Wednesday, December 25, 2013


All right. This one is destination review for Hyderabad. Hyderabad is one of those cities, which I forayed into many years back. After completing engineering, just like the giant leap for mankind, after man stepped on the moon, in a very similar manner, it was my big step from north India to down south. When I went there for my MBA for the first time, I was a brash arrogant Delhi-ite. Arrogant I ventured in south India making fun that everything is written in circles and it’s all about Idli dosa’s. But as I settled in the city for two years, by the time I left the city, I was in head over heels in love with this city. There was a charm in the city which was subtle, relaxed and yet cultured. Hyderabad was the place where even a CEO can be seen walking down the street in simple chappal’s. High thinking and simple living. The beautiful harmony and mix of telugu and muslim population co-existing together. The amazing weather along with the exception of the months of summer. The long drawn accented Hyderabadi lingo and the amazing food.  From the walled city near Charminar, to the metropolitan areas of Begumpet, the elite Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills. A very economical city for living and eating. For foodies, it is a dream place to be.

Lets start with the various joints in Hyderabad.

The most famous and aspect of Hyderabad, which everyone knows is the Biryani.  Biryani is served in almost all the corners of the town. Haleem which is made during ramzaan. Chicken 65 the spicy starter unique to Hyderabad.

Biryani, Haleem & Curries

-      Paradise Biryani: Secunderabad- Famous for all tourists and great Biryani, this place is huge and the biryani is great.
-    Hyderabad House: A chain of restaurants with multiple locations. Studying at ICFAI, the closest for us was the one at Road number 3, near the Masjid.  One thing which is unbelievable is the appetite for rice for Telegu people. I recall seeing two people finishing of a jumbo plate, which for us would have been sufficient for three to four people.
-      Hyderabad Restaurant, Yusufguda: I remember driving down on bikes to this place for either Dine Ins or for take away before our big parties. If you are in Srinagar Colony near the ATM’s, there is this road perpendicular to the ATM’s. Drive thorough straight and you shall join the main road of Yusufguda. At a big intersection, on your left you shall see the Hyderabad Restaurant. Like any Hyderbadi joint, you have a shop for chai, paan, beedi right outside. As you enter the shop, there is a general area, more like the regular Hyderabadi cafes and then there is the AC section behind. Great food. For each of our parties, we used to order two jumbo packs, which used to be 3-4 kgs of Biryani each and about Rs. 180/-.
-          Bawarchi: has one of the best and Authentic Biryani’s.
-        Midnight Biryani @ Hotel Green Park: If you are looking for a bit of standard place with ambience and great food, Hotel Green Park was our destination. A buffet for about Rs 200/- at any time in the night.

Mughlai Fare:
Shahdab: In the old city, near Chaarminar, opposite to Medina Hotel. The mecca for authentic muslim food. The right setup, walled city, great food and Shadaab. They take you the firstfloor, where they make you sit in the iislamic way on baithaks on the floor, with low rise tables. The curries and haleems are great.
A few other eateries, where we used to visit as students for almost daily eating was Hotel Banjara Darbar and Hotel Bashar. Two joints at Punjagutta, right near the police station and opposite to Hyderbad Central. Late night eat outs, after parties etc. This has been the hub for us. There is probably nothing to boast other than great economical food for students and very spicy food.
Another one was Dhuandaar Dhabha As you move from Punjagutta to Nagarjuna Circle and further on Road Number 1. This had some real spicy curries and tandoori items. Last I read, it is now closed permanently.
At Tolichowki, there was a big restaurant complex, which we used to visit once in a while. From Banjara Hills it was a bit far, so we used to go for special occasions. There are a number of restaurants lined up and it is the mecca for Non Veg food. Siddiqui’s, one of the popular joints, which serves, roasted chicken, tikka’s, pathar ka gosht, and Biryani. Dirt Cheap food and amazing quality. Must visit. There was also four seasons here, which was descent, although Siddiqui’s Kebab Center was our favorite. They had also opened up  Arabian Nights near Yashoda Hospital on Raj Bhavan Road. Highly recommended.
Bade Mian Kebab@ Somajigauda: Its at this mall at the intersection of the road from Rajbhavan Road, Begumpet and Punjagutta.

Well, in Hyderabad there are a few places for fish.
Fishland in Ameerpet is pretty good. Very Busy and a large menu of diverse variety of fish items.
Club 8 Hyderabad at Begumpet makes the best chilli and garlic prawns. Id die to go there again just to have their prawn starters.

Hyderabad is a city best known for its lunch buffets. 6 years back when I was there, and I recall, it was dirt cheap and great food. For as low as Rs 100/- and high as Rs 250/- you would find an awesome and lavish spread of food. This was all across the city.

