Sometime last month returning from a book reading I dropped in at a very old Irani restaurant at Masab Tank- quaintly named (as most Irani’s in Hyderabad are), ‘My Friend’. After going without a cup of tea since morning I found the tea there very tasty and good. I had then wanted to write about another interesting thing I noticed there but somehow I forgot about it. Before writing about the interesting thing i noticed at 'Ny Friend', I want to write that Irani hotels in Hyderabad can be classified into two types based on who you pay the bill to.
The first category is the busy Irani where, after you've had your fill, you pay the waiter who brought all the goodies you ordered. You can see this type of system in most of the older and busy Irani hotels. The second category is the Irani where you pay the bill at the counter after the waiter yells out the amount. This system exists in smaller Irani hotels.
But in ‘My Friend’, a totally different system existed, one which is a combination of the above two systems. You have to buy a token at the cashier for all the stuff you want to eat and drink. Then you sit at a table with the token which a waiter collects and gets you the stuff. I haven’t seen this system anywhere in Hyderabad and I doubt if I will see it again because a few days ago I was passing through Masab Tank and noticed that ‘My Friend’ was reduced to a rubble. The road widening had claimed another famous Irani hotel in Hyderabad. The last one was Hilton on the OU Campus.
By the way, on Saturday I noticed that the red and white sign of ‘Café Coffee Day’ has come up in place of the “Hilton’ board, relegating Hilton to the minds of all those spent countless hours in it talking about cricket, the latest movie and the perennial Hyderabadi topic, the bad roads and size of the potholes. Now you’ll probably find trendy people in CCD sipping expensive coffee and talking about the internet, Britney Spears and stuff like that. I’ve got no complaint about CCD coming up in place of Hilton but where does that leave the Hilton regulars?