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.
hoppipola baconbaba thebteam grouphoppipola baconbaba thebteam clocks hoppipola baconbaba thebteam menu

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

bullfrog

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

hoppipola baconbaba thebteam liit
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

hoppipola baconbaba thebteam sangria
Sangria

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

Starters

The Mezze Platter

hoppipola baconbaba thebteam mezze
Mezze Platter

Mezze Platter

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

Cheesy Nachos

hoppipola baconbaba thebteam nacho
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

hoppipola baconbaba thebteam chicken cutlets
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 ūüôā

Cajun Rubbed Grilled Fish

hoppipola baconbaba thebteam fish
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

hoppipola baconbaba thebteam paneer pita
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

hoppipola baconbaba thebteam chicken wings
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

hoppipola baconbaba thebteam chicken pizza
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.

hoppipola baconbaba thebteam pannacota
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.

sarjaa aundh baconbaba entrance

sarjaa aundh baconbaba lata mangeshkar

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!)

sarjaa aundh baconbaba cafe

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.

sarjaa aundh baconbaba menu

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.

sarjaa aundh baconbaba mutton boti
Mutton Boti

We also tried the Kharda Kolcha Kombdi Рa form of chicken tandoori coated with Thecha Рa 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!

sarjaa aundh baconbaba kharda kolcha kombdi
Kharda Kolcha Kombdi

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

sarjaa aundh baconbaba dhaniya cheese chapete
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.

butter chicken
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.

sarjaa aundh baconbaba butter chicken dal makhani
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 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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LIIT
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 Рthis is one of those dishes that you cannot stop eating.

Shephards Pie
Shepherds Pie

The Butter Chicken Nazza Рthe 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