Polka Dots – Bistro & Bar – Old wine in a new bottle

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.

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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.

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.


Fish and chips were excellent as always, with the tarter sauce playing the perfect accompaniment. Pihu wiped it off.

Main course included the Bratwurst with Onion relish – delightful presentation, sticky sweet onion relish, classic as always

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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.

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Buffalo Tenderloin Steak

We ended the meal with the absolutely phenomenal Philadelphia Blueberry Cheese cake and a rather runny Red Velvet Lava Cake.

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Philadelphia Blueberry Cheese Cake
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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.

I’m Lion – strictly non-veg

I’m lion – strictly Non-veg, Bavdhan
For the longest time I’ve been hearing this restaurant being named amongst the best seafood restaurants in Pune. Today this belief has been confirmed.

Pomphret Fry. The best pomphret fry I have ever had. This is all I can say. A fresh, fat pomphret, fried with a coating of rava (semolina) and mild spices, with fried garlic and chopped coriander sprinkled on top. A squeeze of lemon and i was in seafood heaven. It tasted better than it looks.

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Pomphret Fry

Bangda fry. 2 medium sized bangda fish fried to perfection similar to the pomphret.

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Bangda Fry

Prawns curry. Lovely coconut based curry, cooked in a Mangalorean style. Goes well with neer dosa or steamed rice (complimentary)

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Mutton sukkha. Mildly spicy, tasted beautiful with the neer dosa

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Mutton Sukkha
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Mutton Sukkha

Madosa Fish curry. The curry was similar to the prawns curry. Turns out, I’m not a fan of the madosa fish, as it was slightly tough. The curry tastes top-notch, so choose the fish wisely.

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Mutton Mangalorean curry. Another superb Mangalorean preparation, this time with tender chunks of mutton

And the neer dosa. We ate about 25 neer dosas! Soft, tender and perfect for soaking up the beautiful curry, this is an essential part of Mangalorean cuisine

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Neer Dosa

Ended the meal with their signature mud pie. Warm gooey sinful goodness. Sealed our heavy tummies with chocolate brilliance.

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The restaurant it self is small and cozy – the feel matches the warm service. The recipes are all by the owner, Ameya’s mom. Authentic Malabar flavors run through the dishes. Most of the dishes are Mangalorean, Goan and Gomantak.

Fantastic food. Top notch service. Bliss.

#baconbaba khush hua!

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I'm Lion, Strictly Non-Veg Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rastaman Soul Food – Bacon Cheese Burgers!

Rastaman, Soul Food – Food truck

Bacon Bhabhi

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!

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.

Their menu seems super inviting and absolute VFMwhatsapp-image-2016-12-28-at-11-46-21-pm

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.

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Tried 2 non veg burgers from their menu:
Cheezy paradise:
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!
#HighlyRecommended

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Cheezy Paradise

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The Asian:
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.

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The Asian

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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!

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!

Rastaman Soul Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Apyayan – Authentic Bengali Cuisine

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting Apyayan, Aundh to try out some of the special bengali cuisine that they offer. Apyayan has one of their outlets on DP Road, Aundh, near Ambedkar chowk. Bright interiors, beautifully decorated with authentic bengali handicrafts, and warm service make me feel right at home as I settled down

We started off the meal with a cool refreshing glass of aam-panna – made from raw mango pulp. What followed was a barrage of bodacious bong food!

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Fish Kobiraji: A deep-fried fillet of Bhetki maach with a coating of egg batter. The serving was huge (a rather large fillet) and the coating was almost like a tempura batter – super light and airy. Served with the legendary Kasundi (mustard sauce), this is a must try!

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Fish Kobiraji

Mochar Chop: “Mocha” is nothing related to coffee and chocolate for a Bengali, but is the local name given to banana flowers. When you taste this Vegan starter, the texture and taste remind you of a pulled-mutton kebab.

