Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Bob Bob Cite - London


Dinner was to be at the 4-month-old much flaunted, over-the-top city extravaganza - Bob Bob Cite. We had read some good reviews and knowing the Chef was the brilliant Eric Chavot, we did not hesitate to make a reservation way in advance. A bit of a back story, no two back stories…

1)  We have eaten several outstanding meals at the Chef’s eponymous restaurant Brasserie Chavot at the Capital Hotel in Mayfair and were devastated when he decided to shut the restaurant in the end of 2015. In his announcement he said he would announce his new site shortly and Mr Stonethrower and I have been eagerly waiting for Chef Chavot to re-emerge. His Deep fried Soft Shelled Crab with Saffron Aioli was the stuff dreams were made off. Then finally, it was announced that he would be helming Bob Bob Cite, the sister restaurant of the glamourous Bob Bob Ricard in Soho. If you haven’t already, read about Brasserie Chavot here. 

2) Bob Bob Ricard is the uber luxury iconic Soho restaurant that has epitomised indulgence and excess ever since it opened its doors a decade ago. The seemingly bizarre décor inspired by the Orient Express and the and ‘Press for Champagne” button at each table ensured it was “The Place” for the most outlandish indulgent celebrations. 

Above: Press for Champagne. I wish I had a switch like this at home.

So back to Bob Bob Cite. It is housed in the financial district of the City of London in the new wedge-shaped glass clad Leadenhall Building which has been nicknamed the Cheesegrater - a name originally given to it by the City of London Corporation's chief planning officer, Peter Rees, who upon seeing a model of the concept said, he could imagine his wife using it to grate Parmesan. [The name] stuck.

The wowing of Bob Bob Cite begins ever before you enter the restaurant when you enter the atrium of the Cheesegrater and tilt your head up to when seems like an oblong UFO suspended in mid-air with a flickering LED ticker tape running along the top. The ticker lists the dishes served. We had been on a walk in the City to see the brilliant buildings up close. You can read about that here.

A dedicated elevator whisks you up the 30 odd feet and duly alerted front of house are ready to welcome you into a glittering Orient Express inspired Shangri La. Lights glitter and flash. Every surface shines. Corridors seems endless. A bluish light guides you through to two large dining rooms with old fashioned booth only seating. The booths are plush leather in deep blue and scarlet red. Each booth comes with a “Press for Champagne” button and considering we are in the financial district where being always connected is critical, a charging point and a USB port. The red and blue ticker, a nod to the stock market flickers around the restaurant and I believe corresponds to the table numbers.

A bit more about the décor before I get to the food. Owner Leonid Shutov has spared no expense to make this the most extravagant restaurant in the City. This includes 25 bespoke chandeliers, endless corridors of mirror polished steel trim and a staggering 80000 hand-polished wall panelling bolts!

Guests are invited to start with shots of ice cold Russian Standard vodka before the brilliance of Eric Chavot is unleashed on them.

Above: a shot of Russian Standard 4 times silver filtered Vodka at -18C 

The menu is classic French with Russian influences. Bizarre? Not really. It worked perfectly and everything we ate was on point. As a matter of fact, it’s a menu where so many dishes called out to me that I know I will go back to try them. So, while Bob Bob Cite dazzles the eye, it is also very, very good on the palate. Something not many other restaurants can claim.

After a shot of some excellent cold Vodka with good bread and butter, we were ready for dinner.

After ordering a bottle of Cotes Du Rhone Blanc by Michel Chapoutier we were ready for dinner. Mr Stonethrower had to have the French Onion soup, a long-time favourite of his and he was not disappointed. After staring longingly at the description of the Escargot in garlic and parsley which is a dish I always eat wherever I am, I opted for the Duck Egg with Gruyere and Salt Beef Hash.

Above: French Onion Soup

Above: Duck Egg with Salt Beef Hash

Both starters were absolutely first class. Plates and bowls wiped clean.

Mains for Mr Stonethrower was a dish he had learned at Cordon Bleu way back in 2006 and has always enjoyed. As classic French as classic French can get – Veal Blanquette - in which neither the veal nor the butter is browned in the cooking process. To refrain from browning meat and fat in this way, is to cook them “en blanquette”. From Larousse Gastronomique "BLANQUETTE: the French term for a ragout of white meat (veal, lamb or poultry) cooked in a white stock or water with aromatic flavorings. 

