It was August and I have not been to a new city after Bhopal. It was time to go and I chose Hyderabad. I’ve been there before 21 years when it was still Andhra Pradesh’s capital. Now it has become Telangana’s capital after the state was founded on June 2, 2014 – rightly after I completed engineering. With all the paperwork ready, I set out in Charminar express from Chennai Central that has now been changed to Puratchi Thalaivar Dr. M. G. Ramachandran *டேய் ஒரு ஆப்பிள் Juice குட்ரா* Central Railway station. Finally reached Secunderabad, that’s actually well connected by both Metro and TSRTC buses with Hyderabad. It’s cheaper too. I marked several hotels to try at both Hyderabad and Secunderabad but was able to try only some. Another Facebook friend of mine – Sharmila helped me with all the routes and places and even hosted me for dinner every day from the start to the end. Thank you so much girl! Forever indebted.
Hotel Padmaja – https://goo.gl/maps/sYt1K1xxxx6nPAAbA
I checked into a lodge that was just opposite to the railway station and behind Hotel Padmaja. The lodge was good and it costed INR 700 per night. In case you want a decent stay single-ly or with your family. It has WiFi, laundry services too. Now let’s dive into the star of the post, Padmaja.
This is purely vegetarian. They have the restaurant on the ground and first floor and the lodge on the second floor (if my memory serves me right). This is how the ground floor restaurant looks like – a waiting space followed by tables. They even have a sweet shop outside.
That’s just one part of the menu. I had breakfast here for about 5 days and sometimes dinner. I had lunch once during the period of stay. The tables seemed to have a 80’s look and I liked it.
Let’s dive into the food now.
Idly – Vada (2 idlis + 1 vada) – INR 60/-
The idlies were so soft like the ones you get in Tamil Nadu and the vada was big enough to completely get you through the day. The usual Andhra kaara podi they gave with this was totally fabulous. Kaaram na ithan nu ilama it had right amount of mirch to it. Their chutney was awesome and they kept refilling whenever they found out the quantity in the cup was reduced. The sambhar was kinda orange-ish than yellow-ish to my view but neverthless it was good too. I was astonished to see people eating 3 idlies and 2 vadas. That kinda food will last you for the entire day or even more. Ena da Andhra kaaranga ipdi thinguringa moment. The soft idlies and the crisp vada made my breakfast and to top it all I had coffee that costed about 20 bucks.
Open Dosa – INR 55/-
This is the open Dosa. It had one thick dosa (uthappam to be precise) which is heated only on 1 side and on the other side vegetables such as carrots, coriander leaves are nicely sliced and sprinkled throughout the top surface. Then the masala from the Masala dosai is kept in the middle and served hot with half a stick of butter that melts in the heat of the masala & dosa and flows. This is again topped by fresh grated coconut that is also sprinkled along with the legendary Andhra Kaara podi. This totally made my day. I was not able to move an inch further. I am a quick eater but I had to have this for about 20 mins and still I wasn’t able to complete it. The dosa was big and thick and it was served with coconut chutney and sambhar.
Pongal – INR 55/-
The best thing about southern states is that you get – Idly, dosa, and pongal for breakfast. Just see for yourself what you get as sides for pongal here – raitha & vathamuzhabu-ish kinda one (I don’t remember that exactly). As usual the amount of black peppers were more and I took some 10 minutes to segregate it from the rest of the pongal. I couldn’t imagine pongal with raitha and so I asked for chutney. I was totally floored by the taste of pongal and it had some strips of coconut that were mildly fried. It tasted good. The pongal without any side too tasted great and with the chutney it was blissful. Rightly made and served hot.
Mysore Bhaji – INR 40/-
It is actually Bonda in other areas but here they call it Bajji that too with one ‘J’. They were crisp, fluffy, and were filled with coconut nicely diced. Its just plain bhajji batter (made of wheat/maida) mixed with corainder leaves, curry leaves, cumin seeds, and some green chilly fired in oil and served. It was not too spicy but mild. This is a snack item in Tamil Nadu and they serve it only in the evenings but in the other states they have it for breakfast. I wanted to try this one and it was absolutely phenomenal. 6 pieces for 40 bucks was great and all of it seemed pretty identical. They give 2 chutneys for 6 pieces and I had tears in my eyes. The server became a friend after my regular visit to the hotel and he knew what I needed. The oil was a bit heavy but nevertheless it was great. See the below picture for the coconut pieces.
Mix Rice Bath – INR 60/-
Your Hyderabad visit must definitely include Charminar, after all you have travelled in the train too. I visited the place, took some picures and bought some pearl bangles with the help of Sharmila and returned back to the hotel for lunch. I ordered Mix rice bath to try how it is. Sharmila ordered MLA Dosa, which is Dosa that’s filled with Upma.
I was into the notion that mix rice bath means the biryani, of course vegetable, but I was shocked. For 60 bucks you get a bowl of lemon rice, veg biryani (in basmati rice), and curd rice whereas individually they cost more. They give raitha, sambhar, chutney, and a pickle as side dish. Adapavi ivlo kudutha hotel enathuku da aagum moment. There was absolutely nothing to complain about this dish and it gave me the feeling of intha saapade nalaiku varaikum thaangum, ithoda niruthiko. The curd rice was over flowing with curd and along with the lemon pickle it tasted great. The biryani was good with the kurma (that which comes with chapathi). The lemon rice was great with chutney and it had lots of fried peanuts. Everything tasted great. We finally finished the lunch and asked for the bill.
I had coffee everyday in the morning and it costed 20 bucks. One day I had masala dosa and it was good. It costed INR 55/-.
The trip was finally done and I must admit that Hotel Padmaja was great. With reference to the cost, you can see it is all nominal and it tasted good too. I recommend you to try this hotel at Secunderabad and let me know your thoughts. It is one of the cheapest options you can find near the railway station. The bus stop too is just opposite to the hotel. The servers run all around the place to get the orders to your table and your smile can just change their day. Hope you guys loved this and see you again.
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