Dinshaw’s Xpress Cafe, KP

Dinshaw’s as a brand of ice-cream has a history that dates back to 1932! Dinshaw’s Xpress cafe at Koregaon Park, Pune steps up the game, offering sandwiches, burgers, and fast-food.  IMG_20170318_173530.jpg

With the Zoroastrian festival of Navroze coming up, #baconbaba was invited along with #TheBTeam to try out their lip-smacking Parsi cuisine.

The long walk in the sweltering heat from my car to the restaurant had me sweating like a pig (yes yes… baconbaba sees the irony in that statement…) Luckily, the first thing on the tasting menu was iced-tea, and nothing feels better than a cold lemon iced tea on a hot summer afternoon. To be honest, it was your basic Lipton iced tea, but no complaints.

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Iced Tea

As the food started hitting the table, we started of with the Cheesy Garlic Bread. While this isn’t exactly a ‘parsi’ delicacy per se, it does give an insight into the quality of fast food they dish out. Generously slathered with garlic butter and melted cheese, the gently toasted slice tasted excellent with the mayo dip.

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Cheesy Garlic Bread

Next up was the Chicken Farcha. I have had my fair share of Parsi cuisine, thanks to my Dad’s exhaustive network, and no, Chicken Farcha neither looks nor tastes like this. I believe it was missing the typical Dhana-Jeera masala flavor that you get from a Farcha.

That being said, this was more along the lines of a very well made KFC fried chicken. Excellent crumbed outer layer, perfectly cooked chicken, highly recommended as a fried chicken starter.

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Chicken Farcha
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Chicken Farcha

Next on the menu was my most awaited dish – the Chicken Dhansak. This was an excellent chicken gravy dish served with rice and fried onions. Nice balance of sweet and spicy with perfect seasoning made the flavors pop. Again, didn’t taste like an authentic dhansak – lacked the typical sweetness and was on the spicier side.

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Chicken Dhansak
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Chicken Dhansak
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Rice

The Mutton Kheema Ghotala was a layer of fried eggs, baked over a bed of mutton kheema. A delicious dish, served with pav, we wiped it off to the last speck. The khada garam masala gave a nice spice hit to it.

Mutton Kheema Ghotala Dinshaws
Mutton Kheema Ghotala

Moving on to their specialty desserts, we were craving for the Boston Brownie Freakshake. Bedazzled with Gems, with a huge brownie on top, we had to struggle to finish this chocolate milkshake. But what a sweet struggle! Yes, it tasted better than it looks.

Dinshaw Boston Brownie Freakshake
Boston Brownie Freakshake

The Jenga Churros were up next. The crisp hot churros on the chilled ice-cream were wiped off before you could say cheers!

Jenga Churros Dinshaws
Jenga Churros

I had a lot of fun there, and will definitely be going back to try out their range of sandwiches and burgers. The Freakshake takes its place in one of the desserts to beat in Pune as well.

#baconbaba will be back!


Note: I was invited as part of #TheBTeam for a tasting event. For all intents and purposes, The Usual Disclaimer applies.


Dinshaw's Xpress Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Coconut Tree, Magarpatta – Sensational Seafood!

#Baconbaba tries out the newly opened The Coconut Tree Bar and Kitchen at Magarpatta. Some authentic south Indian seafood delicacies on offer here! Read on…

The Coconut Tree Bar & Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The B Team

Last week #TheBTeam visited The Coconut Tree Bar and Kitchen, a newly opened sea-food specialty restaurant at Konark Icon, near Season’s mall, Magarpatta.

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The place is done up in a hip, cool, lounge fashion, with good music and provision for live bands. They also have a lower level, with softer music, and a more fine dine feel.

The Coconut Tree, as the name suggests, specializes in South Indian cuisine, with a wide variety of sea-food options, including some amazing crabs (more on that later!)

We started of with a range of ‘coconut-inspired’ mocktails. My personal favorite was the Coastal Affair, a coconut-apple flavored drink with hints of hazelnut. Just add a dash of Bacardi, and you have something very close to the very popular ‘Malibu’!

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Another favorite at the table was the Coastal Curry which was primarily Coconut cream with a strong hit of basil and ginger. Yes…

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Arthur’s Theme, BHS – European Fine Dining

Arthur’s theme is a very well-known brand in Pune, with their KP branch setting the bar for European food in Pune. The relatively new branch at Balewadi High Street has maintained the same standards as its elder sibling, dishing out delicious food with their rather peculiar “European themed” names.

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The new branch at BHS is beautifully done up with huge mirrors and high ceilings, giving a grand feeling to the interiors. A wood fired oven graces one of the corners, and Arthur’s Theme will soon be serving some wood fired pizzas from this outlet.