Above: Veal Blanquette

 Above: Pilaf to classically accompany the Veal

I had the Chargrilled Sea Bream with Olive Oil, Lemon and cherry tomatoes and was immediately transported to our days in Cannes! The crispy charred blistery skin was absolutely sensational. The taste of South of France, Provence on a plate.

Above: Grilled Sea Bream Fillet with Olive Oil, Lemon, Saffron, Cherry Tomato

Above: A side of Grilled Hispi Cabbage with Green Goddess Sauce

Dessert was an outstanding Ile Flotante and a not so nice Chocolate Crème with Pistachio and Ice Cream. But that did not in anyway dampen our wholehearted approval of the restaurant. One dud dish was nothing in the face of gob smacking luxury and masterful food. Deeply flavoured, well seasoned and served hot.

Above: Ille Flotante

Above: Chocolate Creme with Pistachio

We will definitely go again. You should go too.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Umu ** - London

Over the years, you may have noticed that except for the series of posts in the May June 2014 period when (i) Modiji swept to power and (ii) we visited Japan, I have written very little about Japanese food.

Japanese food is a complex matter in more ways than one. First, I have never quite come to grips with the almost deific love for Sushi and its variations; Sashimi et al. They do not thrill me in the least. Secondly, I believe because of the hype around Japanese food in general, I find it disproportionately expensive. Every top restaurant be it French or Chinese, no different from the hyped Japanese, will serve you the freshest, rarest produce, sourced carefully, treated with care and reverence, and, most importantly, they will have applied some heat and actually cooked the food. So, the mystique surrounding the Japanese restaurant doing exactly that – albeit often not cooking the food, nor, as is often the case, even treating the food in any way - and charging super prices is simply incomprehensible to me. Thirdly, in Japan, generally, restaurants serve just one type of cuisine. A Ramen place will serve just Ramen, Sukiyaki or Shabu Shabu, just that, Sushi, just that, Tempura only Tempura, and so on. Mixed cuisine is generally served in what are is classified as Izakaya’s. Here you get a small selection of different foods – some Sushi, some Yakitori, some Tempura and bits and bobs of other styles.

In the Western world, most Japanese restaurants are in fact Izakaya’s. In London, Dubai and New York Nobu, Roka and Zuma are the favourites of us Indians. They are all Izakaya’s.

Umu a Japanese restaurant in Bruton Place has held 2 Stars in Michelin for some years now. This is an Izakaya. Araki a sushi place in London held 3 Stars in Michelin till a few days ago when it lost all its Stars as the chef moved back to Japan. We made a booking at Umu since we wanted to eat more than Sushi.

Umu prides itself on its Kaiseki cuisine. Kyoto is regarded as having the best Kaiseki cuisine. Kaiseki is a multi-course meal, showcasing the different Japanese cooking techniques. The dishes are served one at a time, similar to a Western style fine dining multi course meal. The Chef here is Yoshinori Ishil who is described on the Umu website as a Chef, Painter, Potter, Fisherman and Caligraphist. Sigh! The hype!

Above: The Calligraphy by Yoshinori Ishil. This paper was placed under a acetate/plastic sheet on which we were served some thinly sliced white fish. 

 Above: The Poet at work. This was on the reverse of the calligraphy

Our reservation was for 8 pm. We thought we should have a pre-prandial drink at the Guinea Pub next door to Umu. Umu, like many upmarket Japanese restaurants has a strong wooden door, which slides open, much like in a James Bond film once you place your hand in a separate receptacle. We were welcomed and coats whisked away and taken to our table. The restaurant was 50% full. A sushi counter ran along one length of the space while the tables were arranged on the outside of the “C” shaped counter. The staff was multi-racial as were the punters. Yoshinori Ishil stood stoically behind the counter and sliced away. A Caucasian Chef stood alongside and also sliced away. I am making no comments on “cultural appropriation” which I believe is a bullshit concept. Anyone can cook any cuisine.
We were handed our menus, enquiries made of our allergies and food requirements and given a Wine list by a French Sommelier. The Wine list had a large Sake selection, about which we know nothing. The Wines themselves, like the Sake were all priced in the 3-figure mark. I luckily found a Pouilly Fume Bardin 2018 which lurked in the list at a seemingly reasonable GBP 45. This retails at about GBP 15, so a 3X mark-up.

