Omlette Festival – Egg-stacy at Cabaret, Baner

Cabaret, Baner, Omlette Festival

Omlette! Perfect breakfast, ideal lunch or a light dinner – the one size fits all meal!

Cabaret, with its slick interiors and black n red furniture screams class. Its diverse menu with an emphasis on east asian food has been taking baner by storm over the past few months since its opening.

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They have started an Omlette Festival this month to add a few interesting eggy delights to their menu. I was invited with my family to try out some of these preparations.

Baked Western Omlette:

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Baked Western

In all honesty, this was a regular cheese Omlet, with all the bells and whistles. A generous amount of cheese, topped with veggies, the baked omlette is fluffy, and delicious. Served with garlic toast and baked beans, this is one Omlette that you can’t go wrong with.

Morroccon Omlette:

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Moroccon Omlette

A sunny side up, topped with cherry tomatoes, this does have a hit of spice to it. Chilly oil and chilli flakes made it spicy. Not one for the faint hearted, this one a definitely worth a try.

Japanese Omurice:

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Japanese Omurice

The Omurice at Cabaret consists of Chicken fried rice topped with an omlette and barbecue sauce. The bbq sauce was a bit too sweet for my palate, but the fried rice was yummy, leading to this being an excellent brunch item.

Opening hours for Cabaret Baner are 7am daily, making this the perfect breakfast place. Priced at 200/- a pop, the omlette Festival items are at par with all other similar joints in the area.

Definitely one to visit in the near future. The Omlette Festival is on till 28th of Feb. This menu is available at all the Peter Donuts outlets as well.


I was invited for the tasting event. The Usual Disclaimer applies.


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

Brunch Feels – Many Funs, Much Chills at Hoppipola!

Brunch!
The word evokes feelings of a chilled out, lazy, long meal, filled with fun, laughter, booze, and copious amounts of food! How else can you define combining two meals into one – BReakfast+lUNCH! And Friends, Food, Fun – These three words define the experience I had at Hoppipola, Aundh a few weeks back, as I tried out there new brunch menu with #TheBTEAM fam.
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Drinks for Brunch?

No brunch can be complete without the ‘happiness’ of alchohol. And Hoppipola pulls out all stops with their exhaustive cocktail menu. Some ingenious, yet potent cocktails later, you can’t help swaying to the awesome music playing in the background

The Bull Frog

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My personal drink of choice, this Redbull-Vodka concoction definitely pulls no punches. If you are a Redbull fan, this should be your first choice!

The Long Island Iced Tea

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LIIT!

The LIIT is the usual choice of beverage for those looking for a delicious, potent option. Spiked with a multitude of ‘white’ drinks, this is one is no slouch in the ‘kick; department!

The White Wine Sangria

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Sangria

The quintessential brunch drink, wine lovers will be happy drinking this by the gallon

Starters

The Mezze Platter

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Mezze Platter

Mezze Platter

A beautiful combo of breads and dips, the Mezze platter provides multiple options to munch on while sipping.

Cheesy Nachos

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Nacho!

Can’t really go wrong with Nachos – available in both Veg and Non-Veg versions, Nachos are the perfect snack. You can’t really stop at one. I do wish these were a bit more loaded with cheese and toppings, since the ones at the bottom were left dry.

Railway Canteen Chicken Cutlets

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Railway Canteen Chicken Cutlets

These are basically chicken nuggets with a fancy name. Crispy outer layer, minced chicken inside, these are little bundles of deep fried goodness. Still can’t figure out the name though. Is it a reference to the heart shaped cutlets you get on the Indian Railways trains? They may need to reshape the cutlets to evoke those memories 🙂

Cajun Rubbed Grilled Fish

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Cajun Rubbed Grilled Fish

Fish filet with a cajun spice rub, grilled to perfection. Whats not to love? Served with a spicy mayo, these are brilliant.

Paneer Pita Pockets

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Paneer Pita Pockets

I didn’t quite get the concept of these. Dry pita bread, dry stuffing, with virtually no sauce to speak of. This one was a miss.

