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.

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:

 

Rajdhani- “Aamlicious” the Mango Festival.

DSC05005Introduction:

Rajdhani, The Vegetarian Thali Restaurant which is the flagship brand of Mirah Hospitality has spread its aroma in this industry over the past few decades. Known as a “thali place” with 72 different rotating menus with 22,464 delicacies from Gujarat and Rajasthan, Rajdhani gives even the most regular customers out of more than 9 million delighted guests with the flavour of novelty.

Brand Promise:

The brand has been in existence for over five decades and is renowned for its commitment to authentic& hygienic food, and good service.

Spread:

With a fast pace expansion and over-whelming response by millions across the country, Rajdhani Restaurants has over 28 locations across India and is also present in the Middle East. Come to Rajdhani to savour the taste of tradition.

Rajdhani has one more Brand which serves the Food from the Royal Kitchen.

RASOVARA – THE ROYAL KITCHEN

An exotic vegetarian, royal gourmet Indian meal

Rasovara brings to you, centuries later, the magical food from the palaces. They have spent long months digging into the secrets of the mystical royal kitchens of Rajasthan and Gujarat. They have traced the lineage of the shahi khansamas and dug out precious information from their attics. After months and months of work, they were generously rewarded with a treasure trove of recipes and tradition. They have carefully handpicked the recipes for the us and present it to us on a platter. Right here at Rasovara. Everything you will touch, feel and taste here is a leaf straight out of royalty and a unique experience of India’s rich gastronomic legacy.

Aamlicious – Mango Festival at Rajdhani: Its a two months long festival and serving some blissful Mango flavours delicacies. If you are Mango Lover you should not miss this festival.

Lets start with some Mango Trivia: The variety is named after Afonso de Albuquerque, a Portuguese general and military expert who helped establish Portuguese colonies in India. The Portuguese introduced grafting on mango trees to produce extraordinary varieties like Alphonso. The fruit was then introduced to the Konkan region in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat and some parts of southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. (Wiki) 

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There was a display counter where all the food items were kept with all the name tags to it. As almost everything had an Mango in it, no matter it is a Kachi Kairi (Raw Mango) or the Ripened Mango.

The Details of the todays menu as follows:

Welcome Drink: Aam Thandai and Kairi Panna: Both were good, Thandai was loaded with dry-fruits and the Kairi Panna was just refreshing and appetising.

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Farsan: 1. Kairi Stuffed bread Roll: Perfect soft and crispy with a twisted taste of kacchi Kairi with a combination to Indian spices made this Farsan one of the best of the lot.

2. Mango Dry-fruit Ghugra: Loaded with dry-fruits with a nice crunchy cover. It was good in taste.

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3. Shahi Aam Dhokla: Three layer Dhokla was bit stiffer compare to the regular Dhokla, for which the feedback was given.

4. Chatpata Kacchi Kairi Muthiya: Bright red colour marinated with all the tangy spices, those who have a taste developed for it they will relish it.

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Special of the Day: Mango Dal Dhokli: Although the Dhokli was less, it was served hot and the taste wise it was amazing. Nice consistency of the dal with perfect sweetness to it.

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Vegetables: 1. Arbi Mango Rassawala: It had very similar taste to the Dahi wale Gatte ki Subji. Almost all the ingredient were similar.

2. Aam aur Pyaaz ki Subji: Bit oily. Feedback given.

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3. Kaddu Kairi ka Bharta: This was the best of the lot. Perfect in taste and had it was a dry Subji.

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4. Aam ki Launji: Aam ki launji is essentially a pickle type Rajasthani chutney made by cooking raw green mango pieces with basic Indian cooking spices and sugar. Generally eaten with the Khoba Roti.

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Dal/ Kadhi: Malabari Mango Kadhi: This was just not right!!! Ripen Mango in a Kadhi. I suggested them to make it with the Pakoda with Kacchi Kairi Stuffing, which they also  agreed and said they would definitely give it a try to this option.

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Khichadi and Mango Pulav: Khichadi was the regular signature taste soft and soothing Khichadi, on the other hand Mango Pulav was rich in taste and the small mango pieces gave a sweet taste to the Pulav. Although the Pulav had lots of Dry-Fruits as well but Mango gave a distinct taste to it.

