China Grill – Restaurant Review.

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Chinese cuisine is an important part of Chinese culture, which includes cuisine originating from the diverse regions of China, as well as from Chinese people in other parts of the world. Because of the Chinese diaspora, Chinese cuisine has influenced many other cuisines in Asia, while modifications made to cater the local palate.

The preference for seasoning and cooking techniques of Chinese provinces depend on differences in historical background and ethnic groups. Geographic features including mountains, rivers, forests and deserts also have a strong effect on the local available ingredients, considering climate of China varies from tropical in the south to subarctic in the northeast. Imperial, royal and noble preference also plays a role in the change of Chinese cuisines. Because of imperial expansion and trading, ingredients and cooking techniques from other cultures are integrated into Chinese cuisines over time.

The ancient Taoist principle of Yin and Yang in which balance and contrast are the key. Each Chinese dish reflects a balance of taste, texture, aroma and colour. Be it sweet, sour, pungent, hot, salty or spicy – all the six basic flavours are incorporated deftly in all Chinese dishes.

Indian Chinese cuisine is the adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to Indian tastes through a larger offering of vegetarian dishes. The Indian Chinese cuisine is said to have been developed by the small Chinese community that has lived in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) for over a century. Today, Chinese food is an integral part of the Indian culinary scene. It is also enjoyed by Indian and Chinese communities in Malaysia, Singapore and North America.

Chill Grill Brand comes from the Family of the legendary Chinese Room Restaurant (East Street). The four times in a row award winner of the World Famous Restaurants International USA Award Chinese Room, is one of the oldest Chinese Restaurants in Pune. It was started in 1976 and has completed 40 years. The restaurant has always been well ahead of its time and has maintained its iconic status through continuous innovation in the menus and service. The exquisite food is a blend of imported aromatic spices, mesmerizing fragrances, elusive oils, blissful sauces and delicious recipes. The authenticity of Chinese food along with tastes to match the Indian taste bud is represented at Chinese Room.

China Grill started its first restaurant in Wanowrie 10 years back and Riding on the success of the Wanowrie branch, China Grill is back, this time at Viman Nagar! Offering the best quality Chinese ingredients, do not miss out on the seafood here! Not only that, China Grill also brings to you North Indian dishes, to satisfy the Indian palate. All of this under one roof. Deciding where to dine has never been easier!

China Grill’s newest outlet in Viman Nagar is a fine dining branch. Owing to its sophisticated décor and interiors, the restaurants gives a quality experience to its customers. The restaurant comes with a beautiful banquet hall on its second level which is ideal for all your special occasions. China grill serves Authentic Chinese food similar to its other branches. In addition to its scrumptious menu, China Grill has also added Authentic Indian cuisine to its food options.

The food we had out here at the Viman Nagar Branch as follows:

We started with some Drinks to cool us down so ordered Blue Lagoon and Paradise Island. They have an elaborated menu for both the Food and for the Drinks to suits every ones palate.

For starters:

Sesame Toast Vegetable: Nice crispy golden brown bread triangles. Yummy in taste. #Musthave.

Corn Curd Mongolian: Very unique dish and one of the signature dish of China Grill. This dish goes through all basic cooking then refrigerating and then frying to get the exact texture without loosing the aroma and taste. It can be enjoyed with Schezwan sauce.

Paneer Tikka: Big square pieces of tender soft Paneer marinated with tikka masala served with Mint chutney. This is one of the Indian Signature dish of the China grill.

Main course:

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Vegetables in Hunan sauce: This was nice and served in a huge portion which goes well with Veg Fried Rice. Chunky pieces of vegetables tossed in Hunan Sauce with a perfect thickness of Gravy.

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In Roti I tried the Cheese Garlic Naan: Nicely presented and good in taste.

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Dessert: Sizzling Brownie with Vanilla Ice-Cream: The only different thing was instead of a scoop, a big slab of Vanilla Ice-cream was placed.

Overall… It was an wonderful experience of having a quick lunch and total Value for Money.

P.S. : Along with their fancy fine dine restaurant China Grill Viman Nagar also has a luxurious banquet facility to host all your important events. Housing a maximum of 200 people our banquet hall is ideal for a birthday party, company event, get togethers, pre/ post wedding celebrations and weekly kitties. Centrally air conditioned and one of the few places where stags are allowed we also offer you with an outdoor seating, smoking area and free wifi. Apart from these services we would be glad to add to your celebrations with tonnes of scrumptious food, a beautifully done up space, foot tapping beats topped off with a classic selection of alcohol. They have basic pre curated Menus to choose from or if you have a budget in mind even that can be worked out as per your need and choice.

Savya Rasa – Epicurean Journey through Southern India. -Restaurant Review.

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Savya Rasa is a first of its kind dining experience that celebrates the epicurean journey of South India. Created with the intent of offering guests fine dine with exclusivity, their existence is about the re-creation of traditional cuisines and bringing them to a wider audience.

Team Savya Rasa have travelled extensively across the seven major culinary regions of South India and spent years learning from local sources to make sure that every dish they serve is authentic. Cultural aspects and attributes have been incorporated into the dining experience to help you rediscover the heritage and history that has helped shape South Indian culture.