Barbecued Chicken Wings

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Barbecued Chicken Wings

Chicken wings in barbecue sauce are usually a delight to eat. However, the sauce did feel a bit too sweet for my liking.

Grilled Chicken Pizza

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Grilled Chicken Pizza

A delightful thin crust pizza, with chicken tikka, bell peppers, & jalapeno, the pizza was something we reordered. Thrice. Loved it.

The veg version wasn’t too bad either

They also have a live pasta station, where they can prepare your choice of pasta, in your choice of sauce. Good stuff overall

Mains

If you do have the space left for mains, they have a couple of options, including veg/non-veg biryani and Bhurji Pao. I was a bit surprised at seeing bhurji pao for brunch. I mean, seriously?

Bhurji Pao

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Chicken Biryani

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Desserts

You can’t miss out desserts now can you? Sadly, the choice of desserts was very limited

Chocolate Mud Pie

The Chocolate Mud Pie felt more like a brownie than a mud pie. A delicious brownie, nonetheless.

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Vanilla Pannacotta with Berry Coulis

This one missed the mark. It didn’t have the trademark jiggle – felt over set and too gelatinous.

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Vanilla Pannacotta

Would I go there again?

Desserts apart, the brunch at Hoppipola is great. Priced at 555/- for food only, and 444/- for drinks (unlimited), you can’t really find a better deal. The food is good, the vibe is great, and the drinks are boozy. What more can you ask for?

Definitely worth a revisit!


I was invited for the tasting event. The Usual Disclaimer applies.


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

Sarjaa, Aundh – Face-lifted Classics

The Classics

Sarjaa – The name evokes memories of a hotel straight out of the 90’s – waiters in white uniforms, white and red checked table cloths, dim lighting, good Indian comfort food (read: butter chicken) and ghazals playing in the background. So you would pardon my surprise when I received an invite from Radio One to visit Sarjaa for a food tasting.

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The Facelift

But much to my astonishment, Sarjaa is no longer the establishment it was. Flanking the entrance is a board that proudly says “Indian Fine Dine”. This definitely piqued my interest. As I walked in through the beautiful wooden doors, I immediately noticed the change to the overall decor – gone are the checkered mats and the liveried waiters. Instead, you see clean white lines, bold colors, and a sharp bar. the al-fresco dining area now is lined with a lot of greenery, while the all day cafe section has a chic vibe – definitely a place you would like to chill with friends over a coffee or a beer (they have Bira on tap!)

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sarjaa aundh baconbaba alfresco

The Food

The food, on the other hand, remains the same. The classic dishes that Sarjaa is famous for, still feature in the new and improved menu card. They have added some dishes to the Chinese menu, however, I would stick to the classics.

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Starters

We started off with the Mutton Boti kabab. A version of a mutton sheekh kabab – this was a great way of starting off the meal. Soft, tenderized mince meat, rolled into sheek kababs, these were as near perfect as you could get in this area.

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Mutton Boti

We also tried the Kharda Kolcha Kombdi – a form of chicken tandoori coated with Thecha – a green chilli chutney popular in Maharashtra. The spice of the green chilli definitely hit the mark, and for lovers of spicy food, this is a go!

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Kharda Kolcha Kombdi

For the vegetarians, we ordered a Kothimbir aur Cheese ke Chapete. The name is self descriptive – the cheesy center was gooey as ever.

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Kothimbir aur Cheese ke Chapete

Mains

For mains, we could not possibly miss the Sarjaa’s Butter Chicken. A slightly spicier version of the classic, the version dished out at Sarjaa is absolutely mind-blowing. Super rich, creamy, yet not overwhelmingly sweet, the bite of green chilly makes its presence felt. Coupled with a soft butter naan, the SBC is a must have when visiting this place.

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Sarjaa’s Butter Chicken

The mutton Rogan Josh and the Daal Makhani are two more dishes that we truly relished. Perfectly cooked, melt in the mouth mutton pieces, in a gorgeous brown gravy with hints of ginger-garlic and black pepper, the Rogan Josh was our next favorite after wiping off the Butter Chicken. The Daal Makhani was well cooked and creamy, with an undertone of a slow cooked smoky flavor that a great Daal Makhani must have.