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Mochar Chop

As we moved on the pièce de résistance – The Kosha Maangsho – This Spicy Bengali Mutton Curry is the epitome of the perfect Bengali main course. The mutton was beautifully cooked, and the dark brown masala was just delectable. Enjoyed best with hot soft Luchis (aka Poori). I personally like my mutton to be a tad spicier, but that’s probably my inner Puneri speaking 🙂

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Kosha Maangsho

Next up was the Bhetki Paturi – a fillet of Bhetki steamed in a banana leaf, with dominant flavors of mustard, coconut and green chillis. This was just a bit dry by my standards – probably left in the steamer for a minute too long. Either way, it was delicious and light – perfect after the indulgent Kosha Mangsho.

The last ‘main course’ to hit our table was the Daab Chingri – Prawns in a green Coconut based curry – served in the Coconut shell itself! The dab chingri has an inherent sweetness owing to the coconut malai and coconut water that is predominantly used in the preparation of this bengali delicacy.

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Daab Chingri – Prawn curry served in the Coconut shell

This is best enjoyed with plain rice, though the vegetable pulao served along with it was rather tasty as well.

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Daab chingri with Vegetable Pulao

No Bengali meal can possibly end without a sweet. We ended up having 2!

Dudh Puli, a coconut stuffed rice dumpling, aka a bong version of the popular modak 🙂

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Paati Sapta: Thin crepes stuffed with Jaggery – the “gud” is the dominant flavor here. Another must try!

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If you are looking for authentic Bong food – Appyayan is the place to be!

Apyayan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Effingut Brewerkz, Baner – Pork ribs heaven!

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This is going to be short.

And sweet.

And sticky.

And delicious!

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!

Khow Suey

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Bacon Wrapped Prawns and Sausages
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Strawberry Cider

Yesterday i tried the pork ribs and man it was mind blowing!

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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!

Effy-B rules!

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The ‘tasters’

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Effingut Brewerkz Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Sirka Multicuisine, Baner

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

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Sholay Kababs

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!

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Banjara Kabab

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.

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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.

Sirka Multicuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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R’Adda – 5 star awesomeness!

The #FriendsOfTheBTeam were invited to the launch event of R’Adda, part of The Ramee Grand’s international chain of 5 star hotels. The decor here is similar to their outlets in Dubai and Mumbai, maintaining the same standards – including the uber-cool biker theme

R’ Adda specializes in some amazing, super-innovative cocktails. Designed by their 5* chefs, their line of signature cocktails and mocktails are an absolute #MustTry.

My personal favorite? The Maska Ferni – a melon flavored white-rum based cocktail. Extremely innovative, very pretty to look at and absolutely delicious!

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Maska Ferni

Another favorite – something that must be ordered in a group is the #Kadak Maal – an orange ‘balti’ filled with dark rum and coke. Simple, effective and very very potent.

The list of cocktails/mocktails goes on – Safe Sex on the beach (cranberry, orange, peach, hazelnut), Mucchadwala Mojito (white rum, pan, green apple, mint) and the Lipstick (strawberry, mint, Orange) were definite crowd favorites.

The Telephone Booth LIIT and the baby nip of whisky (a quarter of neat whisky served in a baby bottle ftw!) were truly brilliant concepts (though I did need to spike up the iced tea to suit my taste)

The beauty of this place is the amazing food to go along with the mad range of cocktails. My personal favorites? The Onion rings (a rare non-oily onion rings platter) and the Adda Wings (chicken wings with a beautiful bbq sauce, served with potato wedges). The garlic pepper mushrooms were also really good.

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Onion Rings
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Adda Wings

Their mains selection is simple but perfectly done. The Mutton Rogan Biryani was served with delicate, tender mutton pieces, perfectly cooked, falling of the bone – so delicious, that we had to order more! The Kheema Paratha was just as good – requiring just a squeeze of lime to take the taste over the top.

