Noya Terrace & Bar: Hyderabad’s New Scenic Rooftop Destination

The restaurant scenario in the city has taken a major hit during last year, and I keep on ruing the fact that the pandemic has claimed many of my favourite places. However, life goes on as the old gives way to the new. Among the rare newborns in the F&B scene in the city is Noya, the rooftop bar and restaurant at Hotel Avasa.  Replacing the erstwhile Sky kitchen and providing a scenic view of the city, this place is already becoming a popular destination for the handful who are venturing out in this pre-vaccine period.

The place is opening its doors in phases and the first off the blocks is the watering hole on the 12th-floor terrace, with options of comfortable sofas as well as bar seating. The restaurant (to be opened soon) is located on one side of the terrace bar. The other side provides a grand view of the skyline of the city with the illuminated Hitech City metro station. Trains chugging out of the station during my long dinner here took me back to my childhood, when I used to insist on visiting the nearby suburban station every day just to get a look at trains passing by. The indoor part of the outlet will also be housed on the tenth and eleventh floor, with a dance floor to boot.

The menu at Noya is curated by Chef Vignesh Ramachandran, one of the bright young culinary stars on the Hyderabad food scene. Vignesh featured in the India-wide “40 under 40” list of exciting young chefs picked by CNN Traveller last year and is someone whom I respect for his knowledge as well as his modern Indian creations. Many of us are familiar with the good work he has done during the rebirth of Once Upon a Time, the flagship restaurant of the Green Park Hotel group. Here in Noya, his food is distinctly progressive Indian, while the cocktails are again Indian with a twist.

Qubani Ka Fizz (Top) and Kaffir Lime Dusted Cashewnuts

We settled down with Qubani ka Fizz, a drink which is a take on one of Hyderabad’s favourite desserts, Qubani Ka Meetha. The apricot flavoured gin and tonic instantly impresses. A bowl of Kaffir Lime Dusted Cashewnuts has dehydrated kaffir lime dust with some garlic and chaat masala.  The combo instantly lifts your expectations and you look forward to many “hatke” preparations.

Roasted Pineapples and Cheeselings Bhel (top), Tamarind Margarita (middle) and Sparkling Ilaineer Inji

Roasted Pineapples and Cheeslings Bhel was next. The masala-laced pineapples combine brilliantly with cheeslings, the use of which instead of puffed rice is itself very unique. Accompanying this is Tamarind Margarita, using tamarind syrup prepared at their own kitchen. My wife goes for Sparkling Ilaineer Inji, with vodka and tender, ginger and coconut water.

Hyderabadi Mezze Platter (top), Mutton Ghee Roast Patti Samosa (middle) and Karriveppila Mojito

The food continues to rock. The Hyderabadi Mezze Platter is a meal by itself, with Baigan ka Raita replacing the Babaghanoush, and a roasted tomato chutney being standouts among the dips, whereas Rajma Vada, Tawa Paneer and Masala Pita presenting diverse flavours. This dish has the potential to be a signature of this place. I also fell in love with the Mutton Ghee Roast Patti Samosas, as an ideal foil for the cocktails. By then I had graduated to enjoying the curry leaf flavoured Karriveppila Mojito. The bar menu also lists Vodka Kheera Dosakaya and Masala Chaitini, names I will remember for my next visit.

Bydagi Chilli Prawns

A unique dish in the true spirit of concept fusion is Bydagi Chilli Prawns. Inspired by Spanish Gambas Al Ajillo, the prawns are tossed in abundant ghee with the Karnataka Bydagi chillies and curry leaves. Enjoyed the spicy ghee-laden gravy soaked into the pav served with it.

Butter Chicken Pakodas (top) and Chicken 65 Sliders

Butter Chicken Pakoda, where butter chicken and mince are crisply fried into delicious short eats was another of my favourites. A tribute to Hyderabad was Chicken 65 Sliders that worked well especially with the crisply fried 65 pieces tasting familiar and different at the same time.

Tingmo with Beef Curry

The best was kept for the last. Tingmo with Beef Curry for me was definitely the dish of the day. The soft and airy Tibetan bread roll was nice, but the Beef curry cooked in Nepalese style with a distinct flavor of green chilli was simply unputdownable.

Burnt Chhena Cheesecake (top) and Milo Kulfi

The desserts packed quite a punch too. Chenapodo from Odisha is one of the favourite sweets in our household, and Vignesh had turned it into a cheesecake. The Burnt Chhena Cheesecake is definitely a strong recommendation here. It is a pity that we were overly stuffed by then, so could not do justice to it. For chocolate lovers, Milo Kulfi is something not to be missed.

