The name, you'll realise, is perfect: this is all about kebabs, and this is all about being "Bahar". Alfresco settings don't get much better than this.
Kebab-E-Bahar is one restaurant that's for dinner only. And it's not hard to figure out why, when you step into the amazing ambience of the place. But that's only in the gloaming. Leave it to mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun. And in 42C Hyderabadi summers, to inevitably wind up sun-stroked.
Come the evening, even sultry summer evenings seem to drop a degree or two as you sit by the lake and take a pull on your tall, cold glass. And winter evenings take on a warm glow with the perfect nighttime lighting.The Scene
Coming out of the air-conditioned lobby, you step onto the paved floors of a different world altogether. There's the delectably laid out wine table, greenery all around, the twinkling of lights on the lake, the far-away honking and bustle of city traffic, and the promise of open flames. In fact, unless you look up, you can even forget you're only a few meters away from the air-conditioned climate-controlled interiors of the Taj Banjara
Settle into the comfortable chairs, marveling at the complete lack of mosquitoes, and your expectations rise as the menu reaches you. The elegant, innovative and regal menu keeps those expectations on the upward swing.
Service is warm and friendly. This is an ambience you want to linger in. Dawdle over the aperitifs. Pick up your drink and stroll down the lawns to the pool. Lean on the railing and gaze into the impenetrably murky waters. Walk up the hillock to the gazebo.
And finally head back to your table to tuck into the food.The Food
You can, of course, order from the menu. A better choice is to ask your waiter for his recommendations. And an even better idea is to walk over to the open kitchen where you can see the chefs, all-in-white, with their wares all around.
Given the name, it's scarcely a surprise that the kebabs are outstanding. Order them early, since service is desultory. Sometimes quick and attentive, while at other times you have to fire a cannon to draw attention to your wants.
The main course is uniformly good. Flavors and textures are even better than the presentation. Aromas sometimes tend to get overpowered by the sundry redolences that sheer off the lake in some seasons. Which is a shame, since the herbs, spices and seasonings seem to ache to part with their soul.
The food is richer for that. And is, quite simply, good. The best dish on order is the Pathar Ka Gosht. Vegetarians can only feel bad, since the best vegetarian dish the Tandoori Bharwan Alu falls short of this remarkable effort.
You can also order a platter. Yes, that's the coward's way out of making difficult decisions. But take heart - the better part of valour is discretion. And doubtless with the Bard's approval, you won't be disappointed that you ducked the challenge of choosing between equals.The Verdict
Kebab-E-Bahar is an excellent restaurant. The locale is perfect, the food almost divine. A shade more attention to the service, and this would be one of the seven culinary heavens. Except for that damnable fly in the best of ointments: the price.