Savya Rasa has a story on every wall of the Bunglow converted in to Fine dinning experience. They also give a Tour of the restaurant which takes back centuries of tradition and strong Indian Culture which is discovered by the team Savya Rasa. 

Savya means South and Rasa is derived from Sanskrit is work of art and flavour or essence of food.

This is a 62 seater place is divided in sections, two private dining rooms, a mezzanine section and an outdoor section with a Live/Open Kitchen 

I was Invited for the Bloggers Table for tasting of special Summer Menu or Mango Special menu. As we settled down the one of the staff asked me which type of water I would like to have from the standard Regular or Bottled and room temperate or cold, this was a new experience altogether they had Tulsi, Jeera or Khus? I opted for Jeera to start with, it was served at the room temperature or just above it.The staff is also have a Traditional south indian attire called veshti. 

The Main Menu has covered the 7 Main regions from South: 

Kongunadu: Kongu Nadu cuisine is predominantly south Indian with rice as its base and a collection of exotic recipes being created by the people residing in the Kongu region. Food is served over a banana leaf. Eating on a banana leaf is an old custom and imparts a unique flavour to the food and is considered as healthy. 

Idly, dosa, paniyaram and appam are popular dishes. Kongu Nadu cuisine does not involve marination of any raw material and as a result the food has a different taste and unique texture. Turmeric is added into curries which gives the product a deep yellow colour and an aromatic substance. Arisi Paruppu Sadam, made from a mixture of dal and rice is a recipe that existed from fourth century CE and unique to the area. Kaalaan is a popular dish prepared by simmering deep fried mushrooms (usually chopped mushroom) in a spicy broth, until it reaches a porridge like consistency and served sprinkled with chopped onions and coriander leaves.The traditional Kongu people were mostly vegetarians for religious reasonOppitu is a type of sweet made with the basic ingredients rice, sundal paruppu, palm jaggery, cardamom and ghee.

Nellore: Nellore is a very important producer of different agricultural products in South India. Being a prominent part of the state of Andhra Pradesh, Nellore is a place where one can find different kinds of spicy and tasty foods. As the district is one of the leading producers of red chilli, rice and millet in India, its influence can also be found in the food of Nellore. Both vegetables as well as meat and sea food feature prominently in the menus of the people of Nellore. Dal or lentils, and tamarind are largely used in cooking in Nellore. Various spicy and hot varieties of pickles form important part of the cuisine of Nellore.

Chettinad: The cuisine of this community called the Nattukotai Chettiars, or Nagarathars as they call themselves, from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu state in South India. Chettinad cuisine is perhaps the most renowned fare in the Tamil Nadu repertoire. It uses a variety of spices and the dishes are made with fresh ground masalas. Chettiars also use a variety of sun dried meats and salted vegetables, reflecting the dry environment of the region. Most of the dishes are eaten with rice and rice based accompaniments such as dosaisappamsidiyappamsadais and idlis. The Chettiars through their mercantile contacts with Burma, learnt to prepare a type of rice pudding made with sticky red rice. Chettinad cuisine offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Some of the popular vegetarian dishes include idiyappampaniyaramvellai paniyaramkaruppatti paniyarampaal paniyaramkuzhi paniyaramkozhakattaimasala paniyaramadikoozhkandharappamseeyammasala seeyamkavuni arisi and athirasam.

In Chettinad food, major spices used include anasipoo (star aniseed), kalpasi (a lichen), puli (tamarind), milagai (chillies), sombu (fennel seed), pattai (cinnamon), lavangam(cloves),bayleafkarumilagu(peppercorn),  jeeragam (cumin seeds),  and venthayam (fenugreek).

Mangaluru: Mangalorean cuisine is largely influenced by the South Indian cuisine, with several cuisines being unique to the diverse communities of the region. Coconut and curry leaves are common ingredients to most Mangalorean curry, as are ginger, garlic and chili. Mangalorean Fish Curry is popular dish in Karnataka. Well-known Tuluva dishes include Neer Dosa,Masala Dosa,”Chicken Ghee Roast“,”Chicken Sukka“,Kori Rotti (dry rice flakes dipped in gravy), Bangude Pulimunchi (spicy sour silver-grey mackerels), Beeja-Manoli UpkariNeer dosa (lacy rice-crêpes), Boothai GasiKadubu, and Patrode. The Konkani community’s specialities include Daali thoybibbe-upkari (cashew based), val valavnas ambe sasamKadgi chakkopaagila podi, and chane gashi. Vegetarian cuisine in Mangalore, also known as Udupi cuisine, is known and liked throughout the state and region. Since Mangalore is a coastal town, fish forms the staple diet of most people. 

Masrani: It is also known as Kerala cuisine offers a multitude of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes prepared using fishpoultry and red meat with rice a typical accompaniment.Chilliescurry- leavesmustard seedsturmeric tamarind and asafoetida are all frequently used. Kerala is known as the “Land of Spices” because it traded spices  with Europe as well as with many ancient civilizations with the oldest historical records of the Sumerians from 3000 BCE.

