Pan-Asian cuisine is always happening in Hyderabad which seems to be everyone's favourite to experiment with food and cuisines. City is becoming more receptive of international cuisines and being appreciative of goof food at all levels. It's a cuisine which can be as simple as serving a simple jasmine tea till the most complex dish you can imagine to be served. When a 5-star brand like Radisson Blu has a full fledged in-house pan asian paradise, it doesn't get any better than this. I have heard of its loyal customer base and how authentic their servings are but really hadn't got chance to visit 'em. 

       Making a come back with a more vibrant red-black decor throughout the dining space, Holy Basil has made its presence again felt in the pan-asian space in Hyderabad and having its own loyal customer base, it only gets notched up with the new decor. The property by itself is so away from the ruckus of Banjara hills and you will be surprised to get there and feel the vibes of nature and minimal noises in the entire location. Located in ground floor of Radisson Blu, Holy Basil with new re-vamped menu and absolutely shocking rates to give a tough fight has only all the right tools to BANG ON!!!  Invited to experience their offerings and delicacies, I should say it doesn't matter about the food but everything sums up to a big unique ONE OF A KIND Experience.

Note: This review experience is based on Management Invite and was on the house & review shared is honest and unbiased in the interest of fellow readers and foodies.

1/10

          We were invited via Vishal aka Jet Set Eat for a review session and were seated in a spiral 7-seater table which by itself was very engaging. The major advantage is you can keep serving dishes and passing it on with the spiral rotating centre table and also engage in conversations as a bigger group which normally is a big dampener in big tables.

       

         Vishal then briefed us over the background of this place, its menu and its ideology of this new re-vamp, it only got us more engaging and this was followed by a quick introduction with the Chefs and their Ops Head Manager. Seated we started out with the simple Jasmine Tea and Basil based-drink.Jasmine Tea is customarily served to welcoming guests in Northern china to give an aromatic welcome. Having green tea as base, Chinese people are to have multiple servings of this throughout the meal as it instigates taste buds with its aromatic flavor and also the hotness eases eating much more efficiently. The basil based drink was also equally refreshing but on the chilled side. I liked both of them but table's favourite was Jasmin tea as it kept getting refilled again and again.

       On salads we were served Amuse Bouche consisting of garlic crackers, sautéed bell peppers, Kimchi Salad, watermelon with citric sauce. The salads look very simple but their flavors were bang on and definitely gives you a refreshing feel on every bite. garlic crackers were also so crispy that it just vanished inspite of multiple refills. Watermelon chunks wrapped in very thin cucumber wraps and cirtic sauce was another palate cleanser.

      Then came along an array of starters in a steady phase and each one of them were well explained by service staff and also craftily served with some amazing condiments & sauces. Tofu Haisin (tofu tossed in honey chilli sauce) and spring onions & lemon grass shoots was nicely flavored and the softness of tofu was mind blowing.Spinach and bamboo shoot dimsum from the Dimsums section was also nice and smooth coming from the richness and the cook on spinach and also was well balanced.

      We were then served Mix Veg Steamed Bao which by itself wasn't that much appealing but with the sauces, it was just about perfect - do try them with multiple sauce combinations based on your liking. The flavors were definitely elevated with the 5 styles of accompanying sauces including chilli-peanut sauce and green chilli vinegar sauces. Then came the Lotus Stem & Water Chestnut in honey chilli sauce which again had a nice sauce base and the crispiness from the lotus stems & water chestnuts was aptly balanced by the softness and smoothness from the sauce.

    Any pan-asian can be made or broken in terms of reputation based on how well their chefs master the art of making and serving top-class sushis. Now if starters served had any trace of how authentic dishes were coming, our expectations on Sushi was only heightened. We were served  3 variants as follows:

      Veg Californian Ura Maki / Sushi - typical mix veg roll up which was nice but was not WOW kind

      Spicy Avocado Ura Maki/Sushi - Big slice of avocado wrapped in bed of jasmine rice was brilliant. Even a non-veg lover like could appreciate the simplcicity and the flavors it gave us.

     Dragon Ura Maki/sushi - with panko fried jumbo prawns was my TOP PICK amongs all of them.Those gaint cooked or steamed prawns wrapped in spices was something you can keep munching on for ever. It was that good.

