Orion Baner – A galaxy of awesomeness!

Orion, Baner

One of the swankiest pubs to hit baner in recent times, Orion certainly has what it takes to make it big in the competitive food circuit. With a formidable cocktail menu, Orion brings a whole lot of gorgeously plated food to the table. #thebaconbaba was invited for a bloggers’ tasting table, and man, did I have an amazing time! Here’s a quick run down:

Three Mushroom Liquid with Melba Crisp

orion baner baconbaba mushroom

This was a fabulous start to the meal. This is a lovely thick, creamy mushroom soup, lightly seasoned, allowing the flavors of the mushrooms to shine through.

Indian Spiced Pumpkin veloute

orion baner baconbaba pumpkin soup

Probably one of the prettiest looking pumpkin soups I have had in a long time, this one tasted absolutely delicious. Roasted pumpkin seeds added a bright little bite to the overall mouth feel.

Chicken Shorba

orion baner baconbaba shorba

This tasted more like a butter chicken gravy, than a soup. I would have happily lapped it up with a butter naan. However, I believe this is the type of shorbas served in the Kolhapur / Vidharbha area. It was delicious, so no complaints!

Garlic Bread with Red Onion Jam

orion baner baconbaba garlic bread

This has the potential to be a kickass dish. However, it was let down by the lackluster jam, and the soft bread. The toast needed to be toastier, and the jam needed so more ooomph. A bit of salt and 30 seconds more on the grill maybe?

Orion Special Kabab

orion baner baconbaba kabab

This was a good indian chicken kabab. Order this if you are looking for a “chicken tikka” or a chicken reshmi kabab”. Good flavors all round.

Country Style Maple Wings

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While these look absolutely gorgeous – that perfect sticky shiny coating, it ended up being way too sweet for my palate. It definitely needed more zing. The gentle coating of chilly flakes didn’t help.

Makhmali Roll

orion baner baconbaba Sikpuri

These caught our eye the moment it landed on our table. The pink foam on top is truly a wow factor in the dish. It turned out to be a perfectly rolled chicken roulade in a beetroot foam. Beautiful textures, lovely presentation, an all round great dish.

Bangkok Chicken

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This one is for all the ‘tapri’-Chinese lovers out there (your’s truly included!) A crisp fried chicken in a crispy noodles “nest” – a wacky take on the ever-popular Chopsuey. Super yum – perfect for munching with drinks!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

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A standard chicken pizza on a hand rolled base. Nothing to write home about.

Black Lasagne

orion baner baconbaba black lasagna

This was another dish that really got our imagination running. The lasagna is black in color. While it looks super theatrical, and funky, it does not add much to the flavor. A normal tasting, cheesy, gooey lasagna. Not that it’s bad by any means!

Mezze Platter with Baba Ganoush , garlic Hummus & beetroot Hummus

orion baner baconbaba mezze

A gorgeous looking dish, mezze platters are the current craze of the city. Every chef worth his salt is serving up some form of hummus/pita dip combo contraption. Does Orion do enough to stand out from the competition? Maybe the addition of the chicken and paneer fingers does add some level of difference to the over all presentation, as does the baba ganoush. Honestly, the Baba Ganoush tasted a lot more like baingan ka bharta. They do need to tone down their spices, if they plan to make it more authentic.

Chocolate Cigars

orion baner baconbaba chocolate cigar

Do NOT leave this place without ordering up a plate of Chocolate Cigars (or 3, like we did). The cigars are freshly fried, and dipped in vanilla ice cream, coated with a lovely hot chocolate sauce. We asked for ours to be customized with chocoloate shavings, instead of the colorful stuff you see in the pic above, resulting in an absolute chocolate mouthgasm! The crispy outer layer, the hot molten chocolate inside, the cold ice cream and the bits of chocolate shavings on top – absolute pleasure. You HAVE TO HAVE TO HAVE TO order this!

Cocktails

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They have a formidable list of cocktails. Each one we tried stood out from the previous one. their freak-shakes are worth a try as well. you can’t really go wrong there – go, get sloshed, have fun!

Overall, Orion is a great place, with super chill vibes. Great food, killer cocktails, and ample parking (yes that’s important!) Totally worth the trip!

#baconbaba khush hua!


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

Barbeque Ville – Barbecue on a Budget!