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Raita: Mango Pachadi: Finely shredded raw mango mixed with fresh yogurt with strong indian spices like hing and mustard seeds.

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Desserts:  Aamras and Aamrakhand: Both were just perfect. Right amount to sweetness along with perfect consistency.

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This Festival thali is charged at Rs 399/-. It will continue till May end. 

Thali with full Details:

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Some More Pictures to drool:

Rajdhani Details:

Facebook link.

Website

Twitter

Zomato

This was Food Tasting invite for the ongoing Mango Festival. Big Shout out to Lazeez Stories  and Reach out

BARAZA BARS & BITES- Food and Drinks Tasting.

Introduction:

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the city, Pune gets a perfect getaway spot to unwind after a long day or to relax on a weekend, a unique one of a kind island-themed bar and lounge experience, Baraza Bars & Bites.

This concept is the third brand by Rachel Goenka and Chef Irfan Pabaney, the owners and founders of The Sassy Spoon and Sassy Teaspoon, which recently opened its doors to Pune. 

Pune is the first location for Baraza and is located in Ishanya Mall at Yerwada.

The concept of Baraza embodies an island or beach like feel to it coupled with a homely taverna like atmosphere. The idea and thought behind the design of Baraza was to create a ‘destination’ that immediately transports you to another placeThe place channels in the relaxed and laid-back vibe of Goan shacks, Spanish tavernas and Portuguese botecos. Influences from these places can be seen in the interiors as well as the al fresco area with the tall trees and palm foliage to give an island-like feel.

The bright and colourful external wall frescos are inspired from the tiled facades of houses in Portugal and are reminiscent of the colourful houses dotting the streets in Fontainhas, Panjim. Elements like the country-tiled ceiling, eaves board, the wrought iron grills and beautifully patterned tiles or the azulejos, have been incorporated in the design and the walls serve as displays for collectibles and curios.

The 224 seater space, sprawling across 5,670 sq. ft. is divided seamlessly across the indoor and outdoor area with the azulejos running across the length of the indoor area. The outdoor area has a verandah that overlooks a beautiful tropical garden, picnic benches, a canoe that functions as a table and a Volkswagen Bar, under streamers of carnival lights, serve up a happy ambience. The vintage furniture and light elements add to the overall mood of the space.

 The cuisine at Baraza is a creative mix of Indian, Asian and Bar Snacks, with food that compliments the drinks and comprises of comfort food and bar bites which one can nibble whilst drinking. Some unique appetizers include Boneless chicken lollipop with sambal sauce, Stir Fried Pepper Lamb in noodle basket, Pull apart bread with pesto, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Some of the delish sliders would include BBQ Pulled Pork with raw mango, Mushroom done two ways topped with cheese, Goan Style Roast Tenderloin and kimchi. Baraza will also serve veg & non-veg rolls, Asian bowls, biryanis and desserts.

The bar menu at Baraza is an interesting mix of its signature drinks such as The Baraza Mule, Punch Buggy, the flavoured beers especially Lemongrass, Juicy Fruit, Soul Kadi , Brew Baraza and the Big Daddy cocktails, like Big Daddy LIIT, Fire Island, Big Baraza Bang  which are half litre drinks with 150 ml of spirits. Some of the unique shooters include Nutty Professor & Caribbean Sunrise. Moreover, Baraza will be offering the highest number of draught & craft beers on tap for the first time in Pune and 8 different craft beers of which 4 beers are from Independence Brewing Co & 4 beers are from Effingut.

Baraza will have interesting properties each day of the week, with live performances, renowned DJs playing at the venue once a month and an in-house DJ spinning the console to different genres of music, to cater to everyone.
Baraza will focus on The B Life Non Stop, which is Eat, Drink, Party, Repeat, to keep up with the energetic, buzzing yet relaxed vibe of the place, for anyone who wants to unwind, catch up with friends, party or just have a good time.

I was Invited for the Food and Drink Tasting event along with fellow foodies. We were introduced to Chef Irfan Pabaney, owner and head chef Baraza and Pranav Mody,  Mixologist at Baraza.

Cocktails 

Willy Wonka- Willy Wonka was a fictional character in Roald Dahl‘s 1964 children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, its sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. They had a fictional Chocolate bar by the name Wonka Bar where the Willy had secretly stored the Golden Tickets. This was just a co-relation with the drink. 

