Culture पुणे – Reviewed

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Culture पुणे: This is a new kid on the block of the hangout joint along with good Cocktails to go with.

This place has come up at the same spot where the By the Way restaurant use to be there. The interiors of Culture Pune has kept the Rustic and Rugged looks with vintage switch boards, naked brick walls behind the Bar counter.

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#TheBteam was invited for the tasting of some of their signature cocktails and signature dishes.

Cocktails :
तुळशीबाग-Basil Garden: Fresh melon infused with Basil and Vodka served in a Copper Kalash (ताम्बिया).

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Rum में है दम: Loaded with all types of rum White, Dark, Coconut Rum mixed with orange and lime juice served on the ice.

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Appetizers:

Panner Tikka Sophiyani: Big Chunks of Paneer marinated with spicy rustic masala served with mint chutney. This was yummy in taste. #musthave

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Baked Cauliflower with Fried Garlic: This was bit disappointing dish. overall baking of the cauliflower was not good. It was just cheesy and it was served with Gralic bread.

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Mains:

Burnt Garlic Veggies: Veggies tossed in Garlic sauce along with Hakka Noddles Again this didn’t suited for my palate.

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Ratatouille Pilaf: European version of veg Pulao. Slow cooked with seasonal veggies tossed with mixed herbs and aromatic Mediterranean rice with butter. This was something good from the mains which I liked it. Nice flavourful in taste bit tangy and spicy as well. Good to try out for the mains.

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Desserts:

Bourbon Panna Cotta: Awesomely made and it was scooped off within seconds from the plate. Its infused with best bourbon whiskey. #Musthave

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Old Monk Mousse Shot: Chocolaty in taste, delicate on the tongue, with a kick of old Monk. Nice for the sweet tooth.

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Creme Brulee: Homemade custard with crystal clear caramel torched to the perfection. #musthave.

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overall…

Apart from some teething issues with the service and staff the variants of the cocktails they offer is good which can be clubbed with good starters.

 

Sheesha- The Taste of Flame- Reviewed

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The famous chain of restaurant Sheesha has recently opened its doors at Ishanya Mall which happens to be buzzing place especially since the 500m Rule has been applicable. In recent months we have seen many Brands of Bars and Eateries have bloomed up. Sheesha has placed on a roof top of the Ishanya mall (It has a temporary covered for the rains)

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SHEESHA is an restaurant serving authentic North Indian Cuisine especially Awadhi and Muglai Cuisine. Menu is filled with exquisite and carefully selected dishes which are subtle yet daring. Only restaurant in Pune to introduce Nawabs of Awadh for their love of music, dance, of epicurean delights and of grand gestures. And the good news is that they have Sheesha with many flavours to choose from. Talking about their Food they try new and old recipe, experimenting and innovating to keep up with the race. Internationally acclaimed, EX-ITC Chef Kader Khan founding partner of sheesha all the way from Lucknow brings you the different taste of flame whose experience has crossed a silver jubilee in making 386 different kinds of only kebabs.

I was the part of First Bloggers table held at Sheesha Pune.

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Ambience: Restaurant have huge space. They have three option of sitting the regular Tables and chairs, second one is the cabana style sitting for small group or family and the Round table with separate area.

As we settled down, we started with some mocktails followed by the starters to cool down ourselves.

 

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Soup: Tomato Sorba: Basic Tomato shorba nothing fancy about it.

Cheese Corn Kurkure: Deep fried stuffed with googy cheese and corn was good to start with. The cover was enough crunchy to hold the cheese and with the first bite the cheese was oozing out.

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Makai Malai Seekh Kebab: This starter was served on a sizzling hot plate. Nice and mouth melting Keba, distinct in taste and aroma.

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Paneer Shashlik: Again this was served on the sizzling plate. Flavoursome Paneer mixed with roughly chopped vegetables which were tossed in a tangy tomato base puree, this give a nice colourful presentation.

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Baby Corn Amritsari: Deep fried Baby corns in Amritsari species. I my opinion
it was bit over fried which tend to lose the tenderness of the babycorn.

Main Course

There was huge spread from we had to choose, which made our task bit difficult. The main course was much better than starters.

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Tawa Sabz Banjara: This was the winner of evening. Perfect in taste, Spiciness, rich in aroma, roughly chopped vegetables served in a flat tawa style plate. This goes will with Butter Garlic Naan.

Dum Aloo Nawabi: As the name suggest, Soft Dryfruits stuffed dum aloo cooked in Cashew gravy and cooked in rich creamy gravy to get the perfect consistency.

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Dal Bukhara: One of the best dal in the town, slow cooked for hours to get the thickness without adding any thickening agent which can be felt right from the first bite. This goes well with Kadak Roti and Jeera rice.

Veg Biryani: Moist, Flavourful, rich in aroma, perfectly cooked with equal amount of spice.Vegetables were perfectly cooked and chunky. No issues at all.

