Taj Vivanta, Hyderabad : The tale of a lunch and a dinner

Barbecue Chicken
Barbecue Chicken

The Nawabs of Hyderabad live through the culture, especially the cuisine of Hyderabad. Dotted across the busy city are many a restaurants that serve the most sumptuous non-vegetarian selection that one can find. A few days at the Taj Vivanta Begumpet (Hyderabad) got me an opportunity to check if hotels can match up to the standards set by the locals.

The city boasts of 3 Taj Hotels next to each other in the Banjara Hills area, with Taj Krishna and Taj Deccan offering very good restaurant options – with special mention of their respective Indian restaurants. Despite the Taj Vivanta being a business hotel by design, I expected at least a decent menu in its stable.

The undercooked, overcooked fish
The undercooked, overcooked fish

Trying the Multi-cuisine restaurant ‘Viva’ for Lunch, I ordered a healthy option of Grilled Salmon Fish Filet with Greens and Spinach. The fish was overcooked and felt more like chicken in its texture. I brought this to the notice of the Chef, who promptly offered a replacement. Having some time at hand was helpful as I waited for the dish to be served again. After a 20-minute wait, I was offered the dish again, which this time turned out to be highly undercooked. The center of the fish was quite raw, requiring a knife to cut. This was not turning out to be my lucky day. The Chef offered another dish to which I requested for a safer option in Chicken.

The chicken dish was quite well done, juicy pieces of breast (boneless) served with mashed potatoes and bar-be-queue sauce. The sauce was a unique mix of bar-be-que and select herbs, giving it a thicker texture with a slight punch. Safe and secure, I was happy to be able to complete my lunch in time for my meeting.

Roasted Chicken Supreme  -Dum Ki Gravy’
Roasted Chicken Supreme -Dum Ki Gravy’

The hotel catalogue suggested the ‘The Grill’ restaurant as their crown jewel, so I was happy to go for broke and try their best cuisine during dinner, hoping to make my for my luncheon debacle. The Poolside setting was attractive given the weather was a cool 28 degrees with a light breeze. Having tried the very neat ambience of the Taj Krishna two years ago, I was more than willing to try the Indian fare at the Vivanta.

Upon seating poolside one gets a not so beautiful view of the glass wall separating the gym from the swimming pool. Watching sweaty men working out barely 2 meters from your tables does not create a Nawabi experience in my book, so I chose to look the other way into the dimly lit pool with soft blue waters.

While sipping my beer I was offered garlic bread with a fantastic garlic dip along with fried papads. The Garlic Bread, though very soft, buttery and tasty was a little out of place for the Menu. Not complaining, I finished the first serving before my third sip of beer.

Roasted Chicken Supreme  -Dum Ki Gravy’
Roasted Chicken Supreme -Dum Ki Gravy’

I selected the ‘Roasted Chicken Supreme  -Dum Ki Gravy’ for the main course along with Tandoori Roti. The chicken dish took 20 minutes to arrive, which is not too long by my standards. The visual appeal was lackluster, as the serving bowl and cutlery did not add any value to the visual appeal of the dish. The presence of shredded cheese as a topping was quite absurd to me, as Cheese is not expected to be a staple ingredient during the Nawab days. The dish turned out to be quite bland, with very subtle hints of spices. The presence of Cashews and cream was quite evident thus infusing a mild sweetness to the aftertaste.

I barely finished one tandoori roti with the dish before my taste buds started complaining. I yearned for a memorable experience now, which was promptly brought to the manager’s notice.

Khubaani ka Meetha’
Khubaani ka Meetha’

He suggested a dessert that has been crafted by the sous chef as his special take on a north Indian specialty – the ‘Khubaani ka Meetha’.

The dish arrived promptly and looked a lot like ice cream with gulab jamuns. In fact it turned out to be cream cheese (one used to make cheese cakes) with Apricots at the bottom. The cream cheese was soft, thick and very tasty, complemented very well by a fresh, sweet Apricots. Every bite was a burst of flavor exploding into the mouth with waves of goodness. The dessert made up for a terrible food experience through the day.

I would suggest a trip for the dessert.

Ratings out of 5

Food: 2.5  | Ambiance: 3 | Service: 2.5 |Overall: 2.5

Meal for two with alcohol : INR 2500 + taxes | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes

Address: 1-10-147 & 148, Mayuri Marg, Mayur Marg, Begumpet, Hyderabad, Telangana 500016

Telephone :+91 040 6725 2626

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