The tantalizing aroma of freshly baked waffles made pin-pointing the exact location easy – we could smell the waffles right from the road! The place itself looks like a tiny little food-truck crammed onto a balcony, with about 8 to 10 tiny tables strewn about. The ceiling is a labyrinth of jute rope, with tiny little bees (toys, or course) and bright yellow lanterns hanging down. Makes for a rather quirky atmosphere.
Choose your toppings: This is the fun part – You get the options of Fruit, Gems, Kit-kat, Snickers, Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, oreo, Choco fills, sprinkles… Make it look super pretty!
And then wait till your order arrives – takes about 10-15 minutes (honestly, feels like hours, specially with the seductive smell of waffles torturing you!). It was difficult making my 2 year old wait for this one. I would not deny that I was a bit impatient too!
I went for a red velvet waffle, filled with whipped cream topped with KitKat, Ferrero rocher, gems, & nutella. It was blissful! My kid wiped off all the gems, sprinkles, KitKat and other assorted toppings as fast as she could.
The waffles is something I haven’t really seen before – it has bubbles! You need to eat up the top part with a spoon, and progressively bite the waffle itself. Messy, i must say, but satisfyingly so!
Priced at around 250/- a pop, it is totally worth it. The waffle is big enough to satisfy 2 people, without being too heavy on the tummy. They also have some varieties of bubble tea – a take on flavored green tea with flavors and toppings – something that’s on my ‘next time’ list. Yes, once you visit, I am sure anyone will want to go back again.
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.