“K” – Korean Restaurant has recently opened up in Aundh, behind Medipoint restaurant. Serving authentic Korean cuisine, they sure bring some exciting flavors to our palate. #baconbaba was invited for a tasting to this tiny cosy little place.
Here’s a quick run down of my experience.
A dish with Korean-Chinese origins, the Tangsu consists of Batter fried mushrooms with Mixed vegetables and a sweet and sour sauce. The highlight was the thick sweet sticky golden sauce, characterized by the flavor of pineapple and vinegar. Fresh pineapple slivers added to the overall sweetness of the dish.
The Fried Chicken Tangsu had very similar flavours as the mushroom variant. The Red garlic chilly sauce and pickled radish served on the side add a much needed salty/spicy kick to this overall sweet dish.
Jamppong is a Korean-Chinese noodle soup with red, spicy broth flavored with gochutgaru (chili powder). The veg version is loaded with vegetables and mushrooms. While this had quite a hit of spice the strong flavor of mushrooms in the broth was noticable.
Nagasaki Jampong (Sea Food)
A form of Korean Ramen, the Nagasaki Jampong is a lovely sea food broth – prawns, mussel, squid with mixed veggies and pork. Super light, super delicious – a must have for all you sea food lovers!
Clear Noodles Chicken soup
Like the name suggests, this is a simple, clean broth with mixed vegetables and chicken. The strong flavor of the chicken stock shines through.
A thick Black bean paste based gravy with chopped Cabbage, Onion and minced Pork on a bed of noodles. My first taste felt rather bland – the flavors just didn’t work. But mix it all together, and it results in porky noodle awesomeness! The flavor is rich, lightly spiced, minced pork and onions. Most noteworthy was the flavor profile – its different from anything I have tried before.
Best experienced with chopsticks!
K is a great new addition to the ever growing food culture in Pune. A host of new flavors, this brings authentic Korean cuisine to our city. Looking forward to more trips here!
The menu is rather cryptic, so feel free to ask the waiters for advise. And, if you do land up here, be adventurous! Its a great experience.
The Kolhapuri Lavangi – A tiny little chili bomb local to this area.This is the flavor that defines Kolhapuri cuisine. But is it really?
There is a saying in Marathi – ‘Tikkhat manjhe swadisht naahi‘ (spicy doesn’t mean tasty). So which is it? Tikkhat? Or Swadisht? That’s what I was craving to find out.
As I had an opportunity to spend a day in Kolhapur with a good friend (who, incidentally, is a local of this city), I had to eat my way through this city. Here are some of the best spots I hit:
Hotel Parakh: Special Mutton Fry Thali
We landed in Kolhapur just around lunch time. The drive form Pune had left us ravenous, and we totally looking forward to our first meal in Kolhapur.
Hotel Parakh is a simple, no frills place with a basic menu – they do what they do best.
One of the best mutton thalis I’ve had in a long long time. Hotel Parakh, Kolhapur puts out this gorgeous plate of meat with perfectly cooked mutton fry and a lovely mutton kheema. 250/- for this plate of awesomeness is a steal!
But the showstopper here are the twin rassa bowls – Tambda and Pandhra.
The Pandhra rassa is a lovely white mutton stock base, lightly spiced. Dunk your bhakri and mutton fry to oomph up the flavors, or drink it up as a soup.
The Tambda rassa is spicy, but not what you expect. Cooked in mutton stock, you can see bits of Mutton fat floating around, giving it a bit of richness that only fat can give. It has a spectacular back of the throat hit, without putting your palate on fire. You can happily chug a few bowls of this fiery looking gravy without feeling numb lips or burning your throat. If anything, it triggers the taste buds, taking this lovely thali to the next level.
A whole lane dedicated to Kolhapuri Chappal stores? This one I could not miss!
The best Vada Pav in Kolhapur?
