Imli Sarai meaning “traveller’s resting place” in translation, is a charming French bistro tucked away amidst a lush tamarind grove. Owned by avid travelers Zain and Rama, this open-air restaurant exudes old-world Hyderabadi charm, offering a respite akin to an oasis in the bustling corporate jungle.
Located adjacent to Ashiana Banquets, which is housed in the ancestral home of Zain Rahimtula, Imli Sarai perfectly blends its tranquil surroundings with a dash of European allure. The restaurant boasts a simple yet elegant decor, complete with cushioned wrought iron chairs, tables, and garden umbrellas, all strategically placed under the shade of tamarind trees. An old-style jukebox with a turntable adds a touch of nostalgia, contributing to the bistro’s quaint and welcoming atmosphere.
Zain’s culinary expertise, combined with his background in European cuisine, inspired the menu that reflects their Hyderabadi roots. The limited yet carefully curated menu offers a delectable selection of dishes, keeping the dining experience intimate and focused. From the appetizers to the main courses and desserts, each dish is crafted with precision and creativity.
For starters, guests can choose between the refreshing Kale salad, featuring chickpeas, toasted seeds, crumbled feta, and Tahini-lemon dressing, or the classic Nicoise-style composed salad, adorned with either succulent tuna, duck confit, or a creamy avocado fan.
Moving on to the main courses, Imli Serai presents a tantalizing array of options. The crispy duck breast with potato salad is a favorite among meat lovers, while the pan-roasted sea bass tantalizes seafood enthusiasts. The braised lamb shanks offer a tender and flavorful experience, and the smashed lamb cheeseburgers served with potato wedges and thousand island sauce provide a satisfying indulgence. For vegetarians, the fettuccine pasta with veggies and herb pesto, as well as the black bean and feta burger, cater to their culinary preferences.
The restaurant’s commitment to offering diverse and wholesome choices extends to its pizza, pies, and pasta bar, which ensures guests have a variety of options to satisfy their cravings. Even during non-meal times, visitors can enjoy a selection of teas and coffees, making Imli Serai a versatile destination for a relaxing tea break or a hearty meal.
When it comes to desserts, Imli Serai takes pride in presenting French delicacies with a twist. Indulge in the heavenly Tarte Tatin, a caramelized apple tart served with velvety vanilla sauce, or savor the Profiteroles with rich vanilla ice cream and decadent chocolate sauce. The Mille Feuille, layered with diplomat cream and fruits, offers a delightful symphony of flavors that rounds off the meal on a sweet note.
One of the most unique aspects of Imli Serai’s menu is its infusion of Indian elements, such as the use of tamarind sauce, which adds a burst of tangy goodness to various dishes. For those seeking special treats, the daily specials board offers surprises like Jamaican Jerk Chicken, accompanied by the homemade Imli Sarai ketchup made from their very own homegrown tamarind. Additionally, guests might be treated to seasonal delights like the scrumptious gooseberry tart.
As Zain and Rama continue to pursue their passion for travel and culinary exploration, Imli Sarai remains a work in progress, with plans to expand the menu and introduce new flavors to their loyal patrons.
Whether you seek a moment of tranquility amidst nature or a sumptuous meal with a hint of European finesse, Imli Sarai welcomes you with open arms. Its charming ambience, warm hospitality, and delectable offerings make it an ideal destination for indulgence, relaxation, and cherished memories. So, step into the world of Imli Serai, where every visit promises to be a delightful journey for the senses.
Address: Ashiana Banquets, Road No 1, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad Contact: 072078 42900.