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 * 

The Bar & Eatery – Koregaon Park, lane 7

I was recently invited for a review to a quaint little place named ‘The Bar and Eatery’ in Koregaon Park, lane no. 7

To be honest I had never even noticed this place while passing by that street, because it’s really small. Blink and you miss kinda entrance, and no bright signage,could be the reason.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the place, because I hadn’t heard much about it from anyone else either.

The 1st impression as I entered the place, was a good one though. A typical relaxed, laid back kinda place where you catch up with friends for a drink post work, or on a weekend. 

The ambiance is lively,  but without being too noisy and chaotic. 

So far so good, I thought, and moved on to check the drinks and food menu.

We started off with a superb Mai Tai which is easily one of those drinks that I could have a pitcher of, alone, on a Sunday brunch or a warm summer evening (I wish I could have a pitcher…but not really posssible, since their drinks are quite potent ! ) 

Speaking of potent drinks, their lovely Paan Shots would totally top that list , coz it’s potent and how! 

For the Beer Cocktail lovers, a mix of Watermelon juice, Red Bull and Beer , called the Watermelon Limon Beer is a good choice.

The Bar and Eatery offers amazing deals on their drinks, and the Happy Hours stretch all the way to 9:00 pm ! on All days ! Yayyy !!

Over to the food – 

The menu is a bit too long, considering the place is a typical watering hole where you want a short and to the point food menu. But well, they have included a bit of everything to please all types of palates and appetites.

The Beer Bacon Cheese and Chicken Soup is an absolute stunner ! All my favourite things in 1 bowl !  A well balanced cheesy, boozy soup with bits of chicken and bacon and some more crispy bacon strips on top, is every bit hearty and satisfying. An absolute delight on a cold winter night.

The vegetarians can opt for the Tomato Basil Mozzarella Soup, which has chunks of mozzarella that melt into the soup giving it a chewy cheesy texture and the freshness of basil. 

Paneer, Corn, Mushroom Salad is a good option for healthy vegetarian munchies with drinks.

Their most popular bar snack, the Ultimate Fries which are generously drizzled with cheese sauce and herbs are best eaten really hot, else they tend to get very soggy and unappetizing. 

Asian Tenderloin Salad, Salmon & Cream Cheese Bruschetta , Teriyaki Chicken Skewers are all good accompaniments with your cocktails.

However if it’s something more hearty and filling you are looking for, I would most definitely recommend their Daal Makhni or Butter Chicken which are so rich, creamy and flavourful. Served with Paratha, Rice, Papad and Salad, which makes it a complete meal. 

The Pasta and Burgers are not bad at all. But they were the lesser favourites from that evening. I prefered the Indian food combos for the mains.

And if you have a Sweet tooth, The Bar and Eatery has some delish desserts for you. 

*Warning* They serve Massive portions of Dessert ! 

Serradurra, which is a Portuguese  dessert made up of layers of fine biscuit crumbs and cream is lovely, and has the taste and texture similar to a tiramisu. 

The Baked Yogurt set and served in an earthen pot is a lovely dessert with a slight tangy aftertaste of the yogurt, and the sweetness of a crackling caramelized sugar layer like that of a creme brulee. 

So next time you’re around Koregaon Park, wondering where to go for a drink, (and good food as well) , The Bar and Eatery is a decent option for sure. 

Savoury Rice Pancakes

This simple and nutritious breakfast is so tasty, you’ll want to make it again & again :mrgreen:
This savoury pancake / dosa is very easy to make and can be eaten any time of the day.

All you need is a little planning in advance, to soak the Rice & Dal overnight. Once you have the batter ready, making breakfast/dinner is just a matter of minutes.

Ingredients-
Rice – 1 cup
Moong Dal – 1/2 cup
Whole Moong beans (with green outer skin)- 1/2 cup
Ginger – 1 inch pc
Green Chillies – 2 nos (or as required)
Salt – to taste
Ghee / Oil – few tsps.