   From the Siu Mai or dimsums category, we were served both Prawns Siu Mai & Chicken Siu Mai.While the chicken variant seemed a bit dry for my liking, the prawn variant was a show stopper, and I had multiple servings of it. Crispy Lamb honey chilli was the next in the list and the top crispiness of the lamb was super crunchy and still had nice tinch of sauce flavor.Malaysian Lamb Satay was something to die for. The cook on the lamb chunks served in skewers and the softness it oozed along with the perfect sauce base was something to relish on even if you are kebab lover in general.

         As dishes started coming in steady pace and almost most of them enthralling us with amazing flavors, then comes the salads n soups to make a break of hogging. Som Tom Salad which is touted to be the most popular dish in Thailand which normally is served with dried shrimp or salted crab. Green papaya salad with dried shrimp and peanuts is called som tum thai. The green papaya salad with salted crab is called som tum pbooh. We were served the plain variant without any meat to keep it light and refreshing. 

         Yasai Miso Soup was served next and Vishal did warn us about the distinct flavor it brings and not many develop a liking for it. It is a traditional Japanese soup consisting of a stock called "dashi" into which softened miso paste is mixed. Mainly having  shiitake mushrooms which are also medicinal , it had may be carrot and radish as well. The soup is not everyone's liking as it has some tarnish flavor coming from the greens. It's a strong flavored soup and its something unique and quite different from umpteen soups you might have tried. Give it a try.

         Khao Souy was served as the veg variant and you dont have to know much about it if you are pan-asian lover. The condiments elevated the already perfect dish and the richness and aroma coming from strong coconut cream was nothing but bliss. You can go for this without any hesitations at Holy basil.

  As we were literally stuffed with all the dishes, we asked them to serve single servings of mains as we had to taste them without wasting. Phad Thai Noodles was apt and nicely flavoured, though I would have loved it with more pof peanut sauce and also nice dash of crushed peanuts which gives the dish a whole new level of richness, nevertheless it was nice. Jasmine Rice was served with Thai green curry (both veg and chicken variants)  was nice balanced dish. I loved the rice and the chicken variant of the green curry as it was complimenting the rice like nothing. The veg variant had too much crunch for my liking but the richness of the curry broth base was nothing but brilliant in both variants. Then came in another storming lamb dish - Braised Lamb tossed with 5 spice sauce was nothing but brilliant. The cook on the lamb making it just tender enough to be cut from the bones and the spice sauce was killer. I loved this dish and it made a perfect finale to this amazing pan-asian culinary experience.

       No cuisine experience or dinner ends with no Desserts. We were served two interesting and uniquely conceived dishes which should be appreciated for the creativity itself. Tub Tim Krub or rather tradionally called Thapthim krop, may not impress in its simple appearance but once you know the making, you will have a new level of respect for it. Having water chestnut chunks soaked and infused with rose syrup (which by the way tasted like rose gummies) and with sweetened coconut milk and fresh fruit cuts in skewer. This dish was top class. The crunchiness you get from the inside of water chestnuts and the softness from the soaking of rose syrup is so contrasting but yet so appealing. Its a definite try from their menu.

       Green Tea Mousse was a simple and subtle dessert which flavor-wise may not appeal if you a sweet-tooth but then if you want something different but also not overpower your main dishes flavor left alone, this one is for you.Its nothing but your traditional Japanese matcha style mousse and the nice gentle flavor coming from the green tea infusion is very evident. Nothing over sweet and just about something sweet makes it a nice wrapper if you are in for a lighter dessert. Do try it out if you not so sweet-tooth like me.

Service & Hospitality:

      The knowledge and awareness of what's being served to your customers and to make them feel taken care at all levels is what striked me most during my experience in the session. The staff and their manager were courteous and dishes being served with names was definitely a very good feel factor here. Bring a 5-starr property diner, they should be on top of their service game otherwise results and effects are obvious.

Verdict:

           Holy Basil - truly stands by its tag line "A Tru Oriental Experience" which I could definitely feel after our dining there. The authenticity with which dishes are made, the flavors being bang on and definitely the overall feel factor in that striking ambience all combined makes this place a must try. With the rates being so economical , you don't have to set back your choices as it is inside a 5-star property. For the pricing and the quantity served, I'm sure your experience would be justified and totally satisfactory.

 

Note: This review experience is based on Management Invite and was on the house & review shared is honest and unbiased in the interest of fellow readers and foodies.

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