken dices served in a spicy dark red sauce flavoured with chillies and vinegar), Spicy Roast Lamb (sliced and roasted lamb cooked in a spicy black pepper sauce), Ginger Fish (deep fried sliced fish tossed in ginger sauce) and Wok’s Prawns (in a sauce of your choice) in non-vegetarian. Singapore Street Noodles, Dragon Vs Phoenix Fried Rice or Bamboo Rice are good to go with any of the dishes that you would order!

To help all the food go down, try their mocktails like Exotic Fruit Drink (the house favourite and made with cranberry, orange and lemon juices) or the Blue Angel (cool and refreshing drink made from blue Caribbean Curacao syrup and lemonade) or the Strawberry Fields Forever (all-time favourite made with strawberry crush and vanilla ice cream).

Finally, in the desserts; the Fried Ice Cream (a single scoop ice cream wrapped in coconut powder and deep fried, topped with cashew nuts and honey) is hands down the winner, their show stopper and best seller too!

Their Chef M. S. Hanas is from China too, i.e. Beijing. He says, “Localites here like spicy food, so they like more of the Schezwan cooking styles. Here at The Grand Wok we make all three types of Chinese cuisines i.e. Schezwan, Cantonese and Hakka type”. Speaking about some of the most popular dishes and his creations, he says “I even get special requests from regular and new customers to create special dishes for them, which I gladly do so.”

The Grand Wok has an unlimited lunch and dinner concept where you can choose dishes from the menu. Lunch is priced at Rs. 225/- + taxes and dinner at Rs. 299/- or Rs. 375/- (depending on the choices) + taxes, whereas lunch on the weekend is Rs. 299/- + taxes. From September onwards ‘The Grand Wok’ will serve authentic Thai cuisine and have a bar too.
Now you don’t have to go far for an authentic Chinese experience. Enjoy the feel and taste of China at ‘The Grand Wok’!

Chef’s Recommendations’:
Grand Wok Special Soup (veg and non-veg)
Starters: Crispy Corn Chilli Pepper, Vegetarian Stick, Crispy Veg tossed in Hong Kong style, Drums of Heaven, Shanghai Prawns, Wok Signature Fish.
Main Course: Beijing Noodles, Bamboo Rice, Devil’s Chicken, Red Chilli Fish, Crispy Konjee Lamb, Pepper Shrimp.
Desserts: Fried Ice Cream, Date Wantons, Date Pancake, Caramel Banana with Ice Cream.

The Grand Wok

Banjara Hills

4 stars

Month: September 2010.

The rich grandeur of the cosy place welcomes you with the same warmth as the delicious food does; but sometimes tends to overshadow the food served. You can’t but help admire the huge teak pillars, artwork embossed into the panels, right down to the jute curtain-like drapes - all of which spell South Indian-ness at its best.

Amogh Hampi, a multi-cuisine restaurant that also serves North Indian, Chinese, Continental and Oriental cuisines, specializes in traditional South Indian fare (with the best cuisine of all four South Indian states served with panache here). 

Kalyan Sharma, General Manager, says, “Our ambience and our food is our USP. You will not find other states’ food elsewhere, like ours. Especially, since the taste is authentic to the four Southern states’ cuisine. It is original food and the taste is not modified to suit the locals’ palate.” In a couple of months, their restaurant will also have a bar to boot and also a South Indian food festival that will help showcase the most popular and best dishes from the delightfully different Keralite, Telugu, Tamilian and Kanarese cuisines.

The menu might seem to have too many on its list, but the restaurant's best feature is the ambience. Intricately decorated with colourful tapestries and stone carved pillars the décor is traditional, with a swing near the entrance and ethnic murals on the walls.

While it is an impossible task to list out the dishes from all the four regions, I’ll give you a good picking of all four; so that it would be easier for you when you do go to try it out.