Right at the bustling Rankala lake sits Mr Ramchandra Patil, owner of Priyadarshini Mobile Canteen. What really set this apart is the MASSIVE vada served with a slice of bread and coconut chutney. The jumbo vada pav is delicious, very different from what we get in Pune/Mumbai, and the chutney truly makes it a delicious experience
Will the real All India Bhel please stand up?
All India Bhel is one of the iconic spots of Kolhapur. Affectionately known as ‘Raja Bhau Bhel Center’, this was set up in 1965. Over 50 years, they have created their legacy, and defined the street food scene in Kolhapur. The entire street where this is located is lined with food stalls, with the maximum crowds gathering around Raja Bhau Bhel Center
They work at lightning speed, preparing your bhel, customized to your liking (dry/wet, spicy/medium) in less than 30 seconds. Take a look:
The bhel itself is delicious – sweet, spicy, sour, with hints of raw mango, garlic chutney and chillies.
The funny part is the number of ‘All India Bhel Center’s that have propped up. I counted about 15 of them in a line at Rankala lake. All of them serve great stuff, no doubt, but the original is undoubtedly the best 🙂
Dinner Scenes – Mutton at Opal
Another one of the iconic food spots in Kolhapur, Hotel Opal was set up in 1968. Today, about 50 years later, they continue to carry on the legacy. The food here is excellent. Must try the mutton thali (tambda-pandhra rassa, mutton fry, mutton curry and bhakri). Do not miss the solkadi to cool down the senses.
Dessert Feels – Imperial Cold Drink House
Imperial goes beyond being called a legacy. Set up in 1910, this centurion is Kolhapur at its finest. Do not miss the Imperial Special Cocktail (with cake). Ice cream, milkshake, tooti fruity, jelly, dry fruits, fresh fruits (if u r lucky, u’ll get mango bits too) – this has it all. This is an absolute must after the spicy tambda rassa!
We noticed this board on the way to Imeprial, and HAD to try it out. It is exactly as the name suggests – hot basundi, mixed with hot tea. The taste? Well, imagine drinking tea with condensed milk – super sweet, dessert-y, thick, creamy, with a flavour of tea. Definitely worth a try. You’ll find them lined up along Shivaji chowk after 5PM in the evening.
You can’t leave Kolhapur without eating Misal! Breakfast the next day is Misal at the oldest Misal joint in Kolhapur – Hotel Bawada Misal.
Established in 1923, they serve a form a misal very different from what we get in Pune. The tarri is a lot thinner, and contains a blend of matki, chana and potatoes, topped with shaved coconut and dahi. And contrary to popular belief, it isn’t burn your mouth spicy. It is a very balanced blend of spices, that will keep you craving for more.
One day is not enough to explore the true beauty of the food that this lovely city has to offer. But what I experienced in these 24 hours provided me enough fuel to go back on another gastronomical excursion to further explore this city. #baconbaba will be back!
One of the swankiest pubs to hit baner in recent times, Orion certainly has what it takes to make it big in the competitive food circuit. With a formidable cocktail menu, Orion brings a whole lot of gorgeously plated food to the table. #thebaconbaba was invited for a bloggers’ tasting table, and man, did I have an amazing time! Here’s a quick run down:
Three Mushroom Liquid with Melba Crisp
This was a fabulous start to the meal. This is a lovely thick, creamy mushroom soup, lightly seasoned, allowing the flavors of the mushrooms to shine through.
Indian Spiced Pumpkin veloute
Probably one of the prettiest looking pumpkin soups I have had in a long time, this one tasted absolutely delicious. Roasted pumpkin seeds added a bright little bite to the overall mouth feel.
This tasted more like a butter chicken gravy, than a soup. I would have happily lapped it up with a butter naan. However, I believe this is the type of shorbas served in the Kolhapur / Vidharbha area. It was delicious, so no complaints!
