Bombay Diaries – Mumbai Swag in Pune!

This Sunday evening saw #theBTeam heading to the newly inaugurated Bombay Diaries at CityPoint, DP Road. This is located right next to Mainland China, where Oh! Calcutta and Bombay Brasserie used to operate a few years back.

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Bombay Diaries runs on a very Mumbai oriented theme. With waiters dressed as Mumbai taxi drivers and the captains managing them dressed as traffic police officers, it has a very fun vibe overall. Completely open air, they also have live music playing on a daily basis. Beautifully lit up, the decor feels pretty chilled out for a nice evening with drinks and dinner.

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Waiters dressed as Taxi Drivers and the Captain is the Traffic Cop!

Bombay Diaries is the brain child of Chef Deepu Alamchandani of the Cafe Mestizo fame, so great tasting food is a given! The surprise here are the range of cocktails – super innovative, with an excellent price point (all between 150-300 for cocktails). The cocktails are served in quarter (180 ml) sized ‘desi daru’ / ‘tharra’ bottles, and salt rimmed chai glasses, leading to a very cool feel

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Cocktails : Chulbul and Chikni Chameli

Going with the Mumbai feel, the drinks are Bollywood themed. The collective favorite, Chulbul (150/-), a grenadine, lemonade flavored vodka based cocktail, with a strong flavor of jaljeera – felt like a kala khatta soda and was brilliant. Multiple rounds were ordered for this one.

Giving Salman company was Katrina, as Chikni Chameli (150/-), a strawberry, cucumber vodka based cocktail. This was lighter, but just as enjoyable.

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Cocktails: Drink Master Gogo

Drink Master Gogo (150/-) came to the table with a ‘Dhakki Chiki Dhakki Chiki Dhakki Chiki Dha!” This took us back to the Andaz Apna Apna era with a Rasna flavored vodka mix! My personal favorite, this is a must have!

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Cocktails: Bombay Thumakda

The Bombay Thumakda was a surprise for me. It is described as Strawberry, Roohafza, milk concentrate, vodka. I am not a fan of rooafza, but this was superb! Almost on the lines of an Irish Cream, this truly proves that – Doodh hai wonderful, pi sakte hai roz glassful! ūüėČ

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Cocktails : Paaji ka Panja, Bol Bacchan
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Cocktails: Desiwala Mojito
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Cocktails: Rangeela Driver

The other cocktails we tried were also pretty innovative and delicious. Each cocktail is also available in a mocktail version, so the sole teetotaler was happy too.

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Mocktails

Giving excellent company to the drinks were a whole range of delicious starters

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Mutton Seekh Lucknowi

Mutton Seekh Lucknowi – This was my favorite! Boasting some beautiful smoky flavors, these tender skewers of mutton were a delight to eat.

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Smoking the Seekh Kababs
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TBD Special Murg Tikka РFrom the Diaries

TBD Special Murg Tikka – Succulent kababs of chicken, stuffed with chicken kheema and melted cheese. Absolute delight to eat! Break open one and you can see the cheese oozing out. Sigh….

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Stuffed Paneer Tikka (From the Diaries)

The stuffed paneer tikkas are, in simple terms, a bread pattice with extremely soft paneer tikkas. An excellent option for the herbivores inclined

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Murgh Seekh Galafi

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The Murgh Seekh Galafi is a chicken seekh kabab, served on a wooden truck! The kababs were succulent, though slightly overpowered with elaichi

After the heavy barrage of appetizers and cocktails, we finally mustered the courage to move on to the mains. We started of with the Dal Bukhara. Dal Bukhara, the grand-daddy of the Dal Makhani, is a creamy, slow cooked black dal with rajma / black bean. It is characterized by the smoky rich flavor it carries due to the traditional coal fires it is cooked on. The Chef at Bombay Diaries managed to incorporate the smokiness into the dal using a chulha, giving it a near-authentic flavor. This is a #MustTry at Bombay Diaries.

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Dal Bukhara

Paired with the Chilli Cheese Garlic Naan, the Dal Bukhara was at another level all together.

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Chilli Cheese Garlic Naan

Another spectacular vegetarian item I tried here was the Kurkuri Bhindi Masala. Crisp fried Bhindi over a layer of delicious thick gravy – this is a must for every bhindi fan!

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Kurkuri Bhindi Masala

One dish I had my eye on was the Nalli Nihari. And I was not disappointed. Perfectly cooked mutton, rich, creamy, thick sauce, chock full of a pure mutton flavor. You could distinctly taste the flavor of marrow in the sauce.

To end this glorious evening, we were served some delectable soft sexy voluptuous Gulab Jamuns and some surprisingly not too sweet Gajar ka Halwa, putting a perfect end to a kickass dinner!


This write up is based on my experience at a Blogger’s ¬†table invite. The Usual Disclaimer applies.¬†


*Bombay Diaries is operational from 5 pm onwards, with live music on a daily basis.

Address: City Point, Boat Club Road, Pune

Phone Numbers: 020 60304777 / 020 60503777

Table booking recommended


The Bombay Diaries Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Barbeque Ville – Barbecue on a Budget!

