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Old 27th September 2011, 16:17   #3766
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Mandar would be any day better for their biryani and regular dishes with roti.

Perhaps, you can try their new outlet and let us know which items to order if we go in future

Note: Shahghouse ambience is not family friendly whereas, Mandar is slightly upmarket
I visited Shah Ghouse, Toli Chowki along with Silverwood, Vnabhi & Lucifer1881 + 1 a week or so back after a music concert at Taj Banjara where we had Reshmi Chicken, another chicken and Mutton Biryani.

We sat upstairs in the A/C family section which was pretty much full.

Yes, it was certainly not very family friendly.

Did not also like the attitude of the staff, arrogant to say the least though Silverwood used his skill of charm to the fullest extent and managed excellent service for all of us.

Will try Mandar tonight - for the first time.
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Old 27th September 2011, 17:08   #3767
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Default re: A Guide: Eating out in Hyderabad/Secunderabad/Cyberabad

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I visited Shah Ghouse, Toli Chowki along with Silverwood, Vnabhi & Lucifer1881 + 1 a week or so back after a music concert at Taj Banjara where we had Reshmi Chicken, another chicken and Mutton Biryani.
The other starter was Chicken Majestic.

The food served here is awesome.Loved the biriyani that day.

After Visiting Shah Ghouse, the Junta headed to Celebrations kulfi @ PG road for some amazing falooda and malai kulfi.
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Old 27th September 2011, 18:40   #3768
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Ah, here I go again, on my journey of finding the Food to tantalize and satiate my taste buds. It’s a new day, a new world, a new experience. Been thinking of having some good Chinese food since last 2 days and landed at Shanghai Chef – 2, courtesy “His Royal Highness Rajesh Rawal

Heard a lot about Shanghai Chef from RR and a couple of other people. No way would I dump Wanton for Shanghai Chef and that’s true. I found Shanghai Chef to be more expensive than Wanton and less appealing in terms of taste too.

However, Shanghai Chef was a different experience altogether. As far as I am not footing the bill, I am Ok with the venue. If I am footing the bill then the amount I pay needs to be proportional to how much I enjoy the food. I enjoy the food at Wanton and would not mind footing a bill of 700/- for 2 as we would have had a good satisfying meal for sure. This was not the case with Shanghai Chef. We ordered 2 Starters and were more or less improvised versions of something we already had earlier. We ordered 2 Main Course Dishes to find both tasting more or less the same and tasted a lot like one of the starters ordered earlier.

I take a sojourn from my ranting and comparing and speaking about what if and what if not. Here’s what I personally felt about Shanghai Chef.

Shanghai Chef – A Stylized Variant of Chinese Eatery. Compared to Haiking, Alex Kitchen, Wanton, Aroma’s of China and etc, which shout out loud about Chinese, Shying Ming Ping, Lo Shun and stuff. The typical Chinese artifacts were missing in Shanghai Chef, like the Lanterns, Dragons, Chop Sticks, Chinese Fans, and Murals written like a couple of #’s thrown together.

The Dragon did not welcome me at the door, neither was I given Chop Sticks to do my traditional dandiya with, especially while waiting for the food to arrive. All I saw were a couple of red lights and Murals written like a couple of #’s thrown together. To each his own, what matters to me the most is how does the food taste like, but the ambience plays a vital role in ensuring that you enjoy the food in the correct ambience.

For instance, Ohri’s Guffaa at Basheer Bagh or Ohri’s Serengeti at Road No. 12, Banjara Hills. The main theme being a Jungle Theme, they’ve ensured that the interiors is done up to look like a jungle or a cave and the chirping of birds, the sounds of various animals playing continuously elevate the dining experience to the next level. These sounds play a vital role in the dining experience and in the same way do the other elements/objects placed. The ambience plays a vital role in the whole dining experience and you are only a role player, playing your role in the Role Playing Game called as Dining Experience.

Back to Shanghai Chef – 2, how we landed at Shanghai Chef – 2.
A spontaneous plan to go to Over The Flames turned futile as they were renovating and getting some exhausts installed in their outlet. Due to this renovation work, their outlet was closed today afternoon. Depressed we were to return back to office, when I suggested Chinese at Shanghai Chef. It did not take long before the majority voted for Shanghai Chef. My Vote was already for Shanghai Chef and as soon as I said Shanghai Chef, the other vote also poured in. Within 4 seconds flat, we had voted and finalized to head to Shanghai Chef for our lunch. Shanghai Chef won 2/2 hands down as we did not think about any other option at all.