 Mysuru: The Karnataka or Kannada Cuisine is one of the oldest surviving cuisines and traces its origin to Iron Age. The varieties of the karnataka cuisine has influenced the neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra pradesh, Kerala and Maharashtra. The cuisine also reflects influences from the food habits of many regions and communities from the three neighbouring South Indian states, as well as the state of Maharashtra to its north. Some typical dishes include Bisi bele bathJolada rottiChapatiRagi rottiAkki rottiSaaruIdlivada SambarVangi BathKhara BathKesari BathBenne doseNeer DoseRagi muddePaddu/ Gundponglu, koli saaru (chicken curry- Kannada Style), Maamsa Saaru (Mutton Curry – Kannada style), and Uppittu. The famous Masala Dose traces its origin to Udupi cuisine. Plain and Rave IdliMysore Masala Dosa and Maddur Vade are popular in South Karnataka. Kodagu (Coorg) district is famous for spicy varieties of pork curries while coastal Karnataka boasts of many tasty seafood specialities. Among sweets, Mysore Pak, Holige, or, ObbattuDharwad pedhaChiroti, Sajjige, Kadabu/ Karjikaayi are well known.

Malabar : Malabar Cuisine or the Moplah cuisine of Kerala are unique in its rich flavour. The lightly flavoured aromatic Malabar Biriyani is the best example of it. The coastal region of Kerala is known as Malabar. It comprises of northern districts of Kerala and some parts of Karnataka. 

Ohh So much of reading!!!! 

Lets start our journey of food tasting.

As we settled, Hot Rasam was served to us along with the Crispy Papaddum. Rasam was nice and tangy in taste, after having it would give you warm kick start. 

After the Hot Rasam to give a soothing effect Aamras was served in a Wine Glass. It was thick and appropriately sweetened. 

In the mean time the Appetisers started flowing in: 

(Please Note: although the names are big and bit confusing the staff is trained to explain/describe you each and every dish. So don’t worry what to order)   

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KONDAKKADALAI KOZHUKKATTAI

KONDAKKADALAI KOZHUKKATTAI (Kongunadu)
Steamed rice flour dumplings with well balanced fillings of chick peas, trio of peppers and onions seasoned with hand blended spices.

The aroma of the freshly grounded spices was so immense that I couldn’t make you that the small ball/dumplings are made up of rice.

CHUTNEY PANIYARAM (Chettinad)

Rice and lentils steeped over night, stone ground into batter, seasoned with ginger, green chillies, grated coconut, crushed pepper, stuffed with three types of chutney and shallow-fried in a customised cast iron pan.

Here we call it an “Appe” with the very first look I could make out the rustiness of the dish as it was cooked in a Cast Iron Pan. Tender soft with amazing taste. It was served with the three different types of Chutney and all three were very tasty and freshly made. 

CHANAGA PAPPU VADA (Nellore)

Deep-fried patties of Bengal lentils with chopped green chillies, ginger and spices, served with coconut and coriander chutney. 

It was kind of Dal vada but bit on dry side which was served with the Green Chutney. The vada was not that oily, nice and crispy. 

Main Course: 4 types of Curries with 3 types of  breads. 

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MANGO THOKKU

MANGO THOKKU: A sweet, sour and spicy Chettinad preparation of ripened mangoes enjoyed best with Appam.

With the very first bite you feel the sweet and sourness of Mango chunks tossed in spicy Chettinad masala, which gave the the Curry a fresh red colour which was again rich in flavours. 

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KALAAN THIRATTAL

KALAAN THIRATTAL: A thick curry made with button mushrooms, groundnuts, shallots and red chillies. Kongunadu treat best enjoyed with bun parotta.

Nice earthen colour curry with little milder in taste. This goes well with the bun parotta. 

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MAMIDI PANDU PULUSU

MAMIDI PANDU PULUSU: This dish is a seasonal speciality of Andhra kitchens. This mango-based, spicy, sweet-and-sour dish is known for its cooling powers and can help prevent heat strokes.

This dish is a seasonal speciality of Andhra kitchens and is universally served in the region’s restaurants during the months of March and April, when the mango crop is ripe for consumption. Besides happily entertaining your taste buds, this mango-based, sweet-and-sour dish is known for its cooling powers 

VEGETABLE STEW: This has to be eaten with Appam pouring the hot Stew right in middle on the spongy part let the stew get soaked by Appam and then you enjoy the dish. It is Cooked in a creamy coconut milk base, with vegetables.  #Recommended. 

 

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Bun parotta: A  fluffy multilayered bread made with refined wheat flour, egg and butter cooked on a griddle. 

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Neer Dosa: A delicate Crepe made with rice batter and coconut oil. A delicacy from the land of Tulu, goes well with almost anything. 

Rice: 

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Kukuda Nuppu: Its a Mangalorean tempered rice preparation very similar in taste of Lemon rice but with a Mango twist to it. 

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Ghee Rice: Classic rice which can go with all spicy curries.  

Desserts: (Portion size- Tasting sample size) 

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Mambazha Kesari: Semolina roasted in Ghee and sweet mango pulp, is added which gave a distinct taste to it. 

Kukuda Payasa: Nice and sweet Payasam with the Mango flavour with perfect sweetness. 

Mambazha Halwa:This had loads of ghee. With a rough texture to it. A melt in the mouth, gelatinous sweet made reduced mango sugar syrup cooked with a mixture of rice flour, clarified butter and fried almonds and pistachios. 

