Sunday, November 22, 2009

An evening well spent...

Last evening me and Shveta visited the city. It was the first time we were in an explorer mood since we shifted base to Hyderabad. Unlike Pune, which was our last bastion, Hyderabad has fewer places worth visiting at an hour's drive. By 'places' I mean places like Mulshi, Lonavla, Sinhgad and places like that where you can find spot just to sit and relax in the company of nature. So we decided just to head straight to some place in the city and just have an evening exporing the place.
We decided to take the train to Begumpet and explore that part of Hyderabad. Although Begumpet is mostly to do with shopping for pearls, huge apparel malls, Westside, Landmark and other big stores. After disembarking the MMTS train at Begumpet, we walked past the newly built flyover, the ITC kakatiya and reached Landmark. It is really difficult to walk past a bookstore if you really dig books or movies. So we entered Landmark and spent a good hour and half there, looking for books and DVDs. Came out with 2 books, a Telugu learning guide and the Times food guide to Hyderabad/Secunderabad. We also bought an audio CD, Sacred Chants volume 3 by Kosmic music. There were so many other books and music we wanted to buy, but we were running out of time and we wanted to make it till Hyderabad Central, have our dinner and catch the last train home.
By the time we got out of Landmark, it was already 8 at night. As we walked towards Hyderabad central, we entered Home Store - Future group's furniture and furnishing store. After ogling at all the expensive furniture that we could buy if we had all the money in the world and a place of our own, we moved to e-zone, the electronic appliance section within this store. There was an offer going on, where they were selling a DVD player for Rs. 1999 only. My 5.1 channel speaker system was lying idle at home, there were movies getting downloaded on the internet, there was good music to be heard, what more reason did I need to buy a DVD player! So we grabbed one and by 8.45 PM made our way into Hyderabad Central.
We had decided not to spend any time shopping here but only have our dinner and dash for the railway station. We went to the Noodle Bar restaurant on the ground floor. It is a nice place with good ambience. Both of us having sore throats, were weary of air conditioned chill. We requested for a table that wasn't directly under the duct. The waiter guided us to one such cozy corner in the restaurant. They were serving a 4 course emperor meals that consisted of an appetizer or a soup, a main dish, rice or noodles and dessert. We liked the idea of placing an order on a paper that has tick boxes in front of every menu item. We were given these papers and pencils and left alone to make a decision. we only had to tick what option we wanted for the 4 courses and hand over the paper to the waiter. We ordered some vegeterian manchow soup and a potion of vegetable spring rolls to begin with. Both these dishes were served hot and pretty quickly. Although we shared a single serving of soup, it was just the quantiy for both of us and boy was it tasty! The spring rolls were one of the best have had in a long time (if i was more confident of my memory, I would have said 'best ever'). we then got ourselves some Chicken manchurian and chicken hakka noodles.Now this was not the best part. Especialy the chicken pieces. We bth have had better chicken in Hyderabad House. Just as the initial impression was beginning to fade out, the Noddle Bar sprung their last surprise on us. The best and the last impression came in the form of the dessert, called 'Darsaan'. This is by far the most unique dessert I have ever tasted. It is fried dry flat noodles, tossed in honey and sesame seeds. This last impression of the restaurant was a lasting one. Me and Shveta, we both loved this dessert and so repented that the noodles and the chicken (both not so good) had not left enough space for this fantastic delicacy. Although Times food guide does not rate the Noodle Bar very well, the food, the quick service and the dessert won our hearts. Our dinner for 2 came to about 500 rupees and all of it worth the money (almost). definitely recommendable if you are not much fussy about visitng a restaurant in a crowded mall.
The times food guide looks like a neat way of picking up joints to visit on week ends. Although the city doesn't have much for the eyes, I hope once our bike comes, we can visit most of the restaurants in the guide and let our tongue do the talking :-)!!
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