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Mains

Desserts

They have limited options for desserts – we had to cheese between Gulab Jamun, Ice Cream and Malai Kulfi – we chose the Kulfi. This was a bit of a let down, as they outsource the desserts. Definitely room for improvement here. I would recommend finishing off mains here, and taking a walk down the road to check out the other dessert places in the vicinity.

The Verdict

Overall, the face-lift definitely makes this classic establishment feel fresh and clean. The Al-fresco area is a delight to dine in. The food maintains its classic feel. The only downside here is the plating. I would definitely like to see them work on the presentation, particularly since they are now re-branding themselves as “Indian Fine Dine”. You do eat with your eyes after all!

That being said, you can’t really go wrong here. Step in to the new and improved Hotel Sarjaa and relish the glory that it is.

The Usual Disclaimer

I was invited for the tasting event as part of the Radio One Pune Food Trails. The Usual Disclaimer applies.

Find them on Zomato

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

1 day. 2 hours. 3 cups of Taak. 4 intestines of steel. 5 Misals.

The Misal Trail takes off

Last week at the 11 ESB PEO tasting, Prashant Kunjir and I caught up, and he proposed going out on what he likes to call a #MisalTrail. Plans were drawn up, and Pashan was selected as our first hunting ground. D-day arrived, and we met at sharp 9:30 AM (to be perfectly honest, the agreed time was 8:45 AM, but, well IST), and set out taking down some amazing joints in the area. Here’s a quick run down

  1. Tapkir

The Special Misal. About a year back they shifted to Pashan from Sus-gaon, but they continue serving the same “thali”. Its an elaborate setup with taak, dahi, misal, pav, and a gulab jamun. Not too spicy, quite tasty.

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2. Shrimaan

This one is at the other end of the road, with its entrance tucked away in the corner of a grocery shop. The tarri here is quite tasty, though I found the ratio of matki to farsaan off. Wayy too much farsaan in the initial serving. Also, the tarri and the matki had clashing flavors, so adding the matki later didn’t work out. Totasted pav added some nice flavors though.

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3. Avdhut

I had tasted this at the Misal festival a couple of months back. However, trying out the fresh batch early in the morning, right off the gas was amazing. Very delicious, with just the right amount of burn around the lips. Toasted pav. Full marks for this one.

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4. Someshwar

This on was on Pashan main road, on the way from Sai chowk to the highway on the left side. Another delicious medium spicy misal, served with toasted pav. This is literally an ‘everyday’ misal, i.e., I would be happy to eat this everyday!

The tarri had a nice bit of zatka, and a flavor of star anise was noticeable, adding a lovely flavor to the misal.

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Someshwar

5. Shiv Malhar

Located across the highway towards Sus gaon, this is quite a “well developed” place with a large variety of misal types. With a lot of indoor and outdoor seating, this place has a nice view as well. Coming to the misal, we had options of Puneri and Kolhapuri Misal. We quickly figured out the only difference between the 2 was that they added som spicy tarri on top of the sampal for the Kolhapuri one. Wel,, names aside, this was also superb. We were full with the previous 4 places, but couldn’t stop lapping up some more. Definitely worth a weekend visit – lots of space for kids to run around, and the Puneri misal is low on spice.

misal pashan baconbaba Shiv Malhar
Shiv Malhar

PS: This is not an attempt at ranking any misal place. Each place had its own flavor, and we just want to appreciate each of them, while trying to understand what sets them apart.
More to come 🙂

Spuds in a Pub! Murphies launches a new bar!

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Murphies, Koregaon Park, Pune

I have waxed eloquent about how Murphies, KP, Pune is elevating the humble aloo-bataka in one of my previous blog posts. Recently, they did up their upstairs section, converting it into a swanky, yet chilled out bar section. #TheBTeam was invited to sample some of the offerings on the bar menu

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Coconut Prawns

With a new bar, comes new food! Well, to be honest, the Coconut Prawns is not a new item – they did have the Coconut prawns on their menu. And if I remember correctly, the original recipe tasted more like a coconut ‘peda‘ wrapped around a prawn.

