The last two years have been one of the toughest years for the human race. Irrespective of who you are, you’ve been affected by the pandemic in some form or the other. The food and beverages industry along with aviation was one of the worst-hit sectors. Being a Hyderabad Food Blogger, it was painful to see some of my favourite restaurants shut down during the pandemic. Two of my favourite (probably Hyderabad’s best thali restaurants) Ohris DeThali and Rajdhani shut store 🙁
Amidst all the grim situation, there are a few restaurants and food delivery services that have opened up indicating that things are starting to get back on track. And one such place that I visited recently was Manchi Baphe in Hyderabad. Manchi Baphe is an exclusive buffet restaurant that opened its door recently. So when the team from Manchi Baphe reached out to me to drop by, I couldn’t deny it. So this is going to be my Manchi Baphe review of the delightful and lavish buffet.
Manchi Baphe – Amiable Ambiance
Manchi Baphe in Telugu quite literally translates to ‘Good Buffet’ in English. A new restaurant from the Manchi group is aimed to cater for everybody with their lavish buffet spread. While they boast of having the largest buffet spread in South India, Manchi Baphe has gone a step further.
Sustainability is one of the pillars of Manchi Baphe and that is quite evident from the ambience. The restaurant uses a lot of environment-friendly solutions like glass bottles, indoor plants, clay pots and weaved baskets,
Talking about the ambience, Manchi Baphe has got to be one of the biggest restaurants that I’ve been to in Hyderabad off late. While it doesn’t have the largest of entrances, the place just expands as you enter. You’re welcomed by a few live counters which take you to a huge spice wall. It’s a mural done with pulses and spices that depict the five elements – water, earth, fire, air, and space.
Apart from the massive dining area, they have smaller private dining rooms for families and special moments. One of the highlights of Manchi Baphe is the kid’s play area within the restaurant. Your kid can enjoy playing while you relish the food. I however felt that the placement of the kids play area and the entrance could have been better thought of. Nonetheless, Manchi Baphe surely is one of the good looking restaurants in Hyderabad. You can get a lot of instagrammable photos. On that note, have you followed me on Instagram?
Buffet Spread at Manchi Baphe Review – Is it worth it?
I believe that when it comes to food, there are three key aspects that define how good or bad a dish is. Aroma, Looks and Taste. That principle can be applied to restaurants as well. Manchi Baphe ticked off the ambience aspect in style, no doubt about it. But what about the buffet spread? Is the buffet spread at Manchi Baphe worth it? Let’s find out.
The buffet spread at Manchi Baphe is lavish. I can compare the spread to Okra at Marriott or Feast at Sheraton (to an extent) While the latter offer more variety with continental spread, Manchi Baphe focuses more on Indian cuisine, especially local cuisine. They have got a good starter spread, variety of aachars and chutneys, salads and live grills. Talking about the live counters, they have Chaat, Nachos, Pastas, Dimsums, Stone Ice cream, Sugarcane Juice and Paan. That’s the largest live counter I’ve seen.
The main course has a good mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes with an emphasis on regional and north Indian food. Lastly, the gai in the house, desserts. The most distinct and can’t-be-missed corner at Manchi Baphe is their dessert cart. It has a handful of desserts ranging from videsi pastries to desi mithais. And above all you have fresh fruits, welcome drinks and other condiments to accompany the buffet. Phew, that’s a lot of food! What do you think?
Nice Vegetarian Starters
Vegetarian Starters at Manchi Baphe on that day included Paneer Tikka and Spiced Baby potatoes. While these were the only vegetarian starters available in the buffet area, there were a few served on the table. We had Kachori, Paneer Pakoda, Mirchi Bhajji and Crispy Vegetables. To add to this, you could also have a salad from the Make your salad counter or add some Hummus and Pita bread.
While I think they could have gone with better choices – lot’s of pakodas, kachoris etc., – some form of kebab could have been a better option. Also, the Paneer Tikka was spicy for me and I don’t know if they could make it less spicy like they do at Absolute Barbeques, Barbeque Nation or Sahib’s Barbecue. All in all the vegetarian starters were good. Not disappointing.