A Guide: Eating out in Hyderabad/Secunderabad/Cyberabad-shanghai-chef.jpg

Reached Shanghai Chef to find it almost empty. With just 1 table occupied for a Corporate Farewell Party (The Bakra was being lauded about every now and then with “Sir, we will miss you. Sir, you were the best person to work with and stuff”. It was easy to make out that he was their manager and on the way out of company. These were those last minute feel good words you blurt out and then forget about it altogether), we were the only other 2 people in the whole restaurant. We were treated like Royal Guest of Honors.

As we were still settling down, I had to quickly run a recap of what I read on RR’s post, the name of the chicken he suggested being spicy and good. Ahhhhh, Taipai Chicken it was. Placed the order with one of the suggestions from RR being Taipai Chicken.

Appetizers
Taipai Chicken, Spicy Fried Prawns

Taipai Chicken:
When a Northie says Spicy, then please be assured that he means Bland as per Hydeez Foodie Guide. This was what I have experience till date and it stands true even now. Rajesh mentioned about it being a spicy variant, where as I felt it was more of a Sweet & Spicy. Loved the taste of the batter made out of honey mixed with roasted sesame seeds and chili flakes. I love eating the batter more than the main ingredient used; I enjoy deciphering the batter the most. The batter presents me with a challenge to make out what went into getting this thing done. I would surely love to have it again, given that I get it for free. On a lighter note, I found that Taipai Chicken without the batter was more or less like the Chicken Manchurian served at various outlets/thela.

A Guide: Eating out in Hyderabad/Secunderabad/Cyberabad-taipai-chicken-1.jpg

A Guide: Eating out in Hyderabad/Secunderabad/Cyberabad-taipai-chicken-2.jpg

Spicy Fried Prawns:
What happens when, The Corporate Honcho’s a.k.a. Think Tanks come together and decide on a name for the about to be launched product. They ensure that the old wine gets sold in a new bottle. This was the same case with Spicy Fried Prawns. They could have simply written Golden Fried Prawns and that would have closed the case for ever and I would not have had to take the pains to writing an intro about those corporate honcho’s, think tanks, products and etc. They could have simply saved the 96 Words, I’ve just typed here. Nothing so great to write about it, except that they weren’t spicy as proclaimed. Had to make do with the Red Chili Sauce served with it, at least it was spicy. I am yet to make out the fetish of these Chinese Restaurant guys with Honey and Red Chilly. They mix these two and make a sauce out of it and expect us to devour it all and say WOW!!! I like it, but not when it further makes the spicy nature of my so called Spicy Friend Prawns subtle.

A Guide: Eating out in Hyderabad/Secunderabad/Cyberabad-spicy-fried-prawns.jpg

Appetizers done and now, time for some Main Course Action.
Bamboo Rice, Kun Pao Chicken and Stir Fried Prawns

Bamboo Rice:
There are only two things with Bamboo Rice, either it is edible or it’s not. There isn’t a term called as “Ok Kind of Bamboo Rice”. Have always been apprehensive about Bamboo Rice at various places due to the only reason being the type of Bamboo Shoot they use in the rice. The succulent delicate bamboo shoot, which adds a different and distinct flavor to the rice sometime isn’t good or isn’t fresh or is very hard. These things spoil the whole fun of having Bamboo Rice.

I’ve always loved Bamboo Rice at Wanton, Aroma’s of China and Mainland China for being exactly how I expect it to be. Shanghai Chef too gets added to the list of places, I would love to have Bamboo Rice. It was good and as per my expectations. As soon as Bamboo Rice is served, I search for the Bamboo Shoots and then try out a very small piece of it. If it turns out to be sour/hard/tangy, it means it isn’t fresh and not worth eating at all. It would surely spoil your mood.

Had my share of run-ins with the Near Fatal Yucky Bamboo Rice Experiences and hence I never take a chance with this. Some of the Hyderabad’s Best Known Authentic Chinese Outlets also disheartened me with their Bamboo Rice. This time, it wasn’t so. I thoroughly enjoyed the Bamboo Rice and shall surely go back for more.