Well, the chef at Murphies seems to have got it spot on this time. Coconut shavings, and a mustard sauce lend themselves beautifully to the dish – making the prawn shine through. Reminded me of the Sorse Bata Chingri – a Bengali preparation involving prawns and mustard sauce. Absolutely delectable!

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Fried Chicken Murphs

Not to be left behind were the Fried Chicken Murphs. Bits of fried chicken (similar to popcorn chicken from a KFC, if that makes sense), drowning in melted cheese and the potato jacket – doesn’t get any better.

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Barbeque Pork Crisps

And my favorite dish from this bataka menu – Barbeque Pork Crisps: A dish that had me drooling like the pig! Beautiful slivers of barbeque pork, with sweet sticky sauce, over crisp salty potato crisps, served with a tart yogurt dip. Sweet, sour, salty, crispy, gooey… Flavor and texture heaven. Perfect balance. Spectacular dish.

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Mushrooom Rissotto

The vegetarian side of things isn’t too bad either. the Mushrooom Rissotto is arguably the best variant of this Italian dish (often described as the death dish in Masterchef Australia) Al-dente rice, loads of cheese and cream and butter, and that lovely delicate flavor of mushrooms with parsley – this dish was so good, we reordered it – correction – I reordered a veg dish! Its a buttery, cheesy, creamy, flavorful, mouthful of ecstasy!

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Also, worth a mention were the Beef quesadillas and the Chicken Strips.

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The Grilled Fish served to us was pretty good – though I personally preferred the prawns. There was a disagreement at the table on which was better. Its up to you I guess – if you prefer mild lemon butter sauce flavors of the fish or the strong mustard-coconut flavor of the prawns.

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As this is a bar, drinks are a given. Do no miss the Chocolatini! A chocolate based liqueur cocktail, this was so damn delicious! All you Baileys lovers out there will trip over this one for sure!

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The new Murphies menu has a lot going for them. They add on to an already impressive line up, and continue taking the humble aloo to the higher echelons of gastronomy!


I was invited for the tasting event. The Usual Disclaimer applies.


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

Fabulous Kababs, and buy-1-get-1-Shawarmas. Perfect? maybe not… a #baconbaba story

As I stepped into the newly opened kabab specialty restaurant, Pashah – The Mughal Bistro , tucked away between the bustling lanes of North Main and South Main Road, Koregaon Park, I was immediately drawn towards the tandoor, the shawarma rotisserie and the rows of tangdi kababs hanging on the wall.

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This sight was enough to whet our appetites, as we dug into the chicken shawarmas laid out for us. While the wraps were soft, I didn’t quite enjoy the sauce used inside. The hummus served with Pita bread along side was quite good, balancing out the average shawarma. They do have a buy-1-get-1 free offer on the shawarmas, so you will get 2 shawarmas for INR 100/-, making it an excellent deal.

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The Falafels that followed were delicious, crunchy and and paired beautifully with the tahini sauce served alongside. Arguably one of the best in Pune

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The kababs rained down upon us. The Mutton Sheek Kabab was absolutely superb – soft, gently spiced, with the velvety melt in the mouth texture to it.

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The Makrana Kababs had that lovely layer of cream, making the tangdis moist and delicious. The Nizami tikkas had a bit of heat to it, rounding off a great appetizer menu.

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Makrana Kabab
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Nizami Tikka

As we moved onto the main course, we were welcomed with the glorious sight of the Nalli Nihari. While it looked absolutely spectacular, the taste was rather underwhelming – frankly it lacked seasoning, spice, or any other flavor to speak of.

pashah baconbaba kabab nalli nihari

The Dal Makhani feel on the other end of the spectrum – loaded with salt. Had Mahatma Gandhi tasted this dal, he wouldn’t have had to march to Dandi – he would have found all the salt he needed, right here.

pashah baconbaba kabab dal makhani

The Rogan Josh and the Murg Lahori, much like the previous dishes, lacked any oomph.

pashah baconbaba kabab rogan josh

pashah baconbaba kabab murg lahori

Desserts were another up-and-down affair. While the Gulab Jamun was overly sweet, the Gajar ka Halwa was like a warm hug. It did look a bit too much like the POTUS’ skin tone – a tad too much orange color maybe? Either ways, it tasted good, bringing this meal to a sweet end.

