Restaurants Reopen and New Menus Are In

September and October has seen restoration of quite a bit of normalcy in the food and beverages sector of Hyderabad. Many of the old restaurants have reopened again much to the relief and joy of their loyal customers. Footfalls have returned to quite an extent, though it still has a bit to go. Some restaurants have launched a new menu to attract new customers. And what is most redeeming is the fact that many new restaurants have opened up to replace some of the casualties of the recent turbulent period. The green shoots of food festivals were also seen with couple of star properties introducing them for the festive season.

Of the few places serving cuisines of all the South Indian states in Hyderabad, Simply South by Chef Chalapathi Rao is definitely one of the most prominent. I have been a fan of multiple dishes here like Kamju Pitta (Quail), Peethala (Crab) Iguru, Kodi Koora and almost all the constituents of their Veg thali. The place had been temporarily closed ever since the start of Covid, and I was very happy to know from Chef Chalapathi Rao that they were reopening from September 10th after a long hiatus. A couple of days later I was invited for a meal here by Chef where I could taste some of the popular dishes after a long time.

An assorted thali mostly of non-vegetarian dishes from the menu was put together for me, with thali-size portions ensuring that I can taste many items. The dishes were as good as earlier times and I became especially drawn to three of them – Gongura Royyalu (with fresh prawns and chopped gongura leaves and very little spice), Telangana Pacchi Mirchi Kodi (a comfort green chilli laced chicken dish) and Vegetable Stew (with some lovely appams). I also had Kori Gassi (the Mangalore beauty), Chapala Pulusu (a regular favourite of mine here) and Mutton Pepper Fry. The peanut podi and ghee combo with rice was sublime and even the rasam served on the table rocked. Finally, the Badam Halwa somehow reminded me of Badam Kund, a Hyderabadi dish, though the taste is markedly different.

So the place is open again, and all fans can rush there. My order usually is a veg thali with select non-veg sides, but it may also be fun to choose a theme (like a Karnataka or Kerala meal) and order your items based on that.

Farzi Café is buzzing with the arrival of its new menu. Among a comprehensive selection of starters, mains, and desserts, the top draw was the brilliant Karampodi Tandoori Pomfret. Ambadi Fish, Smoked Pepper Chicken Tikka, and Creamy Marine Bisque were some of the other non-vegetarian dishes of note. This time, the selection for vegetarians is huge, with Aloo Snowmosa, Kadak Paneer Sheekh Kabab, and Tofu Medu Vada being some of the highlights. My pick in this section was the comfort dish Sago Pongal served with Paneer Ghee Roast. The presentation of all dishes was brilliant as usual.

Tawa Seared Meen Curry, Gongura Mutton Koora, and Broccoli and Lentil Biryani are some of the other newly introduced dishes.

Turquoise, the restaurant at Le Meridien Gachibowli has reopened with a new menu. At a tasting session, enjoyed the specially curated food put up by Chef Rahul Dutta and his team for the occasion.

Wasabi Salmon Tikka and Rock Prawn Tempura were my absolute favourites. The Mutton Shami and Balsamic Sweet Potato combo also deserve a mention. Vegetarians enjoyed the mushroom version of the shami. A tender coconut-based salad (Tender Coconut Creviche), Lemon Grass Cilantro Dumpling Broth and the dessert platter are some other dishes that can be recommended. Le Meridien has also resumed its Sunday Brunch with different themes in different weeks.

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