I must say that the staff was friendly. I pointed out that I cannot use Chopsticks and would like cutlery. The waiter of course brought cutlery, and also brought along a set of children’s chopsticks. You know the type that is hinged. No, I was not in the least offended. In fact I was quite pleased by this offer of children’s chopsticks. Of course, even these ended up being too challenging for me and I simply used the cutlery.

We had ordered the Kaiseki menu. I am not going to describe each dish. Have a look at the photographs of the menu and the food.

Above: Mukozuke.  Scallop 3 ways - "Irizake" i.e. with Sake, Kombu & with Kaluga Caviar. Obviously cold.

Above: Nimonowan. A hot clear soup, grilled Irish Eel and Girolle Mushrooms. Hot Dish No. 1. The hot soup was really clear. This was a good dish.

Above: Tsukuri. Part I.  Sliced Cornish white fish. Cold, raw, not marinated or treated in any way. Simply sliced. Served with a Chilli Sauce, Soy and a bit of Wasabi. Please note the Acetate/Plastic sheet under which is the wooden block printed Calligraphy by the Chef.

Above: Tsukuri. Part II.  This is a selection of the fish of the day. This dish is also served completely raw and un-treated with only Soy and Wasabi. The fish was excellent and you got a variety of textures and fat with each different fish. Served cold.  

Above: Hiyashimono.  A Rice Crepe with three types of  Crustaceans. Served with white and black rice as well as literally popped or puffed Rice on the stalk. Once again cold. However the Crustaceans had been cooked. 

Above:  Yakimono. Yakitori 3 ways. I guess you can see the labels. Hot dish and actually cooked.

Above: Sunomono. Agebitashi Japanese Aubergine. Agebitashi means soaked or marinated [normally in Dashi] and then fried. Cooked but served cold  

Above: Gohan. Japanese Wagyu in the top bowl, Miso Soup in the bowl on the right, Rice in the lowest bowl and Jpanese Pickles in the bowl on the left. The second hot dish. 

Above: Dessert. Chestmuts and Quince. Very indifferent. Typical of desserts from the Far East, pretty clueless.

Above: Petit Fours. Western style conclusion. Yuzu Macarons and a Pistachio Financier. 

The food was obviously of a high standard. This is a restaurant that has 2 Stars in Michelin and has “excellent cooking that is worth a detour”. I am not so sure about the cooking bit! Out of the 8 courses we were served, just 3 were warm. 2 courses were not even cooked as in no heat had been applied to them. This is my problem. Japanese food, even of this high standard, if you pardon the pun, leaves me cold. I do not understand it, I do not particularly enjoy it. I guess that like many Indian’s simply cannot enjoy food that has no chilli, I am not fond of cold food. Of course, I can eat a sandwich or ice cream but, I hope you know what I mean here.  

I am not complaining about the small portions, which is often something people gripe about when eating high end Japanese food. We were full, there was a lot of protein in the meal.

Then, there was another problem. The fellow diners. I repeat, Umu has 2 Stars in Michelin. We believed that the restaurant would have well-dressed diners. Nope, we were wrong, horribly wrong. I was the only one in a Suit. Along us were Oriental diners dressed in shirts and jeans. Behind us on the Sushi counter were Caucasians in hoodies [with the hood lowered thankfully] sneakers and jeans wolfing down Sushi. Very disconcerting. To make matters worse, a fellow diner proceeded to fall asleep on the sofa. Pathetic.

To my mind this raises the question as to what really Michelin looks at when grading restaurants. It is certainly not Umu’s fault for getting 2 Stars in Michelin. This is clearly a Michelin issue. Surely, when reassessing the restaurant, the inspectors would have seen that the ambience does not befit its rating. 

To look at this from a different perspective, Le Gavroche, Bibendum by Claude Bossi, Core by Clare Smyth, La Dame De Pic, Ledbury, Helene Darroze and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal are also restaurants with 2 Stars in Michelin. I can assure you these places have a far far superior ambience to Umu.

In the end we came away disappointed at the overall experience and left feeling underwhelmed. In my view, yet another example of over hyped, over intellectualised cuisine.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Wun's Tea Room & Bar

Over the past few years, we have developed a sort of “London orientation” routine. After we check in and unpack, we have a quick shower and set out to walk to a pub in Soho or Marylebone. A cold Guinness in cool weather or a beer in summer for me. HRH the Queen of Kutch will have a glass of white wine. A packet of Salt and Vinegar Crisps [wafers] to accompany.

