Taste of South India – Courtyard by Marriott, Chakan

A South Indian Buffet spread with an array on Non-Veg dishes is something that appeals to the senses. The on-going “Taste of South India” festival at Courtyard by Marriott, Chakan is just what the doctor ordered to bring in the monsoons.

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The hotel itself is located at the Chakan MIDC (Click here for the Google Maps Location) – at least a 45 minute drive from Baner. However, the route is a scenic one, as it takes you through the Dehu cantonment area (or the old Mumbai Pune – Dehu – Talegaon – another unexplored route). Planning a long drive with your significant other? This is the place to go to 🙂

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Starters

The food makes the drive more than worth it. My personal favorite was the vegetable stew. Yes, I LOVED the Kerala vegetarian stew – arguably one of the best in Pune. It was a bit runnier than usual, but the abundance of carrots, beans, cauliflower, with the coconut milk and a hint of red chilli resulted in a broth that was both sweet and umami at the same time. Dip in some hot steaming appams and you are at God’s own dinner table.

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Vegetable Stew and Appam

The pepper chicken and the chicken curry is no slacker either. The masalas used seem to be freshly roasted and ground, giving the dish a rich flavor. The base flavor of coconut and tamarind cuts through the spice, leaving behind a lovely sweet n sour after taste. The whole bits of coconut and red chilli give it the much needed kick.

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Pepper Chicken

You can’t have a south indian meal and not have rasam. Here, the chef presented 2 varieties of rasam, including a chicken rasam. The Chicken version was basically a chicken broth with the Chef’s home-made rasam mix. Spicy, yet light, this was a revelation.

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Chicken Rasam

The fish lover in me went gaga over the ‘Meen’ dishes. The meen varuval – a batter fried fish starter, was gulped down by the dozen, with a variety of chutneys and gun powder to give company. Even the fried idlis were crisp and on-point.

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Podi Idli

Dessert was a slight disappointment, as I would have preferred seeing a few more south indian inspired sweet dishes here – maybe a Payassam or a Kesari. The Sevai on offer seemed out of place, and was diluted way too much, to the point if being watery and bland. They had a lovely coconut water, tea and filter coffee stand that made up for the lackluster end to the meal.

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The Chai and Filter Coffee Stall

The service was a bit of a miss, thanks to the long wait for the appams and porrottas. Also, the first few appams were charred from the bottom and raw on the top – possibly due to an over-hot pan or an over-eager sous-chef. Place your order in advance to avoid waiting for these. They did have bisibele bhaat, steamed rice and a passably fragrant chicken biryani to keep you going till the porrottas hit the plate.

Overall, an excellent meal – for 1000++ it definitely hits the spot.

The festival is on till the 16th of this month – you know where to go this weekend!

PS: I was invited as part of blogger table. The Usual Disclaimer applies.

 

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

Twenty Nine – All day dining

Club29 is a recent entrant in the growing list of restaurants in Wakad. This is a standalone building that houses an entire sports club, a roof top Indo-Persian restaurant, 3 halls, a hotel as well as an all day restaurant called Twenty-Nine

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#FriendsOfTheBTeam had been invited for a food tasting at Twenty-Nine, as they have recently started off with a new buffet menu. I did not know about the existence of this restaurant cum clubhouse located in Wakad-Kalewadi area.

Coming to the food, lucky to get invited on Christmas day, we got to try the beautiful dessert spread designed especially for the festive day.

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The buffet spread was huge and varied in both veg & non veg. We started off with salads and starters.

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Started off with cream of broccoli soup (tasty, even people who do not quite like the vegetable, might end up relishing this).

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We were also offered a glass of Fratelli wine as part of the buffet menu

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Salads had 3-4 different kinds, out of which I found the Turkish Calamari salad pretty interesting and creative. Tasted great as well.

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Calamari Salad
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Salads

Moving on to the starters:
Veg Shammi kebab- Were okay-ish. I found then a bit too dry.

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Paneer Honey chilli- This was well made. Beautiful paneer pieces tossed in yummy honey chilli sauce.

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Murgh angara – Succulent pieces of Chicken in a fiery coating of Indian masalas. Loved this one.

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BBQ Chicken Wings – The BBQ sauce was superb , sweet & sticky,exactly how I like it. However, the Chicken were a bit under-cooked. Wish the Chicken was cooked to perfection, and this could be a cracker dish on their menu.

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Starters done and dusted. Time for the main course.
Moroccon Lamb Stew: I have a love for stews, so I digged straight into this one. The stew itself tasted really good with all the meat and the veggies. However, I felt the lamb pieces needed a little bit more cooking, I found them slightly chewy.

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Steamed fish Ala Greque: A very light soupy preparation with big chunky fishes and vegetables. Very mild continental flavors.

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Butter Chicken : This was good, but could have been better.

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Fish Santa Fe: A different kind of fish preparation, mildly flavored, decent taste wise.

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Dal Makhani: This was really good. Licked the last spoon off my plate completely!

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Veg Au Gratin : This dish, even though veg, is worth a mention. I personally relished this one. It was perfectly cooked veggies in a yummy cheesy sauce topped with a beautiful layer of cheese. Delicious.

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Now it was time for the desserts. Since the time we had entered, my eyes were all on those yummy looking , super inviting dessert section.
So yes, I jumped like a kid towards them at this moment.
Mango saffron cheesecake: Looked so pretty. Tasted good too. Just that the cheesecake needed to set a little more for that perfect texture.

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Plum cake: This was topped with a layer of whipped cream, could have done very well without it too. Decent taste wise, but I have had better.

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Yule log: Lovely looking again and pretty decent tastewise. I have to give these guys full marks on the presentation for sure.

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Indian desserts: Moong dal halwa and mini gulab jamuns dipped in rabdi kind of a rich milky base. Both tasted superb!

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Last but not the least, most inviting looking section was their Christmas special dessert spread. They were soooo pretty I wanted to eat everything up. Yes, the kid in me said so! 😀

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A variety of cookies, with colorful decorations on them, brownies,choco balls, apple pie, cupcakes, red velvet… I know I know, the list really is long..! Mini Apple pie was wow!

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More or less, pretty much liked their spread as everyone will get their fair share to choose from.


The buffet is priced at 650/- plus taxes. I think it’s decently priced.

Also, the restaurant is just a very small section of this huge club. They have a beautifully done up roof top restaurant , with live music and middle eastern theme food.
Pub/lounge with bowling alley. Fun place to spend time with friends.


Lots of sports activity areas like squash, tennis, video game zone, shooting zone (yes, with real guns) ,swimming pool, gym, private party area, hall for rent and much more. Many of these facilities are for only members to avail. Anyone who is interested can take a tour and look at the club packages.

We enjoyed the hearty meal and came out happy
Thanks Club 29 for hosting us and for the amazing service. Good luck!