The much needed break of ours was planned keeping in mind a short break and easy on the pocket. Well, travelling from Kolkata with 4 people by air was expensive to most places in the country, especially during Durga puja holidays. So the short listing of the places happened with the help of cleartrip. Vizag happened. Madhushree and I had decided that this time during the tour, we will stay away from social media and blogging inquisitiveness as much as possible. We were travelling with my son who is 4.5 years and my mother who is 70 plus.
When we reached Visakhapatnam on Sunday and checked into Novotel, the rooms were yet to be ready and we went to the Square. For the unknown, The Square is the all day dining of Novotel across.
Being a Sunday and holiday season, a Sunday Brunch being on the atmosphere was rather intimidating. There was a live band, a portrait artist and a humming sound of conversations across all tables and the infinity pool which looked into the sea. We didn’t want to try the buffet as we were a team which had 3 half eaters who could never do a justice to a buffet, especially a Sunday brunch. (What makes justice to a buffet? Eating beyond your capacity for selected items or trying out all the varieties?)
We ordered tomato pappu and mamsam vepuddu and mushroom pasta for the kid. The curious Madhushree had to call the chef to figure out the spices used in the dish and that’s when we met Chef Koriyappa Narasimhan and as always, one discussion led to other and we ended up discussing Karjyam vepudu. He promised us that for dinner he will prepare a range of South Indian delicacy for us. The infinity pool could not be ignored for long and by the time we came back to our rooms, both the senior most and junior most were tired enough to call it a day. Hence I apologized to chef, however he assured me that it is not a problem and in about 45 minutes, we had a WOW moment as guests.
It was a mini buffet dinner that was served to us in the room and the chef himself accompanied the food. It was a whole range of Andhra specialties of curry leaf chicken, royyalu (prawns) iguru, chapulu pulusu (fish curry), gazala chicken, patrani machhi made Andhra style, dal, lemon rice, tomato rice and finally ending with a delicious bowl of coconut payasam.
While we didn’t have much option of figuring out the street food in Vizag, in most of the places in RK beach, one can find various ice cream carts and corns and Moori Mixture or Puffed rice mixture. This is definitely not upto the standard of the Kolkata puffed rice mixture, which again is one of the iconic street foods of Kolkata. Looking for our evening snack, we discovered this :-) You must have heard about KFC – Vizag has MFC or My favourite chicken. They have almost the same menu as the big brother and the taste is quite similar. If one can compromise on the hygiene factor inside the store, then this is worth checking out for evening snacks.
The next day, our journey and effort to meet Borah Caves was not fruitful enough due to heavy rush of tourists and a lunch at AP tourism guest house near Borah Caves could easily be forgotten. We also tried out the Ming Garden at The Gateway Hotel next to Novotel, which is supposed to be one of the best Chinese joints in the city. Situated on RK beach, we could reach the Ming Room only 10 minutes before the closure and ordered a Lat Me Kai (one of the never fail starters for me, for us), burnt garlic chicken fried rice, wok fried chicken with olives in a white gravy and pan fried noodles with sea food. I started with the beer and Madhushree ordered a cucumber colada (perhaps one of the best she had as she claims), the lat me kai served first when we were famished, was like that trustworthy friend who would never let you down.
We could not taste more local food, although we did try out a local chicken kabab which was being grilled on a small makeshift tandoor by a lady next to a cigarette shop inside the city. We had planned to go to Daspalla for a traditional Andhra Thali but heard from several people that the quality has gone down recently. Hearsay is never a yardstick for judging a restaurant so will love to hear your views.
If you are from Visakhapatnam or have tasted the local food there, which are the places we missed? Do leave comments so that we can check them out if we visit again.
For the first time I am using my mobile pic in this blog and will like to know how it has fared. Please leave comments on the quality of the pics and isn’t it that mobile pics will soon become the most popular and accessible device for clicking pics?