HYDERABAD: For a foodie every new restaurant that opens up in the city is an opportunity for “Hey let’s try it out”. But for a fussy eater, who does not like experimenting with her platter, a food review for a recently opened restaurant--with no reviews to look up to and find solace -- did not seem a very appetising idea.
Located in the courtyard of the Hitec City, Madhapur, Best Western Ashoka is a 48-room business hotel and Cossroads Cafe is its restaurant.
The decor of the restaurant is simple and yellow lighting with white blinds give the place a warm and cosy feel--of a home--and that’s comforting.
After a brief exchange of greeting over a glass of orange juice, which to my surprise was not from a tetra pack loaded with preservative but straight from the fruit. Mental note made and a point earned. Though the menu offers standard Indian and Chinese fare -- similar to what other upmarket restaurants offer -- a few variation not only in names but also in flavour kept things interesting.
The Wonton soup, clear with broccoli and a dumpling was not anything extraordinary; it was just as it is supposed to be--all right flavours and a good taste.
Indonesian Veg was an assortment of veggies slightly coated. The dish is skilfully stir fried, crunchy and leaves you craving for more.
Moti Mushroom Laziz, mushroom with green filling and with a light coating of besan, was enough to make non-mushroom lovers fall in love with it. Presented with salad, mint chutney, bit of spring onion and a dash of green coriander, Moti Mushroom was indeed ‘laziz’.
While Oriental Chicken Wings was soft and seasoned well, Bhatti Ki Chujey is just heavenly.
For sticklers of healthy food you must surely try the Cocktail Pasta Salad, cold pasta served with loads of salad.
What however stole the show and my heart is the Paneer Dum Roll served with sweet and sour dip. Lightly browned on both sides, the paneer is well cooked and filled with cheese and chopped vegetables--it’s thick creamy and ready to melt in your mouth. Though loaded with calories, you just can stop at a morsel.
The main course started with Dimsums served in the traditional way in a small steamer basket. The excitement came several notches down when I realised the dimsum was too tough. After struggling with fork and knife, when it finally went in the mouth I found it too dry. Not worth the effort, I realised.
What is a restaurant in Hyderabad if it doesn’t serve good biryani? Crossroads’ Chicken Dum Biryani, with raitha is up to the mark as well. The buter naan with butter dripping, when paired with Paneer Lababdar--soft, fresh and fluffy paneer--makes for a perfect meal.
Mutton Rogan Josh and Dum Ka Murgh with thick gravy, tender meat and right ‘swaad’ of spice and salt too are worth relishing.
The food, refreshingly is not oily, which means some space is available for desert too--the part of the meal I look forward to most, more so at Crossrodas since I knew the chef is Bengali.
What followed was Malai Chops--soft, fluffy and rich, the best rasmalai I have had in Hyderabad and Moon Delight Jamun-- which is a pure delight. Though Caramel Custard, Badam Patties, Badam Roll and Gajar Ka Halwa eyed me from the across the table, my stomach cried “Ab Bas!”
Crossroad cafe certainly lives up to expectations. You won’t be blown away by the ambience but it’s a place where you can come with the your gang of friends or with your family for a big family diner. There is something for everyone, be it good food or space for your nieces and nephews to play and create ruckus.