I’m a fan of buffets and thalis. And the sole reason is that I get to taste variety. That is quite not possible in the case of A’la carte because of the quantity and also the price of each item. I’ve had thalis at many places in Hyderabad. In fact, I have a dedicated post on thalis in Hyderabad which you must read.
A few weeks ago, I was at another popular restaurant in the city – Simply South by Chef Chalapathi Rao. The restaurant has multiple outlets, however, due to the pandemic, I learnt that not all of them are functional. It’s only this Film Nagar one that is operational that too with a curtailed menu. This was a lunch outing with friends and not an invite just to be clear. And this is going to be my honest Simply South Review.
Regional vibes at Simply South – Ambiance
I’ve told this numerous times that the area of Banjara, Jubilee Hills is the hub of all the happening places in the city. The adjoining area of Film Nagar too has quite a few places that you can relish some good food. Simply South in Film Nagar is one of them. It is one of the few South Indian fine dining restaurants in the area along with Dakshina Mandapa. It is a speciality restaurant but with limited seating. The restaurant isn’t very large, and I can assume that there would be a good waiting time during peak times.
The vibes of the restaurant indeed take you to the local villages of South Indian states. The music, paintings and decor are inspired by regional cultures. They also have a few large tables which are perfect for families and large groups. They have valet parking available so you need not worry about parking your vehicle in the limited space in front of the restaurant. Overall, it’s a good place for a lunch/dinner outing with family and friends.
South Indian Thali at Simply South Review
There are only a handful of restaurants in the city that serve thalis – south or north Indian. My favourite Ohri’s De Thali has shut shop and so did Rajdhani in Banjara Hills. So the only option now is South Indian thali – which btw I love! The menu at Simply South is segregated based on the South Indian states with their specialities. While we did order other items like Chicken, Malabar Parotta, Mushroom Curry, Sabudana Vada, Mokka Jonna Garelu & Rasam Vada, I’ll focus only on the South Indian Thali in my Simply South Review.
The no-nonsense South Indian thali at Simply South is most sought of. It’s a pure vegetarian thali with a menu that changes every day. You can read the day-specific specials on the board outside the restaurant. The thali is a combination of chef special dishes. On that day we had a dry beans fry, a potato saago sort of curry, a kurma, pappu (dal) along with payasam, curd, flavoured rice, white rice, pooris, sambhar and rasam along with a banana. It is an all you can eat unlimited south Indian thali at Simply South.
Right off the bat, I’d say everything on the thali has a balanced taste and the spice levels are controlled. I really enjoyed the kurma and pappu along with pooris. The vegetables cooked to perfection and the aroma along with the taste was spot on. Even the white rice with Sambhar/Rasam was pretty good. I liked it more with the Rasam though. Priced at Rs 339++, the all you can eat vegetarian thali is a must-try here.
Sides & Other Mains
Like I mentioned earlier, we did order other items as well apart from the thali at Simply South. The Rasa Vada – Rasam Vada – was served in a cute little earthen pot. 3 small vadas drowned in piping hot and tangy rasam. It was pretty refreshing and woke up my taste buds. However, I feel they could add more vadas to it.
The Sabudana Vada was ok, not quite like the one I had at Anna Native recently. Mokka Jonna Garelu was spot on, high on taste and succulent with good flavour. Alambu Arepu – Mangalorean Mushroom speciality – was also nicely done. I’ve not tasted much of Mangalorean food so can’t comment too much on the authenticity of the taste. On the beverages front, we had a few rounds of buttermilk which was a perfect companion to the homely meal we were having.
Final Verdict: South Indian Thali at Simply South is worth
My visit to Simply South was long due and I’m glad that it finally happened. Thanks to my pseudo-southy friends who enjoy South Indian food. Simply South does exactly what it says – simple and delicious South Indian dishes. For a North Indian like me who doesn’t see a lot of South Indian dishes prepared at home, the South India Thali at Simply South was pretty good. It isn’t expensive considering it’s an all you can eat thali. The ambience is also good, the service could be sped up a little.
Overall, it’s a good place for anything south Indian in the area. For a group of 5, the bill was around Rs 4300 which is quite good. I paid using my Dineout Gourmet Passport and got a tremendous discount along with an added discount on my HDFC Diners Club Credit Card – saved almost 1K on the total bill! Do get a gourmet passport subscription if you eat out often, you’ll not regret it.
That’s about it for my Simply South review, hope you liked it. Share your thoughts about South Indian food, your favourites and this review in the comments below. You can also tweet to me at @Atulmaharaj, DM me on @Instagram or Get In Touch.