The Return of Holy Basil at Radisson Blu Banjara

A few years back when Radisson Blu Plaza opened its doors at Banjara Hills, one of the reasons of people visiting it was Holy Basil, their Pan-Asian restaurant. Along with Syn at Taj Deccan, this was one of the best oriental restaurants in town and a place known for its sushis. I have had many good experiences in this restaurant, including an informative sushi-making workshop which was conducted there.  However, with a turnover of chefs the place slowly lost its mojo, and finally, it was shut for renovation.  About four months back, we were glad to know that the restaurant has again started operations, and has a new menu in place.

Sushi

On a visit to the renovated restaurant, I found that the place has shrunk in size accommodating only about fifty covers. The interior d├ęcor is in red and black, and the seating is cozy.  A teppan prominently features as the live kitchen counter, as in its new avatar the restaurant serves teppanyaki dishes. Over a discussion, the chef informed us that they serve select dishes from the entire Orient starting from Japan and ending at Myanmar.

Som Tam
Som Tam

Invited for a review, we kept ourselves busy with some garlic crackers and kimchi till the food arrived. The first dish to arrive was Som Tam, the Thai raw papaya salad. With tossed in peanuts, the dish was an ideal combination of sweet, tangy and spicy tastes.

Uramaki
Vegetarian Uramaki

The tasting menu had a whooping eight starters. The sushis served were Dragon Roll and Vegetable Uramaki. Both the dishes were brilliantly plated with gari and wasabi and tasted pretty decent too.  Prawn Tempura, however, had turned a little bit soggy by the time it reached the table.


Chicken Siu Mai
Prawn Tempura (Top) and Chicken Siu Mai

The Chicken Siu Mai was soft and served with a nice oyster sauce dip. Pan Fried Vegetable Dim sum was the other dish in this category.  Crispy Lamb Honey Chilli was tossed in a nice sweet and spicy sauce, though I could not get much of the lamb taste in the crispy threads. Sichuan Fish was my favourite among all the starters, the fish had absorbed the red marinade well, and was done just to perfection.

Sichuan Fish

Vegetable Dim Sums
Sichuan Fish (top) and Vegetable Dim Sums

 Wok Tossed Pork Spare Ribs in Hoisin Sauce was a dish I was looking forward to. The sauce was prepared very well, but the ribs had too much fat and very little meat. For vegetarians, Mixed Vegetable Steamed Bao and Lotus Stem Honey Chilli were some of the interesting dishes served.

Wok Tossed Spare Ribs
Wok Tossed Spare Ribs

The Burmese Khaw Suey is one dish which has really broken into the Indian food scene in the last two years. The coconut milk based noodle broth can be a meal by itself and gets served with a select number of condiments, which can be used to customize the dish. The chicken version here at Holy Basil was perhaps the dish of the day for me.

Crispy Lamb Honey Chilli


Khaw Suey
Crispy Lamb Honey Chilli (top) and Khaw Suey

It was time to move to the teppan to have a demonstration of the chef’s skills. Teppanyaki Chicken and Fried Rice were prepared on the griddle with the usual fire and fanfare. On tasting, the combo worked out well with the teriyaki sauce being the main tastemaker.

Chicken Teppanyaki & Fried Rice
Chicken Teppanyaki & Fried Rice

In the main courses, the Lamb in Black Pepper Sauce worked well with the Jasmine Rice, even though I am not a particular fan of black pepper based dishes. The Chilli Garlic Noodles was a very balanced preparation. Same could not be said about the Thai Green Curry which had an overdose of green chillies.

Main Courses
Main Courses

We ended our meal with some delicious Tub Tim Krob, one of my pet Thai desserts because of its mild sweetness and crunchy water chestnuts.

Tub Tim Krob
Tub Tim Krob

Overall, a pretty impressive comeback. A look at the menu reveals signature oriental dishes like Peking Duck. Compared to the earlier avatar, the variety in sushis have gone down, but they have introduced a whole range of other appetizers to supplement this. They have also brought in Chinese Steamboats, a hot pot which you can customize with your favourite meat or seafood, as well as teppanyaki items to further bolster the options. The place serves an economical set lunch on weekdays.

Location:
Holy Basil
Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel
Road No 6, Banjara Hills
Hyderabad
Telephone: 6733 1133

Disclaimer: The review is based on an invite from the restaurant.