Restaurant Review: The Golconda Bowl
The only glimpses of Hyderabad at The Golconda Bowl, a new Hyderabadi restaurant in Bandra, are in the sepia-toned photographs hanging on the restaurant’s red and black walls. These digital prints of century-old photographs of Hyderabad’s royals, monuments, and palaces have been acquired from the Delhi-based archives of Lala Deen Dayal, the former court photographer to the sixth Nizam of the erstwhile South Indian state. Alas, when you look away from these charming images, you find yourself in a gaudy room furnished in red and black leather upholstery, and over-decorated with ornate mirrors, filigreed lamps and heavy, tassel-fringed curtains. Aesthetically then, the Mumbai outpost of the Delhi-based restaurant is as unappealing as Oriental Palate, the Chinese eatery that it has replaced at the Hotel Metro Palace on Hill Road.
Gosht dominates The Golconda Bowl menu, which is divided into shorbas, kebabs, biryanis and gravy-based mains. Our murgh yakhni shorba, a clear, whole spice-scented chicken broth, could even work as a palate cleanser between the meaty courses. From the exhaustive list of kebabs, served in portions big enough to suffice as meals, we tried the chef recommended patthar ka gosht, a dish of mildly-spiced, sublimely tender pieces of mutton flattened on granite and cooked over charcoals. The murgh lal mirch tikka took the spice level up a notch, but thankfully not to an unpalatable level. The succulent tikka, marinated in black pepper powder and red chilli powder, was tender without being mushy.
Our next artery-challenging course comprised a fragrant kache gosht ki biryani, which was a lot less spicy than we anticipated. The cardamom-scented biryani, with medium-rare chunks of mutton, had the mild aroma of attar, which we didn’t care for. Expectedly, the restaurant offers far fewer choices for herbivores, but in terms of taste the vegetarian dishes are on par with the flavoursome non-vegetarian fare. Like for instance, the fiery bagara baingan, a preparation of eggplants simmered in a gravy made out of peanuts, sesame seeds, roasted spices and dry coconut. Our dessert, the chilled lauki (bottle gourd) ka kheer was similarly satisfying.
Bandra has a number of Mughlai restaurants such as Kareem’s and Tandoori Kitchen, but none quite so focused on Nizami cuisine as The Golconda Bowl. The restaurant’s trump card? Most of the cooking staff hails from the gastronomically rich city of Hyderabad. The skill with which they execute the dishes leads us to believe that The Golconda Bowl might just break the jinx of the Hotel Metro Palace restaurants and stick around longer than its erstwhile occupants.
A meal for two costs approximately Rs2,000. This review was conducted anonymously.Tags: Restaurants, The Golconda Bowl
The Golconda Bowl
Location355 Hill Road
HoursDaily, noon to 3.30pm and 7pm to midnight