Zaiqa-e-Hyderabad is all set to carve a niche with home style Hyderabadi delicacies
Noticed the stunning black, vintage Chevrolet automobile bang next to the TV 9 office on Road no 3, Banjara Hills, lately? That showstopper marks the entry to the new multi-format restaurant, Zaiqa-e-Hyderabad and the four-wheeler, we find out is soon going to serve as a food truck. Describing his journey from the industry of biotech to biryani, owner, Khalil Ahmed, says,“In the last 22 years that I have been in Hyderabad, I have been invited to lunches and dinners by several eminent people in the city and that’s where I met celebrity chef, Pradeep Khosla, with whom I decided to partner with on this venture”.
Old World Decor
The ambience is reminiscent of the bylanes around Charminar. The mural at the entrance to mask the eye sore of water pipes, add to the charm of the place that is further enhanced by the exposed metal ceilings, the refurbished cane chairs, glass plates with traditional etchings, you are likely to spot in traditional Hyderabadi homes and the old school lanterns that go with the atmosphere the owners set out to create in the first place. The wall next to the entrance has classic photographs by multiple lensmen who have captured the city’s iconic sights like a cafe near the Charminar.
True to taste
To stay true to the ‘zaiqa’ or flavour of traditional delicacies from this part of the country, the team of chefs here believe in the art of slow cooking on charcoals, in bulky handis. Although there are many places in the twin cities that serve regular Hyderabadi fare, this place serves food as close as it gets, to the hearth of the traditional Hyderabadi home. “We pay a lot of attention to the quality of ingredients and ensure that everything, be it the zafran, the badi elaichi or tender meat, are the best of the lot,” adds Ahmed.
From starters, the Marag, comes strongly recommended. The warm, wholesome mutton soup with almonds and pistachio is a clear winner. If you are craving fish, you could dig into the Tali hui Machli, a deep-fried, delicious fish. “I have picked up food secrets from the local families in the city, like the famous food connoisseur Nawab Mehboob Alam Khan,” says corporate chef and chief executive officer, Pradeep Khosla. Surprisingly, the Paneer 65 we tasted was remarkably different than the standard fare as no artificial food colours were used and there not a smidgeon of refined flour. For the vegetarians, the Subz Biryani and Tamatari Paneer come highly reccomended. Don’t miss out on the scrumptious desserts. We finished our meal with Gazar ka Rishta, Qubani ka Meetha and Double ka Meetha. There couldn’t be a better way to end the meal than these deliciously fragrant, melt-in-your-mouth indulgences.
Price: A meal for two is Rs 1,100 Details: 23606677
— Paulami Sen