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Kheema Paratha
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Mutton Rogan Biryani

To end it all, we were served a classic chocolate+walnut brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream, as well as a cheesecake. The cheesecake was a tad grainy, but the brownie was warm, gooey and oozing with yummy-ness!

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R’ Adda being part of a 5* hotel will remain open till 3:30 AM, a definite plus point for those post-post-party scenes! The pricing is pretty competitive for a 5* hotel (all prices are inclusive of all taxes)

All in all, this is a great addition to the Pune nightlife scene. Definitely one that deserves multiple visits!

R' ADDA Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Double Roti – Reinvented!

Double Roti is a rather popular name in Gurgaon and Chennai, known for its wide offerings of “Awesomeness between breads” – sandwiches and burgers. Last Wednesday, they unveiled their ‘new avatar’ with the launch of their bar menu at their Viman Nagar, Pune outlet.

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The place itself is designed beautifully, with al-fresco as well as closed seating. Wooden tables, colorful stools and a beautiful decor make up an excellent venue

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Sporting some very interesting GoT themed cocktails like Wildfire,Winter is coming Kings landing and my personal favorite, Danaerys’ Charm, the restaurant is also introducing delicious bar snacks, that will complement the cocktails and other range of spirits, wine and beer offered.

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Game of Thrones inspired cocktails!

As #FriendsOfTheBTeam were invited for an exclusive tasting, here are some of my favorites:

Chicken Meat Balls – Chicken mince with paprika,worcestershire,onion powder,oregano,thyme and pepper – These had a definite kick! Perfect for the spice-loving Puneri palette!

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Bruschetta: The caramelized onion and feta bruschetta was my favorite vegetarian starter. The sweetness of the caramelized onions along with the tart feta cheese had me going back for more – extremely rare for a vegetarian starter to do that to the carnivore in me!

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Caramelized onion and feta Bruschetta
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Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

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Mushroom bites – deep fried battered mushrooms topped with a spicy mayo – another perfect vegetarian bar snack!

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Mushroom Bites

Chicken tikkas coated with masala, served on a skewer – moist, tangy and easy to eat

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Their specialty ‘Awesomeness with Bread’ items were also pretty damn good. I LOVED the Mobster pizza – loaded with bacon and pepperoni, on the perfect hand rolled thin crust base – I was in heaven!

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Mobster pizza – pepperoni heaven!
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The Sicilian – chicken and basil
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Cheesy Bacon Fries. Those 3 magic words. Sigh.
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Nachos!

Their Chipotle Chicken Burger – Juicy,spicy,flavorful chicken burger served with melted cheese,lettuce and mayonnaise was absolutely gorgeous!

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And to round it all off, desserts included Blondies and Brownies served with Vanilla ice cream, caramel and chocolate sauce. While the flavor of coffee in the blondies was top notch, I would have liked the blondies to be gooey-er. The brownies were pretty damn good, best eaten warm!

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They’re also offering a 2 plus 1 on all drinks through the day and a special combo offer for lunch.

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The outlet has live music on most evenings, paired with affordable prices, making it quite a destination for a lazy brunch or a chilled out evening with friends. Doors are open 9 AM – 11 PM on weekdays and 9 AM – 1 AM on weekends

Double Roti Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Maratha Samraat, Baner – Mutton Madness!

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.

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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.

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Mutton Ukkad

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!

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Kheema and Prawns Fry

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.

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Kaala Mutton Masala

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.

 

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Surmai Fish Fry

-Prawns curry : typical maharashtrian flavors, this gravy was medium spicy,suited my palate well and had about 4-5 good sized prawns.

 

 

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Prawns Curry

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!

 

 

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Sukkat Chutney

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

 

 

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Solkadi

The thali has ultra soft chapatis/bhakris in option and prawns biryani to end the meal.

 

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The fish thali

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!

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Mutton Maratha – check out those red chillies!

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.

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Mutton alani fry

Welcome to Baner, MS! You are here to stay!

Maratha Samrat Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato