Zila in Hyderabad is elevating Indian classics with progressive culinary twists

Zila, a progressive Indian restaurant at district150, celebrates many Indian favourites in avant-garde style

Updated - December 09, 2023 04:42 pm IST

Published - December 07, 2023 03:40 pm IST

  • Restaurant Zila at district150
  • Cuisine Indian
  • Cost ₹₹₹
  • Address SEE MAP
Scallop at Zila

Scallop at Zila

Mirchi ka salan is served like a sauce with scallops; alu-pitika replaces the mash in the lamb chops;  khichdi without rice; Assam tea in the form of a mousse and so on. That is only a glimpse of the kind of food Zila, a progressive Indian restaurant in Hyderabad, has for you.   

Progressive Indian food implies showcasing classic Indian food with a twist in presentation and combination. Once you take a bite, you will taste the familiar and yet be left wondering about its exact flavour palette.

Zila looks like a place meant for serious conversations. But don’t let that intimidate you; though you’d best go in casuals, if not formal.  



To be honest, I was a little puzzled about what to eat, despite the printed menus. When I asked chef Krishna Chaitanya for suggestions and recommendations, and I expressed my eagerness to see what he has on offer. 

he simply wanted to know if I was looking for vegetarian or non-vegetarian fare. Even though I wanted to go all non-vegetarian, he said there would be one vegetarian starter. Thecold appetiser, kachumber, is a combination of salad and soup and would not disappoint, he assured. Really! I thought. A deep plate arrived with a frothy liquid, with a tiny mound of neatly curled fine vegetable shavings in the centre. Drink the cucumber and tomato juice and munch on the cucumber shavings topped with cherry tomatoes and chaat masala dressing. Chic and healthy. 

Firangi Chips at Zila

Firangi Chips at Zila

Then came a bowl of addictive shakarkand chips(sweet potato), khakra and khasta papdi with dips. If you go there with the intention of trying out some of their signature dishes, then save that for the last course or go another day. The dip was delicious, hummus made from ghugni (the eastern style of preparing choley), clotted sour cream and togarashi. Ghugni and chips as a combination can never be boring like this.  

The bite-size mutton taco (Zila’s take on roti-pe-boti) was polished off in no time. This is an amazing finger-food to go around the table. The next food to come was scallop. It was served on a bed of creamy sauce and as I sat licking the sauce after wiping off the scallop, I kept quizzing myself about the dip. Finally, I gave up and let the chef enlighten me on the familiar but mysterious flavour. It was a smooth reduction of Mirchi ka salan.

Then came mixed vegetable poriyal with short grain rice risotto, mascarpone and parmesean crisp. No will refuse poriyal served this way. The other option is Not Regular Khichdi, a dish that has truffle scented millet and quinoa with brown butter morels, yogurt pearls and achari emulsion. But like a khichdi.

The finale was the Lamb Chop, Golbari-style lamb chops with Assamese aloo pitika (Assam style potato mash). Perfect way to please a potato-loving Assamese.

Chai as a dessert at Zila

Chai as a dessert at Zila

Portion sizes here are not meant for big eaters to share. It is a progressive Indian restaurant, not a thali place, so keep that in mind while ordering. With so much to taste, I barely had any space for desserts. Chef Krishna continued to tempt me by explaining the ingredients of the desserts, “Ode to Andhra is chakara pongal and cardamom ice cream with panakam emulsion and the masala chai isserved with savoiardi (ladyfinger cookies) with Assam tea mousse and salted Osmania crumble.”

Pro tip: Do not miss the gate entrance because if you do so, it is another 2 kilometers drive. So, make sure to look for Gate no 6 entry.


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