Garden Restaurant – Secunderabad

They say the Garden restaurant hasn’t changed since its inception in 1942 and boy they were right. The dingiest of interiors greets you drearily as you hesitate to step in with a loved one, an elderly family member, or in a worst case scenario, your girlfriend. Dodgy looking men squint up at you as you let the natural light in momentarily, and waiters shuffle at their spots a little uncomfortably. The door closes and the entire place is wrapped once again in darkness. Your eyes take their time to adjust and your vision slowly comes back to you. My male comrades and I found the nearest table and sat down. Nothing really dirty caught my eye so all well in that department. The gent’s restroom is a catastrophe where the objective of washing one’s hands seems to be defeated by the very look of the sink and surroundings. You’re better off using hand sanitizer or asking the waiter to get you chopped lemons to wipe your hands down.

Service is as good as you can ask for in a place like this. It’s quick, non-fancy, and gets the job done. We ordered butter chicken and tandoori rotis and my vegetarian friend ordered himself a vegetarian biryani (whatever THAT’S supposed to be haha). The tandoori rotis were easily one of the best I’ve ever eaten. No black burnt crispy bitter bits that we’re all so used to, and a well baked big diameter circle of a roti so soft to chew yet not raw in any way. Lovely! The butter chicken was extremely tasty as well, with the pieces of chicken being boneless. Well done Garden! The Thums Up I ordered was also bone chilled, so I was very happy indeed. Chicken biryani was soon to follow and it didn’t disappoint. For Rs. 170, the portion is massive (probably enough even for an Andhra/Telangana rice eating monster), comes with an egg, enough masala, and a good ol’ leg-breast piece of chicken. What I really enjoyed about this biryani, unlike Paradise’s, was that it was really really fresh and hot. The rice was steaming and I could barely touch the chicken with my bare hands. Let that cool down a bit, add some leftover butter chicken gravy, and you’re good to go. Apparently even the vegetarian biryani was extremely delicious and my friend noted that the quality of the grain was excellent.

We left Garden restaurant with satisfied bellies for sure, and BAM! We went back the next day for lunch again.

This time I ordered chicken tikka masala and tandoori rotis. The vegetarian friend also asked for rotis and this time, a dal fry. Let me get straight to this dal. It was downright delicious. No extra oil, no extra salt. It was freshly made and every spoonful was great! The rotis were just as good and the chicken tikka masala was masaledaar and tasty. The pieces of chicken were absolutely massive and boneless like a good chicken tikka too.

The food here is on par with Papa ji ka dhaba but it’s not as airy and busy. The rotis are way better than Papa ji’s.

Go to Garden restaurant at least once to try one of their gravy dishes with tandoori rotis. It’s really worth it. This isn’t the sort of restaurant where one would go for good ambiance or anything of that sort. Just good food. Thank you Garden!