When one of my blogger friend Goki visited Hyderabad, food was the only thing in both of our minds. Lucky to have such friends isn’t it? Me working on Saturday and him with an official meeting, we had a very limited time in our hands. So we were rightly focused on what to eat and where to eat it. After having a heartfelt dinner at Chutneys on Friday night, we decided to hit the old city on Saturday late afternoon.
The first destination was Shadab for mutton biriyani. Unfortunately, reaching there itself took good 90 mins and the restaurant was so crowded even at 4 in the evening that we had to wait for 10-15 mins to get a table. As soon as we got a table, we just ordered one Hyderabadi mutton dum biriyani and shared it.
The mutton pieces were so soft and melt in the mouth kind. My only disappointment was that the biriyani was not spicy enough for my likings. Shadab was recommended by many and a most mentioned name in foodies groups. However, if you are someone who is more into the ambience, restaurant location etc, this place is not for you
The next stop was Pista house to have Haleem with a small detour in-between to have chai and biscuits at Nimrah café. By checking the google maps, we decided to just walk down to both the places and that is when the experience of the lifetime happened.
The streets till Charminar was covered with shops of all kinds and heavily crowded. Irrespective of us who witnessed the crazily crowded Ranganathan street of Chennai, this just baffled us. The burqa-clad women sweeping through the crowd, dragging their children, buying all glittery stuff from hairpins to footwear was so indeed a sight to look at. I being the odd man out wearing a t-shirt and jeans, the shopkeepers who were selling western clothes like, didn’t fail to notice and call me out.
As our destination was Pista house, we were just figuring out a way to move past the crowd as soon as possible. However, I just made a quick stop and purchased two earrings for just 10 rupees each. I want to make another visit to Charminar for shopping alone 😛
We came to another end of Charminar, clicked a few selfies, and with high self-control ignored the shops selling cut fruits, juices, milkshakes, faloodas and lassi. Yes, we were saving space for the Haleem. I really wanted to climb the stairs of Charminar just to capture a view of the crowd but was too tired to do so.
At the Nimrah café, we had excellent Irani chai and biscuits and walked towards Pista house.
We could see a bunch of guys wearing green t-shirts standing outside the Pista house and selling dabbas after dabbas of Haleem. It is a bakery with a seating arrangement on the back side of it. Again, if you are so particular about the ambience, better get a parcel rather than dining in.
I always feel that Haleem has a soothing effect on the throat and stomach while eating which makes it the best food option while breaking the fast. The first mouthful of gooey, ghee filled Haleem with a hint of pepper made both of us go Ahh! I have seen many preferring to have Haleem without any bones on it but this one had a good amount of bones. To be frank, this was as same as the one I had at a roadside stop near my house and not sure what the hype is all about. But really felt good have Haleem at a famous place.
The ride back home also took good 90 mins but we were totally enjoying as we went all over the old city witnessing the festival spirit. Made us wonder if there are any other festivals celebrated for a month which involves fasting as well as plenty of food to eat. As we were entering the new city with the stark difference hitting on our face, we definitely knew that this is an experience we will remember forever.