A Chinese dinner then follows. Often dinner is at a restaurant in Chinatown if we are at a pub I Soho or the fabulous Phoenix Palace off Marylebone Road if we are in Marylebone. Chinatown and its environs offer a huge choice of Chinese restaurants. This time we had identified a new place at Greek Street a short distance from the Chinatown environs as our dinner place. The absolutely wonderful Wun’s Tea Rooms.

Chinese food is experiencing a huge surge in London. The demand for, consumption and knowledge of regional Chinese food is growing. Sichuan, Beijing and Northern Eastern Chinese, Cantonese, Shanghai Buns, Dim Sum, Murger’s from Xian, Hot Pots and many other regional Chinese restaurants are opening all over. Wun’s Tea Rooms is a Hong Kong style tea room. This has two levels, the upper having floor to ceiling windows opening onto the hustle and bustle of Greek Street where you can sit and have tea. The basement has a dining room and bar. The walls are with distressed brick work, large green neon signs, wicker chairs, tiny round tables, banquettes running the length of the back walls, potted plants and the gramophones with old style brass speakers help create the tea room/speakeasy feel.

The drinks menu is set out in a newspaper. All the drinks are Chinese/Hong Kong liquor. Of course, there are cocktails ranging from the Classics – Whiskey Sours, Manhattans et al – to more exotic categorised as Fruit Forward, Herbaceous etc. A short beer list, all Hong Kong craft beers, a short wine list with only Chinese Rice wines and Gins. Everything was Chinese based or specially chosen to complement the food or the atmosphere of a speakeasy.     

The food menu was a printed page which you were handed over with a pencil - much like what you get at a Dim Sum restaurant. We pored over the menu, frowned with concentration and ticked off our order. To drink, a bottle each of a Hong Kong IPA. We asked if what we ordered would be enough, being assured it was we waited till the food turned up.

First, what turned up was the absolutely stunning Sugar Skin Iberico Char Sui. Regular readers would know that we are very partial to the Chinese Char Sui Pork and the Chinese Crispy Pork Belly. You see these specimens hanging in Chinese restaurant show windows. This was without doubt the best Char Sui Pork we have ever eaten anywhere. The Spanish have excellent pork clearly evidenced by all the wonderful Charcuterie products they have especially the Jamon. Take the quality pork and cook it with some skill, the Chinese 5 Spice, Sugar, Fermented Tofu and you have a wonderful Char Sui. This is served thickly sliced and warm. The ivory fat melting, the skin crunchy and caramelised, crisp and unctuous.

Above: Sugar Skin Iberico Char Sui 

Also excellent was the Hong Kong Typhoon Shelter style Whitebait. Typhoon Shelter Style is very popular in Hong Kong . This is characterised by serving the food with loads, absolutely loads of deep fried charlic and Chilly. Have a look at what this is all about here. Whitebait is a generic name given to tiny, immature fish. Our waiter said this was Sardines. Whitebait is served without the head, deep fried with loads of deep-fried garlic and Chilly. Addictive, delicious, crunchy. Salty, spicy and garlicy. The IPA suddenly tasted better.

Above: Hong Kong Typhoon Shelter style Whitebait 

The Pot Rice with Soy and Aubergine was excellent. The Rice was cooked in a clay pot. The rice at the bottom had become crunchy, like the bottom of well cooked Biryani or the Socarrat in a well-made Paella.

Above:Pot Rice with Soy and Aubergine 

We had two more dishes, one, a totally luscious XO Sauce Bone Marrow with Fried Mantou. Mantou is a Chinese Steamed Bread or Bao. A dash of Soy Sauce made it all the more delicious.

Above: XO Sauce Bone Marrow with Fried Mantou

The one dud was deep fried Tofu. Yes, the tofu itself was of top quality, the batter light and the dipping sauce good. However, the dish seemed one dimensional.

Above: deep fried Tofu

The food could be classified as Modern Chinese. All of it, except the Tofu, was better than most Chinese food we have eaten. Each dish by itself was stunning. But there was one problem. Somehow, we were left unsatisfied, I don’t mean that we did not have enough food, but more a situation of unsatisfied because of a lack of balance. Because in some way the meal felt incomplete. The problem is more to do with us. When we eat a Chinese meal, we are accustomed to eating a portion of Green vegetable be it Kailan or Bok Choy or Morning Glory. Also, being Indians, we have Daal Bhat hard wired into us. By Daal Bhat I mean we need some gravy or Sauce or Curry or liquid with our food. Here there was none. None of the dishes had much sauce, and in our minds a Chinese meal requires  Daal. As I said, the problem was more with us rather than the meal itself.

