Andhra Pradesh | Featured | Food | Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

Ohm @ Avasa – Oriental Cuisine in a Delightful Ambiance

Avasa, located bang in the middle of HITEC city, has been beckoning us for a while. We hadn’t heard any reviews of the food there, and really hadn’t considered it before for dinner. On a Saturday evening, we were looking for a new place to eat at. After much debate, we decided to boldly go where we had never been before, and ended up at Avasa with no idea of what kind of dining options we had.

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Andhra Pradesh | Featured | Hyderabad | Pictures | Review | Travel | Wildlife

Blackbuck Resort Vilaspur – Idyllic Weekend Getaway from Hyderabad

Vidya and I spent a delightful three days at the Jungle Lodges at Vilaspur. It was a wonderful experience, and we hope to do it again sometime.

The Drive

We drove from Hyderabad to Vilaspur – a distance of about 135 kilometers. It took us a little over 3 hours – we stopped on the way for breakfast and pictures. The road was a National Highway all the way to Zaheerabad and except for a few patches around Zaheerabad, it was quite alright. After Zaheerabad, we turned into a state highway – this was bad in patches, but again, was not too painful. We continued driving past Bidar and past Naubad till we came to a sign for the Black Buck Resort. We turned off the state highway into a narrow road which soon petered out into bare rock. After about 3 kilometers of following signs on bare rock, we reached the resort.

The Re

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Featured | Food | Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

Via Milano – Italian Comfort Food

After a rather tiring day of household stuff and shopping, we wanted a relaxed dinner, and stepped into Via Milano in Jubilee Hills. I was thankful for the valet parking, and after a wee bit of trouble finding out how to get to the restaurant (it’s on the third floor, without any indication on the ground of how to get to it), we walked into a delightfully air-conditioned space. We were greeted warmly, seated comfortably and given warm towels to get into the dinner mood.

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Featured | Movies | Review

Inception – A Must-watch!

Never before has a movie engaged my mind so much, for so long, and so deliciously.

Christopher Nolan thoroughly deserves all the praise that has been heaped on him. My personal wonderment is at his achievement of making such a complex story so accessible and entertaining.

There is a reason science fiction, from classic to modern, is a niche genre, and it is the rare book or movie that makes it into mainstream consciousness. And that happens because of the appeal to other, more universal values that read more

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Featured | Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

17 Degrees North

Had dinner at 17 Degrees North, a relative new-comer promising global cuisine. We’d just finished picking up groceries at Ratnadeep and were hungry, and 17 Degrees North beckoned from above. Located in the same building as Ratnadeep in Hitech city, 17 Degrees is ideally sited if you live, like us, on this side of town.

The night was hot, and we felt at home as we entered the pleasantly air-conditioned, dimly-lit space. It was cozy, not too full, not too empty, and the decor was interestingly read more

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Books | Featured | Review

Pirate Latitudes – A Smashing Pirate Tale!

Michael Crichton’s latest novel, Pirate Latitudes, took up one marathon reading session this weekend. It was, to be cliched, unputdownable.

The blurb reads:

An irresistible adventure of swashbuckling pirates in the New World from one of the best-loved and bestselling authors of all time.

Jamaica, in 1655 a lone outpost of British power amid Spanish waters in the sun-baked Caribbean. Its capital, Port Roayl, a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses – the last place imaginable fron which to launch an attack on a nearby Spanish stronghold. Yet that is exactly what renowned privateer Captain Charles Hunter plans to do, with the connivance of Charles II’s ruling governor, Sir James Almont.

The target is Matanceros, guarded by the bloodthirsty Cazalla, and considered impregnable with its gun emplacements and sheer cliffs. Hunter’s crew of buccaneers must battle not only the Spanish fleet but other deadly perils – raging hurricanes, canibal tribes, even sea monsters. But if his ragtag crew succeeds, they will make not onl

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Featured | Food | Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

45 Jubilee Hills – Good food, slow service

We went to 45 Jubilee Hills for dinner a couple of weeks ago. Let me rephrase that – my entire team from work – about 30 people – went for dinner to 45 Jubilee hills about a couple of weeks ago. The experience was quite enjoyable, but only because the presence of so many of us together helped us while away the time playing Chinese Whispers while waiting for the food, while waiting for the water, while waiting for the dessert, while waiting for the bill… you get the idea!

