Zafraan Exotica - some places in my to go dining list skips my priority but when anyone in foodie groups mention about this place , it sparks in my mind "Man, You got to make it here Dude". Such things dont happen per plan nor you can force it. Its meant to happen. Hearing so much about their lunch buffet as one of the most VFM buffets in Hyderabad for its price and food flavors, all it needed for was a good company and a plan.
Fellow Foodie Friends planned a mid week lunch catch up and Manish Bhai right away zeroed on Exotica and Noor Bhai was kind enough to book a table in advance for our lunch meetup at 6th April.
Ambience (Decor & Interiors):
Exotica located in 5th floor has a serene entrance with a calm and Buddha stateue in middle of water fountain welcoming you. the service staff was courteous to immedialy assign us a open seating table and I was to be frank quite skeptical about the scortching summer and how will we enjoi the food. But then they had enough fans and water sprinklers which at first felt little breezy and watery over the plates but then we realized it was the need of the our. Bsed on my experience I would opt outside anytime as it gives you nice ambiance to relax with fellow friends and also see happy dining faces and some fresh natural air as well. Service was spot on to engage us in our food journey. the entire buffet spread is inside along with I would say around 30-40 pax capacity but I felt inner seating was too cranky and congested and a bit noisy as well.
Overall not over the top ambiance but definitely soothing and one of the most calm settings I have dined in. Lets say overall I'm pleased 100%
Exotica and its Manager Mr. Kedar Das were kind enough to give us multiple mocktails each one for us and the platter itself was so pleasing. It had lassi, virgin mojito, passion fruit, mango cooler, kiwi apricot cooler and many more. Lets just say every one of them was absolutely fresh, soothing for the heat and absolutely visual mastery. One of the places that bowled us on drinks flat and straight. The Virgin Mojito was the most favourite which many of us loved it and was one of the most freshest ones I have had in recent times.
The buffet menu was quite impressive with 2 soups / 7 salads / 6 starters (3 - Non veg and 3-Veg) / 12 veg main course / 4 non veg main course. Accompaniments / Live Counters / Fresh Fruits / 6 Desserts . Everything for around 500+ is STEAL OF THE DEAL BUFFET in the area.
Salads & Soups - Among salads, the cold potato and mayo salad impressed me as it was cold and potatoes were fresh. The soup however was very normal one but had the right flavours but nothing WOW.
Chilly Chicken, Hot Garlic Prawns, Murgh Lehsuni Kebab, Sonda Aloo, Panner Tikka Chutney Wala, Spinach Corn Kurkure - Chicken was a bit dry to me but everything else was awesome. My Toc picks wer Sonda Aloo and Lehsuni Kebab.
Murgh Masalaedar, Fish in Manchurian Sauce, Mutton Biryani, Raarha Panner, Egg Curry, Brinjal Fry, Burnt Galric Fried Rice - There were many more in veg options but I was stuffed with trying out these dishes. Everything was hot, aptly spiced and tasted awesome. Biryani was a bit overdosed with Ghee but then on feedback was served a different batch was definitely better than the one on the buffet servings. Fresh Fruit Cuts and accompaniments were also aptly served and nothing to complain about.
Live Counter served as masala dosa, I have never seen such thin and slim dosa but it tasted very good. Only disappointment was it was not served with any chutney like alam or coconut chuntey which would have been an awesome combo by itself.
Now this is where things werent WOW and didnt excite us much as it was the ordinary and standard ordeal - Gulab Jamun, Strawberry pastry, chocolate mousse, Rice Kheer, Chum Chum and ice creams.
Everything was visual Okish and flavorwise hit us but I felt one of them could have been a signature dish which would have notched this entire buffet experience 100% complete but nothing much to complain. But for the price I felt the desserts did total justice and IF I had to give 1 simple suggestion, please keep them refilled in this summer as people always never miss desserts in summer. We got most of them served for us in the table but then that wont be the case for every single customer.
Service & Hospitality:
Exotica Crew with Mr. Kedar Das , Santhosh Bhai were always approachable and ready to take care of customers and always on the toes. The entire crew was spot on and were literally runing here and there to take care of us till the end which to me was pleasantly gratified in that summer and taking care of customers. Hats off People... RESPECT. Mainly Santosh Bhai U ROCKSTAR :)
Exotica Lunch Buffet is one of the most or who am I kidding THE BEST VFM Buffet I have ever had in Hyderabad .. PERIOD. Just go there for lunch (and of course book your table as it literally is thronged by IT crowd left and right) BANG ON FOR YOUR BUCKS..I'm definitelyu taking my family here for lunch as I know they will be mighty impressed. Overall after a long time a complete lovely experience from start to finish.