Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

F9 Diner, Kondapur – Value-for-Money buffet

Caught the lunch buffet at the F9 Diner at Kondapur yesterday.
We got there a little after two, and the place was not too crowded – just a couple of families and groups of friends. The restaurant was large, light and airy, and the buffet, while not extensive, was definitely adequate. We started off with a welcome drink – a glass of the ubiquitous (for Fusion9) Blue Angel. The salad counter was the star of the buffet – it alone had more dishes than the rest of the buffet! Apart from the wide variety of salads, the buffet included soup and rotis, Indian, Continental, and Chinese dishes. The non-vegetarian part was interesting – one chicken, mutton and fish dish each, and a chicken biryani. There was also a live crepe counter. This was rounded off with a selection of bakery desserts and an Indian sweet.
While the food was not outstanding, it was definitely tasty and fresh. The staff was attentive and courteous. We had a long and relaxing lunch, and left feeling satiated.
The Rs. 199 price claim is rather misleading – after taxes and charges, it comes up to Rs. 235 a head. It is still great value for money.
I’ve heard that the place gets really crowded on weekdays – long serpentine queues and frayed tempers have been reported. Nevertheless, this was one of the best weekend lunches I’ve had in a long time, and I definitely recommend it.
Official Website
Address: Rooftop, 4th Floor, Above KUN United Hyundai, Kondapur, Hyderabad
Phone: 9948878661

Caught the lunch buffet at the F9 Diner at Kondapur yesterday.

We got there a little after two, and the place was not too crowded – just a couple of families and groups of friends. The restaurant was large, light and airy, and the buffet, while not extensive, was definitely adequate.

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India: Top 5 Touch Devices

I wrote a list of my top 5 touch devices for a piece called Titans of Touch in the latest issue of BusinessWorld and they edited it a bit to fit their layout demands. Here’s the version I wrote:

And so it is – I find myself with an unlimited budget, and five of my favourite touchscreen devices on the shopping list. I find myself hard put to make a choice – what will I get two of? But then, sanity prevails, and I promise myself I will get only one of each device. And so, without any further ado, here’s the list of five touchscreen devices I will rush out and buy the moment I get the cash!

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Featured | Movies | Opinion | Review

Angels and Demons – Movie Review

I felt vaguely unsatisfied after watching the Da Vinci Code. I have no such complaints about Angels and Demons. It was a solid 138 minutes of unflagging action, with strong performances and really good camerawork and editing.

I read the book long ago and, must confess, found it much better than its better-known sibling, The Da Vinci Code. What is required, like it is when viewing any work of fiction, is a wilful suspension of disbelief, and this work asks for oodles of suspension. The now famous professor, Robert Langdon, played again by Tom Hanks, is back, and this time is asked to take on an old enemy of the Roman Catholic Church, the Illuminati.

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Featured | Food | Hyderabad | My Life | Video

Keeping it Cool on the Street!

[A good, strong Hyderabadi stomach is recommended before trying any of the street-side coolers mentioned here]

Hyderabadi summers have to be experienced to be believed. Stepping out is like stepping into a sauna. If you stand out for more than a few minutes at a time, your skin is liable to slowly peel off, and you will quickly melt into a pool of unspeakability, which will evaporate before anyone can say ‘unspeakability’. I kid you not.

However, brave soul that I am, I ventured out into this terrible heat on more than a few occasions, and have lived to tell the tale. The secret to survival in this heat is to keep yourself hydrated at all times. And to help you do that, there are numerous roadside vendors peddling you many types of coolers. Here are a few of my encounters with these purveyors of the finest coolants money can buy on the streets of Hyderabad.

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Experience | Hyderabad | Review

GVK One Mall, Hyderabad – A First Look


We went to GVK One today. We’ve had our eyes on the place since it was being built and finished, and being the mall rats we are, we’ve been waiting for a chance to check it out.

The first part of the GVK One experience was getting into the parking lot. We went down a spiral ramp making more turns than you can shake a spring at, but finally ended up in a decently organised parking lot – each parking level is a different colour and every pillar has an identifying letter on it.

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Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

ToastyZ Gachibowli – Friendly Neighborhood Cafe

Tonight, both Vidya and I were not particularly hungry, and wanted something light to eat. As we drove down the road from Kothaguda to Gachibowli, we came across Toastyz, and decided to give it a try. It was a small place, with one table inside and two outside. It was manned by two friendly and efficient guys. The menu was pretty extensive, toasted subs being the specialty. They also had salads, soups, hot and cold beverages and desserts.

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Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

Pumpkins, Madhapur – Hampi in Hyderabad

Sunday night, Vidya and I had dinner at Pumpkins in Madhapur.

While the food was very basic, it was the atmosphere that really tickled me. The way Pumpkins is done up is very reminiscent of the restaurants at Hampi. A spiral staircase leads to an elevated platform furnished with a few tables, a long buffet table, and a cash counter.

It was a prix-fixee vegetarian menu – Rs.70 for all you can eat. The spread was basic – phulkas and parathas, a dal, a couple of vegetarian side dishes, a vegetable pulao, steamed rice, raitha, pickle and a dessert.

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Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

Utupura – Kerala on a Plate

Last night, Vidya and I dined at the new kid on Hyderabad’s Kerala block, Utupura.

We had heard about the place from many different people, and the reviews had been uniformly good. To me, most Kerala places are good, since they serve porotta and beef roast. The real test is whether it would stand up to Vidya’s vegetarian scrutiny. We were hopeful on that front too, as one of the glowing reports was from a vegetarian friend.

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Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

Solitaire Restaurant – Good Indian Chinese

Solitaire is a new restaurant in an other-wise restaurantless landscape. It is the closest non-Novotel restaurant to HITEX, and is on the road connecting HITEX with Hitech City. At first glance, the place is not much – it’s a large red and white striped shed on the side of the road with a none-too-conspicuous name board. But once you enter, it is pretty decently decorated, with a friendly waitstaff.

I wasn’t too hungry, and I was alone – two unfamiliar things for me when I go to a restaurant – and I wanted something familiar tasting. A quick scan of the menu revealed a familiar North-Indian-Chinese combination menu.

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