A Guide: Eating out in Hyderabad/Secunderabad/Cyberabad-bamboo-rice.jpg

Kun Pao Chicken & Stir Fried Prawns:
Diced Chicken sautéed with burnt red chili, cashew nuts and celery shoots. I love the way they describe the dish. Sounds so tempting and yummy to read. Wish it was the same case with the taste. The gravy/batter of both Chicken and Prawns tasted the same. We were sure that they both were cooked in the same mix and served. The Prawns batter was a bit on the darker side of black and Chicken was on the lesser side of black. They first made the chicken and then added prawns to the same thing to serve as two different dishes.

You see the pics and decide for yourself if what I said is true.

Taste wise, prawns were better than chicken. The Chicken and Prawns tasted only of Soya Sauce; the flavor of Soya Sauce was predominant in both the dishes.

Kun Pao Chicken
A Guide: Eating out in Hyderabad/Secunderabad/Cyberabad-kun-pao-chicken.jpg

Stir Fried Prawns
A Guide: Eating out in Hyderabad/Secunderabad/Cyberabad-stir-fried-prawns.jpg

How the food looked in my plate, I served it myself to capture the elements clearly

A Guide: Eating out in Hyderabad/Secunderabad/Cyberabad-main-course-served-1.jpg

A Guide: Eating out in Hyderabad/Secunderabad/Cyberabad-main-course-served-2.jpg

Appetizers Done, Main Course Done, time for Deserts
Date Pan Cake with Ice Cream
No can ever go wrong with Date Pan Cake with Ice Cream but I found Shanghai Chef to be on the verge of losing the game. I would have loved to see some more Date Filling in the Date Pan Cake; it would have made the whole desert a worthwhile thing. However, no qualm about it as it is still pretty livable and edible.

A Guide: Eating out in Hyderabad/Secunderabad/Cyberabad-date-pan-cake.jpg

The Raspberry Crush on the ice cream was something I loved the most.

A Guide: Eating out in Hyderabad/Secunderabad/Cyberabad-date-pan-cake-raspberry-crush.jpg

Overall Bill: 1217/-
Verdict: Over Priced
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Old 27th September 2011, 18:46   #3769
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Back to Shanghai Chef – 2, how we landed at Shanghai Chef – 2.
A spontaneous plan to go to Over The Flames turned futile as they were renovating and getting some exhausts installed in their outlet. Due to this renovation work, their outlet was closed today afternoon.
Talk about being lucky.
My friend and I had our lunch there. Was there from 12:40 till around 1:40. The lady in charge said Pizza's were not possible.

But we ordered a Salad and 2 pasta's. I had a creamy cheesy macroni with chicken. My friend had a tomota pasta with chicken.
Bill came to 380.

Served really hot and very very tasty.

Last edited by bblost : 27th September 2011 at 18:47.
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Old 27th September 2011, 19:05   #3770
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Talk about being lucky.
My friend and I had our lunch there. Was there from 12:40 till around 1:40. The lady in charge said Pizza's were not possible.

But we ordered a Salad and 2 pasta's. I had a creamy cheesy macroni with chicken. My friend had a tomota pasta with chicken.
Bill came to 380.

Served really hot and very very tasty.
I always loved their Chicken Cheese Macaroni and Blueberry Cheese Cake. Nothing as compared to their Chicken Cheese Macaroni. We reached there at 2.00 and the guy said about the renovation. As we usually order Pizza too, he thought that we would do the same today too. Wish I knew that they were serving Pasta and Deserts. However, what ever happens happens for good. Atleast I got to review Shanghai Chef today, else SC would have had to wait for me.
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Old 28th September 2011, 06:27   #3771
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Mandar would be any day better for their biryani and regular dishes with roti.
Note: Shahghouse ambience is not family friendly whereas, Mandar is slightly upmarket
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Originally Posted by hyd_traveller View Post
We sat upstairs in the A/C family section which was pretty much full.
Yes, it was certainly not very family friendly.
Will try Mandar tonight - for the first time.
Mandar could not and also did not want to live up to its reputation or should I say, my expectations.

Food was just okay but I enjoyed the biryani much much more at Shah Ghouse across the road which I had visited along with Silverwood and some more. Maybe because the pieces were very less though rice was very juicy.

Mandar has only 2 types of biryani : 1 regular mutton biryani and the other special mutton biryani. In special, they simply increase the quantity of rice and here I was expecting that mutton would increase. The captain tells me that if I like my biryani with more non veg, I should order 2 plates, leave the rice and enjoy the pieces.

Anyway, needed to and had to eat at Mandar, so went ahead and just did that.