Garlic Bread with Red Onion Jam
This has the potential to be a kickass dish. However, it was let down by the lackluster jam, and the soft bread. The toast needed to be toastier, and the jam needed so more ooomph. A bit of salt and 30 seconds more on the grill maybe?
Orion Special Kabab
This was a good indian chicken kabab. Order this if you are looking for a “chicken tikka” or a chicken reshmi kabab”. Good flavors all round.
Country Style Maple Wings
While these look absolutely gorgeous – that perfect sticky shiny coating, it ended up being way too sweet for my palate. It definitely needed more zing. The gentle coating of chilly flakes didn’t help.
These caught our eye the moment it landed on our table. The pink foam on top is truly a wow factor in the dish. It turned out to be a perfectly rolled chicken roulade in a beetroot foam. Beautiful textures, lovely presentation, an all round great dish.
This one is for all the ‘tapri’-Chinese lovers out there (your’s truly included!) A crisp fried chicken in a crispy noodles “nest” – a wacky take on the ever-popular Chopsuey. Super yum – perfect for munching with drinks!
BBQ Chicken Pizza
A standard chicken pizza on a hand rolled base. Nothing to write home about.
This was another dish that really got our imagination running. The lasagna is black in color. While it looks super theatrical, and funky, it does not add much to the flavor. A normal tasting, cheesy, gooey lasagna. Not that it’s bad by any means!
Mezze Platter with Baba Ganoush , garlic Hummus & beetroot Hummus
A gorgeous looking dish, mezze platters are the current craze of the city. Every chef worth his salt is serving up some form of hummus/pita dip combo contraption. Does Orion do enough to stand out from the competition? Maybe the addition of the chicken and paneer fingers does add some level of difference to the over all presentation, as does the baba ganoush. Honestly, the Baba Ganoush tasted a lot more like baingan ka bharta. They do need to tone down their spices, if they plan to make it more authentic.
Do NOT leave this place without ordering up a plate of Chocolate Cigars (or 3, like we did). The cigars are freshly fried, and dipped in vanilla ice cream, coated with a lovely hot chocolate sauce. We asked for ours to be customized with chocoloate shavings, instead of the colorful stuff you see in the pic above, resulting in an absolute chocolate mouthgasm! The crispy outer layer, the hot molten chocolate inside, the cold ice cream and the bits of chocolate shavings on top – absolute pleasure. You HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO order this!
They have a formidable list of cocktails. Each one we tried stood out from the previous one. their freak-shakes are worth a try as well. you can’t really go wrong there – go, get sloshed, have fun!
Overall, Orion is a great place, with super chill vibes. Great food, killer cocktails, and ample parking (yes that’s important!) Totally worth the trip!
Omlette! Perfect breakfast, ideal lunch or a light dinner – the one size fits all meal!
Cabaret, with its slick interiors and black n red furniture screams class. Its diverse menu with an emphasis on east asian food has been taking baner by storm over the past few months since its opening.
They have started an Omlette Festival this month to add a few interesting eggy delights to their menu. I was invited with my family to try out some of these preparations.
Baked Western Omlette:
In all honesty, this was a regular cheese Omlet, with all the bells and whistles. A generous amount of cheese, topped with veggies, the baked omlette is fluffy, and delicious. Served with garlic toast and baked beans, this is one Omlette that you can’t go wrong with.
A sunny side up, topped with cherry tomatoes, this does have a hit of spice to it. Chilly oil and chilli flakes made it spicy. Not one for the faint hearted, this one a definitely worth a try.
The Omurice at Cabaret consists of Chicken fried rice topped with an omlette and barbecue sauce. The bbq sauce was a bit too sweet for my palate, but the fried rice was yummy, leading to this being an excellent brunch item.
Opening hours for Cabaret Baner are 7am daily, making this the perfect breakfast place. Priced at 200/- a pop, the omlette Festival items are at par with all other similar joints in the area.