Mambazha Pudding: Indianised version of Pannacotta with a Ripe mango jelly set with china grass – A Thannur Delicacy. 

Drinks:

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Frozen Mango Daiquiri: It can be served in both Cocktail and Mocktail version. It was served with mango pieces on it nicely presented. A relish from the Mango lover. 

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The other drinks which were served with the Liquor were : Cucumber and Mint Mojito, Spicy Litchi Mojito, Watermelon and Tulsi Mojito, Mulberry Mojito, Mango and Chilli Mojito. (All were served in a Shot glass as a tasters) All had a their own distinct flavours to it.

We completed our journey with a Filter Kappi…. 

 

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Savya Rasa Ambience: As I told you that the restaurant has a history attached to it with every artefact displayed there I recommend that you should ask for the tour of the restaurant which might take you around half an hour. 

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Please note: The Mango Special Menu or Summer Menu will be available till 21st May 2017. 

NOTE: My review is unbiased and is solely based on my experience even though I was invited. The serving size and preparations may vary. Restaurant has rights to change the Menu or Discontinue any of the above mentioned Food preparation. Some of the Information has been taken as a reference from the internet and other related sources which are freely available. 

***Big ShoutOut for Shivangi Shah from Carpe Diem and Sathish Kumar from Savya Rasa for hosting us. ***

Savya Rasa Website

Zomato Page

Pa Pa Ya- A journey of Molecular Gastronomy 

Pa Pa Ya is one of the most talked about and one of favorite restaurants in lively city of Mumbai…. The city which never sleeps neither it disappoints you by serving some mind blowing dishes from the Pan Asian Continent. Pa Pa Ya not only serves good food but also takes us to a journey of Revolutionising the pan-Asian dining experience, Pa Pa Ya is an assimilation of various cooking techniques and cultures found across the Asian continent. It is as much about culinary art as it is about offering an exceptional gastronomic experience. It showcases super innovative presentations, the likes of which have never been seen before, integrated with cutting edge contemporary cooking techniques, including the use of the latest innovations & technology used in molecular gastronomy.

Pa Pa Ya, It is a complete reinvention of Asian cuisine on a global scale. Leave your preconceived notions and perceptions out of the door, while enjoying a sensory experience at Pa Pa Ya. Here, eating is an experience unlike any, where we take you on a culinary journey through the landscape of Asia in a manner which has never been done before.


Pa Pa Ya is a modern Asian bistro from the House of Massive Restaurants and best described as a
chic, modern and radical reinterpretation of Asian cuisine.

Pa Pa Ya endeavours to offer a holistic dining experience and thus showcases a range of cocktails in its signature beverage section, which have been given the same tender, love and care as the cuisine, applying extensive use of molecular mixology with absolute cutting edge innovation never been seen before.

We were invited for the food tasting of this journey called Pa Pa Ya. This was the first time that #punefoodbloggers were invited for the food tasting from Mumbai. As we reached we got warm welcome from the team Pa Pa Ya.


The interior of the restaurant was just mesmerizing and had an urban feel with metal hexagon boxes dangling all around, nice dim light with warm red painted walls gave the interior a nice and a stand out look to the place.

Let’s begin with the Journey of food tasting:

Amuse Bouche:

The definition of amuse bouche is a French term which means a little bit of food which is served before the meal to stimulate the appetite. It had watermelon cubes with foam on it and nitrogen gas fumes bubbling out from the bowl beneath.

We ordered some drinks to cool us down:

Lighthouse : This is one of the signature drinks, lemongrass infused vodka, galangal, orange and pineapple  juice. Enough Alcohol contain to get started.

GO PA PA YA: Another gem from the signature drinks vodka, kaffir lime, thyme and rosemary reduction, citrus. Nice tangy and sour with the hint of vodka.

WISE WHISKY: This will be loved by Whisky lovers, strong and nice with flavors of homemade rosemary reduction.

Beer Battered Avocado Tacos , Corn : A Japanese Mexican Style Of Tacos With The Shell Of Tacos Made From ‘GYOZA Sheet’ (Primarily Used To Made Dumplings ) Stuffed With Beer Battered Crispy Avocado, Corn Topped With Mozzarella Cheese, and this was nice and crunchy with perfect taste of all the flavors.

Phad Thai Veg: This was served in big and heavy stone bowl which was actually pretty heavy to handle! Coming to the Phad Thai, it was almost the basic nothing extra wow factor, ketchup based  with the crushed peanut sprinkled over it.

Kale and pockchoy dimsums: It is one of the best dish which I liked the most. Gaozi Dressing along with  mushrooms and with lots of veggies in it.This one comes with a crispy papad and a spicy dip on the side.

Cheese Pakoda: Golf ball size cheese pakoda with loads of cheese filling within. Its a must have for the every cheese lover. Nice and soft cheese balls served with the spicy sauce to cut the taste. I #cheeslovers


Urmaki Sushi: Uramaki Sushi in simple words means inside out sushi.

Uramaki has a very interesting history.
The story goes that it was developed in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles in the late 1960’s by Machita chiro the sushi chef in a restaurant called Tokyo Kaikan. It seems the restaurant was having problems obtaining fat belly tuna (toro) for its mainly Japanese customers so started to substitute avocado instead. Avocado has a similar consistency and tends to melt in the mouth kind of like toro. Later, when the number of American customers started to increase, some disliked the texture of the seaweed, so Ichiro turned the roll “Inside-Out”; thus putting the rice on the outside, and the seaweed on the inside. Kind of “hiding” it.

This seemed to pacify the American customers and so the California Roll was born. Rather clever, don’t you think? It must have worked because Uramaki seems to be one of the most popular types of sushi now in the U.S.

Rice on the outside with seaweed on the inside stuffed at the bottom topped with deep fried greens spinach and sesame served with wasabi.
Presentation and taste wise this dish was really good. #recommended

Desserts:


Molecular Vanilla Dessert with Pannacotta: It was the curtain raiser for the dessert section, and the drama begins, Vanilla Ice cream was rightly made on the table with the help of Nitrogen gas which made the atmosphere little Cool and smoky around the table. Once it was done it was served on the plate with wobbly Pannacotta and crunchy salty nuts to cut the taste of sweetness if you wish to switch between both. Awesome and fresh vanilla ice-cream was nothing short of the yumminess. Pannacotta had to take a step back in front of the ice-cream.

#HighlyRecommended

Chocolate ball on fire –When this was placed on the table the first expression was like wow! A big chocolate ball stuffed with 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream, chocolate ganache, cheese cake cream served on a bed of coffee cream and loads of cookie crumble and almond crumble to this contrast the bright red berries were placed on the edge of the plate, and it was just nothing but an artwork and Chef was the artist to put all the effort into the dish. This looks so artistic and when they poured lit up alcohol and way the ball cracks up after the alcohol is poured is truly eye catching.

With very first bite alcohol hits you with the bitter taste of chocolate which is mesmerizing.

Overall Pa Pa Ya is a journey of molecular gastronomy which is beyond the imagination of food lovers.

I personally thank the team Pa Pa Ya for hosting us and making this journey a memorable one.

Lastly I thank #Jerlynfoodfanatic for putting up me in the list of invitees. 


Please have look at the Drooling pictures of the food which was served:


Its a Fusion time – Italy via Punjab Restaurant Review.

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Fusion cuisine is cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions. Cuisines of this type are not categorised according to any one particular cuisine style and have played a part in innovations of many contemporary restaurant cuisines since the 1970s. Foods based on one culture, but prepared using ingredients and flavours inherent to another culture, are also considered forms of fusion cuisine. For instance, pizza made with cheddar and pepper jack cheese, salsa, refried beans or other common taco ingredients is often marketed as “Taco Pizza”. This particular dish is a fusion of Italian and Mexican cuisines. Similar approaches have been used for fusion-sushi, such as rolling maki with different types of rice and ingredients such as curry and basmati rice, cheese and salsa with Spanish rice, or spiced ground lamb and capers rolled with Greek-style rice and grape leaves, which resembles inside-out dolmades.

But today we are talking altogether fusion of Italian cuisine with a Indian Tadka: 

We were invited for the foods tasting at a restaurant on NIBM road Pune. The name goes by Italy via Punjab. 

As we reached to this place which was actually far from the city centre, Owner and Chef Ninad Joshi warmly welcomed us and made us comfortable. After while we explored the ambience which were rustic and fusionised version of its own, like they had sitting made from the drums and Hand cart was converted into the table. Copper Glasses on the table gave a feel of a dhaba style sit out.

Coming to directly to the Food:

Summer heat was at peak in Pune we thought of ordering some Shakes to cool us all….

Oreo Cookie Shake and Kitkat Shake: Presentation wise it looked yum… thick shake with cookie crumble and Kitkat stick was placed on both. It was bit disappointing when we actually took our first sip, it was almost at the room temperature, Even the scoop of ice-cream couldn’t cool the shake.

Starters:

Peppered Tomato Bruschetta: It was very close to Nanza which are served as Flat breads in many Cafe’s in town. Fresh tomatoes, olives and Mozzarella with a hint of Basil leaves on a Garlic Naan. As naan was kind of crisp and loads of Olive oil was drizzled over it so had a good shiny look. Taste wise more of spices can be added to enhance the taste.

Paneer Tikka Cannelloni: This was the one of the best fusion dish I ever had. As Indians we have our taste buds inclined more towards Indian spices and rich aromatic flavours, this had both infused with it. #Musthave.

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Morney Pasta (Penne): A Mornay sauce is a Béchamel sauce with shredded or grated Gruyère cheese added. Some variations use different combinations of Gruyère, Emmental cheese, or white Cheddar. A Mornay sauce made with cheddar is commonly used to make Macaroni and cheese. This was super cheesy pasta. If you are looking for some spice or herbs in it skip this, but those who love their pasta cheesy this the first dish to order. This was served with Garlic Naan.

Mains:

Babycorn Saag Chilli with Roti:  This saag was yum. Nice and think gravy with tender soft babycorn with all the rich Indian aroma intact served in handi style with butter roti it was brilliant. If they can add more of Babycorn it will be wonderful.  #Recommended.

