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Homely and wholesome

In Shree Shyam Nivas, Secunderabad, one is fed with good food until he or she starts feeling guilty about the unlimited quantity that is offered at such a throwaway price.

BHOJAN TIME: The restaurant is packed at meal times.

A LANE veering off Ranigunj will take one to Pan Bazar. For people not familiar with the area, Shree Shyam Nivas is an unmistakable landmark. Should you miss the small nondescript signboard, the enticing aroma of pure ghee will guide you inside the street.

For the last 20 years and more, Shree Shyam Nivas has been addressing the gastronomic needs of Gujaratis in the area. "Initially it started as a vegetarian shack to cater to the Gujju and Marwadi populace," agrees P.N. Joshi, the proprietor. Soon the clientele spanned from Old City to Hi-tec City and business began to boom. The restaurant continues to specialise in simple, homely vegetarian fare.

There are no modern frills, no central air conditioning, no music system, no swanky tables or chairs or any exotic names in the menu. About 10 tables and four times the number of chairs, plenty of masks and an old menu of 17 items complete the restaurant.

"We don't believe in unnecessary hype. Our basic aim is to serve good food and satisfy our customers and as long as that purpose is met, why do we need anything extra," justifies Joshi. Indeed, can there be anything more pleasant for the proprietor than the fact that ever since the restaurant started, its popularity has just been on a steady rise! "The rush during lunch and dinner is to be-seen-to-believed and this has remained as it was two-and-a-half-decades ago," says the manager.

WHOLESOME TREAT: Thalis are a perennial favourite.

People mostly come here for the wholesome meals the eating-place offers. The fibre-rich food is surprisingly light on the pocket.

Four types of roti - jowar, bajra, besan and gehu, puris, three different curries, one dal, rice, papad, chutney and aachar, curd and sweets comprise the meal that comes for Rs. 47 during Sundays. During weekdays, the meal is priced between Rs. 32 and Rs. 37.

"They give much more food than one can eat," says Ankit Siotia adding, "that you start feeling guilty for the quantity they give for Rs. 40. And that too, with such an unmatched taste that you get addicted, only to keep coming for more." Wife Parul too, has a word to say, "Actually there's nothing great about the food apart from the fact that it is healthy and hygienic." The place teems because no other place in the city offers authentic Marwadi food at such tempting rates, she observes.

A special mention should be made of the ghee used in the preparation. Every morsel is ghee-rich; if not satisfied one can even ask for an extra helping of 25 grams of pure ghee, which comes for Rs. 10. For those who have never been there, Shree Shyam Nivas (2-2-57/4, Pan Bazar, near Gujarati Jain Temple, Secunderabad) is worth a try for its simplicity in this world of complexities.


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