Vedica Bajaj (@vedica)is originally from Hyderabad nut is currently studying in London.
What is a typical breakfast and where would you go?
While biryani rules lunch and dinner, Hyderabad’s favourite breakfast is the south Indian speciality Idly and Steamed Dosa from Chutneys. Chutneys is an Andhra institution serving steamed Dosa and Babai idly that are the most famous across the country. Wash it down with some freshly squeezed juice or their delightful buttermilk.
Where is your favourite place to grab lunch?
Yi Jing at ITC Kohenur, taking culinary inspirations from the provinces of Hunan and Sichuan, the food is a contemporary take on the traditional Chinese cuisine. The place has a warm vibe (interiors done in classic black and red) in a mix of the vintage and urban chic. The ambience is soothing, nice and bright with natural sunlight during the day. The dim sum is their specialty here, their sake edamame dim sum and the prawn cheung fun roll are the stars on menu. The restaurant is most famous for their hand pulled noodles donein Chongqing style. The chef demonstrates the process of hand pulling the noodles from the raw dough and it’s like watching an artist at work. In their mains, the must-try dishes are the Hand Pulled Noodles and the Jasmine Fried Rice with some Stir Fry Chicken, Mushroom Jewel Box with Truffle Oil and Hunan Tofu. This fine dining experience is a must do when in the city.
What is the ideal afternoon activity in a city like Hyderabad?
Booking yourself a High Tea at Taj Falaknuma means two things, you don’t just get to eat the delicacies and sip on exotic tea but also tour the palace with a guide. The moment you step into the gates, you’ll be taken to the palace in a buggy but if a royal horse carriage sounds more like your thing, you can request that too.
Built originally in 1894 by the Nizams, it has been restored by the Taj Hotels; however, its nobility and grandeur are kept alive. Breathing in these walls are stories full of historical significance, so touring it is nothing short of exploring a museum. After the tour, you can saunter around for a while or move on to your tea.
Where are the best places for dinner?
If you want to dine like a Royal, you must definitely visit the Jewel of Nizam– The Minar India’s only tower restaurant. The tower was specially built for the restaurant. Located outside the city and nestled inside the Golconda Resort, the beautiful restaurant offers curated delicacies in a grandiose manner.
The restaurant boasts of opulent interiors along with a beautiful display of Nizam’s jewellery. The old-styled architecture teamed with a beautiful royal-blue colour palette makes the overall ambience very regal and posh. They have excellent food choices prepared by brilliant and highly trained chefs. The waitstaff is very professional and efficient, makes you feel like you have a butler for the evening. The ideal time to visit would be at night where you can experience an actual wine and dine with a beautiful view of the city. Must try their signature dishes Mutton Haleem and the ‘Anokhi Kheer’ for dessert but don’t the miss the dish the city is most famous for the Hyderabadi Biryani which is an essential.
In the evening, what is the city like and where do you find yourself?
Hyderabad is known for its historical monuments like the Charminar and the Golconda Fort. These places with great historic significance are a great way to discover the city which is also called the City of Nizams. Also, shopping in the old city while visiting these monuments is a treat. Famous for pearls, it’s a great opportunity for one to visit the local shops and get some local finds. Another more relaxing way of spending your evening would be a walk around Kasu Brahmananda Reddy Park, popularly known as KBR National Park is a vast spread of lush greenery and rich fauna which is located in the middle of Hyderabad city- Jubilee Hills. The National Park boasts of rich flora and fauna which is accompanied by a refreshing environment that is ideal for relaxing. There are around 600 varied species of trees and plants in the park for the flora addicts. The park has equally rich fauna. It has around 140 species of avian fauna along with 20 species of reptiles and 20 species of mammals. There are around 15 different species of butterflies as well.
In a busy city like Hyderabad, is there anywhere to chill?
In the busy hustle and bustle a place to just relax and grab a drink would be Broadway it’s a brewery which serves the best brews in the city and the most scrumptious puff-based pizza with the world famous chicken tikka topping. The vibe at Broadway is young and fun with great music and a menu that is a foodie’s dream. The city is full of beer lovers which is why it has many breweries and one of these gems would be the ZeroForty. Zero Forty is one of the oldest breweries it is famous their karaoke nights and match screenings which are usually overflowing with youngsters of the city on the weekends.
What is there to do for something fun and different?
Something which is super fun and unique about the city is to go watch one of the local dances and cultural shows. Each state in India has a unique dance form and Hyderabad is famous for Kuchipudi. It’s a delight to watch as the dancers perform in extravagant costumes wearing beautiful gold and diamond jewellery. Performances are done by professionals who start learning the dance form since their childhood to perfect it.
A great place to chill and catch a play or a performance would me Lamakaan. It is located in the city centre and serves delicious fish fritters one can gorge on while looking at the local art on display or watch a show.
Where is the best area to stay/sleep for young travellers?
Hyderabad is not a very large city the most central options would me Taj Krishna and The Park Hyatt located in Banjara Hills which is a prime location. Other options are in the cyber hub The Westin and Trident Hotel and one can even pick the most luxurious palace hotel, The Taj Falaknuma Palace to get a taste of the royal Nizami heritage. The city has much to offer yet it’s not too expensive and with great flight connections, it’s a great weekend getaway option!
What season would you recommend visiting?
Hyderabad weather is not extreme hence it’s good to visit all year round!
Is Hyderabad best for a family holiday/ friends’ holiday or couple holiday?
The Beautiful city is not only filled with history and culture it’s also India’s cyber hub with the first Ikea in the country located here and multiple offices of multinational companies like Google and Facebook. It is Ideal for all kinds of breaks as one can discover the city life and the cultural side Hyderabad has to offer.