There’s no dearth of restaurants in Kondapur, but once you filter out the dhabas and run off the mill Indian restaurants, you will be hard pressed for options. The Original Shawarma, which opened last month, stands out by the virtue of its cuisine as well as atmosphere. TOS has an air-conditioned seating, but the real draw is the outdoor seating with thached shacks and a large screen.
I visited TOS last week with a couple of friends and was pleasantly surprised by some of the dishes. We kicked things off with a pot of Irani Chai, Lamb Chops, and Lamb Pita Pocket. The Irani Chai was too sweet even by Irani Chai standards, but I loved the Osmania biscuits served with the tea. The Lamb Chops were well marinated and beautifully cooked. I wasn’t expecting much for three hundred bucks, but I really enjoyed this dish. The Lamb Pita pocket was a pita bread stuffed with chunks of meat and a tangy and creamy mixture of veggies. Once again, I had little reason to complain.
Next up, were Chicken Shawarma and Chicken Souvlaki Wrap. I’ve never travelled to the Middle East, and I’ve no clue if the Shawarma was authentic or not, but I can definitely say that it was delicious. Spice 6’s Shawarma is still my favourite, but TOS also impressed with its flavour profiles. The Souvlaki had a more dominant flavour of lemon and oregano and paired very well with the subtle flavours of the hummus.
In the mains, I tried the TOS Signature Dinner, which is a flavoured rice served with ground lamb patty and a portion of veggies. It’s a really simple dish, but lamb patty alone packs enough flavour to make it compelling. The final order of the day was Baklava, a favourite of mine. The ones served by TOS were decent, but the layers weren’t as light and airy as I would have liked.
The food was consistently above average, and I really enjoyed the Lamb Chops and the Sharawmas. However, the waiters could have been more attentive, and I wish we had the option of regular water. Nevertheless, considering that a meal for three with lots of lamb and chicken costed us only Rs. 1,400, it’s hard to be too critical of The Original Shawarma. It’s a great place for sports lovers to sit back and unwind in a cool evening.
Update: I went back a second time, and had a mixed experience. The lamb chops had so much excess salt that they were inedible, and the waiters don’t listen to instructions. I was once again served tea that was too sweet.