Although this was an excellent combo of Whisky and Milk Chocolate Martini and its a treat for the Whisky lovers but with a twist. It was Smooth yet hard to taste. I bet this will take you to the next level of the Cocktails. 

Citrus Bomber- Rum Fresh Citrus Fruits: It was a refreshing drink overall with the strong presence of citrus fruits and Rum’s warmth added the illusion effect to the drink. I would call it as slow poison as it gave the effects little later after the drinking. 

Double Trouble- This is the pure version of Hard Coffee with some twirl of Vanilla Vodka, Coffee Liqueur, Cream, Espresso Shot. Perfect Drink to order after a long day. 

Flavoured Beers: (All are Must have) 

Kingfisher Khatta- Kala Khatta was so strong that Beer’s taste was was almost untraceable. Felt like having a Full glass of Kala Khatta with crushed ice. 

Kingfisher Passion Fruit- This was another refreshing drink, nice lemony yellow in colour, Taste wise: it had good presence to beer taste to it. It had Passion fruit puree and infused with beer. Excellent cooler in the summers. 

Further some Mocktails were served: 

Paan Banarasi Wala- Very ingeniously served, Paan Flavour juice with a dash of lime and loaded with crushed Ice, and nice spoonful of Gulkand on top of it. Beetle leaf added the contrast to the overall appearance of the drink.

Cosmic Bubble- This was the most talked about drink… Candy floss was placed on the edges of the Glass and then the Citrus mix was poured on to the Floss and which later got dissolved into the glass. This was just apart from all the drinks which were served. 

Cilantro & Ginger Mojito and Mandarin & Mint– Both these drinks are perfect for the summer thirst quenchers. fresh ingredients used like Ginger Malta orange, Mint & Lime. 

Pink Apple Lemonade- This was the most unique combination of Apple, Mint, Lemon, Fizz very close to girl thing!! 

Coffee Cooler- This is one more drink from the menu offered for the coffee lovers. Basic ingredient is Cold Brew Coffee, Citrus Flavour. 

Virgin Berry Khata Slush: One of the signature Drink from the team Baraza. It will give a mix feeling of brain freeze and khatta tingling taste in your first sip. 

Sides and Mains:

Pull apart bread with pesto, mozzarella & cheddar cheese: Big Block of bread loaf with 2 types of cheese with pesto flavour, although the Cheese could have been more. Pesto flavouring can also be increased.

Rava paniyarram with Keral chutney, ghee & curry leaf tadka: Freshly ground spices in the Keral Chutney made this dish more aromatic and tasty. Rava Paniyaram were well cooked and the South indian dishes can’t be completed without the Curry Leaf Tadka. #MustHave 

Three cheese & chutney naan with chat masala: The main ingredient was Cheese was very less which was informed to the chef as well. So can’t really comment on this. 

American corn tempura with chilli, spinach & Sriracha mayo: Very similar to the corn fitters just to the addition of Spinach and Sriracha Mayo which changed the taste to next level. I personally found this dish bit oily which can always be reduced. With a first bit it had nice crunchy and tempting to have more taste. It is good to go with Beers. 

SLIDER- Mushroom dine two ways topped with cheese: One bite sliders were well cooked and taste wise it was good. The crunchiness was intact and this is good to go with the any cocktails. 

Desserts:

Boozy brownie with homemade vanilla ice-cream: This is one of the amazing dessert I have had. On a hot pan the Brownie top with Ice-Cream and drizzled with some Chocolate sauce, now the fun part comes lit alcohol is poured over the Ice-Cream and brownie which creates flammable pan and it gives subtle flavour of both the brownie and the alcohol mixed chocolate sauce. #MustHave 

Nutella creme brûlée with pistacho and almond biscotti: Mouth melting Creme Brûlée, Crème brûlée is usually served in individual ramekins. Discs of caramel may be prepared separately and put on top just before serving, or the caramel may be formed directly on top of the custard, immediately before serving. To do this, sugar is sprinkled onto the custard, then caramelized under a salamander broiler or with a butane torch. Perfect in Taste. Being little extra sweet tooth more sweet could have been good. #Musthave

Classic banoffee pie with baileys ice-cream (Eggless): Not much fanboy of Banofee so I gave it a skip. 