Desserts:

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Avadhi Lasooni Kheer: This was something unusual in the dessert section so we ordered that. Basically it was Kheer with very finely chopped garlic mixed with the kheer. If you don’t like garlic’s after taste, then this dessert is not ment for you. It’s different and unique.

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Gulab Jamun: Small in size soft and dipped in sugar syrup.

Overall a good experience apart from some teething issues. And of course they serve different flavours of Sheesha and they have weekly Sufi nights to enjoy along with good food.

A Big shout out for the Shivangi from Carpe Diem for invitation and Team Sheesha for hosting us.

Address

Ishanya Mall, Arced 5, Terrace, Opposite Golf Course, Off Airport Road, Yerawada, Pune

Contact : 020 30162212

Zomato Link

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Disclaimer:

I was 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 plagiarized 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.

COCO- Sushi & Bar-The Members only Club in Pune.

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Lets paint the town #Black. Black is always associates with authoritative and powerful so as this place is, COCO is uber and upscale place to be. This place is here to revamp the nightlife scene of Pune. Lets get more details about this.

Pune’s nightlife space has changed, as the city gets its first ever members only lounge, COCO Sushi & Bar. Located in the heart of the city, on the 12th floor of Onyx towers, the 180-degree view from COCO is mesmerising.
The concept is by Kunal Mhaske, a well-known restaurateur in Pune, who already has successfully established brands like Raasta Café & Penthouze in the city.
A perfect place to party with like-minded people or to wine and dine with your near and dear ones, COCO strives to bring back the long-lost nightlife culture Pune had a few years back and be the go to place to unwind and celebrate with its close knit social circle. It’s a space where the crème de la crème meet, bond, dine, party, network with each other and have a good time being in their comfort zone with familiar faces around.
The lounge is spread across 3000 sq. ft and seats 70 guests. The interiors of COCO can be best described as classy, chic with a dark ambiance, starry lights running along the length of the club and the ceiling donned with stylish chandeliers that further add to the exclusivity and luxury of the space. 
There are comfortable couches, high tables & chairs, a private dining area for guests and two outdoor spaces on its either side overlooking the vast expanse of the city. The highlight of the lounge is COCO’s logo, which is the bee mounted on the central pillar and etched in golden on the tables.
The cuisine at COCO is Asian and has a delectable range of bar bites and appetizers.
Chef Jugal Pradhan, Consulting Chef at COCO is at the helm of the kitchen. Chef Jugal born in Darjeeling, his journey through the mountainous ranges all the way to Tengra, gave him an insight to the surreal flavors. He draws his inspiration for cooking in his early years from his grandmother. Soon enough he went on to travel the orient, to Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, China, Bhutan, Tibet and Nepal. He has worked in the Pan Asian Kitchen in Chiang Mai, Thailand; The Chinese Room, Kolkata, Nobu in Monte Carlo, Hakkasan and Yauatcha in Mumbai.
Chef Jugal says “The menu will be extensively sushi based, which denotes a generic term for all or any appetizers at COCO. Right from the soups, salads, dimsums, dumplings, nigiris, sashimis, the portions are customized to individual servings and to offer a variety.”
Some of the signature appetizers are a variety of sushi rolls, the Beijing Duck Thong Soup, Smoked Edamame Dumplings, Roast Duck with Ponzu, Lemongrass Fish Cakes, the Dynamite Shrimps, Banana Leaf Wrapped chicken, a variety of ramens, to name a few. 
The thought behind keeping the menu only Asian, is that Asian flavours are sharp and apt for the Indian palate. Also, the dessert menu has been curated with attention to details and has very unusual combinations like Wildflower Honey Pannacotta, Wasabi Ice Cream, and the Smoked Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake, that would be a perfect end to the sumptuous Asian meal. 
The eclectic bar experience with premium liquor and interesting cocktails such as Black Irish, Sleeping Volcano, Bloody Maria, Old Samurai’s Mojito, Dragon’s Nest Caprioska, Spiced Rum Fig Sour, and Japanese whiskies like Hibiki & Kawasaki Whisky, add to the top notch and classy vibe at COCO Sushi & Bar.
Speaking on the members only lounge concept, founder Kunal Mhaske says, “I always wanted to have a private space for my social circle, where people could just come and have fun without worrying about their security and enjoy themselves thoroughly with familiar faces around. Moreover, a classy place where guests would want to make that extra effort to dress up and come to party”.
COCO opened to its exclusive members on 21st April 2017, Friday with its flagship property “Black Friday”, an energetic, fun party to bring in and celebrate the weekend. 

COCO Sushi & Bar will be open for dining on all evenings of the week except Mondays while the club nights will be on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 11:30 pm onward.
Members can make reservations for their guests for dining from their registered mobile number, but will need to accompany the guests for club nights.

