07 March 2011

At the Steak House

Yes, you heard me correctly. Steak in Hyderabad. Tender, juicy, perfectly seasoned grilled tenderloin. Decent, and even passable, steak is difficult to find here. Hindus and Muslims don't eat a lot of beef and the cows aren't raised for eating purposes. The few times we've bought beef to roast or grill ourselves it's been tough and no amount of pounding or marinating has made it tender enough to be enjoyable. And for some reason I always think of buying a steak for Friday night dinner, but you can't buy beef on Fridays (all the Muslim butcher shops are closed).

Since we arrived our driver has been pointing out Chef Inam's Steak House to me every time we pass it and one night Mike and our neighbor stopped there on the way home from work to pick up some take-away. Mike met Chef Inam, tried the steak, and has been insisting we get back there right away. Inam lived in the United States and took culinary classes at Johnson and Whales (Yay Rhode Island!) and has brought his American steak-grilling skills back to India. On Friday night I packed up Muffin, we went to pick up Mike at work, and we went at Chef Inam's for a steak.

This is not a steak house like you'll find in the United States and I can see why so many expats get their steak for take-away. It's a little hole-in-the-wall with a couple tables and plastic chairs. Inam grills on the street in front of the facade. There's a cooler full of sodas and water. It's a dive. But we pulled out our hand sanitizer and ate there anyway.

It was worth it. Mike got a French-style peppercorn-encrusted steak and I had what Inam calls his Boston steak, covered with herbs and English mustard. They were perfectly cooked (rare for Mike, medium rare for me), tender, and deliciously seasoned.

We took Muffin outside to watch the grilling. She was fascinated. We even gave her a few bits of meat to chew on. She loved it until she got a peppercorn. She was getting tired by then, so instead of her spitting-out yucky face, she screamed. Luckily the place was getting full of men talking and laughing loudly so no one else could hear her. We paid the bill and made a quick getaway.

Speaking of the bill, the steaks were about five or six dollars each and the serving was big enough to fill Mike and for me to eat half and bring the rest home.

Don't let Muffin's reaction deter you from Chef Inam's Steak House. She's just a baby. And we're the stupid parents who gave her spicy peppercorns, then stopped to take a picture of it.

Cross-posted from Where in the World Am I?

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