Barbeque Ville opened their doors at Kaspate Vasti, Wakad on Valentine’s Day. In just 1 week, they have managed to capture the imagination of food lovers in the area.

Location: Kaspate Vasti, Wakad, Near Hotel Ambiance Excellency (Google maps)

#baconbaba was invited for an exclusive tasting last night, and the sight of a jam-packed restaurant on a Wednesday evening was testament to the fact that BV has tasted early success.

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Barbeque Ville, in their words, is a ‘Grille-on-table’ restaurant. We have a few other examples of these restaurants, where you have a coal-pit on your table, with meats brought on skewers and grilled right there. What sets them apart, is the competitive pricing – the Non-Veg buffet costs a very reasonable 550/- INR! This includes all taxes, service tax, VAT etc.

The decor follows more or less the same ‘template’ as other similar barbecue restaurants. Large open space, grills on the tables, bright lighting, and excellent service. At this price point, this place is perfect for corporate parties and team outings – it should fot most corporate team budgets.

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The grilled section includes Chicken, Fish (basa), Prawns, Mushroom, Paneer and my ‘guilty pleasure’, skewered Pineapple 🙂 All the grilled items were delicious, my favorite being the basa fish. Crisp on the outside, soft inside – perfectly cooked.

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On the downside, I found the prawns slightly overcooked. Also, apart from the green chutney, the dips served along with these didn’t really go with the Indian flavored barbecue meats. I wish they had included a couple of more Indian style chutneys to compliment the kababs.

The Maratha Tangdi is a rather innovative way to serve the Tangdi kababs. The chicken legs are served, skewered across a sword! Juicy, beautifully coated with mild spices, perfectly grilled.

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Maratha Tangdi
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Maratha Tangdi

They also have a chat ‘thela’ serving pani-puri, dahipuri, sev puri, bhel and spdp. Once specialty is the Pineapple puri – pani-puri with pineapple juice inside. I personally found it way too sweet.

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Pani-Puri
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Pineapple Pani-Puri

The starters also included a Chicken or Veg sizzler. I didn’t really care too much for this as the chicken just missed the ‘sizzle’. It was more of a pan tossed chicken starter thrown onto a leaf of lettuce on a sizzler plate. The steamed veggies served along-side were delicious though!

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Chicken Sizzler

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By the time we were done with the starters, we were almost full! However, we moved on to the mains. And I was captivated.

The Mutton Paya Shorba was quite tasty – lightly flavored mutton stock, with a nice spice hit – exactly how a shorba should taste! The Malwani Fish curry and the Chicken Kadai – overflowing with pieces of fish and chicken respectively and the mutton Rogan Josh with bien cuit chunks of mutton went perfectly with the soft naans.

But the magnum opus of this gastronomic symphony was the Mustard Crabs. Aaah, the mustard gravy – exactly like a bengali ‘shorshe-bata’ curry. The mild spice hit of the ground mustard sauce along with the generous amounts of crab was just sublime.

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Mustard Crab

The mains also had Barista Pulao, Steamed Rice, Veg Mushroom Noodles, Salads, Dal Rajma, Dal Palak, Thai Yellow Curry, Aloo Lasooni, Paneer Badashahi, Veg Makhani and Veg Garlic Soup

The Aloo Lasooni and the Dal Rajma were my personal picks among the veg items

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Aloo Lasooni

By this time, we had almost no space for desserts! But I simply cannot pass up a gulab jamun or caramel custard. Ended having 2 of each, and bits of the other desserts.

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Overall, Barbeque Ville provides an excellent dining experience, at almost half the rate of other more ‘established’ chains. To serve such good quality sea food at these prices is what gives this restaurant a super-duper-double-decker high-five! Definitely a must visit if you are in this part of town!


I was invited to try the buffet. While the buffet I was treated was the same as that provided to the general public, The Usual Disclaimer applies. 


#baconbaba super khush hua!!!

Barbeque Ville Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Maadjaapaahit, The Pride Hotel, Pune – Relive Indonesian Royalty

Maadjaapaahit is a brand new establishment nestled inside the Pride Hotel on University Road, Pune. The name is derived from the Madjapahit Empire, which was one of the last major empires of the region, ruling from the late 13th century till the end of the 15th century  AD, and is considered to be one of the greatest and most powerful empires in the history of Indonesia and Southeast Asia.