All in all, this was a very good meal. We had some really good exciting food. This restaurant is fully recommended.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Hyderabad - Impressions and Food


This was our second short trip to Hyderabad in two years and both Mr Stonethrower and I are very impressed with the city. We cannot understand why every city besides Mumbai continues to improve and get better infrastructure while Mumbai keeps sliding down a never-ending quagmire of over intellectualisation, lack of political will, outright corruption, shoddy contractors and endless protests to stall any development.

Landing in Hyderabad is a pleasure. The airport is clean, the bags come relatively quickly, the parking is neatly organised to make space to private cars, taxis, Uber, Ola, etc. They have systems in place and seeing the orderly way everyone was exiting the airport, the systems seem to work pretty well. Try getting an Uber from level P7 (west side!) of Mumbai T2 and you will know what I am saying…

Anyway, griping aside, we were soon in our car (hired for the weekend) and zooming away on the super smooth airport exit road. Kilometre after kilometre of straight, un-potholed tree lined joy. Serious joy. When we hit the end of the airport road our driver informed us there was a traffic jam caused by some political rally. He called a friend who had exited the airport a little before us and was told there was a 45 min delay just ahead of us. Mr Driver took an executive decision and swung the car around to the Outer Ring Road - a 158 kilometre, 8-lane Expressway encircling Hyderabad. Again, joy. Serious joy. A road like a runway on which speeds of 120 kms per hour are not just acceptable but actually expected! Mr Driver kept up a steady commentary of all sights and developments and rules and we could hear the pride in his voice. Yes, here was a someone who was proud of how his city had developed. This made me think back at the time we were in Chennai. The taxi driver in Chennai was so proud of the new Metro there and enthusiastically pointed every Metro station en route. Sorry to labour the point, but think back to the last time you heard someone say Mumbai has changed for the better!

Anyway, we checked into the extremely nice Park Hyatt at Banjara Hills – definitely recommended - and were soon in the firm control of Junior Ms Stonethrower – who was the reason why we were in Hyderabad. She zoomed us off to the impressive Arbor Road Estate which Mr Stonethrower has written about here.

Traffic getting back was beyond insane and we were all getting more than a little irritated. Junior Ms Stonethrower saved the day and got us to hop into the super-efficient Hyderabad Metro. This, on the day that the Supreme Court had ordered a stay on tree cutting at the proposed Metro car shed at Aarey! We keenly felt the irony of this ride that cut our commute time by over an hour.

A quick change and we were seated in the extremely pleasant bar at the Park Hyatt. A few much-needed intoxicants for us and a plate of fried calamari started the evening off nicely. Super fresh calamari in a crisp, thin batter. Appetites whetted, we asked for a Prawns Aglio Olio. Again, spot on. Large prawns, not overcooked, in chilli olive oil served with crisp garlic bread. The irritation with the traffic was easily forgotten. After some more assorted warm bread with excellent Truffle Butter we were ready to take the evening up a notch.

We strolled across the floor to the Park Hyatt’s Asian restaurant Rika and in the blink of an eye had a crunchy bowl of Popcorn Chicken with spicy Gochujang sauce sitting in front of us. Sorry to say but there are no photographs of this as it was demolished within minutes. Dinner was a shared platter of sushi for junior Ms Stonethrower and me and Shanghai-Style Poached Chicken With Sichuan Peppercorns And Chilli for Mr Stonethrower

Look at the Sushi platter. A thing of absolute beauty. It takes someone who cares for and is proud of their work to create this. The Sushi came out at the perfect temperature. Was obviously freshly made. The fish cool, fresh and evenly cut. And importantly for me the Sushi had the perfect amount of rice to fish. Both Junior Ms Stonethrower and I were extremely pleased with our Sushi and proceeded to demolish it while complaining that we were destroying a work of art. Without a doubt the best Sushi I have eaten in India – definitely recommended

Above: The Sushi Platter at Rika Park Hyatt Hyderabad

Mr Stonethrower too was very happy with his chicken (unfortunately no pics) and said it was the first time in India he had seen the use of Sichuan peppercorns.