Had a Mutton Rogan Josh with roti followed by biryani. No idea how much was the bill since it was paid by my friend but 1 rogan josh, 3 roti, 1 regular biryani and 2 bottles water should have been 500 including tip. I did observe that they do not give bills, they just write the dishes and amounts on a plain paper. As much as I hate paying "Service Charge" I equally hate people who evade taxes and cheat the nation.

Oh yes, no salan and chatni were served with biryani and when pointed out to the waiter, he got them. Imagine a restaurant wanting to serve biryani without the accompaniments which were served only on asking.

Next is Banne Nawab in the same complex. Any pointers and guidance on what is good there and what is a must eat?
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Old 28th September 2011, 11:17   #3772
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Default re: A Guide: Eating out in Hyderabad/Secunderabad/Cyberabad

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Ah, here I go again, on my journey of finding the Food to tantalize and satiate my taste buds. It’s a new day, a new world, a new experience. Been thinking of having some good Chinese food since last 2 days and landed at Shanghai Chef – 2,
Nikhil, Damn thats one long, exhaustive and superb review. Hope your boss didnt peek over your shoulder while you penned down your lingering Shanghai chef memories

I like this place. Its a nice place. Nothing great nor bad...

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Next is Banne Nawab in the same complex. Any pointers and guidance on what is good there and what is a must eat?
I always had a good experience with Mandar and If i remember had only chicken biryani there.

Banne Nawab has one of the driest biryani in the city. Avoid

They serve Haleem and Patthar Ka Ghost as well. Taste is decent. However, their quantities are in miligrams and not completely worth the price.

Not sure why you want to eat there? Instead, you can try the Mediterrnean and 4 Seasons where you can get a taste of the middle eastern cuisine.

There is a continental dish in Mediterranean " Chicken something" which was superb when I went there once for lunch
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Old 28th September 2011, 11:22   #3773
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Was at Little Italy the other night for dinner.This was my 1st visit to the place after they shifted from their old location.My observations:

1.Location is mind blowing,almost surreal if you happen to be there in the night.

2.They have cut down terribly on their quantity almost to the extent that one dish will simply not cater to one hungry person how much ever a light eater he is.

3.The earlier days the tables used to see abundant seasonings,olive oils etc.All of that has gone missing.

4.Thankfully no service charge.

5.A meal for two cost us INR 2100(2 pastas,one lasagne,one appetizer,2lime sodas).Very expensive imo.

6.They have a none veg option now open on top of Little Italy called as So (but I dont think that the place is any great shakes going by the reviews on tripadvisor)

Overall I might go there just one more time for the views.Service is nothing exceptional,just run of the mill stuff,nothing to make you feel wanted neither is it bad,its just there.

Their washrooms are a real sad story,with a temporary door and for the whole restaurant there is just one pot in there(sorry to be sounding gross but for a restaurant that can seat around 100-200 people easily just one loo is definitely bad news)
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Old 28th September 2011, 12:20   #3774
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Was at Little Italy the other night for dinner.This was my 1st visit to the place after they shifted from their old location.My observations:
Where is the new location? Is it "behind" the Orion VW showroom? If it is so, then it's been at this place for quite some time now. In fact I remember the approach being a little confusing.

The reason I ask is that my experience at Little Italy, from more than a year ago, exactly mirrors yours on the points that I can remember. The ambience was stunning. The service is good but not excellent (it's kind of nice in that it gets out of the way and doesn't hamper your main agenda of eating good food there). The portions are really small and price/quantity isn't VFM at all. However, I'd still recommend an occasional visit for the taste.

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Old 28th September 2011, 12:47   #3775
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5.A meal for two cost us INR 2100(2 pastas,one lasagne,one appetizer,2lime sodas).Very expensive imo.
Expensive? That's daylight robbery for a veg meal for 2 people. Going by the dishes you ordered, each dish is roughly 400+ bucks. Why should any restuarant charge such obnoxious prices?. Besides, LI is known for their small portions. For the ambience? taste? I presume you went to celebrate a special occasion. For a regular meal, it just doesnt make sense

IMO, if we are ready to pay such prices, there are quite a few other fine dining places that can offer equivalent experience.

I will personally not spend that kind of money on a single meal without any special dishes as part of that meal. Taste wise, OTF will be atleast 80% close to LI's authenticity of those dishes at 1/4th those prices.
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Old 28th September 2011, 12:54   #3776
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Mandar could not and also did not want to live up to its reputation or should I say, my expectations.

