Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Encounters@Taj Krishna

I had read good reviews about the Encounters restaurant at Taj Krishna. Why I opted for this restaurant will give you an insight into why it disappointed me so much.
We had planned to watch a movie @ INOX, Banjara Hills at 1 pm. There was this dilemma...we needed to start eating at 12 to be able to complete our lunch and be in time for the movie. And for someone who is used to eating a late lunch, 12 noon was way too early. So we decided to go for a rather heavy breakfast a little late and eat lunch after the movie at 3.30 pm. From all my previous experiences I know that all restaurants lunches in Hyderabad close by 3 or 3.30 pm max. An internet search revealed that the Taj had a round the clock service promising different cuisines at different times of the day. We planned  go for an international cuisine which is rarely offered by the local restaurants.
On going to the Encounters@ Taj, we found a near-deserted restaurant. Skeptical, we asked for the menu. We skipped the South Indian menu and the usual North Indian stuff of rotis and curries and dived straight at the international one.
What we found were a few soups, starters and some main course items. I was pretty excited and called the steward asking him for the details. He started suggesting that we go for idlis, dosas or parathas. I told him we aren't interested and insisted on his explaining the stuff on menu. He simply couldn't! None of the items mentioned in the menu had any names in English by which I could identify what the dish was about. A dish was mentioned as a constituent of different items within whose names were in their native tongue of which I understood very little. Hence I had to ask the steward to assist me. He again suggested the North Indian and South Indian stuff. He didn't seem to have a clue of what's on the menu. By this time, it was around 5 pm and we were starved. When we insisted on the Continental, he suggested a Caesar salad , not on the menu, but some name he was familiar with, I guess. And when we said ok to that, he came back to say that the salad was not available in this kitchen and he had to order it from another kitchen of the hotel and that it would take at least half hour!
Meanwhile, I called up my son and asked him to google and let me know what those ingredients meant. When he explained, then we could decide what we could eat or not. By the time the salad had arrived, we were famished and ate it in a great hurry. It was served with a variety of breads and butter. We gobbled it up as soon as possible and decided after this immense delay not to order anything more. This frugal salad came to around Rs. 500/-  ! By this time, they had started laying out the evening buffet.
I think all those reviews were for their buffets. That's fine but then EVERY restaurant offers food at the regular hours. If you offer a 24 hour service, you better ensure your kitchen runs for 24 hours and ALSO have a steward who helps you with understanding the menu. You deserve at least this with all the exorbitant pricing. For people who have late breakfast, or those who want to have lunch at their convenient time and not be restricted by the usual and expected lunch hours, Taj is not the place to head to.