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We ended up having some Irani chai as well. The open air space is a good place to enjoy chai and ‘fresh-air’ if you so desire.

Overall, the restaurant is still finding its feet. The Kababs are spectacular, but the mains need some serious work. That being said, there is scope for improvement, and the flavors of the starters are but a sign of the chef’s prowess.


 

I was invited for a complimentary food tasting, as part of a bloggers’ table. The Usual Disclaimer applies.


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

Get high on Whisky-Dal-Makhani, Drunken-Roulette and Brandy Prawns!

Nestled into the corner of Regent Plaza on the corner of Baner-Pashan link road is 45 Westwhich sports a rather innocuous looking entry.  But as you enter, you see a huge open space with 2 pool tables down the center, flat screen TVs flanking the walls, and lines of warm wooden seats.

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The upstairs section boasts of a superb party room, complete with disco lighting, a high-def sound system, and its own dedicated bar, dishing out some kickass cocktails

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The food here is par excellence. A brainchild of the chef behind the erstwhile Zicomo, the menu sports some rather eclectic dishes.

We started off with The Bacon Burger. Grilled chicken patty, crispy bacon, Swiss Emmenthal cheese, grilled onions, mushrooms and their signature sauce – this is quite a delight to eat. Sadly, the chicken was a tad dry, but the bacon, cheese and onions made up for it. Its delightful to see how bacon can uplift most any dish 🙂

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We moved on to the Cheese Burst Kababs. Yes, these are as awesome as they sound! Rolls of delicately flavored chicken tikka, stuffed with oozing melting cheese. Best eaten when hot, the flavors of the tikka married perfectly with the cheese.

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Order this with a glass of beer, and you are sorted!IMG_20171106_141642

We moved on to the Murgh Dum Kabab – these lightly flavored kababs were cooked in a clay handi, dum-style, resulting in juicy, flavorful, melt-in-the-mouth bits of awesomeness!

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The sauce served alongside is a middle-eastern inspired yogurt based sauce, with a hint of garlic, We ended up licking the bowl of sauce as well!

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Next was the dish I was eagerly waiting for – the Prawns in Burnt Chili Garlic & Brandy Sauce. The name it self contains everything I love! The sauce was absolutely spectacular – bitter-sweet flavors from the brandy, light umami heat from the burnt chilies and garlic, but still mild enough to not overpower the flavor of the prawns. Definitely my favorite dish on their menu.

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With the amount of food already consumed, we couldn’t fathom any more. But the Dal Makhani piqued my interest, particularly since it was flambed with Jack Daniels whisky! Never having tasted a “boozy” dal makhani, I was so curious to taste this. And it didn’t disappoint. Sporting classic flavors of a dal makhani (a bit strong on cardamom) the whisky left a lovely sweet aroma of Bourbon.

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Couldn’t resist the Bhatti da Murgh either. 45 West’s version of butter chicken, this wasn’t as sweet as most of what passes as butter chicken in the city. It had a nice after-burn of garam masala. But here again, the chef gave a flambe of Rum! The Old Monk gives a nice twist to a classic dish. Perfectly coked chicken tangdi, delicious gravy, and a hit of rum – bliss!

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Overall, this is an amazing spot, tucked away in the folds of this ever-growing street. Cheap beer (loads of offers on at any given time), great food, brilliant ambiance – this is one spot to be at with your friends. Like the wall says – Play – Sip – Chill!

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I was invited for a complimentary food tasting, courtesy Radio One. The Usual Disclaimer applies.