Mandar has only 2 types of biryani : 1 regular mutton biryani and the other special mutton biryani. In special, they simply increase the quantity of rice and here I was expecting that mutton would increase.
That echoes my experience with Mandar. I had been to this place quite a few times when I was living in Gachibowli about 3 years back in the hope of discovering a good Biriyani joint, but it disappointed me every time. The special Biryani is a farce and even the regular one had nothing special to talk about. Same for the side dishes, I remember they were exorbitantly priced then(3 yrs back) and taste was again not something that would make me go there again. Only thing special about the place was that one could get biriyani at late in the night when the shops were closed through its waiters standing there, like they do at Y2K Punjagutta.
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Old 28th September 2011, 14:07   #3777
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Where is the new location? Is it "behind" the Orion VW showroom? If it is so, then it's been at this place for quite some time now. In fact I remember the approach being a little confusing.

The reason I ask is that my experience at Little Italy, from more than a year ago, exactly mirrors yours on the points that I can remember. The ambience was stunning. The service is good but not excellent (it's kind of nice in that it gets out of the way and doesn't hamper your main agenda of eating good food there). The portions are really small and price/quantity isn't VFM at all. However, I'd still recommend an occasional visit for the taste.

Regards,
spadix
Not sure if theres an Orion showroom there,you need to go up a hill and keep climbing,they have signboards in place for their other restaurant-"So" so we just followed that.For the kind of money,they can definitely improve their service and courtesy,this is the problem with exclusive places,they just feel people would come to the restaurant no matter what!

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Expensive? That's daylight robbery for a veg meal for 2 people. Going by the dishes you ordered, each dish is roughly 400+ bucks. Why should any restuarant charge such obnoxious prices?. Besides, LI is known for their small portions. For the ambience? taste? I presume you went to celebrate a special occasion. For a regular meal, it just doesnt make sense

IMO, if we are ready to pay such prices, there are quite a few other fine dining places that can offer equivalent experience.

I will personally not spend that kind of money on a single meal without any special dishes as part of that meal. Taste wise, OTF will be atleast 80% close to LI's authenticity of those dishes at 1/4th those prices.
Ofcourse it is terribly overpriced,no doubts on that.It was a bday and so decided to go there,I want to go there one more time to see how the place actually looks minus the crowd as it was very crowded the other day.

Where is this OTF?Precise locations please?Also do they accept cards?
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Old 28th September 2011, 14:23   #3778
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I had my lunch at Greens Veg Coffee Shop. Its in the building adjacent to Ratnadeep, Madhapur near Cyber Towers.

It reminded me so much of the old Minerva Coffee Shop at Amrutha Shopping Malls in Somajiguda.

Excellent service and smartly dressed waiters.

I had a thali. It was quite decent. Would not mind repeating the same. Its was priced at about 140 Rs.

Masala Dosa, Masala Rava Dosa etc are priced around 70.

The ambiance is also quite good.

There is a VAT of 14.5%.



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Where is this OTF?Precise locations please?Also do they accept cards?
Over The Flames. Location and other info is present in this thread. Search it up.

They do accept cards. But yesterday the machine was not working. Could be due to the power cut and renovation in progress.
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Old 28th September 2011, 15:06   #3779
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It reminded me so much of the old Minerva Coffee Shop at Amrutha Shopping Malls in Somajiguda.

Excellent service and smartly dressed waiters.
I'm digressing from your review, but please bear with me.

I personally found the Amrutha Mall Minerva the worst of the three outlets I've visited - Himayathnagar and Ameerpet (behind Maithrivanam) being the other two - in all three important aspects viz. quality of food, ambience/maintenance of the premises and service.

My in-laws and wife, who used to be regulars there in a past life wouldn't touch the place with a barge pole now. I've been there twice and found it wanting in these respects both times.

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Old 28th September 2011, 15:10   #3780
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I'm digressing from your review, but please bear with me.

I personally found the Amrutha Mall Minerva the worst of the three outlets I've visited - Himayathnagar and Ameerpet (behind Maithrivanam) being the other two - in all three important aspects viz. quality of food, ambience/maintenance of the premises and service.

My in-laws and wife, who used to be regulars there in a past life wouldn't touch the place with a barge pole now. I've been there twice and found it wanting in these respects both times.

Regards,
spadix
I agree spadix, which is why I said old Minerva Coffee Shop.
Some 6 years back it used to be such a nice place.
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