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Saturday, June 15, 2024

 PACKING A “PAANCH”

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Aidu is foodpreneur Aman Chainani’s tribute to the distinct flavors of the five South Indian cuisines

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While Hyderabad is booming with restaurants offering region-specific South Indian cuisines like Telangana, Andhra, and Rayalaseema flavors, the F&B space for all five South Indian cuisines under one roof is still a niche area with loads of potential. It is here that Aidu, which translates as five in Telugu, comes in as a breath of fresh air with a host of value additions.

First, is the ambience which, while being contemporary in terms of furniture, also retains classical elements like the stone murals in the al fresco area. Second, the cocktails listing is among the best the city has to offer, in terms of innovative appeal. And third, traditional South Indian classics have been presented with a slight tweak, adding innovation and drama to the table.

This review has to begin with Mustard Mystery. Mustard gin, rose tart, clarified watermelon caviar, with the subtle and sweet flavors of rose and watermelon being complemented wonderfully by the more pungent notes of mustard, this one is the strong and silent type. Mogratini, a blue gin, mogra syrup, peach and mogra-flavored peach is another delight created by mixologist Ganesh.

In food, there are varied starter options, beginning from Paniyaram (with a cheese-veggies stuffing, delicious!) and the smart Avakai Soya Chaap to Keema Undai and Ulavacharu Lollipop. The Standout starter in terms of taste and fresh appeal, however, was Meen Pollichattu, a good-sized pomfret marinated in the Kerala spices of the recipe and then steamed in a banana leaf. In main course, there are biryanis, appams, Idiyappams, Kerala puttu and Malabar parathas to be enjoyed with Mangalorean Kodi Gassi, Malabar fish curry, Nellore Chapala Pulusu, Aloo Korma, Kalan Kuzhambu (button mushrooms cooked in the traditional Kerala recipe of using coconut milk) and plenty more options.

There is enough local representation, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, on the menu you have Gutti Vankaya, Onion Patti Samosa, Marag Charkoni Naan, Patthar ka Gosht, Kaju Royyala Vepudu, Miryala Kodi Vepudu, Kodi Chips and the like. In the mains, worthy of mention, besides the Malabar Fish Curry, is the Thengaipal Koni Biryani – chicken biryani prepared in coconut milk and served in a green coconut shell. It is creamy, thanks to the coconut milk but light and subtle as minimal spices are added. Desserts at Aidu are the real game changers.

Try the Aidu Mysore Pak to know what I am talking about, when you decode its deconstructed plating, it is as delicious as or even more so than the original and you also get a much- needed change from its usual plain Jane appearance, as one is used to. Even the Double Ka meetha is presented in a cigar roll avatar, all very pleasing to the eye and thankfully for the palate as well!

Meal for two: Rs 1,800
Plot no 1057/G, Road No, 45, Jubilee Hills,
Beside SBI Bank Tel: 82829 70606/82829 80606
Timings: 12 pm to 12 am

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