We are Nandana and Sharat, and we are the chef-owners of Clay’s Hyderabadi Kitchen, our restaurant.
We always dreamed of owning a restaurant, and in 2017 we took the plunge and signed a lease for our own premises. After lots of blood, sweat and tears we opened in June 2018, offering authentic regional Hyderabadi food to the people of Reading, with spices and unusual ingredients from India but always in harmony with the best local and British suppliers.
We’ve always tried to be distinctive, proud and passionate. Every single spice mix for every single recipe is different, and our dishes tell the stories of Hyderabad, whether they’re the opulent food that would have been eaten by the Royal Nizams or the (equally delicious!) Andhra cuisine & street food of the region.
We’ve been very lucky, and our home town took us to its heart. We won awards from local websites in our first year of trading, and we welcomed hundreds of customers who have gone on to become some of our favourite faces. Our customers tell us that eating in our restaurant feels like having friends cook for you, and many of them feel like family to us.
When Covid struck, like many businesses in hospitality, we had to rethink. Ours is a small, intimate restaurant with no outdoor seating, and we didn’t feel it was safe or viable for our customers or our staff to reopen. So we decided: if we couldn’t make our customers feel at home in our restaurant, we would try to bring our food to their homes instead.
We started selling our food online, cooking and blast chilling our curries and delivering them to you vacuum-packed, ready to heat at home and every bit as delicious as they would be in our restaurants. After a very successful local trial, in August 2020 we took a giant leap and started delivering our food nationwide. Since then we have received excellent reviews and coverage in the national media, with praise from Jay Rayner, Tom Parker Bowles and William Sitwell (among others!).
In July 2021, after sixteen long months we reopened our restaurant with a menu combining some of our classic dishes with brand new exciting dishes we have dreamed up during our time away, along with a beautiful new wine list designed by consultant and expert Zeren Wilson.
But we also continue to offer our delivery menu, so we hope that whether you can get to Reading or not, whether you want to enjoy a special meal out or something comforting and delicious in the comfort of your own home, that we have something to offer for you.
We really hope our food will find new customers and fans, and that we can keep telling the stories of Hyderabad and India. And we would love to hear from you, either at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media (we’re @clayshyderabadi on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).
Nandana and Sharat
Clay’s Hyderabadi Kitchen