Visited Bhojanam on Ganesh Chathurthi. We were very hungry after the pooja at home and the prasadam was not enough to fill our tummy. Being a festive day, unfortunately could not try out the non vegetarian items, which I assume is the specialty of Bhojanam. I am a fan of Andhra cuisine in general, and their non vegetarian preparations in specific (except for the floating layer of oil of course).
The ambience of Bhojanam i of a traditional South Indian house, with all the old style pillars, bronze hangings and even a bronze gilded roof, which I thought was an overdo, but looked pleasing nevertheless. If I am not wrong, they were in fact playing old Telugu songs as well, some of which were familiar to me, owing to their remakes in Tamil or vice versa. The staff, however have nothing to do with South India, and seemed to be more comfortable in Hindi and English, rather than Telugu or even Kannada. Maybe there are other waiters who speak Telugu, but I did not happen to come across. I liked being in a rather South Indian place after a while, in Bangalore you just happen to keep visiting multi-cuisine restaurants or pubs playing Hindi, English or Punjabi songs. It was a refreshing, nice change.
We ordered a paneer tikka to start off with. It was well cooked, but I thought it was rather on the spicier side, with a little extra chilli. Nevertheless, it was served well and the chutney was a good accompaniment.
Wife said she was done with the paneer tikka, so I ordered a vegetarian thali for self. It’d been a really long while and I was craving for some authentic sambar. Now whether you like it or not, I do not believe Karnataka has good sambar, nope, not at all. If I were to rank sambar between the South Indian states, I would unanimously vote my own Tamil Nadu’s sambar on 1, Andhra’s on 2 and Karnataka’s on 3. I haven’t tasted Kerala sambar, and I don’t really have high hopes anyway.
The waiters ended up bringing two thalis by mistake, but did not make a fuss when we said we wanted only one, they quickly whisked the other one away. The overall look of the thali was tempting, except for the oily appalam, which I did not touch till the end. I did not care for the vegetables on offer, which were boring, beetroot and cabbage, nor the pulusu, which was actually decent. The dal, with ghee (generously added by the waiter), was brilliant and the sambar was not bad either. I mostly finished off the rice with these two, using the masala vada as a companion. While I did not explore the entire thali, overall I would say it was a decent meal.
I believe and hope the non vegetarian thali is their specialty and would be way better. Try it if you are there.
Bhojanam service I would rate 3/5, not because they are rude or bad, but merely because they are a little distracted. If they can pull up the socks on that front, and with a little more focus on food, they can be a pretty good option in the area.
Bhojanam on Google Maps
My review on Zomato