Barbeque Ville opened their doors at Kaspate Vasti, Wakad on Valentine’s Day. In just 1 week, they have managed to capture the imagination of food lovers in the area.

Location: Kaspate Vasti, Wakad, Near Hotel Ambiance Excellency (Google maps)

#baconbaba was invited for an exclusive tasting last night, and the sight of a jam-packed restaurant on a Wednesday evening was testament to the fact that BV has tasted early success.

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Barbeque Ville, in their words, is a ‘Grille-on-table’ restaurant. We have a few other examples of these restaurants, where you have a coal-pit on your table, with meats brought on skewers and grilled right there. What sets them apart, is the competitive pricing – the Non-Veg buffet costs a very reasonable¬†550/- INR! This includes all taxes, service tax, VAT etc.

The decor follows more or less the same ‘template’ as other similar barbecue restaurants. Large open space, grills on the tables, bright lighting, and excellent service. At this price point, this place is perfect for corporate parties and team outings – it should fot most corporate team budgets.

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The grilled section includes¬†Chicken,¬†Fish (basa),¬†Prawns,¬†Mushroom,¬†Paneer and my ‘guilty pleasure’, skewered¬†Pineapple ūüôā All the grilled items were delicious, my favorite being the basa fish. Crisp on the outside, soft inside – perfectly cooked.

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On the downside, I found the prawns slightly overcooked. Also, apart from the green chutney, the dips served along with these didn’t really go with the Indian flavored barbecue meats. I wish they had included a couple of more Indian style chutneys to compliment the kababs.

The Maratha Tangdi is a rather innovative way to serve the Tangdi kababs. The chicken legs are served, skewered across a sword! Juicy, beautifully coated with mild spices, perfectly grilled.

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Maratha Tangdi
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Maratha Tangdi

They also have a chat ‘thela’ serving pani-puri, dahipuri, sev puri, bhel and spdp. Once specialty is the Pineapple puri – pani-puri with pineapple juice inside. I personally found it way too sweet.

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Pani-Puri
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Pineapple Pani-Puri

The starters also included a Chicken or Veg sizzler. I didn’t really care too much for this as the chicken just missed the ‘sizzle’. It was more of a pan tossed chicken starter thrown onto a leaf of lettuce on a sizzler plate. The steamed veggies served along-side were delicious though!

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Chicken Sizzler

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By the time we were done with the starters, we were almost full! However, we moved on to the mains. And I was captivated.

The Mutton Paya Shorba was quite tasty Рlightly flavored mutton stock, with a nice spice hit Рexactly how a shorba should taste! The Malwani Fish curry and the Chicken Kadai Рoverflowing with pieces of fish and chicken respectively and the mutton Rogan Josh with bien cuit chunks of mutton went perfectly with the soft naans.

But the magnum opus of this gastronomic symphony¬†was the Mustard Crabs. Aaah, the mustard gravy – exactly like a bengali ‘shorshe-bata’¬†curry. The mild spice hit of the ground mustard sauce along with the generous amounts of crab was just sublime.

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Mustard Crab

The mains also had Barista Pulao, Steamed Rice, Veg Mushroom Noodles, Salads, Dal Rajma, Dal Palak, Thai Yellow Curry, Aloo Lasooni, Paneer Badashahi, Veg Makhani and Veg Garlic Soup

The Aloo Lasooni and the Dal Rajma were my personal picks among the veg items

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Aloo Lasooni

By this time, we had almost no space for desserts! But I simply cannot pass up a gulab jamun or caramel custard. Ended having 2 of each, and bits of the other desserts.

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Overall, Barbeque Ville provides an excellent dining experience, at almost half the rate of other more ‘established’ chains. To serve such good quality sea food at these prices is what gives this restaurant a super-duper-double-decker high-five!¬†Definitely a must visit if you are in this part of town!


I was invited to try the buffet. While the buffet I was treated was the same as that provided to the general public, The Usual Disclaimer applies. 


#baconbaba super khush hua!!!

Barbeque Ville Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Aur Irani Chai – West Pune meets Iran!

Aur Irani Chai, Aundh

Irani chai is ubiquitous with old pune. Vohuman, Good Luck, Kohinoor, Diamond are some of the classic age-old Irani chai joints. This was something the residents of Baner, Balewadi, Aundh, Wakad, PS etc. were sorely missing. Aur Irani Chai does well to fill up that gaping hole.

Nestled away in a corner across Nagras Road, near Rahul Restaurant, Aundh (click here for G-Maps), Aur Irani Chai is a cozy little joint with brick walls and stone tables. Shaded by trees around the perimeter, they do a surprisingly good job at isolating the noise from the very busy junction just outside. Apart from the huge menu board, its a very chilled out atmosphere.

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Irani Chai and Bun-Maska: An obvious start to any meal at an Irani Cafe. A typical Irani chai – light, sweet and milky. Super soft bun. Gloriously lathered with butter. I was dipping the bun-maska into the chai, and had the time of my life. My chai-loving wife ended up drinking 3 cups!

