Shadab (21, High Court Road, near Charminar, Hyderabad)

In a nutshell:

Traditional Mughlai food restaurant type of eatery with general section, AC sections & also a ‘sit on the floor & eat’ section, marvellous Hyderabadi Biryani that is surely better than the famed Paradise & some other good food.

Shadab - From the main road
Shadab –  View From the main road

Address & other details: Shadab

Meal for 2: Rs. 250 onwards.

Mutton Biryani
Mutton Biryani

Cuisine type : Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.

Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
I heard of this place at different occasions from several people who did not know each other – a renowned chef, an IT geek, a Sales Manager & also our cab driver!!!! + lonely Planet. Decided to descend upon this place during our short trip to Hyderabad.
Landed at around 12.30. Saw a ground floor already full packed. Ground floor is the typical ‘wooden tables of 4 shared by unknown people, fan for cooling & normal serving guys.

Between the 1st & second floor there was a ‘sit on the floor & eat’ setup.

Glimpse of the mezannine floor from the staircase - sir on the floor & eat
Glimpse of the mezannine floor from the staircase – sir on the floor & eat

The first floor was very different – right from the staircase, there was a polished wood look as u walk up the stairs etc. At the entrance there was a huge antique look wall clock that added to the look & feel. In the dining Hall there were high sofas as seats with wooden tables & families cud have a table to themselves.

Antique clock near the entrance to the Dining Hall
Antique clock near the entrance to the Dining Hall

The floor was air-conditioned but surely there were not as many ACs needed for that large room. Hence huge pedestal fans were added to cool the place. The lighting was intended to be dim but turned out to be a bit too dark. Ambience is surely not the forte here but the attempt has been good.

Inside the Dining Hall - This picture captures just a corner
Inside the Dining Hall – This picture captures just a corner

Food Rules & that is what defines this place. Its Biryani is much better than the famed Paradise.

Unlike the very knowledgeable & matured staff at Paradise, the staff at even the a/c section of Shadab were much less effective. These guys were much younger & lacked the experience & authority of the guys at Paradise. They were however nice in their own way. They were ‘order takers’ & not necessarily ‘suggesters’ based on guest’s needs.

The menu card had its share of distractions as well (Chinese, Punjabi etc) but the Hyderabadi & Mughalai section had quite a lot of options.

Detailed Description – In case u have the Time to NJOY reading:

We went to this place to have mutton biryani hyderabadi style. The idea was also to try some other Hyderabadi dish. We were told that Nihari & paya are served in eth evening & so we decided to settle for kababs. We asked ‘which Hyderabadi kabab is the best’. Answer was Boti Kabab. We said ‘Ok’, knowing that the treatment to boti kabab might be different. The guy asked ‘ Don’t u want something for starters?’. We said ‘We are having kababs’. He said, ‘No starters are separate section & strted showing those’. We came across one that read ‘ mutton burbura’. We asked ‘How is this’? He sadi ‘ Very good & very popular’. We said ‘ Ok, replace boti kabab with this’.

Mutton burbura
Mutton burbura

That was the worst decision that afternoon. Burbura turned out to be a tasty dish but it did not satisfy our brief – to have Hyderabadi food. The burbura was boneless pieces of mutton semi cooked & batter fried into nuggets. The nuggets were then stir fried with masalas etc. The neats were soft but the taste was overpowered by the taste of the masalas. The treatment was quite new to me – I have had stuff close to this in chicken but never in mutton. I give this a 4/5 for the sheer taste as it is & 3.5/5 for suggesting something that did not conform to our requirement. Final rating is 3.75/5.

Next came Biryani. This was way superior to the one at Paradise. The long, independent, soft rice had an intense taste that was far superior to the one at Paradise. The Biryani here also had softer mutton pieces. Loved the Biryani & quite understood why the fake Hyderabadi Biryanis taste so bad. I give this a 4.25/5.

IMG_5235For dessert we had Khubani ka meetha. This was a unidirectionally sweet traditional Hyderabadi sweet dish made with Khubani fruit – the density of the basic meetha was much more than that at Paradise / Earthen Oven. People usually give cream / ice cream etc to balance the unidirectional sweetness but that is going out of the traditional way. What Shadab did was awesome – They served 2 scoops of unsweetened malai (solidified top[ layer of boiling milk). This kept it within traditional boundaries & elevated the taste to an altogether different level – I rate this 4.5/5.

Khubani ka meetha with unsweetened malai scoops
Khubani ka meetha with unsweetened malai scoops

Overall rating of food at Shadab adds up to 4.17/5. Worth a revisit – Surely better than Paradise in terms of Biryani & food in general but Paradise is better in service & overall experience. U choose…….


Went back after several years to shadab for breakfast

Tried Nihari paya – it was not properly seasoned, the spices were overpowering the flavours of paya and overall it was no match to the Hyderabadi Nihari paya at adaa (Falaknuma palace) or delhi jana Masjid Karims. Rate it 2.5/5

The bread served was so brittle, hard and bad that I left it after 2 bites

We also ordered Keema curry (minced mutton). It was good to taste but lacked the wow factor for sure. Not worth the calories. Rate it 2.5/5

Overall breakfast experience was so bad that we walked out mid way and went to another place to have breakfast

Wud never attempt that again

8 thoughts on “Shadab (21, High Court Road, near Charminar, Hyderabad)

  1. Nice Review !
    The rice look nice..more of a lucknowi style one than the wet hyderabadi biryani.
    You must also try the pathar ke kebab while you’re in hyd.

  2. Do try biryani at Bawarchi restaurant at RTC cross roads in Hyderabad next time
    Easily the best biryani in hyderabad, better than Paradise and Shadab in my view.

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