Churros with chocolate sauce and snicker chunk ice-cream: Nice big chunky pieces of Churros served with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream. Generally Churros are thin and long but these were big fat and soft churros. #MustHave

Flourless chocolate cake with basil pine nut ice-cream and salted caramel: It was Soft not too sweet, I like the Basil Pine nut Ice cream more then anything. It was just super tasty. 

Overall, Baraza is an eclectic space that offers diverse experiences under one roof. It is a fresh take on the old-world charm, that is bound to induce nostalgia, yet is modern at the same time.

I personally thank you Chef Irfan and Mixologist Pranav and the rest of the Team Baraza for hosting us.

A big Shout out to Svetlana from Carpe Diem for the invitation.

 

 

Picantos- Tex-Mex Restaurant Review.

Picantos is a fully owned brand by Flutterby Hospitality under the owner ship of three partners, namely Himanshu Shah, Sagar Bagul and ShivGauri Rajan. Their aim is to make Mexican Food popular in Pune/India by serving authentic, wholesome and fresh Mexican food to customers.

Picantos started its journey with the Aundh Branch. Now they have two more One Hinjewadi Infosys premises and the latest opened in Kalyani Nagar. One of the owner Gauri invited us to taste the food at the Kalyani Nagar outlet. Gauri informed us about the plans of the expansion of the Picantos as they are coming up in a big way in Pune and Mumbai.

As we settled for the evening and started the journey with the round of Mocktail’s:


1.  Mexican Hot Chocolate:
Nice thick hot chocolate with the drizzle of choco powder, perfect for winters and for hot chocolate lovers its a #Musthave

2.Iced Tea: As mentioned by Gauri all the ingredients of the ice tea are made in-house, it might taste different to the non ice tea lovers. Its good to try once.

3.Ginger Lemonade: This is one of my favourite drink at Picantos. Refreshing and tasty. #MustHave

4.Green Apple Iced Tea: Very similar lines on the Regular Ice tea but with a Apple flavour twist.

5.Mixed Fruit Spritzer: Fruity flavoured sweet drink… not my taste.

6. Bloody Guava Cooler: Fizzy with the Guava flavour. If they could add some spice to it it will taste much like Peru (Guava)

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7. Cold Coffee: Thick and perfect sweet.

9. Crunchy Chocolate Shake: Not much fan Oreo so I gave it pass.

 

Sides : 

Nachos: A brief history: 

Nachos originated in the city of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, just over the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. In 1943, the wives of U.S. soldiers stationed at Fort Duncan in nearby Eagle Pass were in Piedras Negras on a shopping trip, and arrived at the restaurant after it had already closed for the day. The maître d’hôtel, Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, invented a new snack for them with what little he had available in the kitchen: tortillas and cheese. Anaya cut the tortillas into triangles, fried them, added shredded cheddar cheese, quickly heated them, added sliced pickled jalapeño peppers,and served them.

When asked what the dish was called, he answered, “Nacho’s especiales“. As word of the dish traveled, the apostrophe was lost, and Nacho’s “specials” became “special nachos” (-Wiki) 

We were served fully Loaded Nachos with three different dips Salsa, Guacamole and Cheese Sauce. All had their unique taste. I like the Cheese Sauce the most. Crunchy Nachos were served with Beans and jalapeños.

 

 

Tacos: We tried both Soft and hard shell Tacos, later one is still the favourite. It was filled with loads of veggies and beans. it depends on individual likes and taste.

 

Quesadilla:  Spinach & Mushroom: Tender and juicy mushroom with fresh spinach made this dish good to taste. The only think was you have to finish it real quick or otherwise the cover gets soggy. it was served with Salsa. #MustTry 

 

Mains: Burritos: The word burrito means “little donkey” in Spanish, as a diminutive form of burro, or “donkey”. The name burrito as applied to the dish possibly derives from the appearance of bedrolls and packs that donkeys carried. 

