On this trip so far all my posts have been about Roadside eateries, mostly Haveli’s or Dhabas’ and although we have found ourselves eating on occasion at the hotels, it is quite rare that we have found a meal worth blogging about.
Next 2 restaurant in the Radisson Blu hotel in Haridwar is one of the exceptions to the rule.
Their website describes it as “The hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, Next 2 offers a menu filled with international and Oriental cuisine”.
I tried not to pay any attention to that and to judge them on face value or should that be taste value? As it happens the meal and food that we had here at Next 2 was most enjoyable and we were able to try a couple of dishes that had tempted our fancy.
So lets talk about that and tell you about One ‘new’ and one ‘old’ memory.
Lets Choose Food!
When I saw that they had Hyderabadi gosht ki biryani on the menu, well that had to be my choice just because I had spent 4 months working and living in Hyderabad and this was one of the dishes that I had wanted to share with my trip companions. It was hopefully going to be a good food memory for me, and something for them to enjoy as well!
Hyderabadi gosht ki biryani
This dish ‘Hyderabadi gosht ki biryani’ was described on the menu as “tender pieces of lamb marinated in yoghurt & spices cooked with basmati rice”. I had only ever had this before as part of a celebration meal in Hyderabad where it had been served on a huge platter that could have served 10 or more.
In the bowl it looked just as rustic with chunks of lamb on the bone, and flakes of almost candied onion served with a baked rice packed with flavour. It might not be pretty but it certainly is tasty! Ok so there is a bit of bone to deal with, but that is a small price to pay for the amount of enjoyment you will get from a dish such as this.
The meat, lamb or mutton, was packed with rich and fatty flavour. The baked rice is crunchy in places, soft in spots and is just basicallty a great big mixed bag of texture and flavour, it is Ace!.
Spiced wise, while ‘aromatic’ it also has plenty of spice heat too. It is worth ordering if you see it somewhere authentic, but is nothing like any Biryani you will see in the UK that I have found.
Something New? Lets have a look
The next thing we found to eat was the Dhaba chooza which was described on the menu very simply as “home style chicken curry”. The name suggested something rustic as Dhaba translates as a ‘roadside eatery’ and the Chooza meaning literally ‘baby chicken’.
The waiter warned us that the dish was spicy, this was something that we chose to ignore, as it happened he was to be right and perhaps we should have listened! That would have been no fun though!
This was indeed quite rough in look and in eating, the chicken came on the bone and had been chopped roughly into chunks of the bird. The thick gravy has the whole spices and was quite chunky with roughly chopped onions, tomato, garlic and ginger. The meat on the bone was excellent, juicy, spicy, and messy and I loved it.
The sauce thickness and texture was a bit unusual and this was probably as the dish incorporates quite a bit of curd in the making of the gravy. Even so we did like it and as I said earlier this was one spicy beast.
I could imagine this being cooked in a big pot over the coals at the side of the road where it might be more at home than in this so called fine dining establishment. Was I complaining? No of course not, I love a decent home style chicken curry wherever and whenever it is put on my plate.
The Next 2 restaurant in the Radisson Blu hotel in Haridwar is is located at:
HaridwarPlot C1, Sector 12
Tel: +91 1334-305400
Fax: +91 1334-305410
It might not be the best hotel but the food was quite nice, and for the record I had a nice omelette at breakfast (a bit spicy)