Habanero, Hyderabad’s first authentic upscale Tex-Mex restaurant was recently launched in Hyderabad. With already three branches in Bangalore and one in Chennai, Hyderabad outlet is the company’s fifth in South India
Habanero is the creation of husband-wife team Griffith David & Elizabeth Bowden-David, who have spent many years in the American southwest. The duo have partnered with chef Dan Durkin, a native of the Southwestern US, who has done his fair share of travel across Mexico and is intimately familiar with the nuances of the food ways of Mexico.
I and fellow foodies/bloggers were invited to be part of the grand opening on March 13th 2015. Considering they are trying to make a presence felt in IT hubs, the restaurant is perfectly located near Cyber Towers. As soon as you enter your eyes are attracted to the far left corner where the huge bar is located. The interior is tastefully done in a yellow-blue Mexican theme.
I started my food tasting with Margarita which was just perfect. Some fellow foodies ordered their signature Tamarind Margarita, which was very nice as well. Drinks were accompanied with handmade corn chips and three types of sauces – spicy sauce, blackened tomato sauce and tangy papaya salsa. The chips were excellent, fresh & crisp and paired quite well with the blackened tomato sauce in particular.
We ordered a couple of dips to try with the corn chips. I found the messy bean dip quite average and wouldn’t repeat it again. But the Queso dip was a star – a warm gooey cheesy dip spiced with green chilies. A must have!
Next up were the Jalapeño poppers which according to me lacked the distinct jalapeño kick. When we brought this up with Griffin (owner), he explained the difficulty in getting some of the ingredients and I am sure they will soon resolve these minor issues.
We ordered the Combo Platter (chicken) next, which had breaded chicken tenders, loaded potato skins, mini-chimichanga, onion rings and chicken rings. All the items on the platter were delicious, especially the chicken wings so we ended up ordering a whole portion of chicken wings with ranch sauce.
Due to unavailability of avocados, Dan who was supposed to demonstrate the famous Holy Guacamole had to change to pico de gullo. He upped the spice quotient to satisfy the Hyderabadi taste buds!
The Zucchini fritter with tomatillo relish was, well, as mentioned in the menu, Delicioso!
The Macho Nachos was nice too, crispy corn chips layered with cheese, beans tomatoes, olives, jalapeno peppers, sour cream and guacamole. It’s not avocado season, hence the guacamole was skipped, that kind of made the dish incomplete.
The Prawn Diablo, served with cheese stuffed tortilla, was probably the weakest dish of all. It lacked flavor and was felt ordinary compared to the rest of the dishes.
The Tostada Salad was definitely the best dish of the evening for me. Crunchy corn tortilla topped with beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, grilled pineapple and served with honey-mustard vinaigrette. I was so busy savoring it that I forgot to take a picture!
For the mains, we had the chicken Chimichanga and Eggplant & black bean stack. The Chimichanga itself was very nice but the accompanying rice was downright bad.
For the eggplant & bean stack, I felt that the black bean flavor was overpowering and I couldn’t taste the eggplant.
I was really looking forward for desserts, to have one my favorites, Tres Leches cake. Sadly it was not available that day. Out of the five desserts only two were available, churros and snickers chimichanga.
The snicker chimichanga served with a scoop of ice-cream is average and have it only if you like Snicker bar. The churros were nice, slightly on the sweeter side and were served with nice dark chocolate sauce. The desserts which were not available were Molten Mexican Chocolate cake, Caramel cheesecake and chocolate crumble cake with ice-cream. Some of the foodies, who have tasted the molten chocolate cake, rave about it.
In conclusion while there are few teething issues, the great ambience, prompt service and above all superb food makes Habanero a must visit place for a truly Mexican experience. I am sure I will be visiting again with my family very soon!
2nd level, Phoenix Tower A, Opposite Trident Hotel, HITECH City Main Rd