Via Rd2 – The Food Hub is a new food court that gets its name from the road it’s situated on. The food court houses eight outlets offering everything from street food to healthy wholesome meals. The decor is purely functional – nothing particularly eye-catching, but clean and hygienic. The Food Hub is open from 7 AM to 2 AM, but the operating hours of individual outlets differ. Earlier this month, I was invited to a blogger’s table at Via Rd2. The food options offered by the food hub include fresh fruit juices from Drunken Monkey, healthy food from Ahobilam, street food from Sardarji, Parottas from Pondy Parotta, Indo-Chinese from Wok this Way, ice cream from Hazel, and coffee from Brewsta.
Amidst the sea of mediocre and disappointing chaat and panipuri vendors in Hyderabad, Sardarji’s has been my go to place for years. While the Gachhibowli outlet has now expanded into serving full meals, the Via Rd2 outlet sticks to fast food. This includes the stuff that originally made Sardarji’s famous – the buttery Pav Bhaji, the soothing Dahi Poori, and the spicy Aaloo Tikki with Chhole, as well as a few of their recent additions like Parathas, Sandwiches, and Chole Bhature. We ordered the Dahi Poori and Aaloo Tikki, which were decent, but I’ve definitely had better stuff at the Gachhibowli outlet.
Ahobilam – The Millet Cave is known for its healthy, wholesome, vegetarian meals. Their breakfast menu features Raagi and Korra Dosas, Idlis and Vada, while their meals (12 PM onwards) include Raagi Sankati and Millet based Fried Rice, Biryani, and Sambar Rice. The Raagi Sankati is served with Tomato Pulusu. While nothing can beat a fiery Natu Kodi Pulusu as a wingman to this famous Rayalaseema dish, the Tomato Pulusu also clicked. The Raagi Sankati was more liquidy than the versions I’ve had at other Rayalaseema food joints across the city. I was told this liquidy version that can also be drunk from the bowl is also popular in many households.
Pondy Parottas has quite an interesting menu that features Parathas from the South including Lappa Paratha, Kothu Paratha, and Ceylon Parathas. The Ceylon Paratha reminded me of the popular Moghlai Paratha in Kolkata or the Baida Roti of Hyderabad’s Old City – square shaped parathas with a spicy stuffing that’s layered with egg. The Lappa is a standard triangular Tawa Paratha with a stuffing.
Vengamamba Tiffins was perhaps the biggest surprise of the meal. This humble outlet serves popular local fare like Idly, Dosa, and flavoured rice I tried Palak Paneer Dosa and a platter of flavoured rice. The Dosa, which was neatly presented, was quite decent. But, the real delights were the Tomato Rice and the Sambar Rice. It’s hard to impress with such simple dishes, but Vengamamba succeeded through pitch perfect execution.
Drunken Monkey is another outlet that has been on my radar for quite some time, and I was delighted to finally able to try out their shakes and juices. From the detoxifying Cucumber Cooler to the thick black grape juice, Drunken Monkey was a delight.