The sister concern of Shadab
got a face-lift circa 2006, and looks polished, almost a mild flavor of chic, from outside. It isn't - the soul is that of an Irani cafe, and so's the service. And the water. The place is divided into the cafe and the dining area (where you are served the full menu), but the difference is mostly semantical - it's not like the dining area has upholstery or air-conditioning or any special feeling for you. They serve excellent biryani at Rs. 50-80, and don't want you to forget that. Fortunately for them, the city doesn't.
The menu at Aadaab is quite elaborate, a 12-page affair with 200+ options. What you find on most tables, however, is what you'd go there for, especially if from afar - the biryanis. They come in the chicken/fish/mutton/prawn/egg/veg variety, and the non-vegetarian varieties do the city's epicurean ethos proud - this is the place that made the dum-biryani famous.
And if you are eating the veg or the egg variety, there's a good chance you'll get some non-veg free, too - we found a piece of chicken stick in ours. The server was ambivalent - it seemed more like unfortunate wastage of food to him. He was also surprised we asked for a spoon, so the experience for him must have been complete.
Aadaab also serves a vast range of everything in North-Indian, Mughlai and Chinese, like it's more famous old city sibling - the variety in chicken, mutton and seafood across these cuisines can satisfy the most self-respecting glutton. There are 20 varieties in just grills and kebabs, and a surprising 30 veg gravies. Plus paya, shorba, zaban, shermal, kalla josh and other Nahari stuff you'd quite expect in this quintessentially Hyderabadi joint. Yes, a good breakfast option, too, especially considering it opens at 5am.
Aadaab is a good way to taste the food of the old city without having to go all the way there. Now there's a deal.