Bengali Food in Hyderabad: United Kitchens of India vs Nabanno

By: Sourav

I had a full-on gastronomic celebration of the Bengali New Year over Bengali food in Hyderabad. Dancing to the tune of the foodie in me, I visited two restaurants, United Kitchens of India and Nabanno, on this occasion. Both of these restaurants came up with a unique Bengali Food Festival in Hyderabad. I found some of the dishes common between UKI and Nabanno. It is the taste of food, not the menu which compelled me to share my experience with you through a comparative review of UKI’s Borsho Boron buffet and Nabanno’s Bengali New Year special buffet.

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Starters: United Kitchens of India vs Nabanno 

United Kitchens of India’s Bengali food menu has six starters: Beguni, Mochar chop, Dimer devil, Bhetki Fry, Mutton Kobiraji and Murshidabadi chicken, while Nabanno served only 4 starters in the Bengali New Year special buffet. UKI’s starters are as different from Nabanno’s starters as chalk from cheese. The former’s is far better than the latter’s in taste, texture and size. Mochar chop was the first to hit my plate at UKI. The very first bite of it literally made me restless to have the next starters. One round of Bhetki fry, Mutton kobiraji, Beguni and Murshibadi chicken is enough to excuse your stomach for a break before you gorge the main course dishes at UKI. Beguni and Mochar Chop are so perfect as to make you feel nostalgic. I enjoyed Bhetki fry and succulent Murshidabadi chicken with kasundi to my heart’s content.

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Four out of Six Starters on Bengali Food Menu of United Kitchens of India

At Nabanno, the starters including Bhetki pakora, Dhonepatar boda and Mushroom chop were disappointing except Radhuni Chicken (a chicken curry dish with wild celery seeds). The first three starters tasted more or less the same because of thick chickpea flour (besan) coating and very thin stuffing. It was painful to differentiate between them on the basis of their individual taste. My experience of Radhuni Chicken at Nabanno differed from a few food blogs which refere to it as a spicy dish. I liked it though it was a little bland.

Main Course: United Kitchens of India vs Nabanno

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Pictures of Main Courses of UKI’s Bengali Food Menu

These two restaurants in Hyderabad gave each other a tough competition in the main course of their festive Bengali food menus. Believe me, I am not exaggerating. Both UKI and Nabanno served the same number of dishes in the main course. It’s quite difficult to compare their respective main course dishes. Nabanno’s Paneer Potoler Dorma was the answer to UKI’s Shukto which I had after a long time in Hyderabad. It made me recall my days at Burdwan Town’s Ramakrisha Ashram where shukto is cooked with coconut gratings and offered to the presiding deities on all festive occasions. I enjoyed Nabanno’s Paneer Potoler Dorma too.

Both UKI’s Siraji Mangsho and Nabanno’s Mutton Kosa thrilled my taste buds. Even if I am bribed, I cannot rate one higher than the other. The same is true about Bhetki Shorshe at both restaurants. UKI’s Echorer Dalna was a strong contender to Nabanno’s Mochar Ghonto. I equally enjoyed Echorer dalna and Mochar Ghonto with steamed rice. UKI’s Chingi Malaicurry and Nabanno’s Galda Chingri Malaicurry scored the same in taste to me. I think Pabda Gondhoraj, the third fish curry in Nabanno’s main course, was unnecessary. I was not willing to share my joy of eating Bhetki Shorshe and Chingri Malaicurry with any third fish delicacy.

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The Main Course of Nabanno’s Bengali Food Menu

Kolkata Biryani was the main highlight of Nabanno’s Bengali New Year special buffet. It stole the show with the foodie in me. I strongly recommend Kolkata Biryani to United Kitchens of India so that their Bengali food menu be more tempting than it is now.

I found the dish of Luchi and Cholar Dal a little better at United Kitchens of India than at Nabanno. It’s simply because of my weakness for mishti cholar dal which typical Bengali foodies have with crispy luchi on festive occasions like Poila Boisakh (the first day of Bengali New Year). At Nabanno, Cholar Dal was not sweet at all. UKI’s Cholar Dal was seasoned with coconut grating, which is another reason why I liked it more than Nabanno’s. However, Nabanno pleased me with the best alternative to Cholar Dal for Luchi and that is Gurer Payesh. Kancha Amer Chutney (raw mango chutney) gave me goosebumps at both restaurants in Hyderabad.

Desserts: United Kitchens of India vs Nabanno

Both UKI and Nabanno offered three desserts on their Bengali food menus. If UKI pleased me with Sondesh, Nalen Gurer Rosogulla and Chenna Payesh, Nabanno satisfied me with Gurer Payesh, Rosogolla and Doi Bundi (which was a little sweet and cold to my liking).

Pricing: United Kitchens of India vs Nabanno

Nabanno’s buffet was priced at Rs 680 plus tax (which cost me Rs 820 excluding a mineral water bottle), whereas UKI’s Bengali food fest buffet costs Rs 749 (Al) at lunch and Rs 799 (Al) at dinner. Now you can see which is more pocket friendly.

For your information, Nabanno’s Bengali New Year special buffet was over on 17th April whereas UKI’s Bengali food festival is going on (24th April is the last date).

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