This post is coming in late (very late). There have been a lot of things happening – my Kerala visit, the New Year dinner and so. And hence this had to take a back seat. However, it’s time that this can be posted now. It was a weekend when me and a couple of my friends decided to go out for dinner. Since I’m interested in exploring new restaurants I wanted to go to a restaurant where I hadn’t been earlier. Thus after a lot of research, we zeroed in on Exotica in Banjara Hills. Apart from the reviews and the amazing ambiance, word of mouth praises about the Dal Zafrani ensured I visited Exotica. So here’s the review of Exotica Banjara Hills
Exotic Ambiance – Full marks to Exotica
Exotica is a roof top restaurant right opposite to Audi showroom in Banjara Hills. The restaurant is on the same road as A’La Liberty – a little further. It’s quite easy to locate the restaurant, thanks to the signage. The restaurant is located at the 5th floor and the building has other cafes and showrooms. The lift opens inside the restaurant which welcomes you with a cool breeze.
Exotica provides indoor as well as outdoor sitting. And no prizes for guessing, we opted to sit out. There are small ponds with waterfalls and fishes. These along with the lighting and the cool breeze make it a perfect spot for dining out with your loved one. BTW they also provide candle light dinner, so you can plan that special dinner here. The chairs are quite comfortable and the music playlist makes you want to stay more time. One tip would be to have your reservations in place because the exotica gets extremely crowded at peak times (8-9pm) and it’s almost impossible to get a seat without 30-45mins waiting.
Delicious Food at Exotica
Starters – Tasty and Flavorsome
Since we were 3 people, we ordered 2 starters. And instead of breaking our heads on what to order, we asked the server to suggested the best. Further, since Paneer was a default in the main course, we decided to opt for something non Paneer for starters. We ordered Veg Seekh Kebab along with Cheesy Corn Spinach rolls.
The amount of starters was just right for all of us. Seekh Kebab was perfect. It was flavorsome and I totally loved the texture. It wasn’t too spicy, nor too oily. Just the way I like it. The Corn Spinach roll was subtle and had a very balanced taste. The salty cheese with the sweet corn kernels along with spinach is a no-fail combination. Overall, loved the starters.
Scrumptious Main Course
While we were relishing the starters, we were also working on the main course. Dal Zafrani (Dal Makhni) was default and we spent time deciding for another gravy. As per the server’s suggestion, we decided to order Paneer. Since I’m avoiding eating rice, we didn’t order rice and ate only rotis. Naan, Missi Roti and Tandoori Roti was what we ordered. The order didn’t take much time to be served, maybe because we were there relatively early.
Before I talk about the main course, I need to mention the spicy onions that was served. The vinegar dipped, spicy, sliced onions was a show stopper. I have never had such onions ever. In fact we asked for an extra plate of it 🙂
Coming to the main course, the Paneer was delicious. Soft Paneer cubes in a gravy that was different. More often than not, you would have all the gravies taste similar, but this one wasn’t. We could taste the freshly ground masala which took the curry to another level. We surely loved relishing the Paneer. As for Dal Zafrani, it was another master stroke. It was exactly based on my expectations and the word of mouth praise. Surely deserved it. The dal was cooked to perfection and spiced adequately. The makhni and cream added to the flavors which was great.
Final Verdict: 5 stars to Exotica
Not many restaurants have an ambiance like this one. Few restaurants in Hyderabad that according to me have good ambiance include The Grand Trunk Road, Ohri’s Tansen to name a few. Right from the time you enter, Exotica bowls you over. The amazing interiors, soulful music and happy attendants. BTW Mr. Barikh attending us and his suggestions were spot on ! The bill for three people was about 2700 and included starters, main course and 3 mock tails. And Exotica is worth your time and money. I would surely visit the restaurant again but not without prior reservation. PS: They don’t accept reservations through any apps, you have to call them directly. My experience at Exotica Banjara Hills was fabulous. If you have been there, how was yours ? Let me know in the comments below or tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj