Chow on the chowkis


The Romans never held orgies without first arranging for poets and minstrels. If hunger is the best sauce, music certainly is the best spice. This fortnight, good food meets mellow music at the terrace garden at Hotel Green Park.

Shaam-e-ghazal brings gourmets an opportunity to tuck into the best of Hyderabadi cuisine in the backdrop of lilting ghazals. We dropped in to check out the fare and to start with, found the ambience in keeping with the mood. Eating under the open sky is one experience that doesn't often come your way. There's more than a hint of chill in the air, so come with woollens to cut the cold.

With muted lighting and comfortable chowkis, the setting gives gourmets a glimpse of how royal repasts were conducted back in the Nizam era. The cuisine is essentially Deccani starting with dal and chicken shorbas. Haleem lovers needn't wait for another year to get a plate of their favourite festival khana. The dish is available in the buffet, which also features Yakhani Pulao, Dum Ka Murgh and Fish Salan. While waiting for your orders, count on ghazal singers Kaleem Khan and Prasad to put romance in the air with their verses. From Ghulam Ali's Chupke chupke to Jagjit Singh's Hothon se choo lo tum, the duo and tabla nawaz Mohammad Osman present the best of verses in Urdu for the connoisseurs. The singers also take requests. Those who fancy a few pegs can head for the bar in the corner that serves regular liquor fare.

More on food, vegetarians can choose Veg Shammi Kebab, Dal Tadka, Dum Ki Gobi, assorted salads and other items to go along with roti or rice. The desserts section features Khubani Ka Meetha, Sheer Korma, Semia Kheer, Kaju Burfi, ice creams and more sweetmeats. A word of caution: check out if the chowki you are sitting on is under a lamppost. If it is, chances are, with the insects that hover over the lamps, you might find more than Nizami food on your plate. When pointed out, the management did promise to take care of the matter. The festival is on till November 27 and costs Rs. 299 plus taxes.