The best ones I recall
Angeethi’s: OMG, this was one of the best North Indian food I found at Hyderabad. Serving, chicken, mutton Biryani, Fish fry and various other non veg items, this used to be a paradise for north indian food. I recall the buffet used to be Rs 135/- per head
Zafraan exotica: Road number 12 in Banjara Hills, this one had a roof top and a great buffet again, and the view of the city was great.
Zafraan, Somajigowda: Another one which also served seafood in the buffet. Again pretty good.
Ohri’s: Ohri is a brand famous in Hyderbad. They have multiple location. One was in Road Number 12, which had muti level dining. There is Ohri’s food court on the ground floor and open till late in the night with the buffet. We would often come over for coffees and ice creams as students. There was Chinese restaurant Far East, which was pretty good as well. On the top floor, I recall there was an African interior based restaurant called Serengeti which provided again a good view of the city.
Ohri’s Jeeva: A vegetarian buffet option on Raj Bhawan Road, next to Yashoda Hospital. Not really my favorite as it was vegetarian, but nonetheless a very popular option for veggies.
Kaboora @Begumpet. One of the first outings for our MBA batch and we wrecked havoc on their buffet. Very good food and memories.
Pizza Corner@ Road No.3, during Ramzaan used to have unlimited Pizza’s offer. For something like Rs 150/- approx. they have unlimited pizza slices for Mutton keema pizza.

Well Well, What do I say? Sigh. Hyderabad has cafes all across the cities. The concept and culture of confectionary still exists and is very high in the city. Walk in for a quick grub. Patties, Puff, Pastries. Veg, Egg, Chicken, Mutton Puff’s.  The burgers are pretty cute and old style. I mean it reminds me of the home made burgers we used to have kids. They still make a chicken or mutton sabji and make a burger out of it. Dirt cheap cafes, great value for food.  A few of them I remember
  • -          Midtown Bakery at Punjagutta Circle
  • Mountain Bakery on Road number 3 near the Masjid
  • Big Byte @ Srinagar Colony
  • Karachi Bakery, famous for its fruit biscuits.
  • Almond House on Road number 3, Banjara Hills. Awesome Almond biscuits. The cheese and mushroom puff is highly recommended.

Roll Call: A small little eatery on Nagarjuna Circle which makes the most awesome Calcutta rolls in Hyderabad. It was right outside our ICFAI Hyderabad campus.

North Indian Fare
As North Indian’s, I did miss my hari chutney, sirke waale pyaaz and butter chicken. That led us to all the search for authentic north Indian joints.
     Angeethi as I mentioned previously was one of the best joints for buffet.
-      Shahji Ka Dhabha @ Lakdi ka Pull: Just after you cross the pull, on your right there is a petrol pump, and then Shahji ka Dhabha. A small little eatery but great north indian non veg food. Must have. I remember days when it was raining, and we would end up here for the tandorri chicken and the butther chicken
-       Sher-E-Punjab: Another little dhabha on Punjagutta. Just as you take a left to go towards Ameerpet, this dhabha is on the right, great north Indian food. Last update is that it is closed now.
-    Needs Restaurant at Begumpet (street behind Lifestyle, beyond St.Francis)- the most awesome parantha’s and lassi. North Indian fare is good. A small eatery in a flat, with the personalized touch.
-          Tiwari Sweets: On the intersection of the road from punjagutta, khairtabad and the road towards Imax. This place has great samosa’s and sweets. Come to this place on a Sunday morning for their poori Subji and you will fal in love with it.
The golgappa’s at the Jubilee Hills Check post is famous. The beauty about chaat in South india is that they call it chats and instead of the boiled potato, they give matar chaat in the golgapps with the water.
Gokul Chaat at Koti is another classic hangout place. The menu is simple. Pav Bhaji, Pani Puri, Samosa Ragda, Bhel Puri and Cold Dahi Samosa. All items less than Rs 50/- and really great chaat.

South Indian:
Chutneys: An amazing place which just serves dosa’s and variants of chutneys. The specialty is the number of chutneys served over here.  Owned by the Telegu film star Nagarjuna, this place has a long line to get in every evening and all the snazziest of cars being parked. Not too expensive, and great food. Located at Nagarjuna Circle

A variety of Andhra Mess and Tiffins adorn the streets of Hyderabad. Just walk in and for as less Rs 10/- you can have a Andhra meal. The Andhra specialities also include the variants of rice. Lemon/ Tomato Rice etc.

Location Based
A few places are just for their amazing  ambience.
Durgam Chevru: On the high tech city, there is a big lake, also referred to as the secret lake. When you come in from the high tech city side, there is the entrance to Durgam Chevru and small Andhra Pradesh Tourism  cafĂ© which serves snacks. Chicken 65, French fries, Pakoda’s. The menu is limited, but the location is just great. On a day after it has rained, it is just perfect.
Our Place: On Road No 10, Banjara Hills, this  place has a garden based restaurant with great ambience.
Eat Street: overlooking the Hussain Sagar lake, this is a place for its location. A food court is there with some options. I can’t recall anything too awesome about the food, but worth the location.

Continental and International Cuisine
Fusion 9 & Deli 9: A very good place for international cuisine. Pasta’s Pizza’s, Mediterranean, Salami’s & Sausages. The sandwiches and soups are a must. They have a weekend bunch which is really awesome and very refreshing.
Little Italy: I recall Little Italy opening up initially in Banjara Hills, Road No 1. Great pasta’s and Ice Tea. I have heard this has now moved to Jubilee Hills.
Indi Joe A beautiful lunch buffet with continental spread based out at the city center mall.


  1. Bhai.....its Telugu and not Telegu.

    1. Hi boss,

      You can add Cafe Heart Cup, Kondapur, It's a great place to have tangy chicken and conducts a wonderful Karaoke night :D