The basic ingredients which goes into the burritos are as Mexican-style rice or plain rice, beans or refried beans, lettuce, salsa, guacamole, cheese, sour cream and various vegetables. (for Non-Veg just add Meat to it) Its was fascinating to see my Burrito-in-making very closely. #MustHave 

 

 

Enchiladas: is a corn tortilla rolled around a filling and covered with a chili pepper sauce. Enchiladas can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including meat, cheese, beans, potatoes, vegetables or combinations. They had a Wheat base tortilla and it was served hot and nice n cheesy. Stuffed with almost similar to the Burrito. #Musttry 

 

Desserts: Chocolate Panacotta with Strawberry Coulis: Appearance was just amazing. Nicely plated. Taste wise it was bit muddy on the tongue. #TryOnce 

 

Churros with Chocolate Sauce: It was just a bliss to have Churros after a long time. Really excellently made with all the love. #Musthave

 

 

Overall….

Food: Good in taste and nicely presented. Purely Tex-Mex Cuisine.

 

Service: Being small place they really don’t have issues in service.

 

Staff: Courteous and Happy to help.

 

Ambience: Small place but comfortable sitting area with 7-8 tables. Bright interiors and nice wall arts.

 

Value for Money: Reasonably priced. It won’t burn a hole in your Pocket.

 

Big Shout out for ShivGauri and Himanshu for hosting us.

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Oregano -Restaurant Review

Oregano is one of the restaurant at Ambience hotel Model colony which serves pure Veg Italian Cuisine.

Apart from their regular menu they also have an option of Italian Set Buffet system with limited desserts option, but every thing is served on the table you don’t have to run around.

They serve the Indian cuisine as well from the Aroma Restaurant which is an rooftop restaurant. So it’s a kind of a package deal.

We opted for the set menu which has the following:

Soups: Two variants: Minestrone- perfect combination of fresh seasonal vegetables, Basil, Pasta and Parmesan Cheese in hot and tangy Tomato Broth.

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Cream Of Broccoli: Thick and fresh broccoli with added cream which gave creamer and soothing taste to it.

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Salads: Italian Salad: Fresh Lettuce, Apple, Diced Carrots, Cucumber, Pineapple chunks, for the spice some freshly cut bell peppers, dressed with Honey Dijon’s Mustard. Overall a healthy package. #Unlimitedservings

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Starters: Bruschetta Al Pomodoro: Simple and basic style of serving, French Baguette topped with fresh Tomato, Basil, drizzled olive oil, garlic and feta cheese. #Unlimitedservings

Cajun Spiced Potato: Potato Wedges, flavoured with rosemary tossed in Cajun sauce, bit on the oiler side but taste wise it’s good. #Unlimitedservings

Pizza: it’s a kind of DIY pizza with any number of toppings on the 10′ thin crust, they good option to choose from the list of toppings. You can request them to drizzle less olive oil with toppings, the pizza which was served to us had this issue which was informed to the courteous manager who was ready to change it immediately. Crust wise it was perfect not over or under baked. #Unlimitedservings

Pasta: Again on the Similar lines of Pizza, this was DIY or create your own pasta, with the options of Basic, Pink, Arrabbiata, Alfredo, and Basil Pesto sauce. Along with your voice of pasta and the vegetables to add on. We opted for the penne in pink sauce with some fresh veggies. Nice and cheesy.
#Unlimitedservings

Dessert: Chocolate Mousse: Smooth and served with chocolate chips. Nice and perfect in taste not too sweet not to bland. #LimitedServing.

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Pannacotta (STRAWBERRY): Served in a cup so couldn’t figure out how wobbly it was was but while taking the scoop it was light and smooth enough. Taste wise it was not that mouth melting but ok types.
Strawberry part was just the top layer and again it was just the Strawberry flavour jelly which was added to it while setting up the Pannacotta.

 

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Overall:

Food: It was good although apart from some if and buts but definitely worth a try.

Service: Pretty quick no issues.

Staff: Very polite and courteous.

Ambience: Perfect for the family and group. Comfortable sitting area, clean ambience.

Value for money: very reasonable. The above menu was 550/- ++ which comes to 595/- per person. It’s a worth a deal.

 

Address: The Ambience Hotel, CTS 1105/2, Lakaki Road, Model Colony, Pune.

Contact: 020 30189929

Google Link

Barbecue Ville – Restaurant Review.

