New Place in Hyderabad: Mountain Taste of Hyderabad

 Chef Pradeep Khosla has a lot of admirers in Hyderabad and elsewhere for his culinary knowledge. In recent times, two of his initiatives Zaika-E-Ramzan, a special food festival for the aam aadmi during the Holy month, and Zaiqa-E-Hyderabad, the specialty restaurant which was one of the few places to serve authentic Hyderabadi food had received rave reviews. With the latter closing down during COVID, I personally missed a good place in our side of the city where I could host my outstation guest to an authentic Hyderabadi meal. The new Mountain Taste of Hyderabad, a new restaurant from Chef Khosla that opened recently at Road No 2 Banjara Hills will fill that void.

The restaurant is in collaboration with the well-known Mountain Bakery group and is located a few buildings away from their famous outlet at Banjara Hills.  Spread over two floors, the restaurant has a couple of private dining areas for small parties. The team remains mostly the same from Zaiqa, with Chef Paswan and Chef Vikas leading the kitchen. A welcome addition to the menu is the continental section that features some of the items that the Nizams of Hyderabad served to his foreign invitees and guests. The dishes in this section have a lot of British influence, and I was reminded of the Anglo-Indian food that Kolkata is known for.

Marag (middle) and Haleem

But let us talk about the Hyderabadi food here first. From the erstwhile Zaiqa menu. Marag (the mutton broth), Haleem, Lukmi (stuffed with keema), and Shikampur (the Hyderabadi "belly-full" kabab) are all not to be missed here, as well as the biryani which is not the spicy type you get in other restaurants. For lovers of mutton, it has to be noted that the chefs personally supervise the daily supply of mutton ensuring its quality. The size of mutton chunks in biryani is bigger too compared to the usual Hyderabadi places, though the pricing is also at a little premium. 

Lukmi (top) and Shikampur Kabab

Patthar ka Gosht (a Hyderabadi delicacy where marinated mutton strips are cooked on stone) is another dish I can safely recommend here. I loved the Keema Naan which I tried recently, Chef Khosla recommends having it with just raita. Among the mains, my favourite curry here is Barkati Bhuna Gosht, a proprietary recipe of a well-known family in Hyderabad.

Patthar Ka Gosht

The Talawa Gosht and Shaadi Ka Red Chicken were a couple of dishes I used to love from Zaiqa, and was delighted to note that these are on the menu. The Seena Dry Fry is one dish I want to try on my next visit, a recipe where the preparation involves marinating in milk. Others on my wish list include Dum Ka Raan, Bheja Masala, Nalli Rogani, and Hussaini Murgh Masala.

Not many people are familiar with too many vegetarian dishes in Hyderabadi cuisine, but Zaiqa has quite a large number of items in this section too. I must confess that I have only tried Bagara Baigan, and the dish exonerated itself with aplomb. Some dishes of interest may be Himayati Bagara Aloo, Paneer Hazrat Mahal, Rogani Mughlai Gobi, and the Subz Biryani.

Kulfi Falooda (top) and Ashrafi E Nazakat

They have many choices for desserts, but I always prefer the almond halwa (a.k.a Badam Ki Kund). Do not miss this - period. Gajar Ka Rishta, Khubani Anjeer Trifle, and Asrafi E Nazakat are dishes that may impress dessert lovers. On one of my visits, I had some excellent Kulfi Falooda, served with Pista Ice Cream.

Pesto Chicken Nuggets (top), Chicken Hawaiian Salad (Middle) and Prawn Cocktail

Next, let us come to what I think is the very novel section of the menu. The section is headlined as “Western Food from the Nizam’s Kitchen”, and this is the section that I chose to repeat when I visited the restaurant again with my wife. Chef Khosla says that he has picked up the dishes and thumbnails of the recipes from the late doyen of an aristocratic family in Hyderabad, which is known for their love and knowledge about the local food. This gentleman who used to be frequently a part of feasts at Nizam’s had narrated the dishes to him.

Fish in Lemon Butter Sauce (Top) and Fish Orly

My absolute favourite here is Grilled Fish with Asparagus and Lemon Butter Sauce. Done with Tilapiya fillet, the dish is enhanced by the superbly tasting sauce, that I use the soft bread to mop up and have. Fish Orly is a dish many Bengalis are familiar with, however here it is small fillets coated with egg and flour batter before frying. 

Roast Chicken in Mushroom & Pepper Sauce (Top) and Chicken in Basket

Other dishes which I can recommend are Roast Chicken in Mushroom & Pepper Sauce, and Chicken in Basket, the latter beats the other fried chicken available in the market hands down.

