Review: Grand Trunk Road Madhapur, an Urbane Highway Dhaba Styled Restaurant
This monsoon Hyderabad got a few new eateries including VIA RD 2 at Banjara Hills and Grand Trunk Road at Madhapur. I have already reviewed VIA RD 2 and visited the Grand Trunk Road on the opening day for review. The Grand Trunk Road Madhapur is a modern highway styled restaurant with vibrant interior and open-air ambience. It is spacious enough to accommodate 240 visitors at a time.
Interior Décor and Ambience: Rated 4 / 5
The Grand Trunk Road at Madhapur boasts a kaleidoscopic interior brimming with colorful exuberance. The interior seems to have stolen hues from a rural festival in Rajasthan or Gujarat or Punjab. Red brick is a dominant motif in the interior décor inspired by rural landscape. The sprawling restaurant is furnished with wooden seating and done up with colorful cushions adding some more oodles of liveliness to the ambience. The furniture is very simple in look, without any urbane or sophisticated addon.
There is open-air hut like seating arrangement outside the main setup on the same premises. I guess this part of the restaurant is suitable for couples looking to dine in privacy and a small group of 4 to 5 friends. Dining here would be a pleasure on breezy evenings.
A section of the restaurant is dedicated to family dining or a small get together. The floor of this walled section is divided between two spacious tables with 10 cushioned chairs each. The décor is nicely done up in rhyme with the theme.
The Grand Trunk Road’s another point of resemblance to a highway dhaba is music. The floor of the restaurant resonates with loud music. The guests are treated to Punjabi folk songs which keep the mood on.
Menu and Pricing: Rated 4 / 5
The menu of the Grand Trunk Road at Madhapur is predominantly north Indian. Most of the dishes are Punjabi like Rajma Chawal, Punjabi Kadhi Chawal, Amritsari Kilcha Paneer / Chicken combo, Lajawab Paneer Tikka, Palak Ke Galawat, Hariwali Soya Tikka Kebab, Lahori Miyan Ji Dal, Pind Ke Dum Aloo, etc. The restaurant has curated some dishes from different parts of North India, suiting the palates of North Indian inhabitants at Madhapur and Hitech City.
For an exception, the menu has a leaf dedicated to Chinese food from the streets of Tangra, the China Town in Kolkata. While leafing through the menu I found only one dish from the Bengali cuisine and that is Dhokar Dalna (Bengali styled lentil cakes simmered in a mildly spiced curry). The menu is almost equally divided into veg and nonveg categories.
I found that some of the items are overpriced. To be precise, I had ordered Mantu from the list of non-veg starters. Mantu, a dish of 8 Afghani steamed mutton dumplings served on a bed of yogurt sauce, is priced at Rs 360 (excluding taxes).
Some of the dishes really draw the attention even by their names, for instance, Nimbu Mirch ka Hara Jhinga, Jalandhari Machhli ke Kofte with Tangy Masala, Pataka Raan, Mahi Ambarsariya and likes. Only two of three Hyderabadi dishes namely Raan Biryani, Gosht ki Tehri and Zafrani Veg Pulao have found space in the menu of Grand Trunk Road Hyderabad.
An assortment of Indian bread is another highlight of the menu. There are butter roti, butter naan, garlic naan, jaributi naan, bullet naan, laccha paratha, pudina paratha, aloo kulcha, onion kulcha, paneer kulcha, etc. to choose from.
Food Quality and Taste: Rated 4 / 5
On my first visit to the Grand Trunk Road at Madhapur on the opening day, I ordered Murgh Badam Shorba (chicken soup), Mantu (Afghani mutton dumpling starter), Jalandhari Macchli ke Kofte in tangy masala (in main course) with aloo kulcha and one jaributi naan (with mélange of fresh herbs), and Jalebi with rabdi (dessert).
I found the food to my heart’s content except the soup Murgh Badam Shorba. The soup was full of chicken pieces but the taste was somewhat mild. It was not something which we like to enjoy for some warmth on a rainy day. The starter was amazing. Named Mantu, it is a dish of Afghani mutton dumplings with yogurt sauce. The dumplings were succulent inside and the coating was neither thin nor thick. The flavor of yogurt sauce was a bonanza.
In the main course, Jalandhari Macchli ke Kofte went well with me. The dish came with 8 plum sized kofte wrapped and steeped in tangy masala which was not so tangy as it seemed to be. Each kofta was nicely coated and soft inside. The spicy quotient was neither strong nor mild and in perfect sync with the north Indian palate. The dish is priced 290 rupees (excluding taxes).
I enjoyed Jalandhari Macchli ke Kofte with bites of Jaributi Naan and Aloo Kulcha. Aloo kulcha was very tasty. It was not overtly stuffed. Thick kulcha with lots of filling is not my cup of tea. Jaributi Naan was big enough to be shared by 2 to 3 people with decent appetite. However, it did not come with a mélange of herbs as described in the menu. I found only mint flakes and cumin seeds in the Jaributi naan.
The dessert wowed me. One plate came with six jalebis of medium size and a small bowl of rabdi for 90 rupees (excluding taxes). The jalebis were warm and juicy, and the rabdi was not immensely sweet, which I liked. However, the quantity of rabdi was disappointing as you can see in the picture below.
Last but not the least, the service was great and the presentation was good. The staff members are quick enough to respond to you and cater to your taste buds. My total bill was 1088 rupees including 950 rupees for the food and 137 rupees for VAT. There was no service tax. Evidently, a meal for two costs Rs 1100 (inclusive of VAT), which is neither high nor low.
The Grand Trunk Road Madhapur seems promising enough to compete with other restaurants of Hyderabad in Hitech City.