Dessert:

Masala Chai Pannacotta: As the name suggested, being an super fusion dessert we were excited to try it out. But the some punch was missing here. It could have been better.

Overall….

It was nice with some good fusion food to taste, although everyone goes through the initial teething problems, And I am sure this will be overcome by the Chef Ninad and its Team.

I personally Thank you Chef Ninad and the Team Italy via Punjab for Hosting us.

Disclaimer: The invite was for a complimentary food tasting event. This review is a narrative of my experience at the event. The views expressed in this review are solely mine. Some of the information might be taken from freely available data bank of Internet.  

 

The Sassiest Place in Pune- The Sassy Spoon Review.

Introduction:

Pune City, ‘The Queen of the Deccan’, now has Mumbai’s sassiest restaurant The Sassy Spoon, adding to its culinary delights. Brainchild of the dynamic duo – Rachel Goenka and Irfan Pabaney, the restaurant opened its doors on Monday, 23rd January at Koregaon Park.  The Sassy Spoon’s philosophy has always been delicious food peppered with sass. The restaurant aims to recreate the same ‘Sassy Experience’ in Pune as well with quirky bar bites, innovative mains, takeaways, scrumptious breakfasts and an innovative menu spanning across European, Mediterranean, South East Asian and Indian cuisines, for both vegetarian and non-vegetarians, along with an exciting selection of cocktails and mocktails. The ambience, with both outdoor and indoor seating makes it the perfect dining & drinking destination. 

Chef Gautam Samel who has worked at The Sassy Spoon restaurants in Mumbai for more than 2 years is the Chef at the helm of The Sassy Spoon, Pune and is integral to the curation of the menu. The menu has a variety of both international as well as regional appeal. Some of the recommended dishes include a warm green apple-smoked scarmoza soup which, is all you need in this chilly weather. The bar bites menu boasts of some whacky yet delicious selections of tidbits like a Sri Lankan spiced chicken poi, mini pulled pork poi sliders, coriander and rava crusted bombil with mango chutney and the prawn pakoras, which is a sassy take on traditional pakoras. The tenderloin jerky with coriander seeds and lemon, spicy cherry tomato and chili dip, Murtabak with Thai style tenderloin pad krapow and the other version of the classic baida roti are great bar nibbles to combine with drinks!

Amongst the mains some of the highlights are the Kerala lamb, which is a yummy, spicy pairing with buttered brun, a smoked, beer braised tenderloin burger with an in-house beer ricotta, a brined, cornflake crumbed oven fried chicken and finally a tangy coconut prawn served with appams.

The menu also features an array of creative vegetarian options like the loaded potato skins (a take on vada pav), deep fried sweet corn soup, crispy on the outside yet oozing of the quintessential “chindian” favourite, mushroom tortellini with porcini cream, and a delectable trio of sassy fries with bbq, cheese and Cajun spice.

The beverage menu comprises of exciting house infused liquers. A few flavors include Kashmiri Kahwa, spiced raspberry, pomegranate and plum liquer, citrus vodka and bacon infused whiskey in order to enhance the flavor of the cocktails. Don’t miss out on the Gold Member – A vodka, house infused green tea kava liqueur! The concoctions reflect nostalgic elements which have been experimented with resulting in tantalizing creations like Indus Gimlet (Chaat masala, lime & gin), Jack & Ginger (uses smoked ginger syrup) and Morning Brew (whisky and espresso)

The breezy fruit based cocktails one would surely want to sip include Berry Chilli – Muddled mulberries and green chilli shaken with tequila, crème de cassis and fresh citrus or an unusual Banana Mojito and lots of flavoured beers.

For the teetotalers the recommended drinks include –The Very Berry Khatta-our sassy signature and take on the classic Kala Khatta, The Virgin Mule -fresh lime, homemade smoked ginger syrup, mint and fizz, a Sassy Mint Iced Latte -cold brewed coffee, vanilla and mint or a Soul Cooler -kokum, lemon, cilantro, green chillies, fizz.

I was invited for the Food and Drink Tasting by Shivangi from Crape Diem Pune. 

I must say for Shivangi Sassy Spoon is like second home and she know the menu so well so we left it to her for the orders. Believe me she is the best in placing the orders in Sassy Spoon.

We Started the evening with their signature Drinks:

Spiked Berry Very Khatta: Its one of the signature drink and most talked about in sassy spoon. It was refreshing with orange, mulberries, grapes and with strong flavour of kala khatta. Rum/Vodka can be added which depends on the what you prefer.

Morning Brew: “You can’t buy Happiness but you can buy Coffee which is very close to it” So it had Expresso with Vanilla, Whiskey, in-house orange liqueur and Orange zest for the decor. This has found a special place in my heart.

Spiked Soul: A Kokum based Drink with lots of decor to it like with Green Chilly and Fresh Cilantro placed on top infused with Rum and zest of a lemon.

Salads: 

Raw Mango  & Papaya with bell peppers, arugula and bean sprouts, salted peanuts, fried onions and sweet chilli drizzle : This was a fresh salad with raw mango shreds, papaya, peanuts and fried onions. Peanuts gave the right amount of crunchiness and fried onions gave a different flavour to it.

