Indian cuisine has come a long way from being stereotyped as just ‘dal & chawal’. This wasn’t my notion because I moved a lot within the country and tried different varieties of food. Today, India boasts diverse culinary styles and flavors, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of different regions – Chettinad, Deccani, and Lucknawi to name a few. With this evolution of cuisine, the dining scene in India has also transformed drastically. Gone are the days when restaurants merely focused on the quality of food; now, the ambiance plays an equally vital role in creating a memorable dining experience.
Thanks to Instagram for ruining my dining experience as eateries today focus more on the food looking good rather than tasting. You’ll find more gimmicky now than ever, with more to come. But I’m glad that there are places that have balanced it perfectly. Voila, Farzi, and Zero40 are some of the places that I liked for the food and ambiance. And last week I visited a new entrant to disrupt the Hyderabad food scene – The Pink Elephant.
In this blog post, I’ll talk about my experience and review of The Pink Elephant. I was invited to this place and hence the food was on the house, but my review here is honest. So without much, a do, here’s my experience of trying contemporary Indian cuisine at The Pink Elephant Hyderabad.
Let’s Address The Pink Elephant in Hyderabad, Shall We?
Fusion of Vibrant Hues
The Pink Elephant is one of the new restaurants in the city and it’s been over a couple of months. The place has been visited by a handful of folks on Instagram, but it isn’t going viral the way any other place does in today’s time. Anyways, it’s located in HiTech city, behind the Urban Ladder building. It’s in the same location where Proxy was earlier, and Heart Cup Coffee was back in the pre-2010 era.
Talking about the ambiance, it’s one of the prettiest restaurants I’ve been to in Hyderabad. Though I was here for dinner, I could imagine the place and how colorful it could during the day. Hues of Pink, Fuchsia across the entire restaurant, and a pop of colors are refreshing. There’s a lot of Indian-ness in the decor, from walls to tables, chairs, and cutlery, everything is so pretty. The
There are multiple sections with the sprawling space, there’s a bar and dancing area just when you enter with an open space with a transparent roof in the middle called the courtyards. Then there’s a monument room that has an interesting Taj Mahal and finally the Elephant Lounge with a chic ambiance that is perfect for groups. This I feel, is the highlight of the place with multi-level seating and bespoke decor, it’s just amazing.
The private dining areas are adorable and have Pinterest-level setups. The music however can be improved, for some reason I feel that was out of place when compared to the ambience. I’d surely visit The Pink Elephant during the day soon to see how the place comes to life with all the colors. Full marks for the decor and the ambiance.
Culinary Creativity At The Pink Elephant
We were seated in the last hall where most groups sit and the server got the menu card while I was still admiring the cutlery and soaking in the vibes of the place. The drinks and food menus are books if I can say so. Huge variety of dishes on offer for both vegetarians and non vegetarians. From Hyderabadi to Lucknawi and Goan, the spread has Indianess all over it.
Since I was invited, we had a meal planned by Chef Mrigank Singh, who is the founder and the executive chef at The Pink Elephant. Our Lucknow roots help us bond well and Chef was eagerly looking forward to serving us some contemporary authentic Indian food. The menu that was served to us had the best items from the actual menu, so you can order them when you visit too!
Starters That Look And Taste Good
While I waited for my other friends to join in, the chef served some Nachos with baked beans topped with cheese. My first bite and I was left stunned. One of the best nachos in Hyderabad and this made me much more eager on what to expect.
The next few dishes that were served to us were Plantain Galouti, Everything Idli, and Paneer ke Takiye. Plantain Galouti was a tantalizing vegetarian version of the classic Lucknowi Galouti Kebab made from Plantain (Raw Banana). The melt-in-mouth texture of the finely minced plantain mixed with aromatic spices and herbs had an explosion of flavors in every bite.
Everything Idli, on the other hand, was the classic Idli Sambhar with chutney and podi but served on a really fancy plate. The sambhar was good. The Paneer ke Takiye at The Pink Elephant is a delightful twist on the classic quesadilla with a Paneer sheet stuffed with onions and tomatoes, quite heavy but flavorful.
Comforting Indian Mains
We were almost full by the time we finished the starters, so we requested the chef to take it slow and low. A while later we had a huge plate of Tawa Vegetables coming in with a roti basket. The tawa veggies had Bittergourd, Bhindi, Tomato, Capsicum, Chillies, and Brinjal on a large platter. The stuffing was delicious and the spices surely tantalized my taste buds. The soft rotis just made it an even more enjoyable experience.
There are a lot more mains on the menu and I’ll surely try them the next time I visit The Pink Elephant. My meat-eating friends also relished the dishes with Chicken, Mutton, and Prawns being served.
Creative Concoctions – Drinks That You’ll Love
There are more than 30 unique cocktails that are made from the best of ingredients and spirits along with a lot of in-house concoctions. So tipplers are surely in for an amazing evening with spirits that’ll make them high and refreshed at the same time.
Talking about teetotalers, The Pink Elephant has some exciting options for us too. Doing away with the traditional red, blue, and green fizzy drinks, The Pink Elephant has one of the best ranges of mocktails I’ve experienced in recent times. One of my favorites of the evening was The Kokum drink which was served in a fancy wine glass. It had a fizzy base and fresh kokum which was extremely refreshing.
I also had an Aam Panna drink with a fizzy base that was nice. Then there was also Watermelon Chilly Slush which was very interesting. Apart from that, there’s a variety of citrus, berrylicious drinks that can be tailored to your taste. So one of the best mocktail options in Hyderabad is off late. Good to see that they have focused on teetotalers as well and not just tipplers.
Who says no to desserts?
It was almost 11 PM and we were stuffed to the core only to realize that the desserts were pending. In a blink of an eye, we had a dessert spread on the table. Malwa Pudding, Sheer Khorma, Falooda Gadbad, Baklava Cheesecake, and Daulat ki Chaat. Malwa Pudding was interesting with a pressure-cooker-cake-based taste and texture. Sheer Khorma was nice, but I’ve had much better ones.
Falooda Gadbad was again an interesting setup with a grand presentation. It was almost street-like falooda served at a fancy place. Baklava Cheesecake was a nice try that turned out well according to me. It had the crunchiness of the Baklava and the cheesiness of the cheesecake. Daulat ki Chat was nice too. Many of my friends who hadn’t eaten it earlier, loved it too. It’s comparable to the Zafran Nimish at Once Upon A Time, my favorite in the city. So the desserts also don’t disappoint you.
Experience a Culinary Tale at The Pink Elephant
The Pink Elephant in Hyderabad is a perfect blend of modern and traditional Indian cuisine. With its chic, trendy ambiance and beautifully curated decor, it provides a visual treat to the diners. Truly one of the very few places in Hyderabad that have an Instagrammable ambiance and food that tastes good!
The Indian starters are a must-try and the main course dishes are as interesting as they are tasty. What truly stole the show were the cocktails and mocktails, which were crafted with perfection and creativity with a wide variety of options for tipplers and teetotalers.
Though the place comes at a premium, it is worth it for an indulgent and unforgettable dining experience. The Pink Elephant Hyderabad is a must-visit for foodies, art lovers, and those who appreciate a beautiful ambiance. I’m surely going back, when are you going?