In the last few years the people of Hyderabad have adapted to Arabian or middle eastern, Lebanese , Turkish food.
Mandi was the first dish that became popular. Now a days people are loving these cuisines.
To cater or fulfil the needs of the arabian cuisine in the city yet another place has come up with a vast menu with some authentic and different dishes.
The restaurant is named Aqasa located in banjara hills.
The entrance is a little different and odd. Its a small passage which leads to a huge reception with a fountain in the center.
Its a huge place. It has around 20 to 22 tables with a seating capacity of 100. These tables are distributed in 4 sections. The first is the actual one. (seating on the carpet). The next section is a fine dine fully air conditioned section. The 3rd is a outer section which is semi open with tables which can accommodate 6 to 8 pax. The 4th section is also a semi open to air with about 5 tables on the terrace.
All the sections interiors are done accordingly. The place is bright and clean.
We were welcomed with some really good tea. They had 2 variants. The black tea was slightly stronger than the other with some sweetness to it. the other one was flavorful without any sweetness to it.
Then came in the soup (shorba harira) which was not really like a soup. Even the taste was not that great. It had rice and chickpeas in it.
We had two salads fattaoush and tabbouleh salad. The fattaoush was a simple salad with bell peppers and a thin vinaigrette like dressing. The tabbouleh had a good crunch from the croutons but way too much mustard in it. That has to be rectified.
Moving into the appetizers we had Istanbul chicken, chicken sahan , lebanese mezze platter, turkish kebab and harissa fish.
Undoubtedly the top two picks are chicken sahan and harissa fish.
The istanbul chicken is a very unique appetizer. Flattened and cooked with bones and topped with sauces. The flavour was missing. It was pretty bland. A bit of salt would do.
Chicken sahan was a creamy chicken appetizer with cashew paste and sesame paste in it. Just a tad of sweetness from the marination , perfectly cooked was one amazing one.
The Lebanese mezze had pita with regular hummus, beetroot and leafy vegetable (spinach) one. The taste was similar though. A small portion of falafel and green olives. A good one for vegetarian.
The Turkish kebab was a skewer with vegetables and chicken chunks marinated. The flavor was mild and good. (its not a spicy one)
The fish was perfectly flavored and cooked. Top stuff. I would definitely recommend this.
Then came in the Juicy mutton mandi, faham mandi and mutton kabsa.
The mandi rice was pretty good, The grain was perfect , the flaour was fine and topped with almonds, olives and raisins. I’ve never seen olives on a mandi though.
In the juicy mandi the gravy was not actually going well with the rice. It was completely off. We didn’t really eat the rice with the gravy after tasting 2 to 3 bites, It needs an alternative for sure.
The chicken needed a little more spice and seasoning.
The kabsa was flavoured with tomato. The flavour was mild but need a spice component.
A spicy component on the side would do wonders.
We had two desserts Qataef and kunafa.
The Qataef was a coconut based dessert. It had a Slightly fermented taste to it. Often we find too much sweetness in desserts but that wasn’t the case here.
The kunafa im not really sure, but the cheese needs to be softer I guess. The mozzarella was not really working. It was pretty chewy.
Overall a few dishes have some work to be done and a few with minor changes. Otherwise a pretty good place.
Pricing and location:
The pricing is very reasonable when compared to places serving similar food around those areas. Also the meat portion is a little more.
Address: 3rd floor, above Almond House, Road no 2, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad.
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