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Wood Fired Oven

Arthur’s Theme BHS has recently launched a 4 – course meal. The 4 courses include Soup or Salad, a Starter, a Mains and of course, Dessert.

Priced at 799/- (+ taxes) its an excellent value proposition, considering the same dishes at Al-a-carte cost around 300+ each.

Here’s a sampling of what went around our table


Salad / Soup (course 1)

My pick of this course was the Hawaiian Salad.

Yep. You heard that right. #baconbaba liked a salad. A rare moment in the history of mankind.

A bright, refreshing chicken, bell peppers and pineapple salad with a mayo dressing. Julienne of  bell peppers added a beautiful crunch with the smoked chicken strips. The juicy strips of pineapple played pied piper leading us on a merry ride down this summery path. Sweet, salty, crunchy, delicious – everything a salad should be. #baconbaba’s favorite salad till date!

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Hawaiian Salad

The Marquis de Sade – a traditional french onion soup was warm, light and flavorful. The cheese croquettes were a nice touch, though they did turn soggy once the soup cooled.

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Marquis De Sade

Starters (course 2)

I opted for Alexia – marinated prawns wrapped in chicken in a spicy sauce. I personally believe that prawns are the 2nd best meat available out there (right after bacon / pork, duh!) so prawns wrapped in anything is usually an automatic win (case to point: the baconbaba recommended Bacon Wrapped Prawns at Effingut Baner). This one, however, was a slight miss for me. A good dish overall, but the prawns were completely overshadowed by the thick chicken layer and the spicy sauce.

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Alexia – Prawns wrapped in chicken with a spicy sauce

The other starters that graced our table were:

Alfredo – a tempura batter coated Kalamari – perfectly crisp coating, a tad oily.

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Alfredo – Fried Kalamari

Duncan – caramel coated chicken wings – delish!!!

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Duncan – Chicken wings in caramel sauce

Luda – Cilantro infused fillets of basa – a tasty dish, but I wish they hadn’t used basa 😦

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Luda – Cilantro infused fish fillets

Mains (course 3)

Here’s where the magic really started. The quantity of each dish was substantial – enough for a single person.

Charles The Bold: A paprika sauce concoction with grilled chicken and bell peppers, served with potato croquettes. Nicely balanced red sauce, perfectly cooked grilled chicken, tad low on seasoning. A really good chicken dish overall

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Charles The Bold – Grilled chicken with Paprika Sauce
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Charles The Bold – Grilled Chicken with Paprika Sauce

My friend ordered the Artois – Chicken Roulette with mushroom sauce. I found the sauce rather bland, though the chicken was well cooked.

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Artois – Chicken Roulette with mushroom sauce
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Artois – Chicken Roulette with mushroom sauce

The coup de grâce of the evening was struck by Lady Jennifer – Char grilled prawns in a lemon butter sauce with mashed potatoes. Words cannot describe how delicate and transcendent this dish was. Flawlessly cooked prawns in an exquisite silky lemon butter sauce. The mashed potato was creamy as ever, elevating the humble aloo to breathtaking levels.

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Lady Jennifer – Prawns in a Lemon Butter Sauce with Mashed potato
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Lady Jennifer – Prawns in lemon butter sauce with mashed potato

As we moved to the dessert, we were encountered the usual suspects. A blueberry cheese cake, a tiramisu and a chocolate mousse. All three were well constructed, nothing to write home about. In fact, the choco-lava cake was served with a mint Ice Cream, which, in my  humble opinion, did nothing to the dish. The mint was more like a coolada or a spearmint, than an actual flavor, just making the ice cream feel cooler.

We did experience some theatrics with the flambee chocolate raisin pancakes. The surprisingly thin crepe-like pancakes were coated with rum and flambeed, leading to some nice ‘oooh!‘ and ‘aaah!’ at the table.

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Pancake – raisins, rum flambeed – notice the fire? Ooooh!

Overall, the 4 – course meal for 799/- is completely worth it. Compared to the price tag of the ala-carte dishes, it’s a steal. The 4 course meal is available Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner and weekends for lunch only.

#baconbaba, as always, khush hua! Oink Oink!!


I was invited for a bloggers table. The Usual Disclaimer applies. 

 

Arthur's Theme Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hyderabad Food Festival at Marriott Hinjewadi – A Heritage of Flavors

Momo Cafe at Courtyard Marriott, Hijewadi, Pune is hosting a Hyderabadi Food Festival. They are dishing out some super authentic delicacies from the land of the Nizams including favorites like Haleem, Biryani, Nalli Nihari and Double ka meetha. #baconbaba was invited with #TheBTeam to take a look at this delectable spread.

