What you see - The really cramped entrance with Lord Ganesha guarding the extended threshold is what you see first of this no-nonsense restaurant, Chutneys. The interiors are kept to the bare minimum with cane chairs and wood look-alike tables. The music they play is also predominantly south Indian or old classis, be it Hindi or Telugu. While you wait for the menu or food, they have a paper tablemat with Calvin & Hobbes cartoons and word jumble to keep you occupied.
What you get - The restaurant is famous for its south Indian fare. They also serve North Indian, Chinese and Jain cuisine. But these are priced above the norm. Being in this restaurant and not trying their specialties would be a crime.
As it is primarily a South Indian place, varieties of dosas and idlis decorate a major part of their menu. The crispy Rava dosa is priced at Rs 62. Apart from the regular Masala dosa (Rs. 58), Idli, Vada, they have a Steamed dosa for Rs. 58 and their menu states it was perfected especially for actor Chiranjeevi. They have Babai Hotel Idli (Idli soaked in butter and ghee). One of the items, which will immediately capture your attention is the Four Utthapam fare (Mango Utappam, Onion Utappam, Pudina Utappam and Karam Utappam).
Just before your food is served, they serve you the Chutneys that they are famous for. It comes with a handle that supports four containers. One of it is a pure coconut chutney and the others are dal-based chutney, tomato chutney and ginger chutney. The sambar they serve you here is obviously made with love as the ingredients perfectly blend and yet it's not thick.
The Steamed dosa, resembles an appam as it is spotted with air holes and is white. If well cooked it melts in your mouth and it is best when eaten with the tomato chutney and Sambar. For those of you who wouldn't mind the sweetness of grated coconut, you could try it with that too. The Babai Hotel Idli comes soaked in ghee and you can see butter melting on it. This is for those ghee lovers.
Other than their specialties, they also have dosas with different vegetarian fillings, be it mushroom, paneer or baby corn. We tried their Baby Corn dosa as well which came a little undercooked. As far as the beverages are concerned, you should try the buttermilk here which is made to perfection. They also have fresh juices on offer at around Rs. 65.
The verdict - The service is efficient and quick. Ambience is run-of-the-mill. Food seems to go well with the palate of Hyderabadis as the place teems with youngsters and family crowd. As far as our verdict on food is concerned, we thought that the coconut chutney could be spiced up a bit. Rava Dosa and Idlis were good though. Prices are above those in the South Indian joints found in the city. Liquor is not served. There is some parking space available.
Hyderabad Restaurants has been written by Shah Barkha for MetroMela .