Being one of our favourites, we rarely miss a chance to try Haleem, specially at new places. So when we heard about this little known place and their Hyderabadi Haleem, we were more than eager to try it out. Haleem, or the meat soup/stew/porridge, is served only during the holy month of Ramzan / Ramadan in our city (apart from few small carts selling Arbi Haleem throughout the year). It was couple of days before Eid when we managed to visit this place, just an hour before the Iftar.
Located on Jhowtala Road (the lane opposite Quest Mall) near Kera South Indian, the restaurant is on the first floor of a hotel. Comfortable seating and basic ambiance is what you will get. It was almost empty when we reached.
Our first order, off course, was the Hyderabadi Haleem. It was served quickly along with two bowls and lemon wedges. The basic difference between the Calcutta and Hyderabadi versions are – the home version is lot soupy, the lentils can be felt and the meat is mostly served as boneless chunks, while in the Nizami version the meat and lentils are mashed together in a creamy and consistent porridge like paste. The spiciness varies from shop to shop. We personally love both the versions.
As far as consistency was concerned the Afza haleem was good. The texture was smooth and creamy. But the taste was on the blander side. I have had better Hyderabadi Haleem before in this city itself. Sadly that place went through a recipe change and failed to impress us this season. So Afza, for now, remains the best place to have Hyderabadi Haleem in this city. Even if you are a fan of the Calcutta version I would suggest you to try this at least once (next year that is).
After completing our haleem we ordered for a Tandoori Aloo Kali Mirch along with a glass of Chhach and Lassi in Kulhar. The Lassi was served in a glass and not a kulhar (why mention a kulhar in the menu when you serve it in glasses! Just mention Lassi) and both the drinks were served at room temperature. When we complained about it, they kept the glasses in refrigerator, added some ice cube and returned when we were almost done with the tandoori aloo. The chhach was over spiced. We didn’t like it a bit. The lassi was great though.
The tandoori aloo kali mirch tasted decent, but the potatoes were over-boiled and hence it became too mushy which affected the taste and texture. The kali mirch saved the dish to some extent.
In all this is not a restaurant worth travelling for. Not worth a visit, even if you are around. There are far better places serving good Mughlai dishes in the locality. Visit only during the Ramzan / Ramadan month for their Hyderabadi Haleem.