Sunday, January 14, 2007

Chutneys - South Indian at its best !!

This Saturday night, yet again, we ended up at Chutneys for a nice dinner. Its been like a ritual for us to hit Chutneys anytime we dont feel like cooking at home (and not ordering a Biryani at home from Hyderabad House, which btw has been happening quite often as well !!).

So here is the story in pictures...

The Chutneys is located right next to the Nagarjuna Circle, near Punjagutta. You can spot it from a distance with its quite different colours and the long queues that wait for table in late evenings..

Thats the first floor seating area.. As you see, it isnt execeptionally plush or luxurious. Quite basic and simple. Well, it isnt really the experience that pulls you here.. Its the food, period !!

The USP.. Chutneys.. With most (or even all) dishes they serve, this is the standard fare. This 4-in-1 serving of chutneys. The all white one is pure/ fresh cocunut chutney. Its amazing.. beyond words, with minimal masalas etc to ruin the natural coconut flavor. Moving clockwise, the off-white/ creme colored chutney is a daal-based chutney.. Next is the Red chutney.. thats also real cool, with a spicy tange and goes real well with most dosas. The last one is the green-adkrak (ginger) chutney...

Steamed Dosa - My fave item in the menu.
At the risk of sounding boring and truly predictable, I have to admit that on most occassions I have been here, I shamelessly end up ordering the Steamed Dosa.. Its really the best of the lot for me.. I have tried a Steamed Dosa elsewhere as well, but nowhere did I find anything close to Chutneys thing.

So, you get the drift. They also serve some real nice conventional Masala Dosas, Uthhapas, Idli-Vadas. Also, high on the popularity charts is their South Indian Thali. And we never fail to miss their Buttermilk, which has been consistently good.

Actually that is one aspect that makes it easier for us to pick Chutneys again and again.. their consistency. Rarely, do you find their preparation gone bad.. The chutneys are always fresh and the Sambhar always nice and spicy.

Another interesting thing I have noticed about them is that their pricing for South Indian dishes is reasonable. So you get a Masala Dosa for Rs 35, and the Steamed Dosa for Rs 42..

They also serve North Indian and even Chinese stuff.. which I would never advice you to order at Chutneys.. Also, they price these 'other' cusines a little on the higher side. Dont really remember exact costs, but a Chinese Soup will cost you about Rs 60 and a North Indian dish about Rs 75-80. Not, this isnt out of the roof, but compared to their South Indian dishes its definitely expensive.

My theory is that they basically cater to the South Indian cusine lovers.. But if these folks bring in people (and kids) who are admant on eating North Indian/ Chinese, they can still be the choice of this group. And, they also manage a bigger margin on these 'other' cuisines, for which their Cooks/ chefs would need more time to put aside a conventional order or two and get on with the a Chinese noodle dish (say).

Anyway, I do recommend you visit Chutneys on your next visit to Hyderabad and do do try out the Steamed Dosa. You wont regret reading my post for a change.