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Home Hyderabad Food Pages

Hyderabad Food Pages

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:
Starters:
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.

RESTAURANT
Amogh Hampi

LOCATION
MLA Colony, Banjara Hills

OUR RATING
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.

Senor Pepe’s Mexican Tex-Mex is one of the few places in town that serves delicious Mexican food and also happens to be the oldest. A decade into running, it is conveniently located on Road No. 2, Banjara Hills. This cosy restaurant offers Mexican food that’s as authentic as any restaurant can get, which is why it is popular with the filmi crowd too!

‘Tex-Mex’ is a term used to describe a regional American cuisine that blends food products available in the United States and the culinary creations of Mexican-Americans influenced by the cuisines of Mexico. The cuisine has spread from the border states such as Texas and those in the Southwestern United States to the rest of the country. In some places, particularly outside of Texas, ‘Tex-Mex’ is used to describe a localized version of Mexican cuisine.

Vandith Reddy, the owner of the comfortably famous place, says, “The USP of Tex-Mex (as it is more popularly known as) is that we have very specific cuisine which is liked by all and it suits the Indian palate. Ours is the only stand alone and truly authentic Mexican restaurant in town. Being a decade old, we have our regular clientele, especially the expats.”

The menu offers a modest range of starters that includes Antojitos or little whims as they call it. The Quesadillas (a folded soft flour tortilla filled with melted cheese and slivers of Jalapeno chillies and choice of fillings) come in a choice of cottage cheese, vegetable, chicken or sea food; whereas in the Flautas (a folded soft flour tortilla filled with choice of filling and deep fried) you can choose from vegetable, chicken or sea food. For the undecided, you could munch into the Fiesta Platter which comes with a sampling of nachos, flautas and quesadillas. Nachos are my favourite and make for a quick take-away meal too, if you are in a rush. The crisp corn tortilla wedges splashed with refritos, melted cheese, chopped tomatoes, onions and choice of toppings are truly filling for a snack! Crumb Fried Maricos (prawns or fish marinated and dipped in a spicy batter dusted with bread crumbs and deep fried) is another delectable fare!

Coming to the soups, I’d go with their Caldo Largo Soup (diced tomatoes and green peppers simmered in a thick cream soup and garnished with cheese) and Sonorese Chicken Soup (cubes of chicken and pepper in a herb flavoured broth soup).

If you have a good appetite, it would be a great idea to hit the starters first and then move onto the main course. In the menu are Tacos (crisp corn tortilla shell filled with green tomatoes, cheese and choice of filling preferably refrito bean), Enchiladas (soft flour tortilla rolled with cheese and choice of filling topped with enchilada sauce and melted cheese), Fajitas (marinated strips of tender lamb of chicken or fish grilled with sweet peppers, tomatoes, onions and spices and served with salsa fresco and fresh hot tortillas) and Chimichangas (seasoned shredded lamb or chicken or vegetable cooked with sweet bell peppers and onions and rolled in a golden flaky fried flour tortilla). But my eternal favourite here or anywhere would be the Burritos (refrito beans with lamb or chicken or vegetable rolled in soft flour tortillas topped with melted sauce and loads of rich creamy cheese)!

They also have an exhaustive menu for Especialidades. You have penne, fettucine, macaroni, diablo and many more in different varieties. For the vegetarians, the Corn and Mushroom Casserole (mushrooms, baby corn sautéed in tomato flavoured cream sauce, baked with cheese and served with garlic toast) would be an ideal choice.

Other popular dishes on their menu include Macho Mam (grilled chicken breasts sautéed with fresh herbs and seasoning topped with melted cheese), Chicken Drumsticks in Salas (marinated chicken drumsticks, grilled and simmered in roasted tomato salsa), Huachingango Vera Cruzano (fish fillets simmered with onions, pimentos, tomatoes in an orange flavoured wine sauce), Pesca Delmar (shrimps grilled and sautéed with tomatoes, peppers in wine flavoured cream sauce), Penne or Fetecianni Alfredo (penne or fettucine pasta tossed with strips of grilled chicken, pimentos onions, in a creamy pepper sauce with melted sauce). Regulars like American Grilled Fish (diced fish fillet marinated, grilled and simmered in a herb flavoured tomato sauce) and Spanish Grilled Chicken (breasts of chicken marinated with seasoning and herbs, grilled and topped with wine flavoured orange sauce) also find their place in the menu. However, their most popular item on their menu card is their special Senor - Pepes Fried Chicken (marinated chicken breasts, stuffed with cheese, deep fried and served with Colarado sauce and garlic toast).

The servings are large and filling (what with all that cheese and beans etc), so be mindful when you are placing the order; lest you’d end up with a wide range and no space in your tummy to fill!

Says Sarathy, the restaurant manager, “Our priceline and value for food is our USP”, and adds, “Presentation also makes a huge difference and we definitely score on that front too.”

There are some very interesting desserts that you would be tempted to try, the more popular ones being Apple Honey Cobbler and Strawberry Cheesecake, both served with ice-cream.

Tex-Mex is ideal for a weeknight dinner with friends when you are just looking at having a sumptuous, yet reasonably-priced meal in a non-crowded setting. They also undertake outdoor catering orders and home delivery for the neighbouring areas.

So, if you are in the mood for some authentically spicy dishes of the Aztecs, you know where to go now!

Chef Recommendations:
Soup:
Sopa De Tortilla (Mexican vegetable soup garnished with corn chips), Sopa De Deldia (tomato flavoured chicken soup with refrito beans garnished with cheese)
Starters: Quesadillas, Flautas and Mexican Grilled Chicken.
Main Course: Enchiladas, Fajitas, Spanish Vegetables with Garlic Toast, Fettucine Fresca Gourmet, Fish Pepper Steak, Camarrone Al Mago De Ago, Taragoan Chicken Breast, Penne Alfredo and Macaroni Pappasitas.
Desserts: Strawberry Cheese Cake with Ice Cream

RESTAURANT
Senor Pepe’s Mexican Tex-Mex

LOCATION
Banjara Hills

OUR RATING
4 Stars

Month: June 2010.

It was one of the first few restaurants that started in the most happening place in town, Madhapur. What was planned as just a desserts place finally turned out to be a fine Euro dining restaurant. Set up by Mamatha Mallipudi and Pratima Koppolu about a year and a half ago, Sweet Nirvana is quite a popular option this side of the town. It has a beautiful outdoor ambience, especially at nights; a three-tiered place of which the lowest level has large white canopies and green grass.

The first thing that hits you when you enter this place, is the grandeur of the interiors and yet at the same time the warmth that it exudes; just like the people who tend to you while you are feasting like a royalty! 

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