Saturday, February 20, 2010

Veggie Nook: Swaad

Situated beside Gharonda, Swaad, started just about a year ago, is barely visible from behind the bus shelter on the main road of Padmarao Nagar. This ambiguity is quickly cleared as you step into the pleasant ambience of the spacious foyer with its comfortable waiting chairs.
Inside the restaurant, you find well-spaced wooden tables and chairs in an air conditioned room that can hold 72 people. The long buffet table in the center facilitates easy maneuverability. The windows all around are tastefully covered with bamboo chiks. The stark white walls exhibit bronze figurines each posing with an Indian musical instrument. Various lighting fixtures further accentuate the effect. Every effort is made to coalesce food and music— both complementing one another.
As soon as you seat yourself, you are served a refreshing fruit juice made of fresh fruits.
Swaad serves only vegetarian buffet at both lunch and dinner times. The buffet has as many as 44 items in all. On this day the menu is as following:
  1. Three types of soups— Tomato, Sweet Corn Veg and plain Sweet Corn for the more bland palate.
  2. Salads: thinly sliced raw vegetables like tomato, cucumber, beetroot, carrot and onion all arranged separately
  3. Three kinds of chaat preparations: boiled peas tossed with finely chopped tomato and onion; chana chaat of soft-boiled chick peas; third, Kachumer chaat made of thinly shredded capsicum, tomato cucumber and onion. One common ingredient in all three is the lemon juice.
  4. The starters consist of vegetarian Manchuria and ginger paneer. Both these are prepared with well balanced spices.
  5. Rounding off the snacks section is the Indian favorite— the ‘paani puri’.
  6. Two dry curries consist of Gobi and Bhendi fry
  7. Four curries with gravy: Guthi vankayi koora, mixed vegetable curry, Aloo kurma and Paneer mutter
  8. Curd items: Plain curd, curd rice, raita and dahi wada
  9. Chinese: soft noodles and Gobi Manchurian wet
  10. Rice items: Biryani and Jeera rice
  11. Dal items: Dosakayi pappu, rasam. sambar
  12. Desserts: Fruits, fruit custard, beetroot halwa, saboodanaa kheer ice cream and gulab jamun.
  13. Three varieties of Indian breads: roti, naan and phulka
  14. Accompaniments like paapads, ghee karampodi and pickles thus completing the South Indian menu
All food is presented in steel casseroles with uniquely designed hydraulic lids which shut quietly on release. Most of the food is prepared with mild spices and little oil and is easy on the stomach.
And to round up this Indian meal experience is the paan on offer too. All the necessary components are kept at the end of the buffet table. You need to pick them and roll out the paan for yourself.
The buffet is priced at Rs. 150 for an adult and Rs. 100 for a child. The restaurant timings are 12 to 3: 30 pm and 6:30 to 10:30 pm. Ample parking in cellar available

Pluses: Good selection of health foods
Minuses: No special items that you don’t find elsewhere
Food: 3/5; Ambience: 4/5
Located near Gharonda food court, Main road, Padmarao Nagar.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Veggie Nook: Pizza point

Let's meet at pizza point
Photos: Nagara Gopal

Pizza time People enjoying a pizza meal at Pizza Point

T he tiny Pizza Point located in the basement of State Bank of India at Karkhana makes you feel sceptical of the possible quality of food on offer. The place has just about ten tables and a blaring TV in addition.
Everything from orders to the cash counter is managed by Pratap, the owner. The menu consists of 14 pizzas with different veg toppings. It also offers three kinds of sandwiches: veg grilled, cheese grilled and chilli cheese grilled sandwiches. The pizzas which are all six inches are priced between Rs. 70 to 90 and the sandwiches are offered at Rs. 30. An order for the Hot ‘n' Spicy Mexican priced at Rs. 80 brings you a pizza with onion, capsicum, cheese and chilli flakes. The chilli flakes are home-prepared and bring with it the taste of Indian dish. A generous topping of Mozzarella lends a uniquely delectable taste to the pizza. The Veg Exotica priced at Rs. 90 consists of jalapenos and olives in addition. An additional layer of cheese on top of this pizza makes it quite yummy. The Veg-Pineapple also has an abundance of cheese and onion with tiny pieces of pineapple on it. This is a slightly bland preparation.
The Hot ‘n' Spicy Mexican isn't really very hot — only spiced and can be safely had by the kids too. What's amazing is that every pizza has a unique taste to it. Equally amazing is the fact no spices are added to any of the pizzas. Despite this, just by adding different toppings, this outlet succeeds in lending a unique taste to every pizza that it offers. This tiny pizza outlet also surprises you with the offer of a great base, a centimetre in thickness — crisp and soft at the right places. There is no contention on the restaurateur's claim that every pizza is equally tasty.

No less enticing are the sandwiches. The sandwiches are grilled grilled with plenty of butter, the edges sealed, and with every bite, the cheeses — again Mozzarella spill out .
The restaurant runs from 4 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. The small pizzas give you the advantage of choosing more than one kind of topping. Two people can share four pizzas easily. Special Jain preparation with only capsicum, tomato and cheese topping is also prepared.
Though no parking space is specifically marked, yet the outlet does have plenty of parking space. A meal for two would cost around Rs. 400. Home delivery is offered within a 2 km radius.

This article was published HERE.