As big fans of the Rajdhani dining experience (where they just keep feeding you delicious vegetarian till you are fit to burst), it was but natural that we wanted to try out their fine dining restaurant, Tatva, on Jubilee Hills Road no. 36. We were four of us, and I was quite ravenous, so it seemed as good a time as any to put Tatva to the test!
The place is easy enough to find – it’s got a big sign and is very visible from the street. The decor is modern with faux-vintage lamps and wall pieces interspersed with digital screens displying various dishes attractively plated and artistically photographed. The seating was comfortable and functional, and the staff were well-trained and attentive.
We kicked off with soups – French Onion, Manchow and Tom Yum. The French Onion was a bit watery and you had to look for the cheese, but the other two were adequate. The tom yum was spicy and hit the spot – it was perhaps the pick of the lunch. The manchow was quite generic, and did not end up being finished.
We then moved on to the starters and salad: malai brocolli, green salad and Mediterranean salad. The broccoli was the pick of the lot – quite flavorful and nicely cooked. The pieces were tender, and had picked up the flavor quite well. This was also the most well-balanced dish we had. The green salad was large and fresh – par for the course for a restaurant of Tatva’s standing. The Mediterranean salad looked better than it tasted – with its different elements embedded in a bed of cous cous, it looked like a work of art. Where it failed in was in the tasting – it was both bland and textureless. The zucchini was too soft to have any texture, and the grinding of the beetroot ensured it became a bland paste. The pieces of bread were hard rather than crisp, and overall, only the cous cous was tasty. Like the manchow, this remained unfinished.
Between the starters and the mains, we asked for the mac and cheese dumplings – these were cooked like arancini balls, and I was excited to see them. However, all they did was looked good. They were quite bland, and did not come with any kind of seasoning or sauces, and it remained largely untouched.
By this time, we were all prepped and hungry for the main course.
I had the Szechuan noodles, while the others had butter naan and kulchas with aloo jeera – potatoes cooked with cumin. The noodles were good, and had a hint of spice in them, but they were probably the safest Szechuan food I had tasted. It was as if the chef had held back all the character and strictly stuck to a very conservative recipe. There was nothing wrong with it, and I’m not complaining. But it was nothing that would bring me back.
The same was the story with the potatoes and the Indian breads – all cooked and delivered within safe parameters. There was nothing to complain about them, but they were absolutely characterless. They just about satisfied our hunger, but did nothing for the palate.
The bottom line was that we had a good dining experience, but the food was nothing to write home about. Unfortunately, this is the case with most fancy restaurants in Hyderabad – they do not pay as much attention to the food as they do to other aspects like decor and service. While it is good to have impeccable service and a wonderful ambiance, it does not work if the food is not commensurate.
It would take a lot to take me back to Tatva, but I would recommend it if you don’t mind average food with good service and ambiance!
The price point is premium – expect to pay about Rs. 1600 for two without any mocktails.
Check out their website, but be warned that it has an outdated menu – it is more extensive in the restaurant.