Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Spicy Venue

Even as I set my eyes on the menu of The Spicy Venue, I knew it was not a great idea to visit it.
What cuisine the restaurant wanted to promote, what image it wanted to portray, what it wanted to be known as is something that has not been worked at. All the reviews speaking highly of this restaurant are, I am sure, not by vegetarians.
Had gone there on a special invite. Otherwise, the menu was the most uninspiring one for a discerning foodie. All my fears about the menu were not unfounded after I saw the offer.
Let me add a disclaimer before I write further about this place. I don't eat non vegetarian food and can speak nothing about it. Having said that, I see no reason why any person following a vegetarian diet will want to go to this restaurant. There are just a handful of restaurants offering Telugu food in Hyderabad. And if this restaurant is promoting itself as one offering it, I would definitely want to experience the authentic Telugu food. What's an authentic Andhra cuisine? Well, unlike many other cuisines, the Andhra food is extremely particular about the presentation and the order in which it is presented.

The traditional feast is served on banana leaves following a particular method. Cooked 'tur dal' (lentils) is served on the right lower corner of the leaf followed by 'halwa' (a sweet dish) 'pachadi' (raita or yogurt), chutney, two dry vegetables, gun powder or curry leaf powder, fryums made of white pumpkin, rice fryums and pappad, pickle and salt. The above items are served all around the leaf till the left corner. 
 Then mixed rice or vegetable 'pulao' is served in the center of the leaf and curd 'vada' next to that. Two dry sweets - 'bobatlu' or boorelu, laddus, are served in a cup. This is how the leaf is set and made ready before the guests are seated to enjoy the meal. After this elaborate meal, 'paan' (betel leaves) and nuts are served.

I had searched for and shared this information with someone who wanted to go all traditional and present a complete and authentic Telugu meal to a North Indian family.  (I forget the source now. Hence unable to acknowledge)
What we had instead was anything but a typical Telugu meal. We had this:

And this is what I hoped to get:

Telugu vari vanta
                                         Image courtsey:

I mean if one were to offer an authentic Telugu meal, I dont look forward to a mish mash of various menus. The above two pictures cannot be more contrasting. One gives a Tamasic feeling and the other, a Satvic feeling.
I heard someone say that their Paneer Butter Masala was awesome. I ask, if I want to eat a Punjabi dish, why should I go to a restaurant serving Telugu food? The items listed under Telugu traditional dishes contain not a single vegetarian one.
The ambiance is also not too inspiring. The vegetarians need not come here for authentic Telugu food.