I believe that over time almost every family ends up with those few restaurants which they frequent. There is a certain satisfaction in knowing the menu by heart and having the waiters know precisely what you want and how you like your food.
In Bombay, my family swears by Cafe Madras and Cream Center as places to get a reliably tasty meal at a reasonable price. My mother hails from Hyderabad and I'm glad to say even that side of the family are hard core foodies. Always open to trying new places and taking me to visit places all over town.
Many a summer vacation though were filled with fond memories of visiting the Minerva Coffee Shop at Himayat Nagar. In fact they have been going there so long that my uncle has a favorite captain he always tries to get served by. An extremely efficient man called Murli. Super courteous and helpful, we really need more of his ilk in Bombay. Perhaps there already are and I just need to find my own Minerva in Bombay which I have struggled to do so till date.
In terms of the food, we have a standard order because we know what works for us. The order comprises of a Veg Manchurian Dry, a Vegetable Chat Pat, Veg Kofta and a few Roti's done up nice and crisp.
Manchurian with North Indian food you might ask? Well yes because I feel that Minerva does some of the best ones we have had and we don't get to eat good ones in Bombay too often. With a healthy dose of garlic the perfectly fried shredded vegetables in the dumplings themselves are a delight to have. Chi-Indian food at its lip-smacking best.
The gravies we choose cater to the spicier side of the palate which we are partial to. The Chat Pat is a medley of vegetables with a red base and some smoked chillies added in for extra spice. The Kofta curry is a rich cashew based one which is mercifully not sweet which quite a few kofta gravies end up being.
A special mention to their coffee as well, though I must admit I ended up gulping it down rather than savouring it so I really can't tell you how it tasted. Guess I'm going to have to make another trip back there soon.
With the prices moving up the place is becoming a little bit more expensive on the pocket than it used to be however the vibe and the charm remain as well as the superb food.
I can't wait to make another trip to Hyderabad and dine here soon. More family memories FTW!