Definitely one to visit in the near future. The Omlette Festival is on till 28th of Feb. This menu is available at all the Peter Donuts outlets as well.
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.
212 All Day Cafe and Bar has launched a number of new items on their exhaustive menu. #TheBTeam was invited last night to try out some of the brilliant stuff on offer.
We started off with a round of mocktails. The Good Morning Bombay – a teetotaler’s version of the Bloody Mary, packed a punch. This chilled tomato based drink was loaded with pepper and Tabasco – to the point of tasting more like a Gazpacho than a mocktail. Delicious and refreshing, nonetheless.
Among the other mocktails on the menu, the R&R – a strawberry lemonade, was particularly good.
First up to our table were Mrs. Beaton’s Eggs – masala scrambled eggs on a buttered bun pao, with potato slivers and a tomato hollandaise. Scrambled eggs and buttered pao is a match made in heaven, and the cheesy hollandaise added a lovely creamy note to this pairing. A must have, if down here for a snack!
Curried porridge, (aka dalia khichdi) was well made. The garnish of peanuts and edible flowers did add some sophistication to this homely meal.
The Egg Plant Bruschetta was definitely the highlight of the vegetarian fare at 212. Caramelized onions merged beautifully with the egg-plant mash, with the figs and brie adding some lovely overtones of sweet and sour flavor.
Giving us company through this whole tirade of food were two innocuous looking dishes – the 3 Hummus Pita and the Trio of Chips and Salsa. The huge bowl of tricolored chips with the array of dips was munch heaven, and the three types hummus (Beet, edamame and burnt garlic) with the crisp pita was just perfect. Definitely order one of each for a nice long chat session here. You wont be disappointed.
One dish that you MUST NOT MISS is the Poutine. 212 dishes out an absolutely fabulous version of this French Canadian street food. Cheesy french fries, topped with sour cream and a delicious lamb mince gravy, corn and peas (or caramelized onions, mushrooms and corn for the herbivores) was easily my favorite item on the menu. I could eat buckets of this. BUCKETS!
There were two versions of prawns served to us. The Grilled Tiger Prawns were highly Instagrammable, though the tangerine sauce could have used a bit of oomph. It was underwhelming, at best. The Chettinad Prawns, on the other hand, were a revelation. The crisp coating had hints of chettinad masala. Fried with red chilli, and served with a spiced mayo, this is another highly recommended dish at 212.
They have also added to their range of burgers and pizzas. While the Monster Chicken Burger is a sight to behold, the Chettinad Cottage Cheese Pizza with its combination of basil, curry patta and chettinad masala was quite unpalatable. The Roast Chicken Sandwich (Panini) was rather lovely, with a generous amount of melted cheese and caramelized onions.
Chettinad Cottage Cheese Pizza
Roast Chicken Sandwich
Cajun Spiced Chicken Pizza
Monster Chicken Burger
For dessert we thoroughly enjoyed the Tiramisu Eclairs. The choux pastry topped with the airy Mascarpone and coffee dust proved to be an absolute masterful dessert for coffee lovers. Its deceptive – this dessert is one of the lightest I have ever had.
Overall, the new menu items add some lovely Mediterranean and Latin influences to the already diverse menu at 212.
When you hear ‘BRUNCH’ you visualize eggs and toast, biryani and pizza, fruits and salads, grilled meat and veggies and paneer, beer and wine, and a forest of desserts. Everything one can imagine from breakfast to lunch.
Well, take all that, add a magic show, a foot massage, sprinkle some amazing music coupled with a super chill ambiance, and you get the Sunday Brunch by Playboy Beer Garden.
As I entered, the seductive fragrance of sweet sticky barbeque sauce on thick sexy pork ribs pulled me right in.
Flanked by chicken sausages and basil chicken thighs, the grill section is certainly the highlight of the brunch.
