The latest entrant to the KP night-life scene – Unwind, Pune, brings with it a superb experience for patrons. Located right next to Hard Rock Cafe, Unwind spreads over 3 different areas, an open-air AL fresco/live music area, a night-club and a bistro, with wooden tables, high chairs, sofas and an overall chill vibe.
I was invited for a tasting at the Al fresco area with #TheBTeam.
We started off the evening with a few cocktails. Once that truly stood out was The Hugo. Traditionally made with Prosecco, Elderflower and Mint, this version at Unwind uses white wine. Truly a delicious concoction, this is one drink you must order when in this neck of the woods.
They also make a pretty good Cosmo. And you really can’t go wrong with Mojito!
Brocoli isn’t something you would see very often on my plate. Surprisingly enough, the Malai Brocoli makes it to my must-order list at Unwind! Perfectly grilled broccoli, with the soft cream – super delicious!
We tried 2 different types of sheek kabas, Murg Anari Sheek and the Indo Thai Sheek. I personally couldn’t detect much difference in either – given a choice – I would take the Anari Sheek – purely for how pretty it looked.
The Barbados ka Zhinga are grilled prawns with a dark rum flambé. While the theatrics were impressive, the result of the flambé was a dry and overcooked prawn in a pool of watery-rum.
Zafrani Murg Tikka are a good option, a simple no-nonsense chicken tikka – well cooked, served with a cream sauce topped with zafrani spices.
We were also served Chilli Garlic Fish as a starter. The dish that appeared had a lovely sweet and sour sauce – I would love to dig into this dish as part of the mains, along with a serving of Butter Garlic Fried Rice
Among the mains, I particularly loved the Thai Red Curry. Perfectly balanced curry with a generous amount of prawns.
We ended the meal with a Chocolate Mud Pie. Sadly, this was more of a cake than a mud pie – it was dense and was missing the crumbly chocolate crust you would associate with a mud pie.
Overall, the place has good vibes, great cocktails, and a decent array of food to go along. Open air live music, partying in the club, or chilling with friends, Unwind has it all.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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! 😉
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.
Giving excellent company to the drinks were a whole range of delicious starters
Mutton Seekh Lucknowi – This was my favorite! Boasting some beautiful smoky flavors, these tender skewers of mutton were a delight to eat.
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….
The stuffed paneer tikkas are, in simple terms, a bread pattice with extremely soft paneer tikkas. An excellent option for the herbivores inclined
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.
Paired with the Chilli Cheese Garlic Naan, the Dal Bukhara was at another level all together.
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!
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!