Masemari, Bavdhan

Masemari, Bavdhan

– Sangeeta Majumdar

We landed at Masemari yesterday, an impromptu visit to this sea food specialty restaurant.

Jumping right into what we ordered :

-Prawns Koliwada : This was superb! Crisp batter coating, fresh medium sized prawns served with a garlic-coconut chutney. Yummy chutney that complimented the Koliwada so well, we kinda licked off the chutney too

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-Surmai Rava Fry : This was simple Surmai coated with Rava and some masalas and crisp fried. This was also served with the same garlic coconut chutney as I mentioned above. The coating was pretty average, I did not find it very flavorful, in fact a little bland. Also, one turn off with the Surmai was that it wasn’t very fresh. Have had much better Surmai Rava fry in general.

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Main course:
-Mangalorean Surmai curry: The curry was decent taste wise. However, I was expecting a typical Mangalorean flavour. This wasn’t that authentic flavour, but okaish. It had a distinct coconut flavor, with a bit of spice hit from red chilli. The disappointing part was the fish – it wasn’t as fresh as we expected, and that was quite a let down.

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-Wanted to try neer dosa with the fish curry, but that wasn’t on the menu. Instead these guys serve amboli (a rice/multigrain pancake) which we thought of giving a try. Not a good decision as the 2 didn’t go very well together. The amboli had a nasty oily taste to it, that over-powered the delicate fish curry. Ended up ordering plain rice and this was obviously a much better option to go with the curry.

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-Oh yes, and we made sure we ordered Sol kadi, that was a good one and went well with the food.

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– Ended with a malai kulfi, decent taste wise, but rock solid due to being a bit too frozen

The above was a meal for 2, costed us about 2000 bucks. I do not feel it was worth it. When a restaurant is categorized as sea food speciality, I would expect them to be spot on with the basic fish dishes!

There is a lot of other options in the menu, maybe some others dishes are great. Would love to hear from anyone who visits this joint anytime

Masemari - The Fishing 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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Flying Duck, Baner – Carnivore carnival!

A lot has been written about this amazing little joint in Baner. They have gone through a few changes – expanded their service staff, their menu, their specials. I had a long pending revisit to FD, and managed to get there on Friday evening.

Messaged the owner, Mr Alakesh Baruah requesting a reservation, and he gladly complied. I reached around 9PM, and after a wait of 10 minutes got my table (much to the dismay of the other folks waiting there before me 😛 )
Started off with the ever-favorite Pork chops. Previously, their preparation of pork chops used to be the traditional sweet sticky recipe. Their recipe has changed drastically to suit the Puneri palate. Its now a spicy version, loaded with chilli. Served with a red chilli sauce, the overall flavor proved to be rather strong for my taste buds. I would have preferred it to be served with a sweet chilly / honey based sauce to counter the spice and provide a contrast. That being said, the meat was immaculately cooked, to the point that picking up the chop resulted in the meat falling off.
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Pork Chops
Sangeeta ordered the basil chicken and it was delicious. Generously sprinkled with fresh basil with an onion jam as the base, the quantity was more than enough for one person, and light enough for my 2 year old daughter, Pihu to enjoy some of it as well!
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Basil Chicken
The star of the show was the Meat Stew. This was something that Alakesh had promised would be added to the menu the last timne I was here (about 3 months back) and I was so looking forward to it.
The Meat stew is a carabeef stew with slivers of meat, a whole bunch of veggies (broccoli, carrots, baby corn, greens and other stuff) in a beef broth, served over a bed of coconut butter rice. And it was PHENOMENAL! The meat was cooked beautifully, slow cooked over a long period of time, with the beef broth being so madly full of flavor – the first bite had violins playing in the background with angels singing “Hallelujah’. The Coconut buttered rice was sticky sweet and was truly an inspired combination with the broth. This dish is everything a ‘stew’ should be… Warm, hearty and fills up the soul!
Goes without saying that I’m going to be back very very soon for this.
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CaraBeef Stew
Some of their other not-to-be-missed delicacies are their Quail with buttered rice, their Khow Suey, and the Ghost Chilli Chicken (not for the faint hearted!)
PS: Yes the food takes time to arrive to the table (the meat stew had me waiting for about 45 minutes) but good things take time. Its is totally worth the wait.
PPS: For those planning to go here, please call ahead and make a reservation. There is ALWAYS a waiting and they always are running full capacity – which speaks volumes about how popular they are.
Here’s wishing Alakesh all the best for future plans. The duck continues to fly high!