We started off with Sharbat-E-AnaarDaana, a beautiful rose infused pomegranate juice. Perfect to cool us down from the sweltering heat outside and to set us up for the feast heading our way.

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Sharbat-e-AnaarDaana

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Juicy Reshmi Chicken Kababs were served to us at the table – well marinated chunks of chicken, lightly flavored, pleasure to eat

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Reshmi Chicken Kabab

Warqui Lamb Samosas – lamb stuffed pattices were really airy. However, I would have preferred a bit more filling and a bit less pastry. The puff pastry itself was light and flaky

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Warqui Lamb Samosa
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Warqui Lamb Samosa

Shikampuri Kababs – a take on the more popular galouti kababs, these soft tender little melt in the mouth delicacies that left us wanting for more!

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Shikampuri Kababs

The vegetarian part of the starters were pretty interesting too. Veg Sheekh Kabas were rather tasty, though slightly on the drier side. Nothing that a spot of the bright green mint chutney couldn’t fix.

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Veg Sheekh Kababs
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Veg Sheekh Kababs

Haleem

Haleem is an integral part of Hyderabadi cuisine and we were glad to see this included in the buffet. It is traditionally a stew made of rice/wheat and mutton, dal and spices slow cooked over 8-10 hours to a paste like consistency. The haleem served here was a bit coarse textured, and lacked the silky consistency seen in more traditional preparations. That being said, it was delicious, and was garnished with fried onions and garlic, giving it an interesting twist.

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Haleem
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The Mains

The main course had a couple of very interesting non-veg items. The nihari gosht was a light mutton preparation with generous portions of well cooked meat.

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Nihari Gosht

However, my favorite was the Chicken Khurma – a creamy curry of chicken with beautifully marinated pieces of chicken. It actually felt like someone had dunked a huge helping of malai kababs into the curry!

No Hyderabadi food festival can be complete without biryani, and we weren’t disappointed. Mutton and veg biryani donned the mighty buffet table and the glorious fragrance of the spiced rice wafted through the entire hall.

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The vegetarian guests had enough to hog into with beautifully prepared mixed veg curry, khatti dal, bhindi sherva and of course, paneer. The khatti dal was the highlight of the vegetarian smorgasbord.

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Khatti Dal
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Paneer Korma

If you are planning on visiting with foreign dignitaries or those with less courageous intestines, the buffet also includes a couple continental and asian dishes, including the very delicious cheesy creamy Spinach Au Gratin. The chefs at Momo cafe excel at continental dishes,  and today was no exception. An extensive salad bar welcomes those with a healthy palate.

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The continental selection
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The Salad Bar
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Salads

You cannot leave a buffet at Momo cafe without attacking the dessert section. A rather sinful selection of desserts tempted us. The usual suspects were the dark chocolate cake, red velvet pastry and a delightful summery orange cheese cake. But the Hyderabadi specialty Double ka meetha and Gile e Firdous were pretty amazing. What I absolutely loved was the Anjeer ki Kheer. The rich flavor of anjeer hits you smack in the face, leaving you a little more lethargic, a little more happy.

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Desserts

Overall, it was a fantastic meal. At 750/- + taxes, it is quite an excellent deal. Brilliant food, exceptional service, and an excellent experience.


The Hyderabadi Food Festival is currently on from 6th March till 15th March 2017 and is priced at Rs. 750++ for lunch and Rs. 1000++ for dinner.

 


I was invited as part of #TheBTeam for a blogger’s table. The Usual Disclaimer applies.


 

MoMo Cafe - Courtyard By Marriott Pune Hinjawadi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dravida’s Bistro, Dhole Patil Road, Pune

Dravida’s Bistro is a quaint looking organic south Indian specialty restaurant located at Dhole Patil Road, Pune.

While their A la carte menu is quite interesting, we decided to go in for the “Grand Saatvik Thali” which is a 5 course meal containing 27 different items. And it was a revelation.

Dravida’s Bistro is all about clean, organic cooking. And the 5 course meal takes you through a culinary journey that will cleanse your entire system, and leave you satisfied. The whole meal is served on a banana leaf, taking the experience to a whole different level.

Course 1: Juices – there were 5 different types of juices, including a mixed vegetable, a kaju coconut, and a brown rice one. “Cleansing” was what it did.

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Course 1 – Cleansers

Course 2: Salads: Very tasty, small servings which meant that even a salad hater like me wiped it all up. The salads included a Mix veg pickle, Puffed rice, coconut jaggery, vegetable Salad and banana stem

Course 3: This was served along with course 2 and mainly consisted of small servings of vegetables called ‘thoran’. Yellow pumpkin khichdi, Banana flower porier, Beet root pachadi, White pumpkin olan. 4 different sabjis on the plate. Each one had a unique flavor, and tasted excellent when eaten with the salads.

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Row 1 – Salads: Puffed rice, vegetable Salad, banana stem, beetroot. Row 2 – Yellow pumpkin khichdi, Banana flower porier, Beet root pachadi, White pumpkin olan

Course 4: This was the ‘Rice’ course. Red rice, white rice, dal paste, kadhi, butter milk, Spinach porier, cabbage thoran, avial, coconut chutney, and of course, Sambhar and Rasam. Again, small quantities, but delightfully flavorful. Mom and Sangeeta couldn’t even finish the rice, that’s how full they already were. The red rice is extremely filling, and wholesome. Sambhar was nice and thick, with no traces of oil. Rasam… We drank the rasam till the last drop.

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Course 4 – Rice

Course 5: Dessert: was a Red Rice Payasam. There were distinct flavors of coconut, gud (jaggery) and ghee. This reminded me of mom’s coconut laddoos!

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Dessert – Red Rice Payasam

The bonus course was a Paan, with a spoon full of honey! Paan serves as a digestive, while a spoonful of honey is an excellent way to clean our digestive system after the meal.

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Paan with a spoonful of honey

The meal is designed to be extremely healthy, filling, and full of nutrition. The  cooking style used is organic and pure. That’s how we felt after the meal. Clean, beautiful, purified.
HUGE Thumbs up to Dravida’s Bistro. This place is beautiful.

Note: The Grand Sadhya Thali is available only on weekends. 

Dravidas Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Berry’d Alive, Indiranagar, Bangalore – Desserts Galore!

I stepped into Berry’d Alive  , Indiranagar, Bangalore expecting some nice coffee. Instead I was attacked by a barrage of desserts!
We ordered the double brownie and the blackberry cheese cake. The brownie was SINFUL! Two brownies stacked on top of each other, covered with chocolate sauce and chocolate ganache served in a whisky glass. Sheer beauty! I would have liked the brownies to be a bit warmer, but the taste was fabulous.
Double Chocolate brownie
Double Brownie

Complementing this perfectly was the blackberry cheesecake. While the blackberry gave the dessert a bit of tartness, the dark chocolate base had just the right amount of bitterness to take this dessert to another level.

Blueberry Cheesecake

My only wish is if they had some coffee options. A cup of hot black coffee would have been of so nice!
A must visit when in this part of Bangalore.

Berry'd Alive Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Desi Aroma, Baner, Pune – Best Biryani in Baner!

I don’t say this often: the BEST biryani in Baner. Layers of beautiful spices, similar to a Lucknow biryani, with crisp fried onions sprinkled over the top, the biryani was an absolute pleasure to eat. The meat was marinated perfectly for it to fall off with a touch. Melt in the mouth quality mutton is rare these days. I am gushing, because that’s how good this was.

The butter chicken was pretty good as well, not overly sweet, hint of spice, perfect for the puneri palate.

Their range of kababs and tikkas look and smell delicious. Next time, for sure.

 
Desi Aroma Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Aloo Bhaja – recipe

Here’s a simple recipe for making aloo bhaja (finger chips). This makes an excellent accompaniment with dal rice or roti.

1. Chop the potatoes into thin long slices (finger chips) and keep aside.

2. Heat 2 tsp of mustard oil in a pan. Put in 2 tsp jeera and 2 whole dried red chillies and fry a little. Remember to break the chilly into 2 pieces to get maximum flavor.

3. Once the jeera and chillies stop spluttering put in the potatoes. Stir it so the potatoes are covered with the oil and jeera.  Cook for 2 minutes.

4. Now put in about 1 tsp of jeera powder and 1 tsp of haldi and salt. Stir well and cook on medium flame for 2 minutes. Cover the pan and allow it to cook on medium flame.

5. After 5 minutes open the lid. The potatoes should have softened. Add 1 onion finely chopped and 1 green chilly finely chopped. Stir well and check the seasoning. Add salt if required.

6. If you like,  add a pinch of sugar and a pinch of Garam masala. Stir well.

7. Cook this on a low flame for about 10 minutes till the potatoes are cooked through. You can tell that the potatoes are cooked if they are soft. Pick up one and take a bite. You should be able to tell if they are cooked or not.

8. Sprinkle some Dhaniya patti (coriander leaves) and enjoy!

*Remember to taste at every stage!

Let me know how it turns out. Feel free to add any suggestions to make this even better!