Noya Terrace & Bar definitely is a step in the right direction for Hyderabad, with the availability of state-of-art Indian-inspired cocktails and short eats from the modern cuisine stable. The ambience adds to the overall impact making it a place to put in your priority list for a visit with friends. 

Location:

Noya Terrace & Bar

Hotel AVASA

Huda Techno Enclave, Madhapur, Hyderabad

Tel 040 67282828

Timings: Sunday to Thursday (6 pm to midnight), Saturday and Sundays (6 pm to 1 am)


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Eight Must Order Dishes from Home Chefs in Hyderabad

 The COVID phenomenon and reluctance of food lovers to dine out has really provided a fillip to a different breed of food entrepreneurs. Every city including Hyderabad has them offering different cuisines, often with a s short menu and signature dishes. I have been experimenting with from many home chefs in the city during the last ten months. These are some of my favourite dishes across the home chef spectrum in the city. The dishes are in no particular order.

1. Mutton Glassy –  The Kitchen Table (77310 76662)

This is a special and uncommon dish from Bangladesh, which is supposedly adapted from a British recipe. A milk based mutton preparation this goes well with both rice and rotis. Roshni Nathan of The Kitchen Table is a talented home chef and what I like about her offerings is that she brings forward niche food from different regions with frequent menu changes.

2. Whole Grilled Chicken – Rassasie (91544 22459)

This setup from Jubilee Hills has a few variants of their Grilled chicken prepared in different marinades. I have had a tandoori version which was served with corn cobs, broccoli and baby potatoes.  Some other marinade choices include barbeque and oregano.

3. Chicken Rezala – Sharmi’s Kitchen (95025 50993)

The Kolkata Rezala is part of the Muslim cuisine from the city that has gained widespread acceptance all over the country. Rezala from “Sabir” an old favourite from Chandni Chowk in Central Kolkata has won many hearts, and is a must do for a foodie in the city. The sublime white gravy with cashew and poppy seeds can be enjoyed in Hyderabad from Sharmi’s Kitchen in Domalguda.  You can also try her Kolkata style biryani.

4. Pork Curry – The Pork Affair (98499 60070)

Hyderabad is not very well-known for its pork dishes, as many restaurants avoid cooking the meat which is not consumed by Muslims. I rely on Deepak Kumar’s “The Pork Affair” for my pork staple. He has two signature dishes, but that pork curry cooked in local style is my out-and-out favourite. I usually ask my pork to be bought as only meat (minimum lard), but you can choose from the various other options he has available on his menu.

5. Thai Pineapple Fried Rice – Devils Pot (79958 64607)

There are hardly any home chefs promoting food from Thailand in the city. Devil’s Pot in Banjara Hills has a number of Thai dishes on their menu, and most of them taste very authentic. But Thai style Pineapple Fried Rice with abundant prawns was the dish that impressed me most. Not to speak of their Tom Kha Gai and Pineapple skewers. 

6. Sofiyani Biryani – Anjum’s Kitchen (99082 43017)

Naaz Anjum’s Kitchen is definitely one of the top places to order Hyderabadi food from. She is one of the most successful home chefs in Hyderabad with a vast repertoire of local dishes. It is but natural that her biryani is sought after. Among her trademark biryanis, I prefer the not-so-common Sofiyani Biryani from her rich in curd, cream and cashew paste. It is something which is available in very few places commercially.

7. Dhokar Dalna – PeekNCook (99856 77336)

There are many Bengali home chefs in this city, but perhaps the most accomplished of them is Moumita Ghosh of PeekNCook. Her Bengali vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies are in huge demand, and her Bengali sweets are just unputdownable. Dhokar Dalna, a Bengali style gravy of fried lentil cakes is something I would like you to specially try from her. Who says vegetarian Bengali cuisine does not have blockbuster dishes?

.8. Dum ka Murgh – Dakhni Dastarkhan (99896 00054)

The slow-cooked Chicken dish is the most popular gravy dish in Hyderabadi cuisine. For tasting the best quality Dum ka Murgh I recommend Dakhni Dastarkhan, a venture of Home Chef Aqsa who is from a well-known Hyderabadi family known for their culinary expertise. Other dishes like Shikampur and Talawa as well can be ordered from here. 

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