Polka dots – bistro & bar, Westend mall, Aundh
A couple of days back Polka dots started their much awaited Bistro at Westend mall. Located next to Shoppers Stop in the GF section, this is a huge step up from their original site. Swanky, classy, high end are words that pop into your head as you walk into Polka Dots Bistro and Bar. Do not get mislead by the term ‘bar’ – they serve only mocktails for now.
While they have retained their ‘Polka Dots legends’ like the Gescnetzetes and Paprica Chicken, their expanded menu boasts some amazing sounding dishes.
We started off with a White Orchid, a guava and lime based mocktail and a lemon iced tea. Both were beautifully made, refreshing to the core.
Lemon Iced Tea
For starters, we ordered the Thai pork Balls – mince pork balls served with a light fish sauce. I wish the minced pork had been a tad more moist.
Thai Pork balls
Fish and chips were excellent as always, with the tarter sauce playing the perfect accompaniment. Pihu wiped it off.
Fish n Chips
Main course included the Bratwurst with Onion relish – delightful presentation, sticky sweet onion relish, classic as always
I ordered the Buffalo Tenderloin Steak. All i say is I am still looking for a chef in Pune who has the guts /talent to cook a medium rare steak. Here again the steak turned out slightly tough and medium well. I could possibly blame the quality of the meat though. Served with and onion jam, veggies and a cheese covered baked potato, the accompaniments were excellent.
We ended the meal with the absolutely phenomenal Philadelphia Blueberry Cheese cake and a rather runny Red Velvet Lava Cake.
While Polka dots has a new avatar, it retains its old charm,with familiar faces to take your order. Stick to the old favorites. The new items, while beautifully plated, are a hit n miss.
Club29 is a recent entrant in the growing list of restaurants in Wakad. This is a standalone building that houses an entire sports club, a roof top Indo-Persian restaurant, 3 halls, a hotel as well as an all day restaurant called Twenty-Nine
#FriendsOfTheBTeam had been invited for a food tasting at Twenty-Nine, as they have recently started off with a new buffet menu. I did not know about the existence of this restaurant cum clubhouse located in Wakad-Kalewadi area.
Coming to the food, lucky to get invited on Christmas day, we got to try the beautiful dessert spread designed especially for the festive day.
The buffet spread was huge and varied in both veg & non veg. We started off with salads and starters.
Started off with cream of broccoli soup (tasty, even people who do not quite like the vegetable, might end up relishing this).
We were also offered a glass of Fratelli wine as part of the buffet menu
Salads had 3-4 different kinds, out of which I found the Turkish Calamari salad pretty interesting and creative. Tasted great as well.
Moving on to the starters:
Veg Shammi kebab- Were okay-ish. I found then a bit too dry.
Paneer Honey chilli- This was well made. Beautiful paneer pieces tossed in yummy honey chilli sauce.
Murgh angara – Succulent pieces of Chicken in a fiery coating of Indian masalas. Loved this one.
BBQ Chicken Wings – The BBQ sauce was superb , sweet & sticky,exactly how I like it. However, the Chicken were a bit under-cooked. Wish the Chicken was cooked to perfection, and this could be a cracker dish on their menu.
Starters done and dusted. Time for the main course.
Moroccon Lamb Stew: I have a love for stews, so I digged straight into this one. The stew itself tasted really good with all the meat and the veggies. However, I felt the lamb pieces needed a little bit more cooking, I found them slightly chewy.
Steamed fish Ala Greque: A very light soupy preparation with big chunky fishes and vegetables. Very mild continental flavors.
Butter Chicken : This was good, but could have been better.
Fish Santa Fe: A different kind of fish preparation, mildly flavored, decent taste wise.
Dal Makhani: This was really good. Licked the last spoon off my plate completely!
Veg Au Gratin : This dish, even though veg, is worth a mention. I personally relished this one. It was perfectly cooked veggies in a yummy cheesy sauce topped with a beautiful layer of cheese. Delicious.
Now it was time for the desserts. Since the time we had entered, my eyes were all on those yummy looking , super inviting dessert section.
So yes, I jumped like a kid towards them at this moment.