Right next to the grill section is the Mimosa bar. A Mimosa is a cocktail composed of champagne (or other sparkling wine) and chilled fruit juice, and these are absolutely delectable! With orange, apple, and cranberry options, I just couldn’t stop at one!
For the uninitiated, here’s the 1-2-3 of the Mimosa bar:
Pour the bubbly (champagne ftw!)
Add some juice (Fresh fruit juices – Apple, Orange or Cranberry – take your pick!)
Top with fruit (Cranberries, kiwis, Orange, etc) #DoNotMiss
As you walk into the plush indoor section, you are greeted by a vast selection of salads, cheese, fresh fruits, cereal (yes there’s breakfast too, remember?) and breads. I particularly relished the Tenderloin Roulade – A beautiful roll of meat with sultana and rosemary inside.
An array of salads
They also had some delectable kebabs, springrolls, pizzas and starters served at the table.
The main course included a veg khow suey (they made a chicken one for me on request) which was surprisingly good, though a tad spicy due to the green chilli – that being said – this is entirely customizable; just ask for the condiments to be served on the side!
Chicken biryani, thai red curry, and chicken macaroni were nothing to write home about, but the Chicken Fricassee with mashed potatoes was nothing short of excellent.
When I was taking break from the hogfest, i sat at the foot massage chair, and got a complimentary foot massage – much needed for my sore feet due all the walking around the buffet counter An illusionist impressed us with some surprising card tricks as we were chilling with the mimosas
I could go on and on, but this just turns out to be the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Chill, drink, listen to some good music, eat some great food, relax and just have a good time over all with friends and family.
Packages (All prices are inclusive of taxes) –
Only Food = Rs.1073
Food +Beer+ Sangria = Rs.1480
Food + IMFL + Mimosa Bar is Rs.1829 – Highly recommended: the Mimosas are worth the extra $$
A big shout out to Ashutosh from TLND for inviting us and Team PBBG for hosting us. #TheBTeam loved the entire experience!! #TheBTeamRecommends
Note: This review is a combined experience of three visits to the PBBG Sunday Brunch, which include two blogger invites and one self sponsored family visit, over a period of four months. Surprisingly, all the experiences were equally good, however, for all intents and purposes, The Usual Disclaimer applies.
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.
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.
The grilled section includes Chicken, Fish (basa), Prawns, Mushroom, Paneer and my ‘guilty pleasure’, skewered Pineapple 🙂 All the grilled items were delicious, my favorite being the basa fish. Crisp on the outside, soft inside – perfectly cooked.
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.
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.
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!
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 – lightly flavored mutton stock, with a nice spice hit – exactly how a shorba should taste! The Malwani Fish curry and the Chicken Kadai – overflowing with pieces of fish and chicken respectively and the mutton Rogan Josh with bien cuit chunks of mutton went perfectly with the soft naans.
Mutton Rogan Josh
Malwani Fish Curry
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.
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
Rice / Noodles
The Aloo Lasooni and the Dal Rajma were my personal picks among the veg items
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.
Besan ke Laddoo
The Dessert Range
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.
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.
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.
This was accompanied by a variety of sauces – 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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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!)
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.
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…
So, last week a close friend from Singapore pops in and says ‘I want to try something “different”‘. She is a “part-time vegetarian” (someone who eats chicken “sometimes” – meh!) so something like Flying Duck was out of question. That also threw mutton specialty or seafood delicacies out the window.
Had been eyeing Cafe Mestizo for a while now, and this evening seemed to be a good one to head there.
Cafe Mestizo has this urban chic decor, with white metal chairs and bright psychedelic walls. Loved the coffee clock on the wall!
1. Butter Chicken Pizza: Yes! Butter chicken on a Pizza! Dreams becoming reality? Husband being a number one fan of butter chicken , trying the pizza version was a must! I, personally, loved this butter chicken pizza. Thin crisp base, yummy butter chicken and topped with generous amount of melted cheese. I can go back just for this dish if not anything else. Husband wasn’t a fan of the thin crust. Butter chicken needs something soft and absorbent, so a normal / deep dish base might have been better. But overall, this is a super hit. For 300/- its worth it.
