(Disclaimer: The views expressed are my own and from the single or multiple experiences that I have had with the food joint. While you are free to disagree with the opinion below; please respect the originality and fairness of the content. The opinion/ review is purely based on experience and there is no biased, favored or commercial angle to it)
Well this place for some reason similar to my handle (Afficionado) has been spelt uniquely. Some of you might be acquainted with the Catalan word ‘Tertulia’ meaning informal meeting of people but for some peculiar reason the name for this place has been spelt with a double ‘T’ as ‘Terttulia’ and I would request people to spell it that way. The concept however cannot be much different and the place really is a place to hangout. The tag line/ philosophy behind the chain of this restaurant (they have another outlet in Shivaji park, Dadar) is pretty simple – Eat, Drink, Love. And trust me it reflects in the experience that you end up having with these people. The décor, mood in the air, food on the table blend into one another seamlessly and create an aura around which literally speaks out the philosophy loud and clear.
This amazing place was picked up like hot cake by none other than Carpe Diem for their PR and marketing needs. I got an invite for a bloggers meet on the 2nd of Nov and I happen to join some of my fellow blogger friends over some splendid dishes. I was running a bit late that day, thanks to a busy day at office and by the time I reached our host for the night Mr. Nishant had been showing the place around to my fellow blogger friends. No sooner I entered the place than I found out the lovely idea implemented by the management wherein they have an open bar (Tapas Bar) right in the lobby. At time, particularly on weekends the place draws so much of crowd that you often might end up having to wait for your turn. And frankly who would like to wait however amazing food might await them. So keeping this thing in mind they came up with a bar serving some of the finest drinks KP or even Pune for that matter has to serve. More on why I said that in a while. This place really clicks with the crowd and has been a popular joint for youngsters and families alike for over 8 years now. Recently they changed the ambience and also a lot of dishes on their menu and hence the new revamped Terttulia is going all out on the mesmerizing experience factor that Pune has to offer. The owner of this chain of restaurants Mr. Sethi mostly operate the Dadar branch but now is also planning to expand further and soon come up with a branch in Baner/ Balweadi area which can be operational as soon as new year eve if plans go in as expected. A bit more on ambience and what this place can offer before I get to the food part. The Tapas Bar also has a large seat out area which can host small gatherings of about 20 people. This can also be turned into a dance floor if required. The outdoor open area has couple of small tables enclosed by walls beautifully decorated with ceramics and trays and paintings. A few mirrors here and there give an extra depth and some additional lighting to the area. Now the owner Mr. Imrun also happens to be a travel freak and has decorated the place with the paintings and collectibles that he gathered first hand from across the world from all the various sojourns that he had had. As you step in, the place presents a grand wine rack standing tall peeping all over the place. The wine that you find here are some of the rarest and finest, specially hand picked by the sommeliers; so if you happen to be a epicure well you are in for some special treat here. Once we were shown around we were shown our place in one of the corners where a grand table awaited us.
Food: The place as I was saying happens to have a few sommeliers and what better way than to start the food journey with a classic glass of freshly brewed Sangria. Now this is one place in pune where people swear by the Sangria they serve and they were spot on to start the food parade on such a high note. The sangria had thin slices of apple and a dash of sweetner. The basic crude variant of wine used to make this did its job with perfection. People were asking for more and more of this red devil. Along with this they served yet another of their hot favorite – the karari roti. This is basically a roomali roti made of maida but crisped to the last sq inch and garnished with a fine potion made of butter, oodles of chat masala and freshly cut coriander along with some chili powder to give that fiery red look. The dish was undoubtedly one of their much appreciated dishes coz the people finished it in no time.
Next came the Rosemary Baby Potatoes with TT’s BBQ Sauce. A very good barbeque sauce preparation with rosemary as its perfect partner. Never though that the rosemary can be put to such a good use. Racing along were Portobello mushrooms with black olives and Feta drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. The Portobello are a rare find to start off with and to come up with such a recipe with use of feta was equally commendable. I personally found it a little charred and had a hint of bitterness so not really sure if it’s meant to be like that or what but I was done with just one piece of this black beauty. Yet I could see other fellow foodies praising it with Nishant. Sweet Potato Fries with Rosemary, Sea Salt & BBQ Rub
Were next in line. This time rosemary presence was a bit overshadowed by the fries but the fries in itself were very nicely made. These were absolutely nil on oil content; meaning dry and lite to eat. They will be just the perfect companion one could ask for with some single malt. Now finally my beloved dish made its appearance. This was Mini Quiche of Sweet Corn, Creamy Spinach & Cheddar. I’ve had Cheddar in various forms but a better use none till date. These mini quiche scored a straight home run the moment I had my teeth dug into them and then there was no stopping me. I finished the 2-3 pieces quickly and even requested Nishant for another plate of these small wonders. Salmon in Labb with roasted rice swooped past us next. Salmon well people are quiet finicky about this water babe due to mercury content and stuff but then to have it prepared in Labb was a very unique experience so to say. This fish preparation is particularly very salty and is served that way. There are no added salts but just plain natural salts soaked in the meat giving it a very strong salty taste. My taste buds found it a bit too much to handle. I am not yet ready for such experiments. Soon after was a pool party. Yup a pool party where in finely diced olives, capers and anchovies slipped over a layer of virgin olive oil straight into tapenade sauce pool. Right behind were big grilled chicken pieces that splashed the tapenade sauce around the dish. It was hard core yummy preparation. We had a menu printout on our tables which also showed one Bacon ‘n Parmesan wrapped Dates with Mustard Crème Fraiche but the staff kinda skipped on that one and it never made to the table. The parade started off in absolute grandeur and had the breaths taken away in its first appearance and the audience held onto their seats desperately waiting for the parade to roll further. A wholehearted score of 8 on 10 for the starters.
A bit surprising though we were served salads post the starters. This round had 2-3 variants coming up. There was a veg and a chicken Caesar salad to suit all the people on the table. Next there was a
Mixed greens with Terttulia’s honey mustard dressing. The later one was better off the two but frankly salads couldn’t make the impact after such a grand opening by the starters. They were quick to be sidelined except for one foodie who kept focus on the greens
Mains: Now the mains had some splendid line up too. The dishes for the mains varied from
- Pizza Terttulia with creamy spinach, parmagiano drizzled with arugula and scarmoza
- Herbed Quinoa with Tossed Veggies and Spicy Tomato Salsa
- Stir fried Brown Rice with Tofu and Veggies with Creamy Mushroom Ragout
- Gunpowder Basa with crushed potatoes and Curry Hollandaise
- Pan Asian tossed Bouef Chili with Sweet Peppers and Cilantro Mash Potato
- 5 Spice and Honey Grilled Chicken on a bed of finger veggies
After a rather disappointing salads the taste buds were once again tantalized by their signature Pizza Terttulia !! A new definition in the thin crust genre this one was fabulously dressed up green and white. While the argula gave the green shade the white spots were an even spread coming in from the parmagiano and scarmosa (similar to mozzarella cheese). The crispy, fresh argula went so very well with the cheese combo. The star attraction of the night without a doubt.
Along with this there was yet another dish that the foodies were munching on – herbed quinoa. Although the herbs were not quite obvious in this one the beautiful platting that came in from the accompanying salsa certainly was. The dish was made visually appealing but was rather one of the mild variants of the night. I found it bland and watery. Couldn’t have much of this dish as there was just one serving and it was quick to disappear.
Stir fried Brown Rice with Tofu and Veggies with Creamy Mushroom Ragout: Yet another brown colored cylinder this time made out of brown rice. This dish was pretty similar to the quinoa. The rice was a bit sticky and all the flavor was largely restricted to the mushroom ragout. The mushroom ragout was a nice morsel to bite into but yet overall as a dish this one couldn’t fair as high as the others. Tofu I am not sure was there in the dish in the first place.
Gunpowder Basa with crushed potatoes and Curry Hollandaise: Third longest name on the menu that night this dish was a perfect rainbow of flavors. The gunpowder, the basa fish, mashed potatoes and the veggies, not to forget the lemon accompanying. Yes lemon all of a sudden drew importance after one of my fellow friend tried squeezing it and shared the miracle it creates ones sprinkled over the basa. The basa was absolute tender and cooked just enough so as not to fall apart but yet give that melt in the mouth feeling. These small Nitti grit ties are the essence of fine cooking and one that can take the dish all the way to stardom or could lead straight to the depths of hell. A score there with the basa.
Next came the 5 Spice and Honey Grilled Chicken on a bed of finger veggies. This one quiet literal to its name did actually come on a bed of finger veggies. The bed was all colorful and appeared picture perfect. The chicken well obviously for once was something bulky and whole some and I was quick to hog onto it. 5 spices added the next level of merriment and honey gave it the glaze to cool off the taste buds from the heat that spices would generate. A simple, balanced and fulfilling dish of the evening.
Pan Asian tossed Bouef Chili with Sweet Peppers and Cilantro Mash Potato: The second longest named dish for the night was a beef preparation and since I was still recovering from all the sickness for the past few days; I kept myself held back and didn’t tried onto this. But didn’t hear much about this from people around so I guess wasn’t really the Terttulia kind. After coming so far in this food journey there was not much room left for any desserts so Nishant had it brought in after some time of chatting and gossiping just to make sure that everyone can dig their spoons real good into the absolute wonders that were gonna make their way from the kitchen. The mains would get a decent 7.5 from me.
Desserts: There were 4 absolute sins that made it onto our tables. These devils were Chocolate Mud Cake, Salted Caramel Pannacotta ( still drooling over the memories of this one), Baked Blueberry Cheesecake and Apple and Cranberry Crumble. After a lot of pictures the deserts finally had spoons making their way into them. Looking at the white glaze that I though was white chocolate I was quick to pick onto apple and cranberry crumble, only to find that it was not white chocolate. It was a decent one with brittle tart like base topped with custard. The mixture of apple and cranberry was nicely done but yet remained dry and the oozing custard that you see in the pictures never made it to the crumble within. This was 4th amongst desserts. Then came blueberry cheesecake which was nice but the personally I have had much better blueberry syrups. I guess the syrup topping could be changed and enhanced a bit more to make this one even more desirable. The girls in the group by then were melting themselves up over a huge piece of chocolate mud cake. How can a dessert session be over with a Choco sin right? But the assassin for the night was none other than salted caramel panacotta. Caramel I choose any day over chocolate given a choice and this was seventh heaven absolutely. Salted caramel I am now sure can cure cancer and tumor from an ailing body. This is the thing to die for. The texture the salty taste, the caramel sweetness all made me go into an unforgettable trance which I am still unable to recover from. I mean it was so over the edge that all the dishes on one side and yet the panacotta would toss them up at a blink. Absolute and total annihilation this was. I can give it a 50 on 10 just for this one. And I can have one full dinner only on panacotta. Ok so if reading all that has made you drool then don’t wait for some auspicious occasion to visit the place else you will just be disappointed to find out that I went there some time prior and finished up all that was there to offer.
Last but not the least the typical way ii end up my reviews; mentioning the finer points.
Service: well service was very good obviously with 2-3 people dedicated to our table and of course Nishant keeping us entertained all the time with stories from his culinary experience so far. Unfortunately we couldn’t thank Chef Sanjib Das in person that day but we absolutely and truly loved the roller coaster ride for our taste buds that the ticket to Terttulia took us on. AS with regards to rating, the desserts scored an avg 8. My overall experience I would rate an 8 on 10.
Finally a vote of thanks to dear Minoti, Carina, team Carpe Diem, Nishant and team Terttulia for having pulled up such a lovely evening.
P.S: Nishant if you are reading this can I text you my address to send that Panacotta you are saving for me? ;P