Saturday, July 18, 2009

Veggie Nook: Chaaypani

Chai, chaat and more

Photos: G. Krishnaswamy

Small ‘n’ cosy’ Chaaypani caters to different clientele

A search for a good vegetarian eating outlet in Habsiguda would lead you to Chaaypani.
Habsiguda, as known to people, is a crowded commercial place. All one could expect from the place would, at the best, be a place serving the conventional Mughlai.
In this milieu, Chaaypani, seems to have found its niche by offering people a quick tasty snack in a small and cozy environment. It calls itself ‘The adda for veg foodies’ Chaaypaani offers more than just chai and paani. Catering to different clientele is food ranging from the Indian (chole bhatura, chaat), to Chinese (noodles, fried rice, manchuria) and fast food (pizzas, burgers and French Fries). The order for the ‘chai’ at Chaaypani revealed that it did complete justice to its nomenclature. The iced tea was excellent.
It was served at the right temperature and with just the right amount of sugar and lemon. Not actually having ‘ice’ in the iced tea ensured that the melting ice didn’t dilute your drink by the time you finished it. All tea served here is made from premixed powder. Though it calls itself Chaaypani, it offers only four flavors in tea. In Chaaypani, you would expect more varieties of chai.

The grilled cheese sandwich had the right amount of cheese and was crisply done, not soggy or overtly dripping with cheese. The chole bhatura was unique in taste too. The chole had no whiff of vanaspati usually used in its preparation and tasted almost like home-made one.
The masalas added ensured that the dish struck the right balance. The soft bhaturas ensured that you needn’t pull and tug at it to tear it; neither did you end up with greasy fingers after eating it. The icing on the cake was the yummy French Fries! Highly recommended.
The ambience was simple—a few steel tables and chairs and a few high chairs added in times of crowds. But above all what strikes the eye is the hygiene of the place, very neat despite the fact that it was raining and the lane leading to the eatery was quite swampy. The packaging of food in disposable containers gave an impetus to the feeling of hygiene.
The price was quite reasonable with a meal for two turning to be less than Rs. 200 and with their special first anniversary offer of 20 per cent off, it’s even lesser.
This food joint is the brain child of Narendra Sethia who is quite a foodie. The idea that started with his launching of ‘Chaaypani’ (the tea and coffee premixes) went on to the opening of this food joint. Now, his young daughter infuses the energy and passion required to run this ‘adda’. The one disadvantage that the place finds itself in is the comparative anonymity of the location in one of the by-lanes of Habsiguda. Yet, this is an advantage in itself as one doesn’t find this kind of vegetarian joint catering to a niche clientele anywhere in the vicinity of Habsiguda.
This is a guide for those who are looking for eateries in Hyderabad/Secunderabad which serve vegetarian food exclusively. Starting this week, we focus on at least one vegetarian outlet in your area.

Habsiguda/ Chaaypani
Pluses: Food is cooked with very little oil.
Minuses: The place is small and can get crowded during weekends
Location: Habsiguda; Lane opposite HDFC Bank.
Food: 4.5/5;
Ambience: 3/5;
Hygiene: 5/5

This article was published HERE.