I went to a place called Rayalaseema Ruchulu last week. The board caught my eye just as I zipped past the building in Lakdi-ka-Pul. It was blazing hot and I just wanted to get out of the sun as soon as possible. It was lunch time and since I found the name interesting, we soon found ourselves reversing the car and handing it over to the valet.
Rayalaseema Ruchulu, is located in a budget business hotel in Lakdi-ka-Pul. Believe it or not, the place is called the Ritzy Orchid! We made our way up to the restaurant on the second floor and got a table. The decor was pretty average – nothing out of the world but the place looked clean and the decent enough. With a name like Ritzy Orchid, I was kinda expecting a golden cage with a cabaret dancer inside or at least a few chicks with feathered boas and a piano. Unfortunately, we found nothing of the sort inside.
We were seated and given Jal Jeera (their welcome drink) on the house. The menu had some pretty interesting things on it. The Rayalseema specialities included some classics like Gutti Vankaya Kura, Natu Kodi Pulusu, Ragi Sankati and Royyalu Iguru. To be honest, I found the menu pretty similar to what they had at Kadhalivacchina Kanaka Durga. They did have this crazy thing called Talakaya Mamsam – goat’s head cooked in Rayalaseema spices. I didn’t try this, but it did leave me wondering if South India had found an answer to Scotland’s Haggis.
I’ve always been keen on trying Ragi Sankati. This is basically Ragi (millet flour) mixed into boiling water and cooked till it forms a smooth ball. Its a pretty filling thing to eat and is very healthy too. Anyway, I ordered a portion of Ragi Sankati, Bommidaya (sardines) Pulusu, Royyalu Iguru and some steamed rice. The food reached us in a reasonable amount of time and blew the roof off the place.
Rayalaseema Ruchulu served up some of the greatest prawns I’ve had in this city. I totally loved the food. The food was distinctly different from that at KKD and totally delivered in all departments. Wonderful flavours, aromas and all round goodness. The service was good too. I enjoyed my lunch so much, that day that I actually went back for dinner the next night.
I ordered a few different things like Gongura Mamsam and Natu Kodi Pulusu this time. The mutton was very good, but the chicken curry fell short of the mark. The Natu Kodi Pulusu at KKD was a lot better. However, I maintain that Rayalaseema Ruchulu is the better restaurant in terms of service, quality of food and ambience. Don’t let the name (Ritzy Aarchid) scare you off, people. This is a restaurant you must try. Its well worth the money you’ll pay.
Wover and out.