2. Mestizo Gave you Wings: I LOVE Chicken Wings (who doesn’t?) so thought of trying out their version. The menu says “Chicken wings dipped in Teriyaki Sauce”. The description was deceiving. It turned out to be chicken wings coated with a mix of some Indian masalas with a strong hint of basil. Desi masalas and Basil do NOT go well, as was evident with this dish. The teriyaki sauce as a dip was a bit of a savior. However, give this a miss.
3. Create your own pasta: So they give you this list of options, and you can merrily select what you want in there. Our friend was on the cautious side, and went with a safe cream (white) sauce (though I really wanted to see what a pink pasta would taste like!), with Penne, chicken, olives, seasonal vegetables and mushrooms. The sauce was nice, and creamy with loads of cheese. Generous portion of chicken, well balanced, served with a rather tasty warm garlic bread, this was a lovely all-round well prepared dish.
4. Mocktails: Here’s where they really earn the “BrewPub” title. Cafe Mestizo boasts of an impressive variety of beverages, ranging from tea and coffee to shakes and smoothies.
-Green Apple Cucumber Cooler : The salad-hating Husband ordered a cucumber drink! And was surprised! Give me all salads in this form, I’ll be happily “healthy”!
-Watermelon & Mint iced tea : Mint and Watermelon is a match made in heaven. ’nuff said.
-Hot chocolate : I’ve had better. Pass.
Overall, they do have some very interesting offerings on their menu. Next time round, I intend to try their egg dishes as well as the Kheema Baguette. Definitely worth a visit!
PS: Dessert craving took us to Oh So Stoned just across the road. And this was wow!!
Ordered the ‘Charlie’s chocolate factory’s & ‘American pie topped with caramel sauce’. Both the ice creams were Oh-So-Good!! Going back again to try other stuff here for sure. Drool on!
Maadjaapaahit is a brand new establishment nestled inside the Pride Hotel on University Road, Pune. The name is derived from the Madjapahit Empire, which was one of the last major empires of the region, ruling from the late 13th century till the end of the 15th century AD, and is considered to be one of the greatest and most powerful empires in the history of Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
Decked up in red and gold, the decor and ambiance of the restaurant transports one to the world of rich, cultural & exotic lands of Indonesia.
Indonesian cuisine is one of the most vibrant, diverse and colorful cuisines in the world comprising of intense flavor. Maadjaapahit boasts of a diverse menu, showcasing delicacies from the regions of Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei Singapore, Philippines and East Timor. #baconbaba was fortunate enough to be invited to an exclusive tasting.
We started off with a Singapore Laksa and a Tom Yum (spicy) soup. The Tom Yum gave me quite a spice hit, filled with bird chillies, but was jam packed with the flavor of lemongrass and a generous amount of chicken pieces. The Singapore Laksa was a rich, delicious coconut milk based sea-food soup, brimming with prawns, fish cakes, egg and chicken.
For the next course, we got a couple of vegetarian appetizers. Lumpia – a Filipino style fried spring roll – excellent, crisp outer crust, served with a sesame tomato sauce. Tahu Sumbat – Malaysian grilled tofu stuffed with vegetables with a chilli sauce – tofu lovers will really dig this dish. But then, tofu… meh. We also tried the Potstickers – East Timor style pan seared dumplings (vegetarian). While I couldn’t really figure out the “seared” part, the coating of the dumpling was one of the thinnest I’ve seen in Pune, leading to the veggies really shining.
Among the non-veg starters, the Fried Carrot Cake really stands out. The name is misleading – its actually a Singaporean recipe made with a fresh and preserved radish based flour cake with eggs – excellent texture, surprising to the palate.