Mango saffron cheesecake: Looked so pretty. Tasted good too. Just that the cheesecake needed to set a little more for that perfect texture.
Plum cake: This was topped with a layer of whipped cream, could have done very well without it too. Decent taste wise, but I have had better.
Yule log: Lovely looking again and pretty decent tastewise. I have to give these guys full marks on the presentation for sure.
Indian desserts: Moong dal halwa and mini gulab jamuns dipped in rabdi kind of a rich milky base. Both tasted superb!
Last but not the least, most inviting looking section was their Christmas special dessert spread. They were soooo pretty I wanted to eat everything up. Yes, the kid in me said so! 😀
A variety of cookies, with colorful decorations on them, brownies,choco balls, apple pie, cupcakes, red velvet… I know I know, the list really is long..! Mini Apple pie was wow!
More or less, pretty much liked their spread as everyone will get their fair share to choose from.
The buffet is priced at 650/- plus taxes. I think it’s decently priced.
Also, the restaurant is just a very small section of this huge club. They have a beautifully done up roof top restaurant , with live music and middle eastern theme food.
Pub/lounge with bowling alley. Fun place to spend time with friends.
Lots of sports activity areas like squash, tennis, video game zone, shooting zone (yes, with real guns) ,swimming pool, gym, private party area, hall for rent and much more. Many of these facilities are for only members to avail. Anyone who is interested can take a tour and look at the club packages.
We enjoyed the hearty meal and came out happy
Thanks Club 29 for hosting us and for the amazing service. Good luck!
Rastaman Soul Food, a food truck opposite Balewadi High Street is dishing out some amazing burgers, pasta and sandwiches. They have recently moved here from Aundh, and man, its a delight!
The food truck
We were invited by the delightful owners, the newly married Satya & Naina, who run it with all their passion for cooking and love for food.
The passionate chef
The owners on the left
Their menu seems super inviting and absolute VFM
We started off with 2 refreshing drinks – Iceberg Lime & Mellow Mood.
I loved the Mellow mood. It was sweet, it was salty and had a beautiful hint of ginger flavor.
Tried 2 non veg burgers from their menu:
Yummy yummy & yummy! Yes, it was delicious. And juicy. This has a chicken patty with a cheese filled center, caramelized onions, topped with mayo,chipotle sauce, jalapeños, and loaded with huge strips of crispy bacon. Yes, when something has bacon added to it and OOOZES cheese, what’s not there to love!
This had a beautiful grilled chicken fillet tossed and coated in some soy, vinegar, honey, fish sauce, sesame seeds. Very Asian in flavor with a lovely sweet ‘n sour note as the name suggests. An interesting one worth a try.
Next was Rastaman’s fusion pasta. Currently these guys serve a veg / non veg version of this. That’s the only pasta on their menu, and it was super tasty.
Penne pasta in a rich cheesy white sauce with lots of Italian herb flavours, succulent baked chunky chicken pieces, mushrooms, bacon bits and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. Yummy again!
The Rastaman Chicken Pasta
We ended the meal with their dessert ‘Heavenly Delight’. That’s chocolate brownie topped with vanilla ice cream ,banana,chocolate sauce,some nuts, and drizzled on top with condensed milk. I am personally always a bit partial whenener there is brownie involved in any dessert. So yes, I totally loved it. The brownie itself was so delicious, which by the way Naina herself bakes! Our 2 year old couldn’t stop eating this one 🙂
Rastaman can be found opposite Balewadi High Street (on the Urban Foundry / Apache side) and are open from 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM. Leaving you with some more yumminess!
I’ve been visiting Effingut Brewerkz, Baner at least twice a week since it opened. My usual order? Strawberry cider and bacon wrapped prawns. And the jerk chicken, if I’m hungry. And, the chicken khow suey, if I’m super hungry!
Yesterday i tried the pork ribs and man it was mind blowing!
Meat falling off the bone. Sticky sweet spicy sauce. Mashed potatoes. Veggies. And the fat…
Oh the fat
Melts in the mouth, super soft, absolutely perfectly cooked. So well cooked, that you can cut it with a spoon!
