Green Park Hotel at Greenlands - one of the landmark places in Hyderabad and an iconic one by itself! And within it lies another landmark of the city, its multi-cuisine restaurant Once Upon A Time - a restaurant that has been a trend setter for other restaurants along the same lines in Hyderabad, for close to two decades now. Being the signature restaurant for the Green Park Hotel group, it has truly stood in good stead with its tribute to the princely cuisines of India. Just recently revamped with an entirely different decor harking back memories of a Hyderabad bygone, it aptly reflects their specialty, Hyderabadi cuisine, what with a nawabi feel and murals of forts completing the picture.
Once Upon A Time, one of the largest (it can easily accommodate 110 people) and undoubtedly one of the best restaurants in town, has become synonymous for its exquisite décor and choicest cuisine where one can actually savour the delicacies of the royal past. Open for lunch and dinner (with buffet and a la carte options) on all days, and for a sumptuous breakfast only on Sundays, it is surely affordable amongst the most luxurious restaurants in town.
With over 60 items on the menu, their ‘Tycoons Lunch Buffet’ is the talk of the town. Speaking about their immensely popular buffet Joydeep Mazumdar, the F&B Manager says, “We give main emphasis on adding things as per guests’ requirements and also on having more live counters,” and adds, “We have live counters for pasta, noodles and very soon we will have one for desserts too.” The items on the menu are as vast as they can get for a measly per head price of Rs. 399/- plus taxes. A welcome drink, sugar cane juice, do-it-your-way boiled corn, two starters, soups, salads, ten non-vegetarian dishes, 22 desserts (with over 15 Indian and some more diet-free sweets) - are just some of the items. To promote Pan-Asian cuisines, which have become very popular here, they have included Thai, Malaysian, Sri Lankan and Vietnamese cuisine in the buffet for each day. For the true-blue health freaks, the buffet also includes select ‘health foods’, which are cooked with less oil, spices, etc. On Sundays, they have an extra chat counter at no extra cost. It just cannot get better than this, for the hard-core food connoisseurs of Hyderabad. Their dinner buffet too, is a good match to its lunch counterpart here!
For those who love to wake up late on a Sunday morning and then head out for a sumptuous breakfast, their ‘Sunday Breakfast Buffet’ is an ideal bet. The main USP here is their live counters for dosas, apart from the buffet spread of parathas, idlis, vadas, poha, appams - you name it, they have it all. Compiling them here would be a futile attempt. “Being a Sunday, we want families to come and have a good time,” says Mazumdar and adds, “We have a special counter for kids too.” The kids counter here includes noodles, juices and fruits amongst others. Open from 7.30 am to 10.45 am, with over 30 dishes on the menu, it is a steal at Rs. 125/- plus taxes, per head.
From their multi-cuisine a la carte menu, South Indian and Chinese dishes are enormously popular. Talking about their ‘Guest Delights’ Mazumdar says, “We take care of our guests very well.” Guest Delights like giving gifts for kids’ drawings, sending wishes on customers’ birthdays and anniversaries, initiatives like the free dessert counter (wherein guests can help themselves to free desserts irrespective of opting for the buffet or not), add a personal touch and leave a lasting impression.
One of their many other reasons for being popular are the food fests that they have very frequently and the buffet fest that occurs almost every quarter. In the past they have had South Indian, Christmas (complete with turkey and Yule log), Hyderabadi, Bengali fests - wherein the authentic tastes were recreated. They are now planning to repeat their very popular Hyderabadi Food Fest again in February 2011.
Mahendra Tripathi, Sous Chef, speaking about their dishes emphasises, “We do not use artificial colours. In fact no colour is used in any of the dishes” and adds, “Tandoor items are popular in starters whereas in main course and desserts Indian cuisine is extremely popular.” With a parting thought he adds, “The interactive kitchen wherein the chef meets customers, is liked a lot by the customers.”
Signature dishes from their vast menu include Mutton Gosht Biryani, Haleem, Mutton Rogan Josh, Butter Chicken, Mausam Ki Rangeela Sabzi, Butani Vegetable, Fried Corn and more. Other dishes from the a la carte menu that are on the ‘definitely-try’ list are - the farm fresh seasonal Green Salad, Canja De Galina (a curried soup with diced chicken, rice and crushed peppercorns), Cheesy Kalmi Kebab (succulent legs of chicken marinated overnight with yoghurt and cheese, and cooked in the tandoor), Til Mil Ke Kebab (spinach and fenugreek kebab with spiced hung curd), Nalli Alishan (tender lamb pieces with Indian spices), Bengali Fish Curry (murrel fish cooked with mustard oil and perfect blend of vegetables), Guchhi Mutter (a unique combination of button mushrooms with green peas), Subzi Biryani (a mild and light vegetable biryani and a great favourite of the Nawab of Awadh), in the Indian cuisine. In Chinese, do try the Cantonese Soup, Golden Fried Prawns, Mongolian Chicken, Vegetable Lollipops, Crab Meat Balls, Black Beans Chicken, Crispy Shredded Lamb, Sweet & Sour Vegetables, Mixed Meat Noodles, Chilli Garlic Fried Rice. In desserts, savour the Pot Kulfi, Ginger Creme Brulee, Peach Melba and Coupe Jamaica.
For those who’d like to indulge in a drink or two with their meal, they have a wide range to choose from - both foreign and Indian.
To sum it up, ‘Once Upon A Time’ at Green Park Hotel, is where you should head if you are looking for a grand culinary experience at tempting prices!
Salad: Chicken & Lettuce Salad.
Soup: Man Chow Soup
Starters: Pepper Chicken, Murgh Malai Kebab, Buttani Vegetable, Vegetarian & Non-vegetarian Kebab Platter.
Main Course: Mutton Biryani, Dal Makhani, Mutton Rogan Josh, Mausam Ki Rangeela Sabzi.
Desserts: Rasmalai, Double Ka Meetha, Qubani Ka Meetha.
Once Upon A Time @ Green Park
Month: January 2011.