Desserts were a good Passion Fruit Panna Cotta and an indifferent Cheesecake. Apologies for the blurred photos.

Above: The Cheesecake with Matcha Ice Cream and Caramel

 Above: Passion Fruit Panna Cotta

A very happy meal indeed.

Early the next morning Junior Ms Stonethrower whisked us off to the recently restored Qutb Shahi Tombs for a bit of a walk around. Impressive. Good renovation supported by the Aga Khan Foundation, though, still a work in progress. It is evident that the tombs were badly neglected for centuries and the renovation is a huge, uphill task. We did not see much evidence of the blue tiles that were supposed to have once adorned the domes. Not much expensive material used in construction either, no marble. Lot of plaster mortar work.

Above: An abandoned Mosque

Above: A synthesis. On the lower level 9 arches, mid level 5 and the top has a dome. Typical of the mix of Persian, Muslim and Hindu architecture. Tombs for more important individuals had this 9 -5- dome architecture. Lesser individuals has lesser number of arches

Above: The water supply for the Tombs and the then exquisite gardens

Above: A half completed Tomb for Aurangzeb

Lunch was at Junior Ms Stonethrower's favourite new patissiere-café Feu. Sorry to keep harping back to this, but Feu will give a tough fight to any patissiere-café in Mumbai and would probably win hands down. We shared an excellent thin crust Pepperoni Pizza and a Spaghetti with Pesto. Both were exactly what was promised on the menu.

But the errr… icing on the cake here were the desserts. We shared a Chocolate Mousse pastry and a Blueberry Cheesecake. Look at the photographs! Look at the Glaçage Miroir (mirror glaze) encasing the mousse! Good quality chocolate. Not overly sweet. Just perfect.

Above: The Chocolate Mousse

The Blueberry Cheesecake too was not just a work of art but extremely delicious and again not cloyingly sweet as cheesecakes can sometimes be.

Above: Blueberry Cheesecake

Above: Loads more in the display cases.

Great choice Junior Ms Stonethrower. Thanks for introducing us to Feu. We are sure we will be back there soon.

The afternoon was spent on a bit of retail therapy, including a visit to Tonique, India’s largest liquor store. A staggering 15,000 square feet spread over two floors. It is such a pleasure to walk in a liquor store see and pick up bottles. Most liquor stores treat you as a kleptomaniac and you are kept behind a counter and served by a minion. Before you ask, bottles are sold at MRP.

Dinner was at Chicha’s which Junior Ms Stonethrower said is her go to place for Hyderabadi kebabs and biryani. An extremely inviting place with mouth-watering food smells that hit you as soon as you enter. We were whisked away to a semi private dining area and proceeded to order way more than we could possibly eat. This was a classic case of the eye is bigger than the stomach.

We of course went to the Posh Chicha's. Brilliant name. Someone has a sense of humor.

Without much ado, we demolished a melting tender and flavourful Patthar ka Ghosh, a lurid red Chicken 65 (for some unknown reason, a long-time favourite for Mr Stonethrower), most of the Talawa Ghost and made a fair headway with the Special Mutton Paya. The food arrived hot, fresh and fast. No time to linger or chat, this was a place to eat till you can’t eat anymore.

Above: Chicken 65

Above: Talawa Ghost

Above: Patthar Ka Ghost

Above: Malai Paya

The Special Mutton Biryani however defeated us. We were too full to even attempt a mouthful. We asked if it could be airline packed to carry back to Mumbai for dinner the next day. “Airline packed” is a term Junior Ms Stonethrower taught us. On our way back to the airport we saw signs on many restaurants for “Airline pack” Biryani. It seems everybody wants to carry back Hyderabadi Haleem and Biryani and restaurants for a measly Rs 50/- pack these dishes in multi-layered leak proof containers.

The Special Mutton Biryani and accompanying Mirchi Ka Salan arrived safely in our suitcases without a drop leaking and we ate it over two meals. Yes, you read that right, it took two dinners to finish that quantity of rice and meat. Not that we were complaining. The Biryani was moist, flavourful and thankfully not oily at all. The Mutton pieces (9 large pieces) were tender and succulent with a nice coating of spices. We were glad for the lingering taste of Hyderabad.

A most fun, interesting and delicious two days. Looking forward to our next visit.