The tantalising taste of Telugu cuisine at Vivaha Bhojanambu
You need three things to enjoy an authentic Telugu meal at Vivaha Bhojanambu. Time (90 minutes or more), appetite (they have over 19 varieties of pulaos alone) and a sound vocabulary (exquisite, delicious and lip-smacking). The second outlet of the 170-seater restaurant serves authentic Telugu cuisine, which opened its doors at Parklane earlier this year, sets the mood right at the elevator. A digital 3D installation piece with Ghatotkacha from the iconic Telugu movie Mayabazar (from where the name of the restaurant is inspired) with loads of edible goodies tells you a treat awaits you. When executive Chief Executive Chef Ramesh Chandra shares that he traversed the entire stretch of River Godavari on a boat for seven days – from its origin Nashik to Rajahmundry, you know the restaurant is serious about getting its authenticity right. “I travelled to every town to find out their culinary secrets. Now I know when to use red and green chili spice in food,” says the chef, who has 38 years of experience.
The menu runs into a good eight pages, but the best way to go about it is to order a Rajugari Bhojanam Thali, which has over 12 dishes served with rotte, rice and ragi mudde along with fish, chicken and mutton dish. Wash it down with their special creamy, sweet Rajahmundry Rosemilk. But before all, don’t forget to start your meal with the healthy flaxseed powder mixed in ghee and rice. “This one kickstarts your metabolism,” he adds. If you love the pickles/ podis, you can buy them at the restaurant. The mildly spicy podi makes for an appropriate start. “We don’t use food colours, Vanaspati or ajinomoto here,” assures the chef.
The must-haves are definitely Pandumirapakaya Kodi Kebab (crispy and spicy, made of ripe red chili, unlike any you have had), Kurumurthy Kebab (a succulent one from Mahbubnagar) and end with Palvoncha Biryani, which would suffice for two and has a distinct taste of red and green mirchi minced spice and comes with masala filled boiled eggs.
The soothing ’80s Telugu music and the TV playing the digitally retouched Mayabazar movie just adds to the native vibe. After the meal, you are sure to experience what Instagram folks call food coma. Go get a nap now.
Price for two: Rs.1,800.
Pics: Sathya Keerthi