After putting down some of the food that we had ordered on our last visit, I got a email and follow up call from the owner of Anantara - Dilip asking me for feedback and he wanted to better my experience at Anantara so we went in last evening - again.
True to his work, the menu card was completely redone and now they even had a liquor menu ( prices also seemed jacked up :) )
My first observation was that the tomato dhaniya shorba was missing. The explanation I got was that rogan was being added to the shorba because of which, if continuously boiled, the oil would float - ahaa ( I was right in sending it back ).
After exchanging pleasantries with Dilip we let Dilip decide the food for us that evening because we also happened to be reviewing his new items on the menu card.
Long story short, there was what we ate last night with a short description of what it tasted.
Lemon & Coriander - pretty neat. All flavors in balance. Would have loved it to be more of a clear soup.
-Deghi Mirch Murgh Tikka - ideally this is a spicy chicken tikka, but was rather bland, no distinctive flavor of any spice
-Murgh Malai tikka - subtle and absolutely delicious
-Apollo fish - Decent preparation but overpowering taste of curry leaves/kadipatta
-Paneer tikka - lacked marination ( insides of the paneer were white ). If the marination from the outside doesn't hold in the tandoor , you are looking at a charred paneer piece
-Thread Paneer - I had it at Khan Saab before (Karara paneer kebab ) - again marinade did not penetrate the paneer
The main course
-Dal makhni - I like my dal slow cooked and thick. This was a good effort but did not meet my expectations.
-The methi murgh - was outstanding. If you can make a methi dish without it becoming bitter - its a success. I have eaten very few methi based dishes that are this well made - full credit.
-The handi subzi was ok, like all others
-Kaju paneer - I did not like the overpowering blandness because of the kaju. Its rich, its thick and all it does is bloat your stomach. Will never be ordering this :)
The Pudina Palak Kaju palao ( the way I like it - tossed with all veges ). Pretty good.
The desserts unfortunately offer no variety across the breadth of Hyderbad. The same khubani ka meeta , the same ice creams. We were served with some angoori gluab jamun, these were pretty nice. They weren't raw in the middle and did not smell of old khowa being used.
All in all the wallet attack was 0, but the intention to improve your customers experience was what I liked.
However, the table was getting special attention because of the owner being present. I would like to see this kind of attention being given even when he is not around, that experience will actually set the rating of a review.
Also the staff should at least know the basic cutlery positioning ( spoon and fork parallel to each other does not mean you want more food :) )
Ambiance - 4/5 ( 1 point deducted for want of high chair )
Service - cant rate
Food - 3.5/5 ( did not like kaju paneer and Apollo 'kadipatta' fish )
I for sure now know whom to approach if my food is not good. Hopefully future visits will raise the bar.