Here’s a quick look at their varied menu, starting with their salads. The Waldorf Salad (a classical salad of apple and walnuts with cream dressing) is a good start; followed by the Hot & Sour Soup (a spicy soup cooked with finely chopped vegetable or chicken). A delectable mix from the South Indian dishes are Hampi Era Varuval (delicately spiced prawns, deep fried); Urlagadda Fry (crispy fried spiced potato); and in the main course - Natu Kodi Pulusu (country chicken simmered in traditional Andhra spices and masala); Kozhi Milagu Curry (boneless chicken cooked in spicy black pepper gravy, a Tamil Nadu specialty); Kori Sukha (chicken cooked dry with Karnataka’s special blend of masala); and Meen Moilee (fish simmered in coconut milk, chillies and curry leaves, Kerala’s specialty). Coming to the vegetarian in the main course, you can try Gutti Vankai Koora (brinjals simmered in gravy of coconut, chillies and tomatoes, Andhra’s specialty); Urlai Roast (baby potatoes tossed with onion and ground spices, tempered with mustard, Tamil Nadu’s specialty); and Kai Stew (vegetables simmered in coconut milk and onion paste, Kerala’s specialty). It could be had with Appam (lacy pancakes made from fermented batter of rice) or Talimpu Annam (rice tempered with curry leaves, mustard and cumin seeds). Ragi Sangati (staple food of rural Andhra households) is another dish that you could try.

If you're not the experimentalist with spices, it also caters to the play-it-safe diners by offering the clichéd Chinese and North Indian dishes.

Some of the dishes from the rest of Indian and their Oriental selection are Vegetable Sheek Kebab (skewered mash vegetables finished in a clay oven); Ronaque-E-Sheek (chef’s special skewered mince lamb cooked in a clay oven); Honey Glazed Chicken (pan fried chicken with Chinese spices and glazed in honey) and Tandoori Lobster (lobster marinated with mild spices and cooked in clay oven) that you could dig into! In the main course here, you could try Sabzi Miloni (home style preparation of hand-picked seasonal garden vegetables finished with cumin); Amogh Dal Makhani (their in-house specialty); Choice of Spaghetti, Penne or Fusili (served with fresh tomato, basil and cheese sauce); Cantonese Chicken (chicken cooked with freshly grown Chinese vegetables); Pan Seared Breast of Chicken (on mushroom and sautéed vegetables served with pepper butter rice and garlic bread); Prawns in Hot Garlic Sauce (stir-fried prawns with spicy garlic sauce); Mache Majedar (char-grilled fish pieces cooked in classic tikka masala) along with Lachedar Paratha, Jona Rotte (Jowar Roti) or Khasta Roti (a crispy bread preparation flavoured with fennel). They also have the usual biryani’s, palao’s, fried rice and noodles; of which you could give Moon Faan (star anise and rice - where one can choose the ingredient - rice steamed with star anise and black mushroom) a try!

Desserts are nothing much to take home; it’s the usual fair!

So, which of the four cuisines’ is the most popular, I ask the GM? To which he nonchalantly replies, “All cuisines are equally popular. The best part is that here you can relax in the evening with the best of ambience and food. With a place that can accommodate 165 persons at a time, we are not in a rush to ask our customers to leave. So they can just sit back and savour the experience.” He further adds, “With our reasonable pricing, a couple can have a decent meal from anything between Rs. 350 to Rs. 500.”

But then how is it different from the other restaurants that serve similar cuisines? He says, “What we serve here, you will not get at any normal range fine dining restaurant, apart from ours. You will get such dishes only at a five-star restaurant.” Why, they even separate chefs for each type of cuisine, so that the best of each is made at all times.

My verdict, a nice place to try out; but the beautiful ambience scores above the food!

Chef’s Recommendations:
Kodi Vepudu, Mushroom Koliwada
Soup: Chooze Ka Shorba
Main Course: Royala Iguru, Meen Moillee, Natu Kodi Pulusu, Raan-e-Hampi, Paneer Tikka Lababdar, Amogh Dal Makhani, Jona Rotte, Ragi Sangati, Uluvala Charu, Appam
Dessert: Darsaan, Qubani Ka Meetha.

Amogh Hampi

MLA Colony, Banjara Hills

3 stars

Month: August 2010

Birds singing away to glory, flora and fauna at its best, pictorial lush green landscapes, quietude at its peak with no vehicular pollution! Sounds like a perfect getaway?! Well, you get all this and much more at ‘Aalankrita’, the ethnic getaway and the only 4-star resort and spa in AP, located at Shameerpet, about 15 km from Secunderabad.

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