Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fiesta@Minerva Grand

There was some errand to run at the Patny center, and I thought why not throw in a lunch too?
Minerva Grand was tried and tested and therefore I had no two thoughts about a lunch there. The previous expereinces have all been a la carte' and though on the slightly exxpensive side, I never regretted eating there as the taste was always great.
What I was not prepared for, though, was that a good a la carte' may not convert to a good buffet as well, On calling them, I was told that the buffet lunch was priced at Rs. 342. My appetite was whetted thinking that if the price was similar to Barbecue Nation, then the food must be as awesome too. By the time I reached there, I was eagerly looking forward to the meal.
The first look at the meal showed me a HUGE array of desserts. The display was close to what one might find in a regular sweet shop in Hyderabad. My previous experience of the place made me ignore those warnings flashing inside me...
First, I was asked to serve myself. The expectation normally is that the soup and starters are served at the table and then you help yourself. When I mentioned the same, I was told that the soup will be brought to the table. But an eternal wait made me restless and I got up to serve myself as anyway the starters will not be brought to my table. Then I saw that there was only one vegetarian starter and one non-veg one. For vegetarians like me, that leaves me with just one option. I should perhaps have stopped and told myself to ignore this buffet but I persisted. One veg soup, tomato and one starter, veg Manchurian. I kept comparing to the enormous offer at BN. On the plus side, the tomato soup was good...unlike the gooey ketchupy thing served in some restaurants. No complaints about the starter either.
Though the beginning of the meal was frugal, I was hoping that the main course would do some justice to the price. On offer were two curries, a vankayi(brinjal) bhath, veg briyani, veg noodles and some gravy stuff to go with the noodles, dal, rasam. And that's all for the main course. The fare was just about ok..nothing really stood out and made you go for a second helping. The non vegetarian offer was equally frugal. So the non-vegetarian diners also might be disappointed.
These days, many of the restaurants distinguish themselves with the offer of good spread of starters and salads. Here, all you have in the name of salads was a combination of different vegetables either diced raw or par-boiled
The desserts were plenty though...the gulab jamun, rabdi mal pua, mousse', rasgulla, plum cake and ice cream. Again, anything special amongst all this? I am afraid, none.
Yep, the washrooms are ultra clean. the usher is polite. But the less said about the waiters, the better. There were very few tables occupied even at peak time of 2 pm. Only four tables were occupied but the waiters all hovered around one table which had some foreign visitors. Till they were there, all other diners were not paid much attention to.  Second, once the waiters observed that the stewards were gone, some of them quickly and surreptitiously grabbed some sweets and ran to the kitchen to savor them! Well that did leave a poor impression.
The saving grace was that the restaurant takes the Sudexo meal pass and at least I didn't actually see my hard cash go down the drain. A month back, I wrote about Taj Tristar's offer not being great but if asked to choose between the two, I will safely lay my bet on Taj Tristar.
The food gets a 2/5 & Ambience: 3.5./5
Will I visit again? Definitely no!