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Decked up in red and gold, the decor and ambiance of the restaurant transports one to the world of rich, cultural & exotic lands of Indonesia.

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Indonesian cuisine is one of the most vibrant, diverse and colorful cuisines in the world comprising of intense flavor. Maadjaapahit boasts of a diverse menu, showcasing delicacies from the regions of  Indonesia, Brunei,  Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei  Singapore, Philippines and East Timor. #baconbaba was fortunate enough to be invited to an exclusive tasting.

We started off with a Singapore Laksa and a Tom Yum (spicy) soup. The Tom Yum gave me quite a spice hit, filled with bird chillies, but was jam packed with the flavor of lemongrass and a generous amount of chicken pieces. The Singapore Laksa was a rich, delicious coconut milk based sea-food soup, brimming with prawns, fish cakes, egg and chicken.

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Tom Yum
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Singapore Laksa

For the next course, we got a couple of vegetarian appetizers. Lumpia – a Filipino style fried spring roll – excellent, crisp outer crust, served with a sesame tomato sauce.  Tahu Sumbat – Malaysian grilled tofu stuffed with vegetables with a chilli sauce – tofu lovers will really dig this dish. But then, tofu… meh. We also tried the Potstickers – East Timor style pan seared dumplings (vegetarian). While I couldn’t really figure out the “seared” part, the coating of the dumpling was one of the thinnest I’ve seen in Pune, leading to the veggies really shining.

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Tahu Sumbat
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Lumpia
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Potstickers
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The dips – Peanut, Sweet Chilly, Tomato Basil

Among the non-veg starters, the Fried Carrot Cake really stands out. The name is misleading – its actually a Singaporean recipe made with a fresh and preserved radish based flour cake with eggs – excellent texture, surprising to the palate.

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Fried Carrot Cake

The Murtabak – a Malaysian chicken stuffed pancake has been a favorite of mine. This version was no less than any other served in the city. Delicious to the core!

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Murtabak

We were also served the Sate Kambing, an Indonesian lamb satay with a peanut sauce. While the sauce was yummy, the lamb was tough.

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Sate Kambing

We were getting pretty full already, and so moved on to the mains. And man, we were in for a pleasurable surprise! Here came the Chilli Crab – a hard shell crab cooked in a semi thick Singaporean style. It was a tomato-basil based sauce, but had a definite spice hit to it. This will be a hit with the spice-loving Puneris!

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Chilli Crab

We also tried the Malay Chicken Curry – a coconut based chicken curry. Rich, delicious with chopped red chillies and fresh bay leaves, this was served with steamed rice.

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Malay Chicken Curry

By now we were full to our gills, but this one vegetarian dish caught out eye. So we asked for a small portion of the Pumpkin RiceThis is a recipe from Papua New Guinea (an island off the coast of New Zealand). Rice tossed with pumpkin, green peas, coconut milk and spring onion, this was one of the best ‘fried rice’ dishes I have ever had! The sweetness of the pumpkin and coconut milk blended so beautifully with the rice, it took my chilli crab sauce to the next level! Absolute delicious, #MustTry !

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Pumpkin Rice

 As we were ‘ooh-ing’ and ‘aaah-ing’ from the spice hit of the chili crab on our lips, the chef sent out a sampling of his 3 best desserts.

Getuk Lindri – Sweet potato and coconut rolls drizzled with honey – this is what sugar free dreams are made of! Tasting surprisingly similar to our local ‘copra paak’, this sugar free dessert is a must try here! Dadar Gulung is another Indonesian dessert we tried – beautiful green colored rice pancake rolls stuffed with coconut and sugar – yummy to the core! Apam Balik is a Malaysian rice flour pancake with creamed corn stuffing. I am not such a fan of corn, so I would give this one a pass.

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From L to R – Getuk Lendri, Dadar Gulung, Apam Balik

Overall, the entire experience was absolutely phenomenal. I can only think of a couple of other restaurants in Pune serving such an exotic variety of South East Asian cuisine. With a surprisingly competitively priced menu, Maadjaapaahit is a fantastic entrant into the Pune food scene!

#baconbaba khush hua!

Ps: #baconbaba would like to thank the management of Maadjaapaahit for inviting my family and me for this food tasting. The Usual Disclaimer applies.

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

View my food journey on 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!

 

 

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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