A new place in town has an interesting menu

Yummy food, reasonable rates and a nice ambience… You get all three at Atom, a new restaurant in the city. “We want to make it affordable. A family of four should be able to dine at our place comfortably, not spending more than Rs. 1,200 to Rs. 1,500. This covers not just the main course but also the soup, dessert and starters,” says owner M. Nirranjan. Smooth strains of music welcome you as you enter. Cylindrical white lampshades bathe the room in a soft, yellow glow. The colour code is white, yellow and black. I sink down on plush yellow cushions and await the starters.

Baby corn cigars, served in shot glasses, arrive with a serving of mayonnaise. Chicken wings and Benarasi chilly chicken follow. The meat lover in me rejoices as I bite into juicy, succulent chicken pieces, tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce. If you want to feel virtuous, the Benarasi chilly chicken is a good bet as it is not so rich and comes with a with a generous garnish of basil.

The restaurant offers a tandoori platter. There are prawns, coated in a spicy tandoori masala, chemmeen made in the coastal style tossed with onions, and melt-in-the-mouth Apollo fish cooked in a semi-spicy brown gravy, the Hyderabadi way. The fish pieces go well with the mint chutney served along with it. There is also a chicken tandoori platter.

The meat falls off the bones, exactly as it should in the aromatic dum chicken biryani. The onion raita is the perfect foil. “Our thrust is on everyday food and nothing too exotic,” says Nirranjan.

The fluffy mildly sweet lachcha paratha is just one of the delicious Indian bread options. And the Chicken Afghani, with its rich creamy gravy and an omelette, is a perfect accompaniment. Apart from this, the Indian menu offers butter chicken, chicken kheema masala, dum ka murg masala, kadai veg and aloo gobi masala.

If you are in mood for Chinese, they have hakka noodles and fried rice and Schezwan noodles that is dipped in red, tangy sauce.

A rich, creamy mango mousse from the dessert lounge completes the meal. “Do taste our micro dessert spread,” urges Nirranjan. A plate filled with four different types of desserts might be a tad too much after a grand lunch. But, how can one resist the gooey, warm caramel brownie and sinful chocolate truffle cake?

The restaurant, at Alakesan Road, Saibaba Colony, is open from noon to 3:30 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.