A combination of Bollywood and North-Indian Food. These are the amalgamations that Kebab Theater at Lemon Tree Hotels, Hyderabad does perfectly. They serve a wide range of North Western cuisine from Mughlai to Awadhi and also Hyderabadi. Soon as you enter into Kebab Theater, you know that you are in for a treat. After our last visit to their Gachibowli Branch of Republic Of Noodles, we were back at their Hitech Hotels for an Indian soiree.
Kebab Theater in itself is a very small restaurant on the 2nd Floor of the Lemon Tree Hotels. The restaurant is a bit dark with ambient lighting and the décor is a kitsch – a lot of seen-before elements of design strung together to mixed results. Considering the theme of the restaurant to be Bollywood, don’t turn away thinking of loud numbers. Soft calming music being played as you enjoy your meal with the walls adorned with poster of yesteryear movies and new arrivals alike with a couple of satirical posters too. All in all, colorful just like our very own Bollywood.
As we take a seat at our table, the wine bottle at the center is corked open. The quite extensive menu that is at Kebab Theater sure gives a lot of options. So we started off with the regular amuse bouche to cleanse the palate. The Indians love for Panipuri is well known. As you pour the tangy flavored water into the crispy, hollowed puris with the potato stuffing, this popular street snack seldom disappoints.
We asked the chef to bring out his best recommendations and nevertheless we were in expecting a great meal ahead of us. Next up on our tables was the Jal Tarang. Aptly named, this is a seafood soup with a tangy base. There is also addition of corn to give it a crispy, fresh touch. You could also get the feel of Lemongrass right at the back of your throat with every sip, which felt splendid.
The Kebabs at Kebab Theater is not close to fabulous. They are in fact extraordinary. The Malmale Subz Seekh, a vegetarian take on the quintessential seekh kebab was impressive. For each starter there is a variation of yogurt which goes well with it. And for the Malmale Subz Seekh it was the Gongura Yogurt.
Vegetarian and no Paneer, well that’s like a crime in itself. The Kutti Mirch Paneer Tikka where the paneer is all made in-house with marinated with various spices goes impressively with the Sweet Chili Yogurt.
Now as we started to move from the Vegetarian to the proper meat-eating aspects of the evening, the Pudina Neza was outstanding. Marinating with Cilantro and Mint gives the succulent chicken pieces, that subtle flavors which bodes very well with a Mango Yogurt.
But the star of the night had to be the Raan Mussalam. The soft meat literally was falling off the bones and as you get the spices with a strong hint of Cinnamon to it, you know that’s meat heaven right there.
As we made our way through the gastronomic journey, the first dish on our tables was the Vilayti Subzi. This is an interesting take with a lot of the assorted vegetables of Asparagus, Broccoli, Zucchini, Water Chestnuts, Mushrooms and the likes playing a medley in a tomato based gravy. It goes really well with the Olive Naans. The Kundan Kalia is another brilliant dish. Containing soft boneless mutton in cashew gravy which manages to combine spices so elegantly, with just a spice or two dominating the flavor profile in a surprisingly marked yet muted manner.
Lemon Tree is one of the few places where you get Haleem throughout the 365 days of the year. It is one of the most authentic Haleems and the dish is slow cooked over night with unique Potli Masalas. Nevertheless all that care taken to cooking into this one dish makes it marvelous.
Not with much room left for desserts, but that is one course which is always looked forward to. Ending the meal with a Falooda and Doodhi ka Halwa. I know the name of the dessert is quite funnily sounding, but it’s actually made of Bottle Gourd and is a very famous variant of Halwa of Hyderabad.
As the mouth freshener platter, paans and saunf arrived at our table, we couldn’t help hiding our joy at the end of the meal. The service was excellent – well orchestrated and extremely warm & endearing.
Special thanks to Arun, the F&B Manager at Lemon Tree Hotels for the amazing time and Chef J.P Verma of Kebab Theater for the super gorgeous food on our tables. This is one Bollywood themed evening worth remembering. Below is a video chat we had with the Chef explaining to us about Kebab Theater and the food it serves.
Photo Courtesy : Jeet’s Photography