PS: The bun-maska found on the streets of Vadodara or Ahmedabad are far more generous in terms of the¬†maska. But then that’s Gujarat!

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Bun Maska

Bread Butter: 2 slices of bread, generously buttered. What more can you expect?

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Bread Butter

Bun Cheese Omlette: You can’t go to an Irani Cafe and not have the Omlette! Oodles of cheese trickling out! Super soft bun, lots of butter, loads of melted cheese.

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Bun Cheese Omlette

Kheema Pav: The pièce de résistance. Light, flavorful, perfectly cooked mutton kheema. Not overloaded with spice or oil. Absolutely perfect for breakfast (or any meal!)

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Overall, I love this place! Nice ambiance, good service, and excellent food. The trifecta of a great restaurant. Oh, and to top it off, entirely budget friendly. The entire meal cost us less than 300/- bucks!

Definitely a place I am going to be visiting again and again.

#baconbaba khush hua!!!

Aur Irani Chai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Grillicious, Baner

Grillicious, Baner
Last Thursday we decided to use the 50%-off offer going on through the Dineout app to try the new restaurant near our home that’s been creating quite a buzz in the recent times. Rave reviews across the board drew us to the rather cool looking Grillicious, Baner. Man, were we in for a shock.

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Right off the bat we ordered the masala papad platter. At least 3 other tables around us that day had this, as well as every review I have read of this place features a mention of this unique dish. And it was impressive.

A cornucopia of papad, with glasses of chopped onions, jhini (fine) sev, boondi, dry chilli powder masala, green pudina Chutney and a garlic yogurt. DIY masala papad – An over all tasty and surprisingly fun experience.

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The Masala Papad Platter

This was accompanied by a variety of sauces – barbeque sauce, mango-chilli mayo, mint chutney, garlic yogurt

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From top right, Barbeque sauce, Mango-Chilli Mayo, Mint Chutney, Garlic Yogurt

I got the Watermelon and Hazelnut Caprioska. Watermelon and mint are usually a match made in heaven. Or so i thought. Bitter, weird masalas (i think) overdose of mint… This drink was a disaster. Someone recently posted on peo saying that just serving drinks in mason jars and fancy bottles does not make them tasty. I’m sure he was referring to the Watermelon and Hazelnut Caprioska of the Grillicious fame.

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Watermelon and Hazelnut Caprioska

Next up was the Paaya Dhania Shorba (menu description – “lamb trotters simmered overnight for a signature broth”). The moment the server passed the bowl of soup to Sangeeta, I knew there was something very very wrong. The soup had a layer of fat on top. It was emanating a putrid stink – similar to what you would get in the back of a butcher’s shop – rotting meat. One spoon of this concoction confirmed my initial impression. It tasted rotten. Sent it back immediately. The owner was gracious enough to strike it off our bill.

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Paaya Dhania Shorba

The Murg Adraki Rogan Soup, despite being oily to the point of looking like a gravy, was decently seasoned and had a generous portion of boiled chicken.

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Murg Adraki Rogan Soup

They served both the soups with papad (see pic). I guess its their version of croutons. Didn’t work for me.

The Afghan Drumsticks : Similar to a Makrana kabab, this was really well marinated, and perfectly cooked. Soft, juicy, delicious chicken leg with bits of malai, and a slightly charred end (much like a traditional tandoori) this was my favorite dish of the evening.

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Afghani Drumsticks

Murg Kalimiri Kabab Pie: served in a thick brown gravy, the pie had like a coarse chicken kheema stuffing inside, topped with papad (yes… Papad…) . The stuffing was delicious and the sauce was superb. The pie crust, unfortunately, was rather thick and dry. I would have much preferred to have the same meat and gravy with a naan instead of the ‘pie’.

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Murg Kalimiri Kabab Pie

Butter chicken lasagna : this dish conformed that they were having trouble in the kitchen. While the butter chicken it self was pretty ordinary, the lasagna was an absolutely fail. A lasagna should have layers of pasta, sauce, meat and cheese. This was more like a sandwich of butter chicken between to very thick sheets of ‘lasagna’. Any thicker and i could have mistaken it for 2 sheets of naan! Disappointing is an understatement for this particular dish. (Ps: the lasagna too was topped with, you guessed it… Papad!)

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Butter Chicken Lasagna

Seemed like their ‘continental’ chef was doing everything Indian style, making the pie like a bhakri and the lasagna like a naan. Well… The silver lining was that the meal was almost over.

We ended the meal with the Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo Pie. A beautifully prepared dessert with layers of chocolate, caramel and Oreo. The caramel was spectacular. I wish the chocolate used were a bit bitter to better balance the bitterness. The overall flavor was super sweet. That being said,it was a surprisingly satisfactory end to a rather substandard meal.

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Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Oreo Pie

It might have been an off day considering the kind of glaring issies in the food,but with the kind of competition cropping up in and around baner, they cannot afford off days. Hoping that they pull up their socks soon…

#baconbaba is sad.

Grillicious Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato