A Luxe Meal

Bindu Gopal Rao | December 6, 2022 | Life

The post pandemic restaurant business has been all about nuanced food experiences that focus on authenticity and give you a taste of the finer things. With several restaurants having closed in the lockdown, there has been a gradual reopening of several new spaces that cater to a more niche experience.

Telangana Meets the Nawab.

When I received an invite for the reopening of Aish, the specialty in-house restaurant at The Park in Hyderabad, I was intrigued as this restaurant offers not just the cuisine of the Nawabs but also the local Telangana fare. “We wanted to craft a menu which stands true to the flavours of Hyderabad and renders a taste of royalty. To keep the traditions alive, our team worked with home chefs of royal lineage to authentically learn recipes and culinary techniques inherited from generations and mastered over time. We wanted to delightfully entwine two absolutely diverse cuisines, Hyderabadi Food is a cuisine of culture and over the years it has been influenced by the local demand of spice and flavour,” says Ankush Mukherjee, Director – Food & Beverage, The Park, Hyderabad.

Dine in Style.

At Aish, dinner is all about an experience which is anything but ordinary. And the experience starts even as you enter as the hostess welcomes guests with a string of pearls. The ornate interiors done up in hues of beige, cream and gold are designed by Tarun Tahiliani and the restaurant instantly sets an ambience which exudes grandeur. The space is done up opulently, so you have crystal chandeliers, a crystal Maharaja Chair, an oakwood ceiling studded with genuine Swarovski crystal lights, sparkling silverware and the walls are adorned with antique portraits by legendary Lala Deen Dayal. The furniture and furnishings match the décor in terms of the luxe element as does the specially designed tableware and silver cutlery used. The menu has several unusual dishes like the Sufiani pulao accompanied with tamatar ka kut, subtly spiced chicken pulao with hints of cardamom and cinnamon.

“This is an exclusive dish of Aish which is very subtle and light on the palate. The chicken is soaked in rock salt water for at least half an hour before marinating with khoya, ginger, cardamom, royal cumin, yoghurt, and soaked almond paste. Cooked with Fragrant basmati rice, pure ghee, and full cream milk. The Tamatar ka kut is made with ripe tomatoes cooked with garlic, curry leaves, red chillies and mustard,” explains Thimma Reddy, Executive Chef, The Park Hyderabad.

Recreating Lost Recipes.

The history of the city, evolution of cuisines and the dependence on seasonal ingredients and spices have helped to shape the menu at Aish. The team researched for months to create the perfect mélange between two cuisines which are significantly varied but have been coexisting together for centuries. “We have tried to bring together the aromatic richness of Nizam’s kitchen and the freshness of Telangana rasoi, because Hyderabadi cuisine is incomplete without both biryani and dosa,” says Mukherjee. The food at Aish celebrates the region’s culinary traditions right from using locally available ingredients like drumsticks, rose petals, okra and colocasia and going one step ahead and pairing it with meat.

“What we serve is nutritious as well as locally sourced. The food at Aish takes you on a journey laced with history to reconstruct indigenous techniques and forgotten cuisines lost with time,” explains Master Chef Habeeb Mohsin who oversees the food here. The best part is that the food here has an even spice level that never overpowers the dish and allows you to taste the ingredients in it.

Cuisine Cues.

Aish at The Park Hyderabad is a restaurant that is open for dinner and the cuisine is an ode to the richness and grandeur of Nizam’s kitchen and the freshness and simplicity of Telangana rasoi (kitchen). The meals here are a grand affair and the culinary team has paid special attention to ensure that the food served is authentic. “We have also discussed recipes with several home chefs to ensure that the food is unlike what you can find anywhere else,” avers Reddy.

“There is a selection of exquisite seven course meals that come with personalised service that ensures your taste buds are pampered. This is an experience in slow eating, so when you are here, you will have the chance to savour your meal and taste the nuances of each dish.”

This is probably why the a la carte menu has an option of three set menus including Zar- e-Khas, Shaan-e-Dakkhan and Heera-e-Aish that have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions. The best part is that there are the same number of dishes in both so vegetarians will never feel that they have a raw deal. The menus have a refreshing welcome drink, Amuse-bouche, soup, selection of kebabs, eclectic mains, delightful accompaniments, unique seasonal sorbets, and a selection of divine desserts. The experience ends with chai/kaafi accompanied with Osmania biscuits and ginger chocolate cookies. A meal here is sure to leave you in a food coma so make sure you set aside the time to take your taste buds on a gastronomic journey like no other.


Words by Bindu Gopal Rao.

Images via Aish.

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