Wednesday, August 11, 2010

À la carte vs. Buffet @ Hyderabad.

I decided to write on this topic because of the present dining scenario in several restaurants of Twin Cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. In the recent past many restaurants have come up here offering different cuisines, giving us several alternatives to choose from. Few years ago it was ‘A la carte’ at all restaurants for Lunch or Dinner. It was only during special occasions or ethnic food festivals that Buffet Lunches or Dinners were being organized. Today a majority of restaurants are offering Buffet Lunches and Dinners throughout the year, besides ‘A la carte’. So every time we think of going to a restaurant we have to decide where to go and whether we have to go for a Buffet or ‘A la carte’!
These days my preference is mostly a Buffet Dinner if the occasion is on week days, and a Buffet Lunch if it is on a Sunday. My Sons also love Buffets and my wife a poor eater will have to accompany us. ‘A la carte’ is my choice when my appetite is not good, when I wish to eat something very specific or it is an afternoon meal on week days. With stiff competition between restaurants the Buffet spread is quite large, with plenty of appetizers, starters, salads, main course items and a variety of items for dessert. With lots of items to chose and taste it is always a fulfilling meal. With most Buffets in the city priced between Rs. 250 to Rs. 600 it is more or less equivalent to ‘A la carte’ prices. The 2nd and 3rd photographs above; list the price of meals for two in few restaurants of the City and the 5th, 6th and 7th pictures are sample menus cards. I have included these pictures to indicate that the price difference between an ‘A la carte’ meal and Buffet is not much.
The general arguments against a Buffet that the food is stale and unhygienic as it is spread well in advance, only re-heated and not freshly cooked and exposed to movements and actions of staff and guests around, is not true these days. The Buffet spread is managed very well, small portions are laid and fresh refills are made and what has to be served fresh and hot like Rotis is served at your table. And when it comes to Kababs they are brought from the kitchen grill to the grill on your table to cook to your requirement and enjoy them in the best way. In this connection you may see my earlier posts and the photographs in them:
In short I like both, A la carte and Buffet meals, as long as the ambience is good and the food is good. And in conclusion I would like to express my feelings on food through two popular quotations:
“I am not a glutton – I am an explorer of food.”
“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.”

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