Food | Hyderabad | Restaurants | Review

Ohri’s Jiva – Good Service, Ordinary Food

Ohri’s Jiva – Good service, ordinary food
Dinner last night was at Ohri’s Jiva. We were shopping in the city, and were looking for a place we hadn’t been to before, and this was the closest.
After our car was taken away by the valet, we stepped in to find ourselves part of a huge crowd of waiting people. More than fifty people were sitting or standing around, and we were ready to turn around and leave. That was when I noticed a poster advertising a Rs. 199 buffet, and a guy standing at a counter with a huge booking register. I made my way to him and asked him how long it would take us to get in. When he said at least half an hour, we were a bit put off. However, in our hurry, we hadn’t noticed the huge self-service section buzzing with activity. Figuring out we would be better off serving ourselves instead of waiting for the buffet, we got a table and set about ordering.
Vidya asked for a puri-subzi and a plate of button idlis. I couldn’t decide what I wanted, and ordered a plate of chilli vegetable sticks, figuring I could munch on it while I decided what to get. We got the button idlis right away, and while waiting for the other food, ordered a half and half pizza. The idlis were alright – nothing to write home about, but nothing to find fault either. And then came the shock – when I walked up to collect the puris and the vegetable sticks, I found the portions were really huge. The puri-subzi had five puris, a large portion of subzi, pickles and a gulab jamun. The vegetable chilli sticks turned out to be six huge, frankfurter-sized dough and vegetable sticks skewered on long cocktail sticks. This was definitely more substantial than we had anticipated, and we decided to get the pizza to take away.
The food was pretty ordinary, but not bad by any standards. What was more striking about the experience was the speed and efficiency of service, and how the staff was able to manage the crowd. There were about a hundred seats, and most of them were full all the time. There was a constant turnover, and there was also a takeaway counter. All this was being managed without any hiccups by smart and efficient manning of the cash and delivery counters. Defeinitely a place I would recommend for a quick bite if you don’t care too much about the taste.
Ohri’s Jiva was a good dining experience, in spite of the ordinary food.
Address: 5-9-30/16-20, Vista Grand Towers, Raj Bhavan Road, Somajiguda, Hyderabad
Phone: 9866778005, 9866778047

Dinner last night was at Ohri’s Jiva. We were shopping in the city, and were looking for a place we hadn’t been to before, and this was the closest.

After our car was taken away by the valet, we stepped in to find ourselves part of a huge crowd of waiting people. More than fifty people were sitting or standing around, and we were ready to turn around and leave. That was when I noticed a poster advertising a Rs. 199 buffet, and a guy standing at a counter with a huge booking register. I made my way to him and asked him how long it would take us to get in. When he said at least half an hour, we were a bit put off. However, in our hurry, we hadn’t noticed the huge self-service section buzzing with activity. Figuring out we would be better off serving ourselves instead of waiting for the buffet, we got a table and set about ordering.

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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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Gadgets

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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