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45 West Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Experience modern European cuisine at Krustys Bistro, Kharadi

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Do you get excited about toast? Well, start your meal off with the Trio of Bruschetta, and you will! Roasted Beet Mousse with black olives, Herbed Cream Cheese with homemade onion compote, and Cream spinach with confit tomatoes – this is one vegetarian start to the meal that’ll get your appetite buzzing!

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Trio of Bruschetta

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Move on to the Bacon and Cheddar Cheese Croquettes, and you are in cheesy crunchy heaven. Oozy cheese, crunchy crust, and bacon – doesn’t get better. Pair it with a craft beer, and you are sorted!

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And while you are at it, grab a plate of Seared Kaffir Lime and Lemongrass Prawns – the delicate flavors of the kaffir lime and lemongrass blend beautifully, making this a lovely palate cleanser for your next course…

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…which is the absolutely brilliant Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli! One of the best ravioli dishes I have tasted in Pune – the pasta is silky thin, and the tart from the ricotta and sundried tomatoes parry the flavors of the subtle wine butter sauce beautiffuly. The crunch from the almonds gives the dish some much needed texture – all in all, a great pasta dish.

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And just when you though I was going overboard with the vegetarian courses, fear not – the Thyme and Balsamic Lamb Chops are a carnivores’ dream. The sweet – sour sauce, made from Balsamic and honey create a great base for the meat and accompanying veggies and pomme puree (mashed potatoes, for those of us who speak english). I wish the lamb were a little less chewy.

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#baconbaba loves his bacon! And to satisfy those cravings, we have the Bacon Wrapped Chicken Roulade. Bacon wrapped smoked chicken pate with red wine jus, roasted onions, herb mashed potatoes, carrot puree and sauteed mushrooms. Every part of this dish was absolutely perfect. What I loved was the golden sunrise of the carrot puree – brings a smile to your face.

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Ending the meal with the Belgian Chocolate Cheesecake – the name itself lead us to order this dish. Made from 70% Dark Belgian Chocolate – this is the perfect bitter-sweet ending to a spectacular meal.

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I was invited for a complimentary food tasting. The Usual Disclaimer applies.


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

Pune’s favorite craft beer – now pouring at Kharadi!

Ok, I’ll admit its been over 3 months but it is still exciting! Effingut is open at Kharadi! Right in the midst of the bustling IT hub of World Trade Center, Kharadi, Effy takes the same magic to that part of the city.

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Start off your meal with the Crispy Chicken Bites – munch through a couple of bowls of these little bites of heaven, served with a piri piri sauce. Pair it with a pitcher of beer, and you are sorted!

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The Loaded BBQ Potatoes – crisp finger chips drowned in their in-house BBQ sauce with molten cheese – crispy, oozy, cheesy goodness

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Chicken Spring Rolls served with a hot garlic dip make for perfect accompaniments to the much-awarded Hefeweizen.

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The Thecha Chicken Roll is one of the new additions to the menu at Effy-K. Inspired from their famous Thecha Chicken kabab, these rolls contain chicken marinated in some fiery green thecha. Quite delicious. Conveniently portable. The Mexican Veg with Cajun marinated cottage cheese with bell peppers and onions is also a decent veg option

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Threaded Cottage Cheese, marinated in Oriental spices and finished in crispy threaded casing. Another spectacular veg option. Can’t really go wrong with fried cheese.

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I love prawns – and the Golden Fried Prawns served with sambal sauce here at Effingut are superb. Perfectly cooked and fried prawns and the fiery sambal.

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The Quattro Formaggio topped with orange cheddar, parmesan, scamorza and mozzarella was a perfect companion to their light beers

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The Pulled Pork and Bacon pizza is love at first sight. Generous amounts of bacon, and the sweet and salty pulled pork lead to such an orgasm in the mouth – this is the epitome of great pizzas!

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End the meal with the Hazelnut Cheese Cake – arguably one of the best in town!

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I was invited for a complimentary food tasting. The Usual Disclaimer applies.


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

Craving for KhowSuey? Asian Box is the place to be!

