Hyatt Gachhibowli was among the first hotels I visited after landing in Hyderabad. Back then, it used to belong to Ista Hotels, which was eventually acquired by Hyatt. Even though the property is located in the busy financial district, it feels serene, idyllic, and calming. From the tranquil lobby to the beautiful water bodies, the hotel exudes a sense of quiet elegance. Last week, I was invited to experience the launch of the new Teppanyaki menu was Collage, the all-day dining restaurant.
Teppanyaki means “grilling on an iron plate” and is a style that was introduced by the Misono restaurant chain in Japan, but has gained popularity across the world. In a typical Teppanyaki restaurant, the diners are seated around the Teppan and are served directly by the Chef. The format encourages interaction with the chef, while the cooking style uses fresh ingredients and emphasizes natural flavours.
Chef Prasanth Martha, who is the Sous Chef at Hyatt Hyderabad, served us a four-course meal comprised of soups and salads, sushis, tempura, and teppanyaki. First up was a vegetarian version of the Miso soup prepared from vegetable and seaweed stock without any dashi. Don’t let that disappoint you though, because the soup was so good that I barely missed the bonito. I was told that it might be possible to get the version with dashi if requested in advance. The salad, with its delicate blend of fresh avocado, wakame seaweed, and cucumber in a ginger dressing was also got two thumbs up from everyone.
Next up was Ebi Tempura – battered and deep fried Prawn. Prawn Tempura is a dish that has found its way into the menu of many-a-restaurants in the city. And it’s not difficult to see why this dish might appeal to the local palate that loves the Pakodas and Bhajjis. But, there’s something quite special about a well-made tempura with a crispy, airy, golden coloured crust, and the ones I was served were right on the money. Chef Martha also utilized the Ebi Tempura for his next dish – California Uramaki. The tempura was rolled along with Crab stick, Cucumber, and Japanese Mayo and wrapped in a layer of rice. For vegetarians, Chef prepared Sushi Moriwase with Shitake Mushroom, Pickled Radish, and Asparagus. While the Moriwase was among the better veg sushis that I’ve had, the California Uramaki stole the show (to the surprise of perhaps absolutely no one).
The final course for the day was a serving of Japanese Fried Rice (Yasai Yakemeshi) and Chicken (Tori) Teppanyaki, which Chef Martha whipped up within minutes. I’m not the biggest fan of Chicken, but the Tori Teppan was really good – tender, buttery chicken with a zesty sauce and assorted sauteed veggies.
The full Teppanyaki menu features over two dozen dishes distributed across the four courses. Most of the dishes are priced between Rs. 500 and Rs. 800, which seems reasonable considering what’s on offer. The Teppan counter will be operational every day between 11 AM and 11 PM. Barring the occasional food promotions and limited sushi menu at a handful of restaurants, Hyderabad doesn’t have anything to offer diners interested in experiencing Japanese cuisine. I’m thrilled that Collage is relaunching its Teppan menu and offering the city an opportunity to experience a facet of Japanese cuisine.