This is a newly opened Barbecue based restaurant, which offers very similar to the Barbecue Nation, similar kind of serving style along with the portable barbecue grill slots with a good buffet spread to choose from both Veg and non veg.

On the grill (Veg):
Paneer Tikka: Nicely marinated spongy paneer clubbed with onion and bell pepper on the skewers. Paneer was was juicy and perfectly soft and with perfect spice level maintained.

Mushroom Ki Nazakat: Small button Mushrooms, soft and fresh.

Chef Special Pineapple: Simply juicy pineapple.

On the plate:
Peanut Tikki: Deep fried, crispy tikki with a base of peanut paste and some Indian spices. Served with spiced yogurt and finely chopped onion.

Cajun Spice Potatoes: All the Strong flavours of Cajun spices were rolling over the taste buds and which had a repeatable urge to have more of it.

Corn Salt n Pepper: This was just perfectly fried and crunchy. Taste wise it had perfect blend of salt and pepper.

On the hot plate:
Cauliflower Chilly Sizzler: This was innovative way of serving the boiled and Pre Marinated Cauliflower in Indian spices along with some boiled vegetables like Carrots and Beans on the cabbage leafs sizzling all the way!! Taste wise it was really nice, just you have to wait for the a minute or two so that the cauliflower is sizzling hot in the mean time you can roll the cauliflower to get it hot from all sides on the hot plate.

Soup: Only one Variant in both Veg and Non-Veg.
Veg Garlic Soup: As Garlic has its own strong flavour, no matter what you add to the soup it hardly matters, in this soup they had added some Finely chopped vegetables. Soup was thick enough and taste wise it was good.

Chaat Cart: We tried Pineapple Puri: New and innovative combination of sweet Pineapple syrup with the crunchy Boondi you would definitely love this. #MustTry

Regular Pani Puri: Perfect mixture of sweet and spicy Pani along with sev serves the urge of having good Pani Puri.

Dahi Puri: Their Puri were so crunchy and small enough to fit in mouth with all the fusion of cold sweetened curd and tamarind chutney topped with sev… This was the best of all the chaat items they have to offer.

Salad counter:
In this section they have small salad tubs wherein they have arranged both Veg and Non Veg salad together, Vegetarians have to be cautious at this section. Read the label placed on top.

Mains:

Paneer Butter Masala: This was one of the best PBM I have had. I can bet that they have used Authentic Punjabi spices for this. Paneer was soft like marshmallows nicely cooked. Not spice nor bland… Just perfect.

Aloo Methi: Again there was really good loads of fresh methi and the overall subzi was cooked in authentic fresh Punjabi masala.

Dal Makhani: It feels like home when you have this dal exact consistency with aroma intact. #Musthave

Veg Pulao: This had a perfect blend of Pulao and Biryani. Aroma and Moistness enhanced and gave the Taste of biryani to a Pulao.

Dishes which I didn’t tried:
Thai Yellow Curry
Dal Fry
Veg Mushrooms Noodles
Stem rice

Now come the dessert and fruits section:
Fresh Kalakand: Some how I didn’t liked it much as it was too watery. As there was no consistency as such.

Gulab Jamun: Just in three words Hot-Soft-melting.

Kesar Phirni- Its very rare to get the perfect sweetness of an phirni all the time. But this was just perfect.

Strawberry Mousse: Simple Mousse with Strawberry flavoured jelly on top.

Desserts I missed to taste:

Mawa Barfi
Besan Ladoo
Orange pastry
Dates Walnut Cake
Chocolate Salami

And some fruits as well : Watermelon and Papaya.

Overall….

Food: Perfectly Good!! Almost all the food was good in taste and prepared with utmost care keeping the aroma and the authenticity intact. It would be lovely if they add some more options on the Grill for Vegetarian.

Service: No issues at all it was good.

Staff: Happy to serve you and assist you, polite.

Ambience: Nice and comfortable sitting arrangement, even if you visit in a bid group they accommodate with prior reservations.

Value for money: Really reasonably priced 550/- including the taxes for the Veg course.

Parking: should not be an issue. Ample parking

 

 

Address: 257, Green Valley, Near Mankar Chowk, Kaspate Vasti, Wakad, Pune

Contact : +91 8380041222   +91 8380041333

Google Map Link