If Awful Awful, Lewinsky, Lady In Red and Titanic mean anything special to you, well, it's a small world.
The Havmor joint at Ohri's Banjara is the bigger, better version of arguably the most popular brand of arguably the most popular brand of eat-outs in town. Originally an ice-cream/sundae specialty place, Havmor is perhaps the most familiar of all Ohri eat-outs - and there are several of them now - and perhaps the only one to find a place at almost every Ohri's branch in town (no, not even Ming's Court
has that honor).
Ohri's Banjara became a landmark on Road No. 12 the day it was inaugurated - okay, give or take a couple of days. The multi-floor restaurant complex features Havmor on the ground floor, and gives the eatery the honor it always deserved - space.
While you would look like you are overdoing it if you went gung-ho over the interiors, it's okay to feel redeemed at your choice of a presentable eat-out. Done in sober light shades, the place can accommodate a 100 diners easily at once, and interacts with you through captains of reassuring demeanor. The tall, blazer-clad gentlemen will make suggestions, take orders, and even clean the table for you if all other staff are busy.
Ohri's can be crowded, and it's mostly SEC A. Weekends more so. The midnight biryani, served from 11:30pm to 3am (Rs. 225 + taxes weekdays, and Rs. 275 + taxes weekends, in Mar 2008), is a favorite with all the people who either work late or party late, and seek food and refuge at ungodly hours when most other joints are sealing their borders.
Havmor is still known most for its sundaes, but the menu has spilled into all categories of fast food. You get soups and salads, burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, pastas, veg and non-veg dosas, nachos, hot and cold coffees, and even midnight biryani. The French Fries with Mayo sauce is popular, as is the chola batura - they claim the cholas are the largest in town, and if you like to boast that you eat the largest helpings in town, there's something for you.
The place is, of course, a dessert speciality, and while the offer of one cake free for every one that you eat might seem appealing, they don't need to do anything like that with the shakes and sundaes. For many affluent teenagers of town, Awful Awful, Bull's Eye and Lady In Red are part of mental makeup. The nuts, honey, chocolate fudge and whipped cream toppings make for great memories - and extended workouts.
You have to pay, of course - for the food as well as the real estate. At the time that we write this (Oct 2007), Awful Awful costs Rs. 130 here as opposed to Rs. 110 at the Havmor at Ohri's Cuisine Court in Basheerbagh
. The fact that this bigger and more expensive place is more crowded is a good lesson in Hyderabadi geography. To cut your costs, opt for the lunch buffet, at Rs. 186 (March 2008) on weekdays, and Rs. 260 weekends.
Many people have seen an occasional indulgence turn into a habit at Havmor. Watch that waist.