Pearly Barley salad with toasted almonds, apple, pomegranate seeds and smoked scarmoza: Not found of Barley much so just tried a bit and to my taste I found bit bland and subtle. The apple and pomegranate were the saviour to the taste buds.

 

Bar Bites: 

Bruschetta of Smoked eggplant, Crispy chickpeas and Fried onions –Crispy Bruschetta topped with tomatoes, cheese and herbs. This dish had a nice Combination of crunch and softness along with fresh flavour from the eggplant which gave it very unique taste to it. #HighlyRecommended.

Creamy Mushroom Fricassee stuffed Brioche, Tomato basil sauce-  These are the smallest form of blessings, As we all say that we should be counting your blessing and not your Problems!!  This is far most delicious appetiser I had this year. In-House freshly baked Mini buns are scooped out and filled with the buttery mushrooms and which melts in your mouth. It is served with salsa dip which gives nice contrast taste to overall dish. #Highlyrecommended.

Deep Fried Sweet Corn Soya Chilli Dip: This feel like you are having/Eating  a Sweet Corn Soup. Nice deep flavour of the soup with every bite. #Recommended

Mains: 

Spaghetti with Lemon Beurre Noisette, Parmesan and Roasted Almonds:  Nicely cooked spaghetti with a hint of lemon. Beurre Noisette is a type of warm sauce used in French cuisine. It can accompany savoury foods, such as winter vegetables, pasta, fish, omelettes, and chicken. It is also used in making French pastry. It is notable for its deep yellow, almost brown colour, and nutty scent and flavour from the heating process. Apart from this Almonds gave a nice crunchy taste to overall dish. #Recommended. 

Baked Lasagna of Creamed leeks, Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes and Cheddar:
It was nice and cheesy, mouth melting Lasagna with smooth leeks and Mushrooms took this dish to the next level. Perfectly Baked to the golden brown. #Recommended. 

Desserts: 

The Sassy Teaspoon, their first stand-alone patisserie and bakery. It has been inspired by French patisseries and they introduced their speciality High Tea every day from 4 pm-7 pm. Sassy Teaspoon has a variety of cakes, cookies, cupcakes, pound cakes and bread baskets of  Croissants and more.

Basil Pine Nut Ice-cream: One of the signature Ice-Cream from Sassy. Pure Bliss with every bite. 

Salted Caramel Macarons: Didn’t liked it much. It was Too dry.  

Sour Cherry Cheese Cake: This is the only Cake available in Sugar free option. Sour Cherry played a good role to cut the Cheesiness and Sweetness of the Cake. 

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Raspberry Short Cake: Again this was good variant from the berry family. Perfect blend of sweetness and the sourness of Raspberry.  

Sassy Stacks: This is again a signature dessert right from the heart of co-owner. Its  Rachel’s twist on red velvet served with Cappuccino foam and Raspberry Caviar. This was one of the best Dessert for the evening.   

Sticky Toffee Pudding: Date & Toffee pudding with caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream and candied ginger. Here Ginger’s strong flavour didn’t tickle my taste bud much. So i gave it a pass.

Overall…

the Most Sassiest place is here in town where you can enjoy All day Breakfast and all the meals with amazing Signature Cocktails.

Details For Sassy Spoon Pune :

Zomato Link

Website

Contact Details: +91 7666222111 +91 7666222999 

Some More Pics:

 

An Arabian Ecstasy at Ignite Bar and Grill, Courtyard by Marriott, Hinjewadi

An Arabian Ecstasy’ crafted by expert in Arabian cuisine, Chef K. K. Gopalkrishnan from Sheraton Grand Bangalore.

We were invited to taste the delicacy and Enjoy the grand feast inspired from the cuisines of Iran, Lebanon and Egypt as you sip innovative crafted by the award winning mixologist. 

Lets begin with the journey of some Arabian legendary dishes: 

Soups: Soup-a-jo its a classic Persian barley soup, Barley is high in fibre, great source of Iron, folate and Magnesium along with some finely chopped veggies wilted to the perfect consistency. Excellent soup for the winters and light on the stomach. 

Appetiser: 

Falafel: Crispy pattie of mashed chickpea and parsley seasoned with sesame seed and garlic, served with tahini sauce. This could have been bit more moist but taste wise it was good. 

falafel

 

Persian Seekh kebab: Cottage cheese and bell pepper marinated with aromatic dry Arabic spices, The aroma of the rich Arabian spices can be felt with every bite. #Musthave 

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Mezze platter: Burani spinach, fattush salad, mumharra, Hummus,  baba ganoush and Iranian olive salad served with pitta bread, Very colourful six bowls of the authentic Mezze Platter which we enjoyed the most. 

Mains: 

Stew 

Veg salons: Vegetables slowly cooked in arabic style served with Baghali polo Iranian Dill and saffron pulao. Tomato based Stew wherein the mix veggies were slowly cooked with all the dry spices available from the Iran. Taste wise it was bit bland but the Arabian cuisine have rich in aromatic flavours from the dry spices available in their region. 