Method –
* Wash and soak Rice, Moong Dal and Whole Moong in water, overnight. (You could also use only whole Moong Beans with green skin which are more nutritious than skinless Dal.
* After soaking overnight, drain out excess water and coarsely grind the mixture into a thick paste.
* Add Ginger, Green Chillies and Salt to taste while grinding the mixture.
* Add little water if necessary, to adjust consistency. The mixture should have a thick but pouring consistency like Dosa batter.
* Cover and keep aside for few hours, so the mixture ferments slightly.
* With a ladle, spoon out and spread the mixture evenly like a dosa, on a non stick pan.
* Spread few drops of Ghee/Oil on the sides, and cook on medium heat, with a lid on for 2-3 mins.
* Flip the dosa and cook further for 2-3 mins till lighlty golden and crisp on the edges.
* Serve hot with Coriander Chutney/Ketchup

# You can also add any other Dal or Beans of your choice.

image

Posted from WordPress for Android

Shreyas – Maharashtrian Thali, Deccan Gymkhana.

Last week, 2 Italian friends were in town….And I had to take them out shopping to …Laxmi road…and Tulshi baug …!!

Ok..let me clarify, It wasn’t My idea…..They WANTED to go there….and were super excited about it ! ๐Ÿ˜›

Oh poor me, I thought, ….It was gonna be a tough task, taking them there, and braving the heavy traffic and the crowd !

So off we went…to the tiny, mad lanes of Tulshi Baug… where we were hit by a sudden burst of all things bright and colourful !
Everything from flashy clothes… bling bling jewelry… home decor things… Heaps of colourful, gleaming metal articles….It was a treat for their eyes !

They loved it ! Clicking pictures of every new and ‘ unusual’ sight …..shopping for knick knacks ….. I have to admit, I had a good time too …and seeing their enthusiasm, I forgot all about the mad traffic and chaos.

By the time we were done with the shopping, haggling.. clicking pictures… we were super hungry !!

I asked them where they wanted to have lunch….and pat came the reply….SHREYAS !

Huh ?? really ?? These guys had read about it somewhere…and decided that they wanted to try the Maharashtrian thali !
( If only I knew they wanted to eat that…I wouldve invited them home ! ) ๐Ÿ˜›

Ok…now Me being a Maharashtrian, am not really a big fan of Maharashtrian food that you get outside ( esp Shreyas ) ….coz I’ve had much better ( tastier food) at home !

But these guys WANTED to go there !

So next stop…..Shreyas at Deccan Gymkhana..!

As we entered the big hall… there were lots of tables, placed quite close to each other….and most of them were occupied even on a week day !

Once we were seated… without any further delay, the staff doled out one preparation after another, onto our plates…it was endless…
Wide eyed…these guys were gaping at the plate….wondering when those people would stop serving finally, so they could attack the food. !

There was ‘Usal ‘ ( sprouts) …2 dry sabjis, one gravy wali sabji, Amti (dal) , Koshimbir ( salad) , Chutney, chaat, Papad, Kothimbir wadi, Bhakri, Puri, Chapati, Plain rice / Khichadi, Solkadhi, Taak (butter milk)

The overall taste was average…
To be very honest…the food at Shreyas, has never really impressed me much.
There’s something missing…cant really pinpoint… But I just dont find it as tasty, as most people describe it..

But my friends devoured the food …literally !!
I was initially worried, that they might find it too oily or spicy…
But they were just fine with spice level……even had generous helpings of the Batata Bhaaji ( potato sabji) and Puri..

Halfway through our meal the manager came and asked what sweet we wanted ( Dessert is optional, as it is not included in the thali… So you have to pay extra if you want it. And though the thali is unlimited…the dessert is served by each portion.)

( So…225/- for the thali….plus an average 60/- extra for the dessert )

And guess what ?!…After that humongous meal…these guys still had appetite for Amrakhand, Gulab Jamun, and Puran Poli….Whoa ! So we ordered that….and it disappeared just as quickly.

I was really happy to see them enjoying themselves thoroughly…..lapping up all that food.
That sight…and their happy faces really made my day !

So with a full tummy… huge shopping bags… empty pockets….and some lovely memories…. we left from Shreyas , with the promise of doing it all over again, before they leave India.

Posted from WordPress for Android