Not surprisingly, everyone and his uncle have their favourite biryani restaurant. Some have created vast empires where the flavour has been the victim; others, like the Nizam Club, where the head cook creates a single pot of biryani a day, is open to members only. Shah Ghouse in Tolichowki, in the heart of the old city now has a new branch in Gatchibowli (which I have not yet tried) which is reputed to be just as good. Café Bahar too serves memorable biryani in its Basheer Bagh branch, though it is my opinion that the Shah Ghouse version is slightly more moist and flavourful. Neither of these outlets is particularly well-appointed nor do they conform to our idea of fine dining. For that, it is necessary to visit a different category of restaurant altogether, where fine dining is in the forefront, where you can enjoy your dinner with a glass of wine and where you will most certainly not have to share a table with strangers, which is the norm at all the old city eateries.
(Also read The Other Hyderabadi Biryani With a 300-Year-Old Past)2. Aish, The ParkAish at The Park, is in a quiet, leafy part of town, overlooking the mighty prawns . The all cream decor has been done by designer Tarun Tahiliani and the restaurant calls to mind the aesthetes and noblemen of a bygone era. Do try the Chironjee Dalcha which substitutes the Chana Dal of traditionally prepared Dalcha with Chironjee. It used to be a prized dish among the aristocrats of old Hyderabad, and would have passed into oblivion had it not been revived in The Park. The other dish to try is the Haleem, reputed to be the finest in the city.
Address: The Park Hotel, 22, Raj Bhavan Road, Somajiguda, Hyderabad3. Spicy Venue, Jubilee HillsThe other great cuisine to try is local Andhra non-vegetarian dishes. Outside the state, their thunder is stolen by Hyderabadi food, but within Hyderabad, unpretentious eateries like Spicy Venue near Diamond House in Jubilee Hills will instantly convert you into a fan. Ignore the entire North Indian and Chinese menu and order liberally from the Telugu Delicacies. Royyala Iguru and Vepudu Iguru are prawns and crab stir-fry respectively. Both are cooked in a fairly incendiary spice mix. River prawns and crabs do the trick for this dish: the sweetness of the meat combine sensationally with the eye-watering spice. If you are a first-timer, do expect the staff to stand around, waiting to offer tissues, cold water or steamed rice to take the edge off the fire in your mouth. Less incendiary but just as tasty is the famous chepala pulusu or fish curry from Nellore on the coast. Made with a combination of tomatoes and tamarind for a sweet sour appeal, it is a superb example of Nellore’s signature fish curry.(Also read: From the Kitchens of Hyderabad's Nizams: Haleem, Biryani and More)
4. Jonathan’s KitchenJonathan’s Kitchen may not serve biryani or indeed, any other Indian dish. But the Shrimp Cocktail with Jack Daniel’s Sauce, Welsh Rarebit and Cajun Fish have made their mark with the thousands of employees of the vast IT companies in the neighbourhood. Expect to let down your hair here to a spot of music (mostly electronic) after work and on weekends the eatery hosts the most outrageously popular brunch with a guitarist strumming country and western. Is Jonathan’s Kitchen representative of Hyderabad? Of course it is! To a young demographic, who come from all over the country to work in the IT industry, Blackened Salmon Steak constitutes comfort food as much as luqmi and green chutney is to another generation, at another end of the city.
Marryam H Reshii has been writing about food and lifestyle for a quarter of a century! She travels around the country to far-flung tribal villages and long-forgotten corners in search of elusive ingredients, obscure cooking vessels and recipes that are in danger of being supplanted by 'modernity'.Disclaimer:The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.