Brief History about Sushi: The original form of sushi first came to Japan from Southeast Asia around 2000 years ago. The form of Sushi we know today came into being around the 8th century. Fish was salted and wrapped in fermented rice, a traditional lacto-fermented rice dish. Narezushi was made of this gutted fish which was stored in fermented rice for months at a time for preservation. The fermentation of the rice prevented the fish from spoiling. The fermented rice was discarded and fish was the only part consumed. This early type of sushi became an important source of protein for the Japanese.

I was invited for the Food Tasting of their exclusive Asian menu.

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California Sushi Roll
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California Sushi Roll
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California Sushi Roll
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California Sushi Roll

California Sushi Roll: As one of the recommended dish of the restaurant, for any sushi lover this will steal your heart.This sushi is made inside-out with perfectly cooked rice, stuffing and it was nicely plated. California Sushi Roll one of the most popular styles of sushi in the US market, the California roll has been influential in sushi’s global popularity and in inspiring sushi chefs around the world in creating their non-traditional fusion cuisine. Tōgarashi is Japanese for genus Capsicum, or specifically the species Capsicum annuum, and commonly translated as chili pepper. Gari is a type of tsukemono (pickled vegetables). It is sweet, thinly sliced young ginger that has been marinated in a solution of sugar and vinegar. Young ginger is generally preferred for gari because of its tender and natural sweetness. Gari is often served and eaten after sushi, and is sometimes called sushi ginger. It is considered to be essential in the presentation of sushi. It is used to cleanse the palate between eating different pieces of sushi, or alternatively before or after the meal.

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Wild Mushroom Sushi
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Wild Mushroom Sushi

Wild Mushroom Sushi: Tender shredded mushroom rolled up in sushi rice served with Tōgarashi and Gari perfectly made. Strong flavour of Tōgarashi made this sushi outstanding.

 

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Miso Shiro Soup

Miso Shiro: A delicate Miso broth with wakame, it’s a sea vegetable, or edible seaweed. It has a subtly sweet flavour and is most often served in soups and salads. It’s known for its health benefits. Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji. Generally miso is salty, but its flavour and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process. Overall a tasty and warm soup with loaded health benefits.

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Sam Tom Salad

Sam Tom Salad: This is a classic Thai favourite salad made of raw shredded papaya, Beans, Cherry Tomatoes and garnished with crushed nuts. Perfect taste of sweet and sour.

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Crispy Lotus Stem
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Crispy Lotus Stem

Crispy Lotus Stem: If the restaurant is serving Asian cuisine then this appetiser has to be in the menu. Honey glazed crispy lotus stem with sweet chilly made this dish one of the favourite on the table.

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Edamame & Truffle oil Dumplings

Edamame & Truffle oil Dumplings: When dumpling container arrived and when it was opened these cute little dumplings made every one say wow!! These little ones wrapped around with the thin cover giving a polished light green in colour. Edamame is a preparation of immature soybeans in the pod, found in cuisines with origins from East Asia. Texture was shiny, smooth and delicate.

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Spicy Broccoli Dumpling

 

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Spicy Broccoli Dumpling

Spicy Broccoli Dumpling: Again golden little pouch shape dumplings with a crushed broccoli stuffing was perfectly soft. Although its named as spicy Dumpling but wasn’t at all spicy.

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Tempura Vegetables
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Tempura Vegetables

Tempura Vegetable: Crispy deep fried vegetables. Basically Tempura is a classical Portuguese dish brought to and popularised by Japan, consisting of seafood or vegetables that have been battered and deep fried.

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Rock Corn Dynamite

Rock Corn Dynamite: One of the fancy looking dish where in the fried corn balls were placed on a vertical arrows and served with their homemade dynamite sauce.

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Golden Silken Tofu with Ponzu
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Golden Silken Tofu with Ponzu

Golden Silken Tofu with Ponzu: Special mention to the tofu, it was silk soft, mouth melting tofu I have every eaten, absolutely delicious dish. It was tossed in homemade Ponzu sauce which is a citrus-based sauce commonly used in Japanese cuisine. It is tart, with a thin, watery consistency and a dark brown colour. This was served with Japanese rice.

Desserts:

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Smoked Chocolate Mousse cake
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Smoked Chocolate Mousse cake

Smoked Chocolate Mousse cake: Anything of chocolate is always good!! beautifully plated, good amount of chocolate with the balanced taste of bitterness and sweetness.

 

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Honey Panacotta
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Honey Panacotta

Honey Panacotta: This was much talked about dessert of the COCO. Panacotta was melting in mouth with good amount to sweetness.

 

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Tender Coconut Mousse
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Tender Coconut Mousse

Tender Coconut Mousse: Nice looking dessert but taste wise it was somewhat sourish so did’t go ahead and spoons were down.

 

***Thank you Svetlana from Carpe Diem for Invite and Team COCO Pune for Hosting us. ***

 

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Interiors
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Interiors

 

Facebook Page

Contact No: 073979 99999

Zomato Link

Address

12th Floor, Onyx Towers, Mundhwa, Pune.

 

 

 

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

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 

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