Flying Duck 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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Panchvati Gaurav, Baner

Panchvati Gaurav, Baner
In a complex filled with pubs (5 is the current count) PG is the lone shuddha shakahari thali restaurant. The decor is predominantly done up in a typical Jodhpuri theme with a blue color palate.

The food is a Rajasthani / Gujarati fare with Bataka nu rasa valu shak, Gatte ki sabji, Paneer, Bhopla dry, Dal baati, Choorma, Chapatis, Dal, Kadi, plain Rice (with an option for Khichdi in the evenings), dhokla, Thepla, Salad, Chutney and Butter milk.

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The food is very homely – tummy filled without feeling too heavy – none of the items were swimming in oil. Sabjis aren’t over the top spicy. The kadi tastes authentic, with a hint of sweetness. Chapatis were served quickly, hot and coated with ghee.

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Potatoes, Gatte ki sabji, Paneer, Kadi, Dal; Papad, Choorma
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Potatoes, Paneer
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Gatte ki sabji, Kadi, Dal
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Dhokla, Chutney, Salad, Chapati
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Bhopla dry, Coconut Barfi

On the downside, the dal was a bit bland – a tad watery, and the choorma seemed dry ; i guess that was due to the cold weather and the ghee dried up.

Overall its a wholesome meal, and for 330/- bucks, its total VFM.

Welcome to baner, PG!20161126_123716

Panchavati Gaurav 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

The Breakfast Cafe, Bavdhan

Quite a popular joint in the area, running full capacity almost across all meals, The Breakfast Cafe (TBC) has recently shifted to the back of the building. While the move itself maybe slightly detrimental compared to the prime spot it originally enjoyed on the main road, this has done nothing to impact the quality of food served. It remains, as always, top notch.

If you’re in for breakfast, then you can happily opt for TBC’s Special Set Breakfast. A TBC Special omelet (3 eggs, onions, chili, pepper, garlic – definitely one of the best items on the menu), 1 boiled egg / fried egg, a chicken sausage / 3 nuggets, a hash brown, 2 slices of generously buttered toast and a cup of tea or beautiful strong filter coffee. 

The Breakfast Cafe Special Set Menu

Definitely a superb breakfast place, at par with the best out there. With Sangeeta working just across the road, TBC might just convince me to pick her up more often, just so i can hop in for a quick cup of filter coffee or a TBC special!

The Breakfast Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Masti Misal, Bavdhan, Pune

The first thing you notice about Masti Misal, Bavdhan is that this place is really clean. Like not-a-single-fly-clean. Impressive for a small open air restaurant. Also, good quick service.

I ordered the ‘Jhatka Misal  with Dahi.

Jhatka Misal at Masti Misal, Bavdhan
Jhatka Misal at Masti Misal, Bavdhan

I was surprised to see the entire bowl covered with dahi. That really defeats the “Jhatka”. The entire purpose of calling it “Jhatka misal” is to emphasize that it is SPICY. As they covered the entire bowl of misal with a layer of dahi / yogurt, they managed to kill the spice. I would have preferred getting the yogurt in a bowl on the side so I could add as much as I need. On the flip side, I probably should have specified the same 🙂

That being said, you wont need dahi. The misal lacked jhatka of any kind. It definitely was tasty and had the tingle of red chili, that i could feel on my tongue, but nothing like the sweat-inducing Newale Misal, Chinchwad  or even the deadly ‘extra spicy’ misal from Khasbag Misal, Baner .

I also had a buttermilk / taak which was cold and rather tasty.

Masti Misal is good option for senior folk, people with delicate digestion, children and those looking for a non spicy misal that you can have without breaking a sweat. Worth a shot.
Masti Misal 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