When you have a reputation as a foodie, you keep getting recommendations from others who actually are foodies. This is what happened when I found myself at breakfast a few days ago with foodie non-pareil Sharmila! She highly recommended a relatively new restaurant and a specific dish there. Today, after being stood up by another foodie for a lunch meeting, I was left to fend for myself, and realized I could actually hit the new place and see what the hype was all about. That’s how I found myself lunching at Kodi Kura Chitti Gaare.
The name is a bit of a mouthful till you get used to it – then it absolutely rolls off the tongue as easily as Kadali Vachina Kanaka Durga! Nevertheless, I walked in to find the name written in large letters behind the cashier’s desk, and helpfully, each word had a translation written next to it: Kodi (Chicken) Kura (Curry) Chitti (Small) Gaare (Vada). That was one mystery solved right there.
The place was packed, and I had to stand around for a few minutes before a waiter came up to me and seated me. I had to share my table with a stranger – nothing unusual in restaurants with high traffic. The decor was minimal and functional, and the seats were comfortable. The air conditioning was optimal, and the noise levels were good for conversation.
Once I was seated, the service was quick and efficient. The menu was ethnic Andhra food, with a fair number of vegetarian dishes. I went for the highly recommended Velluli Kodi Roast (Rs. 269), a garlic chicken roast starter, followed by a Gongura Mutton Rice (Rs. 279) that was recommended by the waiter.
The chicken was quite tasty – typical Andhra masala, but with significantly lower spice levels. The waiter checked with me while taking the order, and I told him to make it spicy, but the instruction did not seem to be relayed as the dish had none of the spiciness I was expecting. It was a well-balanced, tasty dish, but that Andhra fire was definitely not there.
The rice dish had nicely-cooked mutton chunks and a gongura-leaf gravy. The sourness of the gongura combined well with the rice and mutton for yet another well-balanced dish. The balance in the dishes was what made the big difference for me – the usual Andhra restaurant relies on fire and spice at the expense of all other tastes, and only the good ones get the combination right. The rice dish was drier than a biryani, and so required washing down with some soft drink. It was presented wrapped in an omelet – which was rather tasty and made for a good accompaniment.
Between the main course and the starter, I was stuffed to the gills, and could not try out their signature dish – small vadas with a chicken gravy. This gives me an excuse the head back there – Dhruv has always been an awesome comrade-in-arms in checking out the restaurants of Hyderabad (Kadali Vachina Kanaka Durga was one of the earliest we visited together), and hopefully we can go back here when he visits!
The place is easy enough to find – it’s right on the highway.
It’s open from 12 noon till 11 PM, and a meal for two will cost around Rs. 1500.