KhowSuey is a dish of Burmese origins, taking Pune by storm this past few years. Joining the KhowSuey Train, is Baner’s latest Far East Asian specialty restaurant, The Asian Box.

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The KhowSuey at The Asian Box is one of the best of the several versions available in Pune. Thick creamy broth, rich coconut milk flavor, distinct flavors of ginger, garlic and a light hit of chilly. Served with noodles, and an array of condiments, this broth is like a warm steaming hug.

I personally would have liked for a few more condiments – would have loved to see fried onions, boiled eggs, and green chilies being added to the condiment tray. That being said, I am going back for some more of this delicious KhowSuey for sure!

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But you don’t start a meal with KhowSuey – start the meal with the excellent Cheese Lumpia – crisp wafer thin outer coating, and a gooey cheesy filling – can’t possibly going wrong with this!

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Also, the Mutton Kheema Samosa, while not exactly the most far-east Asian snack, is spectacular. A pleasure for carnivores.

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For the health conscious, they serve Spinach Prawn Rolls – spinach wrapped prawns, steamed to perfection. The flavor of both the primary ingredients sing together in perfect harmony.

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Also, the Banana Leaf Fish is another lovely, lightly spiced fish dish – the pandang leaf imparts a delicate aroma to the grilled Basa/Singara.

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The Mango Chili Chicken is a dish that has a lot of potential, but needs some tweaking. With a sauce based on the Tasha and Girl Mango Chili jam, the base flavor is rather excellent. However, it definitely needs a fair bit of heat to give it the much needed ‘oomph’ rather than being a one dimensional sweet dish.

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Suffering a similar fate is the Kung-Pao Chicken. Going overboard with sweet flavors, this is one dish that could use additional flavor profiles to offset the inherent sweetness of the sauce.

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The bar serves some pretty good cocktails. The Lemongrass Ginger Caprioska has lovel lemongrass flavors, and packs a punch.

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The Asian Box also boasts of a live sushi bar, where you sit and watch the chef deftly roll sushi and server to you. Flanking the sushi bar is a beautiful portrait of a Geisha. Definitely an experience worth having.

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While I am not a sushi fan, the Ebi Tempura Ura Maki Roll definitely had me drooling. Tempura fried prawns, rolled into a sushi roll is a recipe for success! The Wasabi sauce served alongside packs a punch – proceed at your own risk!

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They also have a dessert sushi roll – a Banana and Nutella Sushi. While Banana and Nutella are a match made in heaven, this was anything but heavenly. The ‘roll’ felt like a soft crepe, and lacked any texture. The whole bite felt unpleasant and entirely mushy.

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The Pandan Panacotta, on the other hand, is a gem of a dessert! The delicate flavor of the pandan leaves gives the pannacotta a gentle sweet bitterness, with a distinct ‘leafy’ after-taste. This one deserves a reorder. Or three.

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I am going back for the KhowSuey, the Pandan Pannacotta as well as the Spinach Prawns. The Asian Box is open daily from 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM.

A few more images of the food we tried


This write up is a combined experience of 3 visits, including a invite for a complimentary bloggers’ table. The Usual Disclaimer applies.


The Asian Box Resto Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Authentic Gharghuti style Maharashtrian food at Wakad, Pune!

I had been craving for some authentic Maharashtrian mutton since the day Shyam​ bhai posted about his weekend gorging session. So the moment Rajdeep Dalvi​ called me to invite me to his newly opened restaurant Dakkhan Spice at Wakad, I jumped at the opportunity.

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The restaurant itself is a humble little place. Clean and well lit, the seating is basically wooden benches. The overall ambiance is simple and very homely, much like the food.

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We started off with Surmai Fry (250/-). The fish was fresh as ever, and was lightly coated with a crisp layer of masala. Even my 3 yo daughter Pihu freaked out on this.

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Surmai Fry

The Prawns Masala (180/-) was a mind blowing dish. Our collective reaction was “WOW”. The onion-garlic based masala was perfectly balanced, felt like something we would happily cook and serve at home. This was deserved to be re-ordered.