We arrived at the restaurant around 8 pm, having informed them a day in advance of our plans, and were seated in a private area – al fresco, on a half-finished balcony separated from the rest of the restaurant (and air conditioning) by a glass door. The fit was a bit tight, but was not uncomfortable, and we all placed our orders – they’d told us there was no buffet for dinner. And then the games started while we waited for the food. Quite a few had ended by the time we got our first orders.

The food, wh

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Featured | Food | Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

Lunch Buffet at IndiJoe – Crowded and Disappointing

Today’s lunch was a buffet at IndiJoe. We have been fans of Indijoe’s ever since Suresh introduced us to the fondue there a couple of years ago. We found ourselves outside IndiJoe at lunchtime and spying the buffet, went for it.

The food at IndiJoe has always been pretty good. Today’s lunch was a lesson in how a restaurant’s buffet food does not always stand up to the standard of its a la carte offerings. The buffet was adequate, though a bit on the leaner side for vegetarians. But the menu was rather unimaginative, and the food itself merely passable – not what we have come to expect from IndiJoe.

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Featured | Food | Haleem | Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

Haleem at 4 Seasons

My second haleem experience of the season, and not a typical one at that! I was in GVK One to pick up Vidya after she had finished watching Kaminey. After we met up, we decided to get dinner, and since neither of us had been to the food court, we decided to check it out. The food court is called Polynation and has a weird payment system where you buy a prepaid magnetic card, load it with cash and use it to pay for food at the different outlets. The food court itself is pretty extensive, with a lot of choices for food – from Chinese, Pizza, Pasta, Hyderabadi, North and South Indian – all were available.
I was rather thrilled to see that there was a 4 Seasons counter, and even more thrilled to see that they had haleem on their bill of fare. About a couple of weeks ago, I had a wonderful lunch at the 4 Seasons in Hitec City, and their food was really delicious, and I jumped at the chance to taste their haleem.
The serving was medium sized, and would not have sufficed had I been as hungry as I usually am at dinner. A rather heavy lunch had left me not very hungry, and a single haleem seemed to be the ideal dinner. At first glance, I could see that it was a lot less greasy than the previous haleem I’d had. It was topped with cashew nuts and mint leaves along with the obligatory fried onions.
The haleem itself was easy to eat – it seemed to have been ground rather than pounded, giving it an even consistency that took away a bit from the experience. The meat was well ground, and there were no bones. What came as a pleasant surprise was the subtle and well-balanced spicing – something almost impossible for a Hyderabadi ustad, one would have thought. Again, the grinding rather than pounding had ensured the spices were mixed in well, and the taste was definitely a notch higher than Sarvi’s.
Because of the delicate and subtle flavouring, the haleem also lent itself nicely to an on-the-table taste modification. The bowl of haleem had been accompanied by two thin slices of lemon. I experimented with a drop of the juice on a spoonful, and liked the way it modified the taste. So, once I was halfway through the bowl, I squeezed in the slices and mixed it well, and had a different tasting serving of the same haleem! The lemon juice went very well with it, and the effect was most excellent!
Overall, while in taste and ease of eating, this haleem beat Sarvi’s hands down, the texture wasn’t quite haleem-like – that can be achieved only by pounding and not grinding. This was the lone negative in an otherwise quite outstanding bowl of haleem. Of course, some might quibble that at Rs. 95 for a smallish bowl, this was a steeply priced haleem, but I think it’s really worth it – the bonelessness alone was worth the extra thirty bucks!
What do you think about 4 Seasons haleem? Where have you eaten your best haleem this season? Leave a comment or write to me!

My second haleem experience of the season, and not a typical one at that! I was in GVK One to pick up Vidya after she had finished watching Kaminey. After we met up, we decided to get dinner, and since neither of us had been to the food court, we decided to check it out. The food court is called Polynation and has a weird payment system where you buy a prepaid debit card, load it with cash and use it to pay for food at the different outlets. The food court itself is pretty extensive, with a lot of choices for food – Chinese, Pizza, Pasta, Hyderabadi, North and South Indian – all were available.

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Experience | Featured | Food | Haleem | Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

Haleem Ho Jaye!

It ‘s once again that time of year when the streets of Hyderabad overflow with numerous haleem joints, and every Hyderabadi worth her or his salt is out there every day in search of the  perfect bowl. Dhruv jumped on the bandwagon yesterday and I opened my account last night. Dhruv and I were chatting about trying out more places near Hitec City, where we both work, and decided to start right away. We managed to drag Nikhil along, just like the last time we went to Hitec Bawarchi.

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