Delicious Main Course
The highlight of Manchi Baphe is their buffet spread. For vegetarians, there was Rasam, Sambhar Rice, Tomato Pappu and Dondakaya Fry that catered to the local palette. Then there was the omnipresent Dal Makhni followed by Paneer Khurchan and Subz Nizami. And then there were a few Asian dishes including noodles and Stir-fried vegetables. Lastly, there was the Zafrani Tarkari Pulao (They aren’t on the Veg Biryani team ;)) along with steamed rice and Mirchi ka Salan. There was also Curd rice along with a variety of podis, pickles and condiments to go with it. Rotis included Tandoori Roti and Naan that were served on the table.
Coming to the taste, I’d say the items were nicely done. The fact that they grind their own spices brings freshness and a different flavour to every dish. I relished the Dondakaya Fry and Tomato Pappu. Paneer Khurchan was nice and the Dal Makhni was flavorful. I skipped rice items but Curd Rice with the podis is something you must have at Manchi Baphe if you are a vegetarian. Overall, I’d say their main course is surely one of the better tasting ones I’ve had. You won’t be disappointed.
Plenty of Live Counters
Live counters at restaurants have become a mandate sort of nowadays. Every such restaurant will have a live counter. And Manchi Baphe is no different. In fact, they have a variety of items that you can try at the live counter. A Chaat counter serving Papdi Chaat, Dahi Poori and Aloo Tikki Chat along with Pani Puri. And you know the best part of this? The Pani here is dispensed from a machine. Just press a button and have your puris filled with pani. The first I’ve seen.
Apart from that, the live Pasta counter is good and so is the Dimsums one. The live grill counter again is pretty good and was unexpectedly good when we ordered noodles in sweet and sour sauce, again don’t miss this one. Lastly, they have a live sugar cane juice setup too, again a first. I’ve not seen sugar cane being served at any restaurant.
The Dessert Cart
As mentioned earlier, the dessert cart cannot be missed when you’re at Manchi Baphe. The dessert cart, pulled by an Ox has more than 15 varieties of desserts on offer. From desi mithais like Mysore Pak, Rasmalai and Pedas to videsi pastries including kiwis, carrot cakes and a variety of chocolates. The desserts are fresh and taste good. They also have a small dedicated dessert are apart from this cart that had Malpua, Baked Gulab Jamun, Rabri and Gajar ka Halwa. All of them did look good, but I relished my Ras Malai and some rabri.
After having all of these, I still had a little space in my tummy for ice cream, Paan ice cream is apparently their famous ice cream. They have a dedicated stone ice cream live counter. I topped it with some cotton candy and some Paan and closed in with a glass of Ginger Ale. While they do have a couple of welcome drinks, you can order something else from their mocktail menu at extra cost.
Final Verdict – Manchi Baphe does a good job!
Manchi Baphe isn’t the first buffet restaurant in Hyderabad. Absolute Barbecue and Barbeque Nation are the go-to places for gatherings. Ohri’s fielded Sahib’s Barbeque which again is a hit. I love that place and recommend it. So on one side, you have these buffet restaurants and on the other, you have the fine dining buffet restaurants at luxury hotels. Okra at Marriott, Feast at Sheraton, Viva at Taj Vivanta, Chill & Terrace at Raddison Blu (the ones that I’ve been to).
So where does Manchi Baphe fit? The buffet at Manchi Baphe costs Rs 1000+ taxes for vegetarians and 1200+ taxes for non-vegetarians. That’s steep considering what you pay at the former group of buffet restaurants in Hyderabad. However, it’s quite affordable compared to the latter group of fine dining restaurants.
At that price point, I feel Manchi Baphe does full justice. They’ve got most of the things correct right from the amiable ambience. The interiors are just perfect and every little thing like paintings, cutlery, plants and aquarium add to it. In terms of food, they surely have a fairly large buffet spread. If you taste everything you’d be full. The service is good and they have all the safety precautions in place. Few areas that they can improve would be the vegetarian starters and the live counters (keeping a track of who ordered what) I’m sure once they get this right, Manchi Baphe is going to be a go-to place for a fun family outing.