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
When did blogging start?
I started Foodaholix in 2013, it was the first restaurant review blog in Hyderabad.
What are the basic elements you keep in mind while taking pictures for your write-ups?
The photographs in the blog posts have to complement the text, so it is important that they are captured from the right perspective.
How much planning goes into each piece?
Often, it calls for lot of research based on the location, cuisine and other factors. Some do not need much planning and come out spontaneously from my experience.
What is the most interesting dish you have ever tried?
I like “meal in a pot” kind of dishes like Tibetan Thukpa, Burmese Khau Suey, and Indonesian Laksa.
What are the three mistakes that you have made – and learnt from?
My posts earlier used to be very long, I realised that they need to be shorter to retain attention. Quality of photographs was always a problem for me, but I am improving there. My blog has a huge reach which had made me complacent initially, but now I engage actively with my audience.
How do you pick what to order at a restaurant?
If I do not know anything about the place I would usually talk to the manager and quickly check the social media reviews, and based on the data take a decision. Fortunately I know food connoisseurs in most cities, so I can always call up for advice.
Do you enjoy cooking?
I enjoy preparing dishes occasionally. I love to make the Bengali style mutton curry with potato.
Which are the blogs you follow?
One of my favourite blogs is Yummraj, a Delhi based blogger who covers both restaurants and street food.
What are your favourite regional cuisines or specific foods?
Bengali, of course. It has mind boggling variations. I am a big fan of off-beat regional cuisines. Cuisines of Odisha and the North-Eastern India are my current favourites. It is heartening to see such cuisine finally get their limelight. Hyderabad has hosted festivals of Ladakhi, Himachali, Assamese and Odia food in the last year.
What’s the best and worst thing about being a food blogger?
The best part is the journey. You taste all kinds of food, meet so many people in that domain, and learn every day. Last year, I was on a food trail to the Royal kitchens of Madhya Pradesh. I learnt a lot during that trip. The worst part is the writer’s block. It affects me from time to time, and I am very scared of it.
If you could just banish any one food, from the earth, what would it be?
Food is life. Each morsel of food maybe useful and coveted to someone. So, there is no question of banishing any food.
How do you generate traffic towards your blog?
I have been lucky that mine has always been a popular food blog. It has seen nearly four lakh page views. So, I do not have to work very hard to generate traffic. Still, my social media posts, and mentions from my columns in newspapers and magazines get me incremental traffic. I am also active on Twitter and Instagram.
Favourite savoury ingredient to cook with: Cheese
Favourite sweet ingredient to cook with: Chocolate
When I’m feeling lazy I cook: plain fish curry
My ‘pick me up’ dish: Though it may sound clichéd, it is biryani.
For a romantic meal I would want to eat: A noodles or pasta dish with seafood. Some Riesling. Maybe a pannacotta to end the meal.
On a winter evening I would cook/eat a hot and spicy dish: Thukpa, a Tibetan noodles broth with meat and vegetables.
One recipe you want to pass on: Most desserts (I do not have a sweet tooth)
My most recommended restaurant: Dakshin at ITC Kakatiya, Firdaus at Taj Krishna, Olive Bistro, and Zaiqa-E-Hyderabad.