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A touch of Arabia

For an Arabian ambience, check out Gulnar at Masab Tank that has a delectable menu spread of over 280 items to choose from.

FIRE & FLOWER: One is transported to another milieu.

IF SYED Jaweed Hashmi had it his way, the big B would have inaugurated Gulnar. "I still have the copy of Rajya Sabha MP Amar Singh's letter where he confirmed Bachchan Saab's arrival for the inauguration," says Hashmi - the managing partner of the newest restaurant in town - Gulnar at Masab Tank (next to Satya Apartments near Hotel Golkonda). But Mr. B, somehow got busy and dates had to be cancelled.

It is 1,700 square feet of Arabia inside Gulnar. Shamianas, hanging lanterns, chandeliers, brass fans, Arabic music... give the restaurant the look and ambience of those sixteenth century makeshift shacks in Arabian deserts meant for refreshment of travellers. "But with a touch of sophistication and modernity," corrects Hashmi.

OWN SPACE: The restaurant is designed to give patrons a feeling of privacy.

With two decades of experience in Jeddah, Hashmi is greatly inspired by the Saudi restaurants and he thought of giving Hyderabad a touch of the Arabian sand. "I spent quite a lot on interiors which I designed myself," he says adding, "I have tried to make the place appear very spacious with a seating capacity of only 48 people so that everybody has their own space."

A multi-cuisine speciality restaurant with a distinctive focus on Hyderabadi cuisine is what Gulnar boasts about. "We use the choicest basmati rice, carefully selected chunks of meat infused with the most noble aromatic spices... gently steamed under glowing embers," says the chief chef. The sheer thought is enough to tickle anyone's taste buds.

ARABIAN NIGHTS: Choicest ingredients are used.

"Barring the Irani cafes, no single family restaurant in Hyderabad offers typical Arabian dishes like, baghara khana, nahari or dum ka baigaan and zaban, shahi tukda and others that we have in our spread," claims Hashmi. The menu is a medley of over 280-odd irresistible Chinese, Indian, Moghlai and Continental dishes.

"We even have a spread of typical Andhra dishes," Hashmi points out. Reasonably priced food with an unmatched taste is the hallmark of Gulnar, - the English translation of which means fire n' flower. "Actually, we burn ourselves like fire working hard to produce good food and offer our customers like flower," the restaurant manager explains.

Barely 10 days old, Gulnar (Tel: 23370074) has already gained considerable popularity, going by the mad rush of food buffs. Hashmi is happy. "But I will be happier if Bachhan Saab comes here. Although it did not materialise then, efforts to bring him are still on," affirms the die-hard fan of Amitabh.


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