Food, Glorious Food

There’s always something “scarey” about trying a new cuisine. Even though I’m fairly adventurous, by nature, when it comes to food, there’s still some apprehension. Apprehension that you’ll order the “wrong thing”, or that you’ll make a cultural faux pas. That’s why I’ve been walking past a fairly new nearby restaurant in Surry Hills, never stopping in to order.

The words “Biryani” and “Hyderabadi” have meant nothing to me, and that’s why I haven’t stopped in to eat, or get takeaway from Pista House.

The “Pista House” on Crown Street, Surry Hills has been consistently busy since it opened a few months ago. Despite my lack of knowledge about the cuisine they offer, the attraction of a busy restaurant got the better of me the other night, so I called in to grab some takeaway. The menu looked so incredibly “foreign” to me, and so I chose “chicken biryani” as something which sounded like I couldn’t go wrong. I also chose “medium” spicyness for the same/similar reason.

Hyderabadi cuisine (native: Hyderabadi Ghizaayat), also known as Deccani cuisine, is the native cooking style of the Hyderabadi Muslims, and began to develop after the foundation of the Bahmani Sultanate, and more drastically with the Qutb Shahi dynasty around the city of Hyderabad, promoting the native cuisine along with their own. Hyderabadi cuisine had become a princely legacy of the Nizams of Hyderabad State, as it began to further develop further on from there. It is an amalgamation of MughalTurkish, and Arabic along with the influence of the native Telugu and Marathwada cuisines. Hyderabadi cuisine comprises a broad repertoire of rice, wheat and meat dishes and the skilled use of various spices, herbs and natural edibles.

In the meal I ordered there was lots of rice. It was tasty enough, though nothing special in my view. But at least I’ve now tried it.

As I’ve gone through my photographs of the last week there have been lots of food photographs, so I thought I’d share a few.

Friday Lunch with Friends : Beetroot, Tomato and Watermelon Salad with haloumi at Cook & Archies, Surry Hills. Very tasty, and a nice place to catch up for lunch with some now-retired former colleagues.
Lunch today alone : Linguini Marinara, the $14 Lunch Special at the Oxford Hotel, Darlinghurst. Though I don’t understand why there was a sprig on top, the meal was very tasty, and good value.
And finally, coffee. I still haven’t settled on my “permanent replacement” to the Coles Supermarket at Surry Hills. Today, I bought some groceries at Aldi on Oxford Street. As it was “Fair Trade” and super-cheap ($4.95), I thought I’d try this brand of coffee. Fingers crossed.

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