I’ll be back in the states in a day and a half and I know where to find it there. It’s at grocery and convenience stores, restaurants and fast food chains, even some gas stations. If I was so inclined I could pick up a bag of kibbles and bits containing beef at the local pet store…the point is I don’t have to look very hard. The same cannot be said for India. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s here and there; but far from everywhere.
So where can beef be found in India? One place that is apparently hidden in plain sight is the Hard Rock Café. Yes, Hard Rock has come to India with five locations.
We visited the one in Mumbai a few weeks ago after our outing to Crawford Market. Let me tell you it was a hard choice deciding between a “USDA corn-fed, 21-day-aged, center-cut USDA Choice steak” and a cheeseburger with bacon. Most people probably would have gone for the steak, but pork is just as hard to come by in India as beef, maybe even harder. Therefore I decided to kill two birds with one stone and went for the latter.
Now this past weekend while in Hyderabad, what do you think was only a five minute rickshaw ride away? You guessed it, another Hard Rock Café. If you’re wondering if I chose the steak this time, I didn’t. No worries, I had one the next night though it wasn’t at Hard Rock.
This local, and typical, roadside establishment was a mere two minute walk from our hotel.
Now some of you make be shaking your head and questioning our better judgment, but let me tell you; nothing ventured, nothing gained. Let me also ease your mind and admit that we read a brief write up on the place before going there.
When we walked over we learned that the chef/owner wouldn’t be there for half an hour. After giving the place a once over we decided to go back to the hotel and wait; and also consume some liquid courage while doing so. Forty five minutes later I was introducing myself to Chef Inam and asking him where he got his beef from. He told he had it flown in (from where I can’t recall) and that he had to spend a month teaching the local butcher how to cut it properly.
We briefly perused the menu and decided to ask the chef what he recommended. After assuring us he’d make something good, he showed us inside.
The interior was small; only four tables with a capacity for 16 diners. Drinks consisted of bottled water or soda from an upright cooler and the plates were plastic (mine needing a quick swab of a wet wipe from my purse). There was no restroom and the kitchen was a large barbeque station set up out front.
After a half an hour wait this is what we were served. A nice salad with cucumber, tomato and baby corn…
…and a platter of meat with potatoes and bread.
In addition to two beef tenderloins there was chicken and lamb. It was all very good and I can honestly say that the steak was the best I’ve had all year. Of course that may have something to do with the fact that it was the only steak I’ve had this year.
Chef Inam’s Steakhouse 1
(Near Golkanda Hotel)