The Andhra veg thali meal at Subbayyagari Hotel is a homely affair with variety and old school hospitality
“Don’t bother about clicking photos. Please relish the meal while it’s hot,” the on-duty manager at Subbayyagari Hotel in Kondapur goes around reminding the guests to enjoy the meal. It is this old school hospitality that sets apart the brand from other thali meal chains in Hyderabad.
The Kakinada-based hotel chain opened its third outlet in a year in the city this week, but this one has ample space and thankfully a shorter wait time. Says Ramaraju Kallepally, a food entrepreneur who oversees the restaurant’s operations, “Subbayya Hotel is a legendary name in Andhra food and service. The waiters serve food like in a family wedding, with love and coax you to try just one more cup of the dessert. The food, of course, is homely, with freshly ground local spices. We ensure that all the 32 delicacies that make up an Andhra meal are served every day. The other two outlets are smaller but this one, a 200-seater including two private dining rooms, will hopefully cater to more patrons.” Subbayya is the founder and the father figure who passed away in 2014, but his brand is unforgettable.
Open for brunch (starts 11.30 am) and dinner, this thali-only place opposite Sharath Capital City Mall at Kothaguda crossroads is about relishing the chutneys, pachadis, podis, besides and the famous Kakinada Kaja (with an uber sweet syrupy core), a multitude of rice varieties, curries and desserts. It was surprising to note that the otherwise traditional meal suddenly had some fusion food. The Pasta Gongura sounded bizarre, but the tangy leaf does justice to the bland pasta. This is definitely Italian meets Indian. My favourite was the day’s special — fruit biryani. It was one of the few spicy eats in the thali and the fibrous jackfruit was delicious and had absorbed the spices well. Just when you have polished off the 30 things on the plate, the waiter comes with a syrup-drenched vada. When I plead I cannot have any more, he promises to give me the glass of flavoured buttermilk, which will take care of any guilt of having eaten like a glutton. I do a bottoms-up of the buttermilk. The after-effect is pure bliss. A meal with a happy ending? You bet.
Price for two: Rs 500.