What you see - The Banjara Hills area in Hyderabad seems to have a restaurant in every nook and cranny. Despite that, Ohri's was abounding with people. Havmor was packed with starving denizens of the city and waiting seemed to be the only option here. Sensing our hunger and impatience, however, we were courteously chaperoned to Serengeti on the fifth floor. This place reflects a jungle atmosphere with its wooden furniture, creepers and stools shaped as animal legs. However, it wore a deserted look. Well, the right-hand side of the menu card made us realize why.
Serengeti serves only Indian cuisine and that too only a la carte. And with the cash that we were carrying, buffet seemed to be a better option. So we trudged along to the second floor where Ohri's serves Chinese cuisine. Thankfully, this restaurant seemed to be following the middle path with regard to prices.
Far East, as the restaurant is called, looks neat and spacious. When MetroMela visited it for a review, it was a weekday. But the restaurant seemed to be bustling with life. In one corner was a huge group of ladies, busy in loud banter, apparently enjoying a kitty party. In a closed room in another corner were a couple of dapper looking, suit-clad men seemingly indulged in talking business.
What you get - With regard to the food, while the variety served by Far East is quite exhaustive we believe that buffet is a good bet. At a price of Rs. 220 (exclusive of taxes), it serves a complete meal beginning with a soup and ending with a dessert. The best part is that it serves a good assortment of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare. The Hot and Sour soup was perfectly made and the starters (three kinds for the herbivores and carnivores respectively) were appetizing.
After filling our breadbasket with the starters, we rambled towards the serving table for the main course. Here you can choose between different varieties of noodles, fried rice and sauce depending on whether you prefer it with egg, veggies or chicken. Along with that you also get to choose between a soft drink and a beer.
The verdict - MetroMela found the main course delectable but not as hot as it should be. Nonetheless, a meal well-cooked is a meal well-eaten. And in spite of gorging on all the available food in the main course, we seemed to crave for the dessert as well. Far East's buffet does not give you options with regard to dessert. We had to gratify ourselves with plain vanilla ice cream and fruits. This could be one area where it could do with at least an alternative. Besides, ice cream and fruits seem to be the only non-authentic fare in the otherwise categorical Chinese platter.
As far as the service is concerned, Far East is quick and efficient. The ambiance is classy in spite of not being heavily-embellished. Bonsai plants and a model of a ship are the only adornments that you would see at the restaurant. However, also conspicuous was a bottle of cleaning liquid on a small table. The restaurant would have probably positioned it that way to ensure prompt cleaning. But it definitely does not gel with the restaurant's semblance.
Our lunch at Far East ended with a fortune cookie that said - What has been in the shadows will soon become clear. Well, it did. Work that was so far lurking in the shadows sprang up to steal us from the scrumptious grub-fest.
Hyderabad Restaurants has been written by Shah Barkha for MetroMela