Located on the Pune-Bangalore Highway, The Orchid Pune, is a five-star property and an Ecotel Hotel in India that exudes grace and luxuriance. Away from all the hustle-and- bustle of the busy city, The Orchid Hotel in Pune is at an ideal distance from many IT and software hubs in Pune – making it the business traveller’s preferred choice of booking.
Sprawled across six acres of stunning landscaped gardens, The Orchid Pune, is host to an assortment of world-class conference rooms, banquet halls, and outdoor lawns for events. The hotel, an instantly recognisable building on the Pune-Bangalore highway, is adjacent to Pune’s only International Sports Complex makes it near-impossible to miss.
The Orchid was the first to launch the Midnight Buffet some years back when nobody had a similar concept. Recently they have Re-Launched the Midnight Buffet at Boulevard Coffee Shop. The BTeam was Invited to for the Tasting the Midnight Buffet which is just 499/- ++ Taxes.
The buffet was a lucullan feast and one of its kind. They had all, right from the Soups, Salads, Starters, Mains with a unique live counter and wide variety of desserts to spoil yourself.
I will just run you through the menu starting from the Soups- Roasted Squash & Almond Soup and Chicken Tom Yum Soup.
Starters were served on the Table: Tandoori Paneer and Veg Dumplings. Paneer was soft and well marinated.
Salads had a good spread which includes the non-veg variants as well.
Coming to Live Counter: As I mentioned earlier that they had a Unique Live Counter, They had a Hand Cart placed within the premises and they were serving Italian Pav Bhaji. We actually hogged on this !! Nicely cut Penne Pasta were tossed in PavBhaji with some Italian herbs and loads of Cheese/Butter. It was served with the homemade fresh and soft pav.
Mains: It was again a huge spread like Bhavnagari Salan and Indian Veg Stekar, Paneer E-Khas, Malaysian Stew Noodles, Steamed Rice and Dal Fry. My personal favourite was Paneer E-Khas and Malaysian Stew.
Desserts: Along with some delicious Cakes, Brownies they also had luscious Traditional Indian sweets like Malai Ghewar and Angoori Rasmalai.
They also serve Alcohol which is the Plus point and a reason to visit.
A big shout out to Neha for inviting us and Harshita and Team Boulevard for hosting us.
Disclaimer: I was invited for a complimentary food tasting event. This blog is a narrative of my experience at the event. These are my views that I have expressed in the blog. Others are most welcome to agree or disagree with the same. The blog is not personally or commercially influenced. I have not lifted, copied or plagiarised it from any source either. However, I have done my due diligence via publicly available information on the internet and as shared by the client/PR agency.
Why Parents should have all the fun!!! Especially when parents take their kids for shopping in a mall and they have nothing to do other then wait and get bored or otherwise either of the parent has to take care of the kids and other goes for shopping. Being a father of two daughters I face this kind of situation very often.
Kids get dragged in all this shopping spree. But now it has a solution where kids can enjoy their activity while either of the parent can relax, keep a watch while sipping a coffee or fresh juice. This sounds so good plan!
212 All day cafe has come up with ‘212 Junior’ with a concept, We were invited for the launch of 212 Junior along with my Daughters Samia (10 yes old) and Syna (4.5yrs old) For further details read ahead:
The kid-friendly café with a seating capacity of 40 guests, is located at the atrium of Lower Ground floor and doubles up as a haven for parents and an entertainment zone for their juniors. It’s the ideal spot for a quick meal after a family shopping session or a full-of- drama movie.
HOW WAS 212 JUNIOR CONCEPTUALIZED?
Talking about the concept, Romil Ratra, Group Director says, “A café with an in-built kids area is a concept that is quite popular in the west and is slowly picking up momentum in Asian countries as well. When it comes to India, this segment is still being explored. After a careful study of the footfalls in the mall and an in-depth market research, we conceptualized this one-of-its kind space in Pune which is not only appreciated by the adults but also by kids. The philosophy is simple: Treat kids as adults. Give them their space and let them enjoy while you enjoy solitude. The best part is, you don’t have to break a sweat running behind your kid.”
Gone are the days when kids used to let parents dictate their food preferences. In an era where Nickelodeon is replaced by PlayStation, the little ones like to have control over what they’re eating. Chef Paul Kinny has curated a menu that will appeal to not just the little one but also adults. The food at 212 Junior goes hand in hand with the philosophy as well as space – simple yet vibrant & colorful.
The menu features cookies, croissants and donuts right out of the bakery. Yes, you can expect the addictive fragrance of freshly baked items! Chef Paul has also added a Choco-Berry Cronut – An innovative combination that came into the world when a donut married a croissant. The savory section features cheesy pizza squares, stuffed croissants, loaded hot dogs and more. One of it deserves a special mention and that’s the Pokemon Burger made using a chicken patty, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. It’s shaped like your kid’s favorite Pokemon – Pikachu. 212 Junior completely gets every ones love for the sugar rush and that is evident by their dessert menu which includes S’mores Sandwich – two gooey choco cookies filled with marshmallows and almonds, a colorful Rainbow Cake, an éclair with a tiramisu center and much more.
BEVERAGES AT 212 Junior
From healthy smoothies to indulgent milkshakes, 212 Junior has it all. Going to a restaurant with a kid is not everyone’s cup of tea but at 212 Junior it can be your cup of tea as well as your cup of coffee. Now parents can sit and enjoy their cup of solitude while their kids are occupied with some brain-stimulating games and puzzles in the kid section made especially for them.
WHAT CAN ONE EXPECT AT 212 JUNIOR?
212 Junior understands the importance of family time. Staying true to the brand’s philosophy, the venue will organize events which does not only cater to kids but also to adults. Now while your kid is making best out of waste you can learn origami. While your kid attends an Enid Blyton book reading, you can simultaneously attend a book reading of well-known Indian authors. 212 Junior will also be organizing events where both the parents and the kids can participate together; Cook with your dad, 212 quiz contest etc.
My Daughters experience with the overall concept of 212 Junior:
Samia says that it was fun filled experience right from moment we entered, we started with our Hair Braiding, and then the most enjoyable activity was the Canvas Painting. We like the food as well, as it was yummy and served in an attractive way”. Syna liked her drawings and as well some finger licking Donuts. She had a good time while getting herself a nice Tattoo very similar to her mom.
Overall it was a chilled out time for the father and daughters.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
the Most Sassiest place is here in town where you can enjoy All day Breakfast and all the meals with amazing Signature Cocktails.
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.
The brand has been in existence for over five decades and is renowned for its commitment to authentic& hygienic food, and good service.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
3. Kaddu Kairi ka Bharta: This was the best of the lot. Perfect in taste and had it was a dry Subji.
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.
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.
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.
Raita: Mango Pachadi: Finely shredded raw mango mixed with fresh yogurt with strong indian spices like hing and mustard seeds.
Desserts: Aamras and Aamrakhand: Both were just perfect. Right amount to sweetness along with perfect consistency.
This Festival thali is charged at Rs 399/-. It will continue till May end.
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 place. The 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.
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.
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 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)
7. Cold Coffee: Thick and perfect sweet.
9. Crunchy Chocolate Shake: Not much fan Oreo so I gave it pass.
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
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.