Savoury Stories: Ashis Nayak

George Bernard Shaw once famously said that “there was no sincerer love than the love of food”, Hyderabad is it would seem, have applied this belief with the utmost sincerity.

Hyderabad is no stranger to good food – from rarer and more esoteric delicacies such as marag and paaya to the more ubiquitous haleem and biryani, the city has had a food culture that has been right there on top with the country’s (and perhaps the world’s finest cuisines). Just ask any Hyderabadi living abroad what he misses most about the city and Biryani is sure to feature in the long list of things that are so nostalgically recollected.

With the urbanisation of Hyderabad however, the city has witnessed a growing expansion of gastronomic needs. A large migrant population has demanded more than just biryani and as a consequence, the city has seen a massive growth in specialty restaurants, especially in the past 10 odd years. Hence finding the best place to eat in the city is like a treasure hunt! To simplify which, we put together a list of the best food bloggers in Hyderabad that you must follow if you never want to have a bad food experience again.

WARNING: Follow them on your own risk cause once you follow them your news feed will be full of drool worthy dishes which you won’t be able to resist

Text: Anahita Ahuja

Ashis Nayak 

When did blogging start?

It’s been almost over 5 years since that I’ve been writing about food online/offline. From writing in magazines and editorials it slowly transitioned to creating our own blog for our readers to come back – and that is how FoodDrifter was born.

What are the basic elements you keep in mind while taking pictures for your write-ups?

I’m still old school and believe in the power of words and photos. The picture has to be devoid of the surrounding frills so that the dish shines through rather than the background. But I do believe in the line that “you eat with your eyes first”. A plate of food has to look appetizing.

How much planning goes into each piece?

I nearly spend 5-6 hours on every story, right from sorting through my pictures, editing my videos and importantly proof-reading my articles.

What is the most interesting dish you have ever tried?

Travel opens up so many doors and so does cuisine alongside it. In Hanoi, Vietnam I had snakes for lunch while fried frog legs for dinner in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In fact, I tried escargot (i.e snails) from my recent trip to Brussels made in a beautiful broth of fresh vegetables.

How do you pick what to order at a restaurant?

Ordering at a restaurant is all about mood and cravings. There have been times when I’ve jumped 3 different restaurants for starters, main course and desserts. I first pick my dish and then visit a restaurant.

Do you enjoy cooking?

I absolutely love cooking and enjoy cooking in my free time. With being a food blogger and constantly eating outside food, there comes the craving for a very homely meal.

Which are the blogs you follow?

Finely Chopped by Kalyan Karmakar, Heartranjan by Hriday Ranjan and Bruised Passports by Savi and Vid.

What’s the best and worst thing about being a food blogger?

The best part is the different experiences you get to share with people around the world. Negative will always be the health side of it which takes a beating at times.

If you could just banish any one food, from the earth, what would it be?

Every dish is unique in its own way and I have no resentment towards any such food to have them banished. But yes, I’d really love if the whole concept of having extremely outrageous proportions of food became passé. This includes the stack of overloaded waffles and thick shakes.

How would you describe your site to new readers?

Our blog resonates with anyone who loves to eat and looking to try new cuisines and street food. It isn’t just about restaurant but wonderful food you’d try locally, on the streets as you travel to different countries. We love to take you on a cultural journey through food.

How do you generate traffic towards your blog?

Good content always has its regular return-readers and we give paramount importance to that.

Rapid Fire:

Favourite savory ingredient to cook with: Garlic 

Favourite sweet ingredient to cook with: Chocolate

When I’m feeling lazy I cook…: Khichdi

My ‘pick me up’ dish: Fried Rice

On a winter evening I would eat: It can be hand-rolled Pasta one night to settling down with a plate of Rice/Roti and Dal.

My most recommended restaurant…: Simply South, Jonathan’s Kitchen 

Blog: www.fooddrifter.in  

Instagram: @fooddrifter