Restaurant Review - Hyderabadi Food Festival at Salsa

Hyderabadi cuisine is famed for its delicious spicy Biryanis and array of chicken and lamb dishes. The cuisine draws its flavour from two rich legacies - the Deccan cuisine of Nizams with its delectable biryanis (rice flavoured with meat and vegetables), haleem (pounded wheat and mutton dish) and kebabs, and the spicy Andhra style of food, laced with mustard, garlic and chilies accompanied by spicy pickles. I stayed in Hyderabad for 3 years before I moved to Pune so I got to savor lots of delectable dishes from the city and am in love with the cuisine. Sadly I do not get to eat it very often in Pune as I pretty much always end up dining at South East Asian and Italian restaurants. Fortunately for me, my desire to eat Hyderabadi food was fulfilled as Salsa, the multi cuisine restaurant in the Corinthians Resort is running Dawaat-e-Nizam (feast of the Nizam) which is a Hyderabadi Food Festival.

They have a grand spread of dishes like Kacche Gosht Ki Biriyani, Haleem, Dalcha and many more specialties. I started my meal with a variety of vegetarian and non vegetarian starters. My favorite chicken dish in the whole wide world is Chicken 65, which originated in Hyderabad and is a spicy deep fried chicken starter that's garnished with curry leaves.

Chicken 65
I also loved the Pathar Ka Gosht, another spicy delight which consists of lamb marinated overnight and seared on a hot Granite stone over charcoal. Besides these, I also tried the vegetarian options of Madrasi Paneer Tikka (Cottage cheese tikka) and Makai ki tikki (Corn patty) which were pretty good. 
Clockwise from L to R: Makai Ki Tikki, Madrasi Paneer Tikka, Chicken 65 and Patthar Ka Gosht
Since I'm quite a carnivore and am always partial to non vegetarian food, I decided to do the opposite and try some vegetarian food for a change too. In main course, I had the Paneer Charminar (cubes of cottage cheese in a slightly sweet orange sauce), Mix Dal Masala (the lentil soup in the bowl) and Hyderabadi Bhindi (Lady's Finger aka Okra aka Gumbo). The Bhindi was particularly outstanding as it was the perfect blend of onion and crunchy curry leaves with the lady's finger.

From left to right: Paneer Charminar, Mix Dal Masala and Hyderbadi Bhindi
Getting back to my carnivorous ways, I also had the Kacche Gosht Ki Biryani in which lamb is slow-cooked with the rice to produce a succulent, flavorful layered delight along with Gosht Tamatar, a tomato based non spicy lamb gravy. Both were delicious.

Clockwise from L to R : Paneer Charminar, Gosht Tamatar, Hyderbadi Bhindi and Kacche Gosht Ki Biryani
I was also in the mood for dessert for a change. I had the Gulab Jamun Day Light, which was a unique tasting gulab jamun which was halved with a dollop of cream on top. I also had the Kulfi Falooda which is an ice cream like dessert.

Clockwise from L to R : Vanilla ice cream, Dil E Firdaus, Kulfi, Gulab Jamun Day Light with Falooda in the Centre
Overall, I had a great experience at Salsa once again, and really enjoyed their range of Hyderabadi cuisine. Their staff is polite and courteous and the ambiance is nice and relaxed. If you are in Pune and have a craving for Hyderabadi Food, don't miss this food festival. It is on till Sunday, 21st December 2014.

Have you ever tried any of these dishes? Let me know in your comments below.