In a city that’s begun exploring beyond the Oriental cuisine that was initially synonymous with Chinese, the option of being able to eat Thai, Japanese or Chinese at one place is definitely a welcome change. And that’s where Holy Basil seems to have captured the gastronomic hearts of Hyderabad. Serving an array of pan Asian cuisine, the restaurant has gone a step ahead by introducing their All You Can Eat offer that lets you choose from a set menu that includes a mix of all three, at a fixed price. Including a starter, a choice of soup, two main course curries with a choice of noodles or rice and a choice of dessert, the meal is wholesome. Now for the more well acquainted, this perhaps isn’t the ideal menu because of the limited choice, but given that the average patron wouldn’t have extensive experience with all three cuisines, the very same limited choice works, for it cuts down on the confusion of what to order.
The menu includes the typical choices of dumplings and spring rolls, vegetable hakka noodles, Thai chicken curry, Kung Pao mushroom, fried fish fillet in black bean sauce and stir fried vegetables. But for those willing to stray a little, dishes like Mapo tofu, Tai chin chicken, Som Tam, Tori Teriyaki and chilli eggplant might interest you.
The choice of dishes have been well chosen as they complement each other despite coming from a different kitchens. But the dominance of the Chinese cuisine is a little hard to ignore, nor is the limited choice of seafood. Those trying to permute their choices to include all three cuisines might find it tad difficult but can pull it off by having Chinese for the entrée and a mix of Thai and Japanese for the main course. The dessert will though not present anything particularly exciting as the choices are limited to mango pudding, honey dew sago and ice cream -- dishes you may have had if you’ve eaten from their a la carte menu.
One more thing that will perhaps disappoint you is the complete absence of sushi from the menu. With the reigning popularity of dumplings, sushi seems to have been given a miss.
If you’ve never had Thai or Japanese, or even Chinese, and are worrying about the flavours, the chefs at Holy Basil are rather accommodating as they tweak the flavours a bit to suit your palate. But if you’re looking for an authentic experience, then you might want to not ask the chef to do so.
To wash the food down, the standard jasmine tea will accompany your meal. But, their tea shakes crafted by their in-house mixologist are a must-have. Available in vanilla and cinnamon flavour, the shakes are light on the stomach and are good appetizers.
On the whole, the meal which is priced at `599 for vegetarians and `699 for non vegetarians (prices exclusive of taxes), makes for a good wholesome lunch, but the choice of dishes may not particularly invite you back for more than one more time. It also is a great business lunch choice. Open Monday through Saturday, from 12 noon to 3 pm at the Radisson Blu, Road no 6, Banjara Hills.