“Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” ― Mark Twain
Ambiance – 4/5 | Food – 4.5/5 | Service – 4/5
The Rayalaseema region on Andhra Pradesh is known for its tangy, hot and spicy taste, the cooking is very diverse due to the vast spread of the people and varied topological regions. Andhra Pradesh state is the leading producer of red chili, rice and Telangana state is millets in India influences the liberal use of spices — making the food one of the richest and spiciest in the world. Vegetarian as well as meat and seafood (coastal areas) feature prominently on the menus.
After staying in Hyderabad for 19 years now, I have become used to this cuisine though not completely used to the spice levels. I do enjoy spicy food occasionally. Unluckily, there were not a good place I can head out to for some spicy craving near to my home or office. When the news of Kritunga came to me, I was very excited. I used to be regular when I lived in Madhapur as they had a branch beside the Indian Oil Petrol Pump.
However, over the period of time with falling standards of hygiene, I skipped going to any of the Kritunga around. So the news was like a Secret Santa gift for many who had experienced the brand earlier. As you walk in the brand new place, you get a very royal vibe with excellently remodelled to match the essence of the cuisine served here. The tables are neatly spaced and laid out. There is also a cozy corner with a view. Though the cuisine might not support a romantic date but that corner will be my favourite for a quick meal watching the streets.
We were part of the pre-launch event by Hyderabad Foodies Club a day before the actual launch. Though the restaurant will be serving à la carte, however exclusively for the event they arranged a buffet for us.
Though there was a variety of items on the buffet, I would like to highlight some of the items from the menu for which Kritunga is the go to place. The Paya Shorba served to us was probably among the best I have had in Hyderabad. I could literally feel the spice blast in mouth with every spoon, just the way you would like when you are recovering from sore throat.
In the starters, I liked 2 items which were very unique and distinct is taste. For the vegetarians, we had Vankaya Bajji and for the non-vegetarians we had Kamju Roast. Medium sized brinjals were stuffed with masala, dipped in batter and deep fried to crispness. The Kamju (Quail Bird – Japanese family) is a very common delicacy due to its succulent meat and soft bones. The roasted birds were crisped with a perfect layering of cornflour and food color.
While these were the highlights for me, we had few others served to us namely Kurnool Kodi Pakoodi, Mutton Roast, Natu Kodi Fry, Kaaram Royyala Vepudu, Alasanda Vada, Karvepaku Paneer Seekulu, Anasa Pandu Kaaram Podi Seekulu & few more.
As we were already high on the starters, it was time to indulge into the main courses which had a plethora of items showcased for us. So, I picked up few of them which are the best combos to be tried. The Natu Kodi Pulusu stands to be the perfect date all types of Pulavs served on that day (Veg Pulav, Kodi Dum Pulav & Mamsam Dum Pulav). The Natu Kodi Pulusu will stand out to be the best to go with any of the Pulavs.
However, the ‘dish of the day‘ was none other than Ragi Sangati which came in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian variant. It was agreed by everyone that the meat variant was closer to Haleem. Ragi Sangati or Ragi Mudde is a complete meal in the southern states of India. It is a healthy combination of Ragi (finger millet) flour & water cooked into a dough like consistency. I wouldn’t boast of its taste when eaten as it is. It becomes delicious only when brilliant combinations of side dishes are made for it. In Andhra Pradesh & Telangana region, it is mostly served with Natu Kodi & Chapala Pulusu, while states like Karnataka it is traditionally eaten with hot saaru.
While there were many other vegetarian dishes like Nune Vankaya Kura, Bugudala Pulusu, Theeya Sorakaya Pulusu and non-vegetarian dishes like Yellamma Mamsam Kura, Chapala Pulusu, Fish Fry the only dish which stood out for me was Karjam Soya Kura (Mutton Liver Curry) which was more of a starter but will go well with Jonna Roti or Ragi Rottelu.
Everyone was by now at the brink of their capacity and yet we had the desserts to go. I quickly picked up a little of Chanaga Pappu Payasam & Korra Annam Payasam before I pass out. The extra sugar rush actually spoiled the after taste and I had to grab a starter to fix it. I would have prefered a little less sweeter just so that it doesn’t mar my great spicy experience.
Though the visit was based on the invitation extended by the business owners, the review is absolutely unbiased and based on real experience. It’s indeed a great restart for a brand which is serving for such a long time. I look forward to go back soon and satiate my spicy cravings often.
It will be very helpful, if you can leave a comment and let me know how you liked it. May be a small note on your suggestions to help me grow.
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