All you pork lovers out there must have this! Arguably the best pork ribs in town!
Nestled in the by-lanes of Baner-Pashan link road, Sirka multicuisine is a small cosy little restaurant, which boasts of some big flavors.
Sholey Kababs: This is probably one of the most popular items on their menu, with multiple recommendations. And for a reason. Succulent chicken, perfect marination, and a spicy coating, it serves as a great appetizer. The generous quantity of chicken is more than satisfactory
Chicken Banjara Kababs: We wanted something non-spicy for my 2 year old Pihu, and this was the suggested by the captain. With a creamy exterior, and a hint of mint, the banjara kababs were deliciousness personified! My kid gobbled it down, leaving barely enough for me to get a taste!
For mains, we ordered the Chicken Rara – this is the chef’s special and must not be missed. Chunks of tandoori chicken in a chicken kheema base, it is, as my friend very aptly described it, a “Chicken ka samandar”! Absolutely delicious, we lapped it up with the uber-soft laccha paratha and butter naan. Shout out to the Laccha Paratha – I am not much of a paratha fan, but the layered velvety fluffiness of the laccha parathas had me craving for more!
For dessert we had some beautiful melt-in-the-mouth warm globules a.k.a. Gulab Jamun – again, something I had to wrestle away from my kid to taste, and some oh-so-gooey-i-want-some-more Chocolate and Walnut Brownie with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
I wanted to try out their mutton dishes, unfortunately they didn’t have any mutton in stock. Well, there’s always something for next time!
The personal attention of the owner to the food (he was in the kitchen for a majority of the service) is evident by the consistency of the dishes that were sent out. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
Flanked by some strong competition like Flying Duck and Chutney Sauce Murabba, Sirka does more than enough to hold its own.
My favorite Maharashtrian mutton joint Maratha Samraat finally opened up in my neighborhood.
The location is bang in the middle of baner road, there’s ample parking space along the road. The decor is similar to the Kothrud branch, yet it is open, airy, and can comfortably fit about 20-25 people in the upper and lower sections each.
The food… Oh the food! They have maintained the same quality of food that they serve at the Kothrud branch. Here’s a glimpse:
Mutton Ukkad: alani soup (mutton stock) with huge pieces of mutton – light, flavorful and absolutely delightful.
Kheema Prawns fry : This is a new addition to the menu. The preparation is slightly spicy, and lip-smackingly delicious! Who knew mutton kheema and prawns are such a match made in heaven!
Kala Mutton : Arguably the best item on their menu, the kala mutton masala is absolutely mind blowing. Not too spicy, thick dark masala, jam packed full of flavors with chunks of tender juicy mutton. Pairs well with bhakri, chapati or rice. This is a ‘must-have – either as an ala-carte dish or in the thali version.
Chapatis, bhakris were served quickly and hot. Service in general is amazing – everyone right from the owners to the waiters payed personal attention to each guest. Quantity of each dish was generous enough for 2.
On another trip, we tried the Surmai fish thali which consisted of :
-2 medium sized Surmai fry : well coated in masala, very fresh, really tasty. However it lacked a bit of proper seasoning , sprinkling a bit of salt on top helped.
-Prawns curry : typical maharashtrian flavors, this gravy was medium spicy,suited my palate well and had about 4-5 good sized prawns.
Sukat chutney : this was something i tasted for the very first time. Dried tiny prawns stir fried in a spicy chatakedar masala. Liked the taste, however, people with a spicier palette will surely love this thing!
Solkadi : A small bowl of this blissful drink was already a part of the fish thali, however I always need more of this, so ordered another glass separately. A perfect palate cleanser that compliments food here so well. A must have with whatever you end up ordering at this joint
The thali has ultra soft chapatis/bhakris in option and prawns biryani to end the meal.
This time, we also tried Mutton Maratha, again a superb mutton preparation , sure worth trying out. On the spicier side, with a generous amount of red chillies, this dish is going to be a hit with the spice loving Puneris!
We tried out a light and yummy Alani fry preparation (succulent mutton pieces cooked in very light masalas and stir fried in garlic), which our 2 year old relished on.