The Murtabak – a Malaysian chicken stuffed pancake has been a favorite of mine. This version was no less than any other served in the city. Delicious to the core!
We were also served the Sate Kambing, an Indonesian lamb satay with a peanut sauce. While the sauce was yummy, the lamb was tough.
We were getting pretty full already, and so moved on to the mains. And man, we were in for a pleasurable surprise! Here came the Chilli Crab – a hard shell crab cooked in a semi thick Singaporean style. It was a tomato-basil based sauce, but had a definite spice hit to it. This will be a hit with the spice-loving Puneris!
We also tried the Malay Chicken Curry – a coconut based chicken curry. Rich, delicious with chopped red chillies and fresh bay leaves, this was served with steamed rice.
By now we were full to our gills, but this one vegetarian dish caught out eye. So we asked for a small portion of the Pumpkin Rice. This is a recipe from Papua New Guinea (an island off the coast of New Zealand). Rice tossed with pumpkin, green peas, coconut milk and spring onion, this was one of the best ‘fried rice’ dishes I have ever had! The sweetness of the pumpkin and coconut milk blended so beautifully with the rice, it took my chilli crab sauce to the next level! Absolute delicious, #MustTry !
As we were ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘aaah-ing’ from the spice hit of the chili crab on our lips, the chef sent out a sampling of his 3 best desserts.
Getuk Lindri – Sweet potato and coconut rolls drizzled with honey – this is what sugar free dreams are made of! Tasting surprisingly similar to our local ‘copra paak’, this sugar free dessert is a must try here! Dadar Gulung is another Indonesian dessert we tried – beautiful green colored rice pancake rolls stuffed with coconut and sugar – yummy to the core! Apam Balik is a Malaysian rice flour pancake with creamed corn stuffing. I am not such a fan of corn, so I would give this one a pass.
Overall, the entire experience was absolutely phenomenal. I can only think of a couple of other restaurants in Pune serving such an exotic variety of South East Asian cuisine. With a surprisingly competitively priced menu, Maadjaapaahit is a fantastic entrant into the Pune food scene!
#baconbaba khush hua!
Ps: #baconbaba would like to thank the management of Maadjaapaahit for inviting my family and me for this food tasting. The Usual Disclaimer applies.
Polka dots – bistro & bar, Westend mall, Aundh
A couple of days back Polka dots started their much awaited Bistro at Westend mall. Located next to Shoppers Stop in the GF section, this is a huge step up from their original site. Swanky, classy, high end are words that pop into your head as you walk into Polka Dots Bistro and Bar. Do not get mislead by the term ‘bar’ – they serve only mocktails for now.
While they have retained their ‘Polka Dots legends’ like the Gescnetzetes and Paprica Chicken, their expanded menu boasts some amazing sounding dishes.
We started off with a White Orchid, a guava and lime based mocktail and a lemon iced tea. Both were beautifully made, refreshing to the core.
Lemon Iced Tea
For starters, we ordered the Thai pork Balls – mince pork balls served with a light fish sauce. I wish the minced pork had been a tad more moist.
Thai Pork balls
Fish and chips were excellent as always, with the tarter sauce playing the perfect accompaniment. Pihu wiped it off.
Fish n Chips
Main course included the Bratwurst with Onion relish – delightful presentation, sticky sweet onion relish, classic as always
I ordered the Buffalo Tenderloin Steak. All i say is I am still looking for a chef in Pune who has the guts /talent to cook a medium rare steak. Here again the steak turned out slightly tough and medium well. I could possibly blame the quality of the meat though. Served with and onion jam, veggies and a cheese covered baked potato, the accompaniments were excellent.
We ended the meal with the absolutely phenomenal Philadelphia Blueberry Cheese cake and a rather runny Red Velvet Lava Cake.
While Polka dots has a new avatar, it retains its old charm,with familiar faces to take your order. Stick to the old favorites. The new items, while beautifully plated, are a hit n miss.