Three new restaurants have opened in a building in Somajiguda. Flame & Grill, Sigree and another branch of Mainland China. The location is perfect – kinda mid-way between the twin cities. I’ve been keen on trying them out for a about a month now and finally got my chance last week. A dinner plan after work saw us booking a table at Flame & Grill and making our way up to the rooftop restaurant.
The ambience is nice. They’ve gone all out and given the entire place a woody feel to it. The whole place has a wood finish in tones of brown and is not bad at all. Unfortunately, for Flame & Grill, this is where the good part of this review ends. We were handed the drinks menu and after about ten minutes of going around the table and deciding what to order, were informed that they don’t serve alcohol. I had a minor WTF moment. Not because they don’t serve booze, but because it didn’t occur to the staff to tell us while we were deciding! [WTF moment 1] Anyway, this restaurant is using a refreshingly original concept that Barbecue Nation brought to Hyderabad two years back and then passed on to Chattees who in turn implemented it in both their restaurants. Yes. The do-it-yourself, table-top mini barbecue is what I’m talking about. Yawwn.
The snacks started turning up and nothing was particularly good. I liked the potatoes and the mushrooms, but the non-veg stuff was seriously insipid. Just when I was in the middle of a fruitless flavour locating expedition to the center of a chicken tikka, a glass of Sprite arrived. Sprite, that we had not ordered. Apparently, the folks at F&G think that Sprite is a replacement for Lemonade. Yup. We ordered Lemonade off the mocktail menu and they coolly sent us Sprite because Lemonade wasn’t available. Who the hell does that without asking first? [WTF moment 2]
The service is ridiculous. They’ve trained their staff to smile terrifyingly at the guests and stun them into silent dining by the sheer number of teeth on display. The waiter we had was particularly bad and had been trained to serve the snacks off the skewers using the diner’s own fork. Not cool at all. The buffet again was mediocre. The Hyderabadi in me had to try the biryani, so I got me some mutton B. and went off in search of some Mirchi ka Salan. I was amazed to hear that they don’t serve the stuff with their biryani at this place [WTF moment 3]. Anyway, I decided to quietly eat my biryani with some raita and be done with it but astonishingly, they don’t serve raita either! [WTF moment 4]. The waiter promised to get some from the pantry and send it to the table, but I guess everyone in the kitchen died because the damn thing never came [WTF moment 5].
We finished dinner, said ‘fuck it’ and decided to get the check and get the hell out before these fools could ruin the evening any more. Unfortunately they made us wait for twenty more minutes during which they insisted that I fill out their feedback form [WTF moment 6]. I couldn’t take the waiter’s ingratiatingly fearsome death-grin any more, so I succumbed and filed out the damn thing. Paid and left.
I’d rate this place 2 / 10 at best. The two points coming by way of location and ambience. One thing I forgot to mention was the crappily designed grill. The heat radiates out from under the table and makes your knees sweat. This is a lousy restaurant with poorly trained staff and mediocre food. Do yourself a favour and give it a miss.
Over and out.