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Desserts: BakLava with Dates Ice-Cream and Om Ali: Om Ali is a traditional Egyptian dessert, 100% Egyptian.This dish, Om Ali (Mother of Ali) has some unsavoury history. It probably the most famous and traditional Egyptian warm dessert. Om Ali is the Egyptian equivalent to bread and butter pudding and is normally made with puff pastry combined with a load of heavy cream with added nuts and dried fruits. Coming to to the dish… It was served warm and Mouth melting with perfect sweetness. 

BakLava with Dates Ice Cream: Baklava’s origin is still unknown or debatable but, in todays worlds the recipe hasn’t change much, but the addition has been made to enhance the presentation, keeping the taste intact. Baklava is a Flaky pastry made with Filo dough converting it into a thin sheets and pasted with butter and baked it with crunchy nuts sweetened with honey filling. Topped with the Dates Ice-Cream Wow !!! that was just heaven. #MustHave. 

Along with amazing food we also got to taste some of the in house Signature Cocktails from Award Winning Mixologist Sanket Tiwari’s Ginger Martini which was the best till date.  

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It was a great experience overall and had a good conversation with the head Chef and the other foodies on the table.

Thank You to Arundhati for inviting us and Chef Gopalkrishnan, Chef Bhushan and Team Ignite for hosting us.

The Arabian Ecstasy Food Festival is on till the 9th February from 7:00 PM till 1:30 AM.

#FoodTasting #CourtyardMarriott #ArabianEcstasy #FoodFestival #FriendsofTheBTeam 

*Note: Some pictures were provided by the CYMarriott. 

Sirka – Multi Cuisine Restaurant-Review

SIRKA Review: 

#FoodTasting 

#Tablefortwo 

#TastingInvite 

Sirka means Vinegar in Hindi. This place is tucked in the by lane of Baner-Pashan Link road. Small outlet but serving delicious food. The owner himself with an IT background quit his job to concentrate on his passion full-time and created a brand a called “Sirka”. He is very jovial and happy go lucky person at the same time he is very serious when it come to quality, quantity and service is concern. 

There was an invite for two, from the Marketing person and the owner himself for food tasting. We fixed up an date and time and the table was reserved for us. 

We started the evening with warm Soups, 

  1. Veg Manchow Soup: Generally if you have Manchow soup in other restaurant at times it happens that the spiciness and the quantity of ginger is more which gives you a burning sensation through out, but this soup was so perfectly made which had controlled spiciness and the ginger quantity was as well balanced the overall taste of the soup. #MustTry. 
  2. Lemon Coriander Soup: Warm coriander infused water with a lemon and some finely chopped boiled vegetables. This soup has the delicate flavours from the stock and the vegetables. The carrot and squash give it a mild sweetness that balanced the lemon and the chili perfectly. Surely, something comforting to whet your appetite in the winters and a healthy dish to add to your repertoire for the other times of the year. This soup had no cornstarch added to it which made more healthier option. 
  3. Starters : We asked the staff which is the best Veg Starters ( Indian) he suggested the Panner Nawabi Tikka: Nice big square pieces of Panner marinated and perfectly cooked in tandoor and served with sprinkled chaat masala and grated Cheese. Chaat Masala has it’s own strong flavours including the salt content, due to which it was tasting bit salted, which was informed.
  4. Main Course: Paneer Lababdar and Veg Jalfrezi: Lababdar Paneer was soft and was  creamy and aromatic. Cottage cheese cooked with tomato puree, varied spices, kasoori methi and a hearty dollop of cream and butter #MustHave.
    Vegetable Jalfrezi: is an amazing dish made with a combination of various vegetables and spicesJalfrezi is also known as Zalfrezi or Jhal frezi and is a favorite dish among the vegetarians. A mildly spiced colorful curry packed with goodness of Mixed vegetables in tomato base. Soft Paneer, crunchy bell peppers and distinctive vegetable flavors makes it a mouth-watering side dish for Roti. The curry is not a liquid gravy type dish but kind of semi solid gravy that coats the vegetables and Paneer. #Recommended 
  5.  Dal Khichadi: Thats the perfect dish to end the Main course.  Hot, Flavourful, and Soothing with a dollop of butter to it. #MustTry
  6. Desserts: We ordered Gulab Jamun: Three Medium size hot and mouth melting Gulab Jamun… they were so soft, we actually tried hard to take bite but failed !! #Musthave

We had finished the dinner but just before that Rohan insisted to try the Brownie Breaker one of the favourite of Sirka.  Warm Walnut brownie, bit crunchy and with two scoops of Vanilla Ice cream. We could have missed it if Rohan didn’t have insisted. #Musthave

To sum it up.. Value for money and Amazing quality and Delicious food… 

***In Afternoon they do have Small Value Combos and Wraps which are not only just pocket friendly but filling as well. 

Sirka’s Journey started a year and half ago with lot of alteration and changes in the menu were done. But current menu is the best and crisp. they have included all the items which are ordered and are favourite of any restaurant goers. They might not have any fancy looking dishes or exotic items to serve, but menu has the best items which are frequently  ordered.   

Overall…. 

Food: Quality and Quantity was perfect and the Taste and authenticity was also intact. 

Service and Staff: Pretty good no issues at all. 

Ambience: Small but really comfortable sitting area. 

Value for Money: Purely pocket friendly if you look from the point of view of the quantity they are serving. 

Thank you Team Sirka for Hosting us.