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Prawns Masala

I ordered the Mutton Thali (325/-) – and the mutton masala was spectacular. Again, non-spicy, but beautifully balanced flavors. the mutton was cooked so tender, I ended up ordering another plate of the same. The rassa served with the thali had a good hit of spice for the burn-chasers out there.

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We ended with Milk Pudding, aka Kharvas. They lightly flavored the kharavasache milk with saffron and cinnamon, giving the delicious dessert a lovely twist.

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Kharvas

The food at Dakkhan Spice is cooked by Mrs Dalvi, and she brings her Kolhapuri roots to the plate. Overall, the food, unlike popular belief, is not burn-your-mouth spicy, but instead, extremely balanced, with freshly ground, slow roasted spices, balanced by hints of sweetness. Gharghuti style food does not get better!

Loved it!

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I was invited for a complimentary food tasting. The Usual Disclaimer applies.


Dakkhan Spice Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

1 BHK Superbar – Bar Haute’ Kitchen!

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1BHK is an uber-chic upscale restro-pub just off Balewadi High Street. Immaculate designs, ultra-modern interiors and funky decor is what really gives it the ooomph factor.

We started off with a round of cocktails. The Long Island Iced Tea uses premium spirits, making it very smooth. The Liquid Paan has all the flavors of a meetha paan, with a solid kick of vodka. 1BHK Bartender’s Special Vodka Cheesecake Fusion was a delicious liquid version of the cheese cake. Served with a Philly Cheese Cake, its a beautiful dessert cocktail.

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LIIT
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1BHK Bartender's Special Vodka Cheesecake Fusion
1BHK Bartender’s Special Vodka Cheesecake Fusion
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Liquid Paan

Garlic Mushrooms with Pita Bread was a hit. The garlic mushrooms were in a cheesy sauce, with burnt garlic sprinkled over the top. The Pita Bread goes perfectly with this.

Garlic Mushrooms with Pita Bread
Garlic Mushrooms with Pita Bread

The Shepherds Pie was an absolute revelation. Baked dish with minced lamb, chock full of flavors – this is one of those dishes that you cannot stop eating.

Shephards Pie
Shepherds Pie

The Butter Chicken Nazza – the original version of Naanza, one bite of this feels like a naan and butter chicken in your mouth. Their butter chicken is delicious (more about that later) and the naan base is soft, overall, an excellent dish.

Butter Chicken Naaza 
Butter Chicken Nazza

Zaatar Marinated Roast Chicken is a lovely roasted chicken breast with Arabic flavors. Served over a bed of quinoa, this is a delicious, healthy dish.

Zaatar Marinated Roast Chicken
Zaatar Marinated Roast Chicken

While I am not a fan of Paneer Steaks, the 1BHK Cottage Cheese Steak in JD Sauce is a revelation. The JD Sauce is absolutely delicious. A sweet and spicy barbecue sauce infused with Jack Daniels takes a puny paneer steak to the upper echelons of gastronomy.

1BHK Cottage Cheese Steak in JD Sauce
1BHK Cottage Cheese Steak in JD Sauce

Grilled John Dory with Almond Rosemary Dressing is the perfect example of respecting the produce. The Grilled John Dory fish is beautifully cooked, and very lightly flavored. The almond and rosemary adds a delicate layer of flavor without overpowering the flavor of the fish itself.

Grilled John Dory with Almond Rosemary Dressing
Grilled John Dory with Almond Rosemary Dressing

The star of the meal is the 1BHK Butter Chicken Platter. Arguably one of the best butter chicken I have eaten in Pune, this is absolutely delicious. The pickled onions (sirke waale pyaaz) served along with it adds a lovely crunch to it. What really sets it apart is the curry is thick, not overly sweet, tastes a lot like the butter chicken in Chandigarh and with huge chunks of tandoori chicken, this is a win!

1BHK Butter Chicken Platter
1BHK Butter Chicken Platter

With a 2BHK, 3BHK and hopefully, a 4BHK coming in, this is one excellent spot to eat out or party.


I was invited to be part of blogger’s table. The Usual Disclaimer applies.


1BHK Superbar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato