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This review is for the zomato meetup we had (6th Oct) with a bunch of fellow foodies some new and about 4 whom I have been in touch with. This place is very near to my home and had been planning to go here for a while however fate it seems had another way of making the food rendezvous happen. The time was 7 and I was spot on at 7 in there just to find that there were 5 people already watiting since6:30….so much for the love of food and the place is really making a buzz and although few people would have been here previously all knew what lied abound in the stores.
Ambaince: The typical way I start my reviews, well this place is the best I can say that I have seen in pune with regards to ambience. They have spent a fortune just to deck up the place giving importance to the minutest details of everything that is up on the floor. They have the maximum number of sections / zone that I have seen in a place till this date. Whatever be your need and thoughts they would have it taken care off. I can assure you that. I would any day give an 11/ 10 for the décor. They have dance floor, drinks section, secluded section for romantic dates, smoking section, a small balcony kinda section which can have few _4-5) tables in a row for those undisturbed business talks that someone might wanna do and what not. They have a special seating arrangement – a Deewan so to say which is half on the deck and half atop water pool. The place has a huge white canopy to cover entire premises and there are fuzzy blue lights that bring in the mood. They have 2-3 piece live bands also. For days/ schedule please check with the manager, not sure on that account but we had an opportunity to dance and enjoy to some soulful music as well. Almost all the seats have hung lamps which give a very calm and serene feel to the seating. The theme overall sports an elemental theme as I can see. They have made use of sand (sometimes concrete giving mud walls feeling), wood, water, lots of air (rooftop remember?) and lighting.. Ya, I know fire is missing, but not really. I was kinda thinking on those lines when suddenly I noticed, that the place has small kerosene torches atop bamboo staffs all along the glass fence. We were not able to see the night effect of these magnificent light sources, but I so wanna see them in action on my next visit. For those who want to have a romantic getaway this is just perfect and I am pretty sure that the staff will address your needs in more than one ways.
Service: Well we certainly had few caretakers at our disposal but I seriously believe there can be some training that is needed to bring them upto standards. I am not saying they were bad but then when you have a place that rich you want all things to fall in certain standards. So yes the service was less than 18* standards would need it to b and certainly calls in for more handholding. For instance, we were what about 14 people and we had time and again trouble getting things per person. I mean 14 people right so just get 14 soups and distribute them but no, that didn’t happen. Some of us didn’t get soup, some were left off with drinks, even later many didn’t know when dal came and went by. So everyone was not given a fair share of the food that was on the menu. They were having a hard time (it was very evident from their reactions) serving us that to when they were about 3 dedicated people taking care. Guests might have some serious questions for the manager in charge – Beware! Sometimes they even had hard time conceptualizing what our meet up was all about. When a dish would arrive we would ask it to be kept and NOT served as everyone wanted to click some pics but the servers were just going on with their routine. They would start serving in plates even after being asked to hold on for the pics. One of us even had to rough up one person to ask him to stop it then and there.
Menu: The menu was an elaborate spread of cocktails/ Mock tails, potage, salads, hors d’oeuvres, mains – the entrée, desserts and a few more….
Welcome drink: Dancing lady,
Hors d’oeuvres: Oriental green fish, Dhunar Murg Tikka, Tandoori phalon ki chat, Burmese cottage cheese satay
Potage: Murg badam Shorba, Shorbat Harira, Tamatar Dhaniya Shorba, Crème of spinach
Salads: Ceasar salad
Mains: Lal Maas Mathaniya, Mirch Makai do pyaza, Dal makhni, Lahsooni dal Chaunka
Rice/ Biryani: Gosht dum biryani, Tamatar ki tehri, chestnut Pilaf
Accomaniments: assorted breads
Deserts: Date wanton, Kesari Rasmalai
In drinks I had Jack and Jill which was a cocktail of JD and later a large of Old monk – all time favorite.In potage people hardly ordered variety and I couldn’t see crème of spinach or tamatar dhaniya shorba. Most of them ordered and they served just about Murg badam shorba which was a lite pale yellow clear soup with small lobules of fat floating in it and chicken chunks at the bottom. The soup could have been hot but by the time we had spoons reaching it was out cold.
In starters I liked the oriental green fish and loved it. It was melt in the mouth types. Prepared from basa fish, the dish was very aromatic and herbed. The buttered herbs were just enough to leave a tantalizing taste and give a slippery texture which made the fish slide quickly down the gullet. The Dhunar murg tikka was a mint and spinach based chicken tikka charred long enough. Yes, I actually found it chewy and over charred so that it became somewhat rubbery. More marinating and lite charring would have worked well in this case. Burmese cottage cheese satay was decent. Grilled adequately, it was a breather for veggies on the team. Yes this is because the tandoori phalon ki chat which came onto was extremely spicy and by spicy I mean it. It was as if they were drenched completely in aachar – mixed pickle. It was by no means a chat, could have been named aachari phalon ki tokri. It had assorted fruits used like pineapple, apple and guava but people hardly liked it and was quick to be sidelined.
Lal Maas Mathaniya: this was certainly the start attraction. Chef Madhusudan and his team had us have a good time with mutton dihes in general. This one and also the Gosth dum biryani were really over the edge for the night’s menu. Mutton was absolute soft, well cooked, absolute non fibrous and properly soaked in its own stock to give a relishing treat to the taste buds. Mirch Makai do pyaza. Well a realtively simple dish for veggies nothing really different about it. The corn used was diced into thin disks which worked actually in its favor. Dal makhni – a decent preparation yet again garnishing could have ben better and imparting more taste. Lahsooni dal Chaunka – This was better than makhani in fact. Liked and had a bowl of it.
Chestnut pilaf was a mild dish of rice well garnished and plated but could have had a definite taste. IT was so plain with some occasional chestnut that it lacked a definite taste and flavors. I have had limited chestnut dishes but still I believe that this experiment needs more careful study of flavors that can be imbibed. So also, this was slightly an odd dish having said that it wasn’t paired with anything and a standalone show wasn’t enough to pull this off so it was floored by many. Biryani as I mentioned was very well made and relished by people fond of mutton dishes.
I had to really struggle to get my desserts because they had already served a few and had got limited number of dishes around so had to fetch another round. Finally when I got it had a change to dig in both ras malai and date wantons. The wantons were served with a scope of vanilla ice cream. The dish was just average and not very appealing to look at. People even made jokes about it and refrained from having more of it. The Ras malai however was good one and most of the team liked it a lot. Personally I like it slightly different then what came up and would recommend a taste at Kadhai outlets. But certainly nothing wrong atleast – a dish well appreciated.
We had occasional visits from manager in charge and also Mr. Kaspate himself who came to see if things are proceeding alright with the meetup. The head chef Mr. Madhusudan and his team had us see of in the end and we made it a point to compliment him on his mutton preparations.
Now the hard part rating – well the rating if were to be given on amibience would have nailed it and scored a full 10 however, the ratings are 75 weighed basis the taste and dishes brought onto table and that is where this couldn’t score very high. I would rate it a 6.5 on 10 overall. Value for money is really very subjective in this case as the rates are pretty high and the taste is far less competent as compared
I am so very interested in banking on their hospitality but then value preposition on food taste needs to go up significantly. I would really love to see the taste and dishes being improved so I can become a regular with them. Sorry team I need to be honest with my reviews and that’s how the food experience was.