Dinner, Food Blogger, Lunch, Restaurant Review, Restaurant Reviews, Reviews, Travel

Peshwa – Aundh, Puneย 

One of the best things to have happened in this city, as far as Maharashtrian cuisine is concerned. ‘Peshwa’ originally started in Dubai, opened its 1st outpost in Pune, at Aundh recently… And what a great move this is !

If you’ve been a fan of Maharashtrian cuisine, you’d know that there are 2-3 types of places that serve this type of food.

One is your typical Vegetarian Maharashtrian Thali place where you get simple homestyle meals like Chapati, Sabji, Dal, Rice, Koshimbir, Sweets etc. But strictly vegetarian.

Another type is the Non-vegetarians delight. These places serve mostly Chicken, Mutton & Seafood preparations, which makes it difficult for vegetarian patrons to enjoy along with the non-vegetarians.

Then there are some places that serve a bit of both, veg as well as non veg food, but no alcohol :-/

And then there’s Peshwaa ….that serves it all !!!

That’s right.. a fine dine place that serves authentic Maharashtrian cuisine from all over the State, that also serves alcohol, and gives you the liberty to enjoy a relaxed meal unlike the hustle bustle of the typical no frills eateries serving similar cuisine.

I was recently invited for a tasting at Peshwa.

The 1st impression of this elegant place, true to its name, the gorgeous Paithani curtains, the wall art and decor definitely scores a brownie point.

Rich, elegant , yet subtle interiors are definitely pleasing to the eye, and I’m glad they’ve taken care not to make it too glaring and gaudy in order to make it look royal.

The tasting started off with welcome drinks.

Solkadhi, and Thandai were both pretty good & refreshing.

The starters which consisted of Vegetarian as well as Non veg preparations were all above average.

Except for the Malvani inspired Chicken Kabab that failed to impress. I couldn’t really identify any Malvani element in that dish. The green marination was like a regular Tikka you get at other restaurants, so maybe you could just skip it altogether.

But what I loved was the Chatpapta Prawns. True to its name, lipsmacking good, chatpata, and well cooked.

Sukka Mutton, Kothimbir Wadi, Matter Karanji were all quite satisfactory.

The mains had a mix of cuisines from all over the State, Masale Bhaat, Bharli Waangi, Birdyaachi Usal, Aluu chi Paatal Bhaji, Kombdi- Wade, Amboli, Goan style fish curry, Biryani, all of which were truly tasty and as authentic as possible.

I know this is strange, but a hard-core non vegetarian that I am, I still enjoyed the vegetarian preparations more than non veg…and that’s quite a big compliment to the restaurant ๐Ÿ˜€

What I loved about this place is that they serve desserts which most other Maharashtrian places don’t !

I was absolutely delighted to see my favourite sweet, Kharvas on the menu, and it was very well made, just like the homemade one.

If you love Maharashtrian cuisine, or if you’re new to it, & want to give it a try, I’d definitely recommend Peshwa ๐Ÿ™‚

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Dinner, Food Blog, Food Blogger, Lunch, Restaurant Review, Restaurant Reviews, Reviews, Travel

Khiva – Phoenix, Puneย 

‘Khiva’ from Mumbai, is the latest addition to the restaurant scene at Phoenix Market City, Pune. 

Considering that this place serves rich, traditional Bukhara cuisine, the decor is quite modern, simplistic, with just a few touches like, artefacts, paintings, Middle Eastern music, that try to stick to the concept of the restaurant. 

I was invited to a Preview dinner last month, & the tasting menu we were served that evening was pre decided by the management. 

Not the best mix of dishes, honestly. I would’ve loved to sample their Signature dishes, or something unique in terms of flavour, style of preparation, & presentation. 

But frankly, how different can a Palak Paneer, a Methi Mutter Malai, or a Rasmalai be, than any other place serving it ? 

The kebabs we tried – Chandni kebab, & Murg Mozarella kebab, both had a similar marination of cream, yogurt, cheese, green chili, & were pretty average in terms of flavour, presentation, and portions.

The vegetarian starters – Makai Seekh Kabab, & Mutter aur Cheese ka Tikka, were both dry and crumbly, & not really big on flavour (and Defintely Not Worth spending close to 400 bucks on!) 

The 1st (& probably the only) impressive dish of the evening was Mutton Lahori, a smooth thin onion based gravy, with absolutely tender melt in the mouth chunks of mutton that tasted brilliant with hot Naan. 

Murg Peshawari was another simple homestyle chicken curry, which is worth a try, but is it worth the high price ? I doubt. 

The vegetarian mains, as I said, were just like any other place serving this cuisne, would prepare. There was nothing different, nothing unique, in the Palak Paneer, Dal Makhani, Methi Mutter Malai or Meloni Tarkari that we were served that evening. The presentation was also as regular & run of the mill as any other place would serve. Which is exactly why I keep wondering why they’re charging whatever they are. (check the prices on Zomato, you’ll know what I mean ๐Ÿ˜) 

Chicken Dum Biryani served with Mirch ka salan did not disappoint. Good ratio of meat to rice. Generous sprinkling of saffron and spices, and balanced flavours. No complaints there. 

It takes a very good dessert to impress me, & compel me to go for a 2nd helping, as I’m not really a big fan of Indian desserts. 

The Anjeer Halwa, Angoori Rasmalai, & Lychee ki Tehree served that evening unfortunately failed to compel me to go even for a 2nd bite, leave alone a 2nd helping. 

With the Supreme Court highway ban on alcohol still in place, you will have to settle for a mocktail with your meal at Phoenix, as of now. 

So taking all these factors into consideration, will Khiva be able to impress guests, and have them come over a 2nd time ? 

