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Updated this week

  • Food
  • 70% Complete (success)
  • Service
  • 70% Complete (success)
  • Decor
  • 70% Complete (success)

Kuchipudi at Katriya Hotel & Towers in Somajiguda, which positions itself as a Telugu specialty restaurant, has undergone a makeover, both in décor and menu recently.rn

Decor

The entrance is now from the side, instead of from the front of the lobby, the antique carved wooden pillars are in place, although not overwhelming the ambience, like before. The Vaikuntam look-alike, dusky Telengana portraits on the walls add to the aesthetically done interiors, and the retro Telugu classics playing softly in the background, complete the ethnic feel. The antique wooden chairs are still there, but a contemporary touch has been added by introducing sofa seating.

Food
On the menu is a host of Telugu classics, and some Andhra and Rayalaseema fare too. We order Rasam, (served piping hot but with a little more sourness than I can bargain with) to sip with our starters, Chapa Vepudu and Mokka Jonna Garelu. We are also served Pannakam, a refreshing jaggery-pepper-cardamom welcome drink, and a ‘papad’ basket which also has the addictively crisp pumpkin ‘vadiyalu’, both on the house. Coming back to starters, while Chapa Vepudu is perfectly done, the fish fried crisp and hot, served with wedges of lemon and onion, the second, ie the corn vadas are disappointing, bland inside and over-fried outside. For mains, Ragi Sangati, is of the right gooey consistency, and we team it up with some Gutti Vankaya and Ulavacharu. The stuffed eggplants are okay, but the gravy is thin, watery and a tad oily, ditto with Ulavacharu, which could have been thicker. Gongura Mamsam, packed with soft and well-cooked mutton pieces, however, more than makes up for the mediocre vegetarian main course, scoring high with its tart spiciness. There is also nice and tangy Lemon Rice and Pulihora, which, somehow, is lacking in any taste of tamarind or the hing-rai-tadka which characterizes this evergreen rice dish. For desserts, we try the Paramannam, which is a rice kheer traditionally made with jaggery, informs my Andhra friend, but we are hard-pressed to find any, although its served hot, thick and packed with crisply fried cashews. There is ‘paan’ on the house, as well as ‘malli poo’, jasmine garlands for the ladies.

Service
It has to be said that the stewards are very polite, helpful and warm, with their suggestions and service.

Plus & Minus
It’s heartening to see this erstwhile ethnic-heavy restaurant in a lighter, modern set-up. One missed, however, a popular convenience of South Indian dining, the thali option, which makes one’s choice of ordering less arduous and pocket-heavy. We are informed that the ‘thalis’ will be launched soon and we are waiting!

Must Try
Lemon Rice, Gutti Vankaya, Ragi Sangati, Chapa Vepudu and Gonguru Mamsam

Summing Up
Kuchipudi gets a contemporary and pricier avatar.

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