Mixed Meat Sizzler (Top) and Cashewnut Croquet

You can opt for the Mixed Meat Sizzler that has lamb, prawns, and fish. Here again, there are many options for vegetarians, Cashewnut Croquet being one of the dishes that I have tried and liked. As I said earlier, the preparations remind me of the British culinary influence rather than European.

Apple Pie with Kulfi

Apple Pie with Kulfi is the dessert I have tasted in this section of the menu. Walnut Banana Choco Lava and Banana Custard are some other options.

The Team

In summary, the food rocked. This is one of the few places I will consider visiting again and again in the city.

Mountain Taste of Hyderabad

8-2-272/10, Road No. 2, near Mountain Bakery, 


Banjara Hills, 

Hyderabad 500034

Call: 8977005415/16

Read more ...

New Place in Hyderabad: Sachii Skybar & Kitchen

Among the many new restaurants opening in the city, there are two major formats that seem to be popular. First are the cafes, with open areas, and an impressive menu of hot and cold beverages and food, mostly contemporary or with a twist. The second is the watering holes, as the city crowd likes to let their hair down, especially on the weekends. The ambience is a very important attribute of the latter places, Alfresco and rooftops being more in demand for the people.

Also read: Mota Kababi Hyderabad

Sachii Skybar & Kitchen is the new kid in the block (opened during the last week of March 2023), a swank place on the rooftop of the same building in Road No 12 Banjara Hills that hosts the Hyundai showroom. It is known as a sky bar as the place is located on a swank rooftop and prides itself in serving one of the best cocktails in town. The total seating capacity is about 150, including an indoor private dining area that can host 40 people. Corporate parties, they can accommodate up to 250 people.

As I entered the place the openness of the design struck me. The bar here is I– shaped with about 360 degrees of visibility. We preferred to sit under the open sky in very comfortable sofas with cushions. You can choose to dine indoors or enjoy your drinks on bar stools as well.

From top - Edamame Shikampur, Renkon Chips & Blueberry Dahipoori

The food here is quite unique, many dishes are crossover food with influences from different cuisines. For example, their Sriracha Khakra is inspired by nachos and they are served the same way with hot hot Sriracha as the dip. The Edamame Shikampur was lovely, prepared from the beans and stuffed with cream cheese inside. The Mango Paneer Shammi is another example of the same style.

From Top - Sriracha Butter Garlic Crab, Seared Teriyaki Salmon and Caesar Salad Croquette

Among the non-vegetarian dishes do not miss Sriracha Butter Garlic Soft Shell Crab. The crabs are tossed in a wok to make the item really crispy. Seared Teriyaki Salmon is another highlight served with guacamole, and red wine jus caviar. Caesar Salad Croquette has chicken croquettes served with Caesar dressings and parmesan cheese.

Makhan Tomatilla (Top) and River Fish Steak

Makhan Tomatillo broth was to my liking, consisting of creamy butternut squash and tomatoes and roasted along with pinenuts and cheese meringue. 

Artisanal Dal Khichdi with accompaniments (below)

Artisanal Dal Khichdi is something I can recommend to everyone. A signature dish of the restaurant, it has truffle oil and porcini mushrooms as ingredients as well as the special Hallikar Cow Ghee from Karnataka. The huge number of tasty accompaniments served with the dish makes it even more special. A plate can easily be shared by two people.

For lovers of local food, Chicken 65 Poppers and Andhra Allam Prawns are two dishes not to be missed. The restaurant also has burgers, pizzas, and Sushis. Galouti Bao served with green chutney is another differentiator.

Himalayan Sour

Talking about cocktails, Himalayan Sour (Whisky, burnt wine, egg white, lemon, and red pepper) was an absolute winner for me. Botanical Lemonade is a smoked drink flavoured by thyme shrubs. A balanced mocktail is Peach and Lavender. The syrups used for both cocktails and mocktails are mostly made in-house. 


And finally about Sachii, their signature dessert, with a bit of table theatrics. Its ingredients are pannacotta, orange marmalade, and a cone on top through which honey is poured down. As the honey drips down on top of the other ingredients it really enhances the taste. They do have other interesting desserts too.


Sachii Skybar & Kitchen

5th Floor, Mansingh Square, 

Road No. 12, Venkateswara Colony, 

Banjara Hills, Hyderabad, Telangana 500034

Phone 77025 91379

Read more ...