A Hangout at Haveli

The Lifestyle building at Begumpet is a teeming and happening place. Itz got one of the biggest and glitziest shopping brand store, a MusicWorld, some IT Companies, few Bio firms, many a commercial offices and a whole lot of eateries and restaurants. Itz got a Roll Call, a Subway, a nondescript Bakery, a Deli 9; pubs n’ rest-O-bars like Carrot, Sparks, Club 8; Restaurants like Malgudi, Urban Tadka, Kabura, L’autre and Haveli. It was to the last-mentioned place that we trooped in today afternoon to have some nice time and of corz, to have some nice grub!

Haveli is a typical Hyderabadi restaurant that specializes in well, Hyderabadi and North-Indian cuisine. By North-Indian, I mean essentially Punjabi but there’s a smattering of Mughlai fare also. Like oh-so-many restaurants in the city, Haveli too had fallen in-line with the buffet bandwagon i.e. it had a lunch buffet on offer. We had quite some waiting to do, what with it being a busy lunch hour and with so many companies in the vicinity, it was bound to be full with luncheoners. It seems that the restaurant has had an experience of sorts with waiting people; that explains the nicely-decored waiting area – both within and out of the main entrance. Chairs were laid out to accommodate atleast twenty people and every few minutes, we’ll be informed of the “just a few minutes more” time would take in getting us tables! It took no more than twenty minutes to get us seated though. The first thing that I liked was the seating. The six-seater table was amply wide and there was plenty of elbow-room….quite unlike a few other places where it would be well-nigh impossible to keep both hands on the table and not knock-up one’s neighbour! Decor was minimal (no fancy fountains or stones n sceneries) and lighting was good. There was soft karaoke music playing in the background that was just about at the right volume.

Haveli FoodThe Buffet spread is priced moderately at INR 180 (+ taxes) & starts off with the usual soups n’ starters (one each of veg and non-veg), which I think is too little. A single starter is somewhat boring…even more so when it is the ubiquitous Veg. Manchuria! Veg. Hot n Sour soup was ok though. The Main course spread was quite good…in number. There was Biryani, Chicken and Lamb for the meat-lovers and Veg. Biryani, Paneer saagwala, Chana Masala, Aloo Jeera and Mixed Veg. for the green-lovers. There were a few salads too – sprouts, the regular carrot/onion/cucumber, chicken salad, aloo-chana chaat and boiled egg with cheese n’ sauces etc. And keeping in-line with the multi-cuisine nature of the spread, there was chow-chow, schezwan noodles & spring onion fried rice in Chinese and talimpu rice & dahi wadas in Southie ishtyle! Rotis and Naans were served hot off-the-charcoals at the tables itself. Quite a lot of food, right? And I didn’t even mention the steamed rice, sambhar and dal fry!!! Food was good and not too-spicy. The chana were a bit hard though! Tasting all the items would require some taking to do, but the all-round consensus was that the food was good. Not excellent or pathetic, but just good! Dum Biryani is their speciality and they sure showed that in both the Veg and non-veg avatars.

Haveli Desserts The Pièce de résistance were obviously the desserts. And they included the traditional Hyderabadi double-ka-meetha, succulent gulab jamoons, Caramel Custard, Fruit Souffle and Vanilla Ice Cream. Both the souffle and custard were A-One. And the gulab jamoons were the real deal – made from khoya or channa and not of the instantly-make types. Ideal way to round off a scrumptious fare. The place has also got an attached bar, so a casual drink or two is also not off the cards. There are a few corner seats which are cosy and private enough for a quiet business-like lunch if that’s what one requires. Service was prompt and efficient. I could see no reasons whatsoever not to recommend this restaurant for some good and varied grub. Well, its not for those on the lookout for a quick lunch as there can be a considerable waiting time but once that hurdle is surmounted, rest of the lunch will be a breeze. Given its location – in close vicinity to several offices and shopping complexes, and its price, it sure will be (is) a popular destination for foodies. I’m already waiting for the next party :mrgreen:

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