Bidri gets a menu makeover
Bidri, the erstwhile speciality Hyderabadi, and now Indian, restaurant of Marriott Hyderabad ranks pretty high on the pecking order, as far as my sensibilities for a fine dining experience goes. A stunning ambience, with its rich black and silver Bidri work-inlaid door and columns, crimson-hued chandeliers and sophisticated table ware, an excellently-crafted Riyasati Rasoi menu and impeccable service, with all this, Bidri never fails to deliver.
Recently, the restaurant did a menu makeover in terms of adding a fresh line up of speciality and classic dishes, exclusive to the cuisine and culture of Hyderabad, United Punjab and Telangana. Eatopian Chronicles was invited to a preview dinner showcasing a soft launch of the same. While F&B manager Jomy Abraham had arrayed a huge table of food displays for photography purposes at Altitude (their eighth floor bar with a lovely view of Hussain Sagar) in-house celeb bartender Leo kept us ‘spirited’ while we got busy clicking. Unfortunately, the man who was primarily responsible for the new menu, executive Chef Yogender Pal was away on a call of duty, but he had left his impeccable instructions for the team.
Later, at Bidri we were in for a huge line-up of diverse dishes, which defines Bidri. In appetisers, there was the tangy and crisp Chemagadda 65, a Telangana special inspired by the more popular Chicken 65, Punjabi delight Dahi Bhalla, the Hyderabadi special Shikanja Murgh (boneless chicken breast in a green chilli-yoghurt marinade cooked in a traditional metal clamp), and two other Telangana hotties, Mirapakaya Kodi (boneless stir fried chicken with red chilli, ginger and curry leaves) and Bandameeda Chapa (catch of the day, in a fresh ground spice marinade which also included red chilli). We were served murrel steaks though for the plating purposes, it was a pomfret!
Memorables on this list were the Fish Fry, Dahi Bhalla and the Shikanja Murgh, as well as the dry chicken starter Mirapakaya Kodi.
In main courses, were Raan e Bidri (leg of lamb braised in signature spices, cooked in a tandoor), Sepu Vadi (steamed urad lentil dumplings in a spinach fennel gravy), the Hyderabadi special Murgh Malai Korma, the Telangana Satti Mamsam Koora, Chikkudukai Aloo Gadda Talimpu (beans or ‘gavar’, potatoes cooked in mustard seeds, tempered with garlic, mustard seeds), the Punjabi Meat Beliram (lamb slow-cooked with fried onions, mustard oil and yoghurt) and Atta Chicken.
Coming to the superlatives: The Sepu Vadi (I had it earlier at the Himachali food pop up curated by chef Yogender Pal and had just loved the smooth creamy spinach curry and the bite of the “vadiyan”!). I also loved the robust red-gravied Meat Beliram, apparently named after legendary Lahori chef Belliram and the Telangana Satti Mamsam Koora, which also packed punch. Also good were the rather light and healthy Hyderabadi dish Murgh Malai Korma, with its creamy onion gravy and the Telangana beans stir fry, with its home style comfort food quotient.
The Atta Chicken, whole chicken marinated overnight and then cooked in an atta case (wheat flour dough), was however disappointing. The Murgh Tikka Makhani did a tad better, especially with its gravy.
The best was for the last, though. The dessert,was a spectacular contemporary plating of a combination of a couple of Indian desserts, and looked nothing less than a work of art, crafted by pastry Chef Rateesh Nair. On the base of a chocolate ring were placed Pista Khubani Cassata and Malai kulfi interspersed with rooh afza mousse (the pink fluffy looking balls in the pic below) and in the centre was a pista gulab jamun on a bed of creme brulee. Talk about extravagance! This, needless to say, became the talking point of both the dinner and the evening.