Jonathan’s Kitchen is an all-day dining restaurant nestled inside Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Gachhibowli. The décor is minimalistic and elegant yet striking thanks to the combination of natural stone, brick and teak. The menu is big, both literally and figuratively. Jonathan’s Kitchen offers an interesting blend of Hyderabadi khana, Mughlai delicacies, Pan Asian specialties, American quick bites, and European delights.
I attended a food tasting session at Jonathan’s Kitchen last month, and got to sample a huge chunk of their diverse menu. We kicked things off with a platter of Sushi. We were served Shawar Maki (Chicken), Volcano (Crab), Vegetable Maki, and Crispy Cottage Cheese Tempura. While the Volcano was good, I loved the Shawar Maki. However, the true revelation were the Vegetable Sushi. This was the first time I felt that not only were the veg sushi’s worth eating, but were delicious. The cottage cheese sushi is a unique creation of Jonathan’s kitchen that’s fried and served warm. These were without a doubt the best Sushi that I’ve had in Hyderabad.
Next up was a simple yet delightful dish – marinated olives with garlic baguette. Who knew that marinated olives and sun dried tomatoes could taste this good! The next dish continued with the Olive theme – Focaccia Olive Melt. If you don’t like the sharp taste of marinated olives, this dish is a good alternative for you. In both the dishes, the quality of bread was outstanding, and this is something which was true for the burger buns which we were served later. We finished off the round with Baby Corn Tempura and Falafel Kebab, both of which were decent, but forgettable.
We resumed our Oriental trail with Chicken Satay, Oriental Chicken Drummets, Peanut Crusted Fish, and Buttered Prawns. We had complaints regarding the non-veg appetisers and some of the foodies received semi-cooked dishes. This probably happened because the kitchen used frozen meat without thawing it properly. Since this was a food tasting session where dozens of foodies had to be served tons of food in quick time, I am willing to overlook this guffaw. However, serving raw meat to a customer is a cardinal offense. The peanut crusted fish stood out with its unique flavour profile however, the best tasting dishes were the satay and the drummets. Folks who care about authenticity might find the satay to be a bit too tender, but I definitely like my meat to be tender and juicy. The peanut sauce served with it elevated the humble street food into something worthy of having in a restaurant. Unfortunately, the buttered prawns were pretty mediocre.
In Soups. I tried the Minestrone Soup and Chicken Noodle soup. I loved the noodle soup, which is a clear soup with loads of veggies. But, the overtly tangy Minestrone was an affront to my palate. We were served two salads – Green Apple Carpaccio and Salad Nicoise. I’m not a big fan, but event I couldn’t help but dig into the apple salad which was finished up in seconds. The combination of green apple, walnut, cheese and lemon mustard dressing was brilliantly refreshing. Nicoise is a tuna salad served with French beans, olives, and hard boiled eggs. This wasn’t a bad dish by any means, it was definitely overshadowed by the Carpaccio.
Next up were burgers. The crispy chicken burger was served with a chunky patty layered with cheese and companied by a fries bucket. As far as burgers go, this one was pretty decent, but definitely not a stand out. The ham burger on the other hand was pretty great.
In main course we started off with Involtini Di Pollo – chicken breast stuffed with sausage. The cannelloni beans, and the smoky flavour of the chicken made an otherwise bland dish worth eating. The star of the International Affair section is Saltimbocca Alla Romana. The menu describes it as pan fried tenderloin wrapped in ham and mashed potato served with creamy mushroom sauce. The tenderloin wasn’t medium rare as I love, but it was still extremely juicy and the pairing with ham made it absolutely heavenly. I would come back to Jonathan’s Kitchen just to try this dish again.
From the Oriental Kitchen we were served Hot and Numbing vegetables, Asian green vegetables with Tofu, Classic Stir Fry, and Noodles. This was probably the weakest section of our meal. None of the dishes were bad, but they weren’t just as good as the other stuff. The Stir Fry had a sweetness to it which I liked, while the Hot and Numbing veggies had a decent amount of heat coming through. The Asian greens were pretty average.
From the desi section, we had Roti, Naan, and Olive Naan, which were accompanied by Makkai ki Sabzi, Paneer Lasooni Palak, Dal Tadka, and Kadai Murgh. I didn’t taste any of them as I was too stuffed by the time we got to the Indian section. However, the verdict on the table was that the Olive Naan and the Dal Tadka were fabulous.
To wrap up our grand meal, we had Cheese Cake, Lemon Tart and Tiramisu. The Cheese Cake would have been perfect, if not for the slightly soggy base. The Lemon Tart had a really sharp tangy taste, which appealed to me but can turn off some. The Tiramisu was well constructed and had the alcoholic flavour that I love.
Jonathan’s Kitchen is priced on the higher side with a meal for two likely to cost around two thousand. However, they have quite a few stand out dishes that’ll make you to ‘wow’. Very few places in Hyderabad can match up to it in terms of ambiance, diversity, and taste.