Well… it’s barely a month since they’ve opened, maybe I’ll just wait for a few more weeks, give them some more time to settle, then try the food again… I’ll reserve my opinion till then. โ˜บ

In the meanwhile, if you do try it out, do let me know about your experience there. 

* Bloggers table was hosted by Khiva * 

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Dinner, Food Blog, Food Blogger, Lunch, Restaurant Review, Restaurant Reviews, Reviews

PK Biryani House – Karve Nagar, Pune

I just realized that inspite of visiting PK Biryani House SO many times, and loving almost everything on their menu, I still haven’t written anything about this place :-/
Its funny how I always think of this place when I want to have a nice, hot meat stock/clear soup when I’m down with cold and sore throat. So last week when I had a terrible cold and the usual symptoms of fever and sore throat, which are so typical in this rainy season,
I was craving some steaming hot meat broth. And the 1st place that came to mind was PK.
I just LOVE the Pandhra Rassa they serve !
Its the most comforting and nourishing ‘soup’ one can have on a cold rainy day. For those who are not familiar with the dish, Pandhra Rassa literally means ‘White gravy’. But its more like a thin, watery meat stock.
Spiced with aromatics like clove, cinnamon, peppercorns, and thickened slightly with a paste of cashewnut and coconut extract, this mutton stock can be had like a soup.
The spices lend a subtle frangrance to the delicate flavours of coconut and cashew, and the meat stock makes it so much more delicious and healthy.
There is a spicier version called ‘Tambda Rassa’ which literally means ‘Red gravy’
This one uses meat stock as the base too, but is more robust in terms of flavours, with more spices, chilli powder, onion paste which gives it the signature fiery red tinge.

PK Biryani House, as the name suggests, is well known for its Biryani. You can order half / full plate of Biryani, or even order a few kilos or more, if you have guests at home.

The rice is cooked right, not mushy, neither undercooked. The masala from the meat seeps well into the rice making it aromatic and flavourful.
Other than Biryani, they serve Mutton/Chicken Sukkha, Kheema,
Mutton/Chicken curries, Egg curry, Tandoori Chicken and various other Kebabs.
My favourite however is their Special Mutton Thali, which includes a small bowl of Kheema, Mutton Masala, Egg Curry, Tambda Rassa, Pandhra Rassa, Rice and a choice of Chapati/Bhakri.
Dunking some hot bhakri into the fiery mutton curry, and washing it down with the subtle and soothing Pandhra Rassa is a bliss that needs to be experienced.
The food is a bit on the spicier side (for me) which leaves me wiping my nose and eyes at times ๐Ÿ˜› (very good for getting rid of the cold though.. Hahah )
Also another thing I wish they improve upon is the quantity of ‘meat’.
Though the portions of rice, bhakri, rassa etc served in a la carte or thali are quite generous, the pieces of meat most of the times are not quite ‘meaty’ (mostly just bony pieces) which leave you slightly disappointed and wanting more.
Overall this place is a typical no frills, no fuss kind of eatery. The service is quick and efficient. Its not a fancy place by any means, but its neat and tidy.
Do give it a try if you are craving a hot, spicy, hearty meal.

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Kerala Food Festival at JW Marriott, Pune

God’s own country, Kerala, known for it’s delicious cuisine is certainly a food lover’s paradise.
Now you can enjoy all these lipsmacking delicacies from Kerala, sitting right here in your own city, Pune.

JW Marriott invites patrons to try out authentic Kerala cuisine that includes Puttu, Kadala Curry, Malabar Parota, Mutton Pepper Fry, Veg Stew, Chicken Stew, Appam, Kozhikkodan Chicken Biryani, Iddyappam, Thoran and much more.

The lovely aroma of spices specially brought from Kerala for this festival, gives all these dishes their unique flavour and leaves your tastebuds tingling and wanting more.

My favourite on the menu is Appam with Chicken Stew, and the crisp, flaky Malabar Parota with Mutton Pepper Fry.

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Wash down these spicy delicacies with their variety of soothing drinks like the Coconut Water Iced Tea and many other drinks on offer.

Kerala Food Festival dates are :
14th – 28th May 2016. 
07:00 pm onwards.
At – Spice Kitchen and Shakahari

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Shahnoor’z , Mundhwa

Think of Mundhwa or Koregaon Park and the 1st thing that comes to mind is the long list of swanky fine dining restaurants, pubs and lounges.
I was in Mundhwa the other day for some work and just wanted to grab a quick bite, nothing fancy or elaborate. Just a VFM snack.

Since Shanoor’z is so highly recommend on Zomato, I decided to give it a try.

Honestly the 1st impression wasnt a very pleasant one.
The eatery (well..almost a hole-in the-wall sort of place), is bang on the main road with heavy traffic and pollution.
Since I didnt have too much time, I decided to sit there anyway.
I asked for a Chicken Shawarma and my friend ordered Chicken Tikka Roll.
As I was waiting for the food, I noticed some used tissues on the floor…and unclean menu cards. No one seemed to be bothered about cleaning the place…
Uh Oh..
I thought it was a bad decision to visit this place.
But food arrived just in time to divert my attention from that rather unpleasant sight.

Chicken Shawarma had generous filling of chicken, cababge, hummus and pickled carrot.
The pita bread was nice and soft.
However not really the best shawarma I’ve had till date….but decent enough to have again.
Chicken tikka roll was much better than I expected.

Huge chunks of juicy succulent tikka with mint chutney and some other sauces and onion generously stuffed in a roomali roti.
This one was better than the shawarma.

The triangular steel plates, the menu and style of serving reminded me of Marakkesh. (Ofcourse the cleanliness and ambiance of Marakkesh is much better than this one)
Having read such rave reviews of their Kababs and Biryani, I’m willing to give this place another try, however I would definitely like the place to be cleaner, and their staff more courteous ๐Ÿ™‚

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