The Pune restaurant scene is crawling with new concepts, fine dines, theme restaurants, big restaurant chains and what not and yet there are hand-picked places who live up to their name and repute. Subjectivity takes the better out of a place and turns the table every once in a while. But as you know there are always exceptions. Amazing beers, Consistent-kickass food, cosy feeling, brilliant music, top in class proactive service…..now you must be thinking all of this under one roof? No, I am not joking; coz this and more comes to life and happens for good when you are at Effingut….The place for an Effing –good time. Effin –(gut) (quiet literally for ‘F-ing’) is one such place which makes sure that you are swept off your feet – all thanks to the Effin-good crew, the F**king good brew and the legendary MAN(-u) behind the brand who won’t let you bid adieu. (Yeah you will always see someone from the gang chilling over beers)
Me and the gang, have been to Effingut countless times and can very well call it our 2nd home. We have been after Manu for more than a year to open up another lounge in the west region of Pune and finally our prayers have been answered. I was lucky enough to be invited for the grand launch of Baner Effingut outlet but couldn’t make it and as such I was really looking forward to visit the place. I went with my wife twice already just to see for myself if the woes being spilt online about weak service were any good. The staff obviously is not as well established as the KP outlet and are facing challenges but that simply hasn’t affected the quality and experience that Effingut is meant to be. The last time I was right there enjoying my beer when I got a tasting invite from ‘Ideosphere’ the agency that takes care of PR for Effingut and how could one say no to Effingut. So we were back again; this time for a formal tasting session along with my fellow bloggers in an exclusive which Priyank arranged for us.
Now those who are used to KP outlet and have still not been to Baner one let me tell you there are bunch of surprises that you can look forward to. Firstly they have introduced beer cocktails and second they have about 11 recipes which were handpicked, curated and included under the name of #PEORecommends menu. More on all of this in just a while as we buckle up to have a F*#@-in good time.
Manu has gone all out and spent a fortune to bring such incredible amount of detail with regards to the ambience. His beloved architect came up with weird pairing concepts which brought a host of props together like Bollywood quotes, old comic books, picture frames of the popular movies and movie stars with some of the legendary dialogues, a wall that adorns a collection of hats, old books, type writers, TV sets and what not. Not to forget the legendary vintage motorcycle that comes from Manu’s personal collection (Yeah Manu has love for collecting vintage cars and bikes). The ambience has blended in so well with one another that every inch of the sprawling place that can host over 300 pax has become a piece of art in itself. I won’t go into details, go find out yourself. Ok, a special hint to all my readers, beware of the washrooms
Food and Brew:
I simply had to order a Hefeweizen my beloved at Effingut before we went on to try the new beer cocktails. So, obviously a hell of a start to the evening. We sampled 3 of their beer cocktails: ‘First Dose’, ‘Safe sex on the beer’ and ‘Green Monster’.
First Dose has apple cider, tequila, whiskey, triple sec and cranberry juice, Safe sex on the Beer has cider, lager, white rum, litchi juice and coconut syrup while the Green Monster is a concoction of cider, lager, melon liqueur, vodka and blue curacao. Loved the Safe sex amongst the three but beer enthusiasts will always love their beer neat.
Gunpowder Onion Rings – Lite, Crispy onion rings with a tempura like coating. Gunpowder – coz it had a spicy masala dusted to give it a bit of zing. Hey by the way this is one of the new #PEORecommends dish. So recommended? Yes ofcourse.
3 cheese Quesadillas- as the name suggests a dish made using three cheese variants – pepper jack, Monterey jack & cheddar cheese. A topping of jalapenos and scallions in a 3 cheese sauce was just heavenly. If you love cheese this is the perfect thing you can ask for. #Awesome
Pulled Chicken Tacos (PC: Bellydriven.com)
Pulled Chicken Tacos – Yet another dish from the #PEORecommends page. A dish using salsa and crunchy lettuce encased in taco shells. Decent dish but I was spoilt enough by the others on the table.
Chicken wings in a choice of sauce (A dish designed by our team mate – Arvind Soju) We simply had to try this one. Now what is different you ask? Well you get to choose from 5 different customised sauces that are specially curated for this dish. We ordered the spicy chicken wings and boy o boy were they spicy or what. Beware if you order spicy chicken wings for you really need to have tolerance for spicy food or you will burn your taste buds for sure. #SuperSpicy #Yum
Thai grilled fish came in next. The subtle flavours invoked by use of lemon grass and kafir lime are worth taking a bow. The delicate texture was matched equally well by the balanced subtle flavors. #MustTry
Murg Thecha Kebab This one is a fusion concept where in the typical Awadhi style well marinated juicy kebabs are coated with desi Maharashtrian style thecha (Green/ red chilly paste). This was yet again a dish for lovers of spicy food but being a hard core Nagpuri and one who has endless capacity for spicy food this was my favourite for the night without a 2nd thought. #MustHave #HighlyRecommended
Tornado Sausage – chicken sausage wrapped in a batter and baked. Sadly this was the only dish that couldn’t impress us, for it was too dry and bland owing to major ingredient being chicken sausages.
We wanted to try another item from #PEORecommends page which is being much appreciated by one and all – Bacon wrapped prawns. As the name hints it was a meat overload with prawns, bacon and chicken sausages all served in one dish. The combination worked well but the flavours were subtle and I could have used the dish more flavourful.
Italian cottage cheese kebab – A variant of our desi paneer hariyali tikka but with a twist. The paneer used was of the best quality and the marinade was brilliantly used to impart pesto flavour. The use of capers and olives made the dish exceptional. #MustTry
Effza – The new pizza in town (PC: Bellydriven.com)
Now apart from #PEORecommneds and beer based cocktails; there is also a new signature dish that’s making the buzz in town – Effza. An Effingut style pizza which comes in three variants – chicken, pork and mushrooms. The best part is the liquid cheese sauce that comes along. The pizza surely stands a bright chance against all the different pizza variety that Pune has to offer. #SignatureDish
We really could have done without mains for we were too full already but yet went ahead and savoured 4 of the mains that the menu showcased. First came in the Cheese Makhani – which totally had me swept of my feet. The cheese although was regular Amul processed cheese which we get pretty easily at the shop next door, the gravy made was so cheesalicious in nature that the dish got promoted to a whole new level and could easily be called as their signature dish. #MustHave #DeathbyCheese #SignatureDish . Next we had 3 cheese spinach ravioli made using ricotta, cheddar and parmesan cheese. The dish was on spot. In non-veg we had Murg Dhaniya and Chicken Triple Schezwan Rice. Both dishes were brilliant and can be considered if you intend to try their regulars from the menu.
The menu saw an alcoholic twist yet again this time with desserts in the form of a Beeramisu. The coffee based dessert made using coffee powder and in house beer. Soon they will be replacing it with their legendary Coffee porter and it will be a must have for each meal for sure. Loved it totally.
There was also a sizzling brownie with ice cream that made it to the table. And just like all the other dishes this one was a transfigured recipe as well. The chocolate sauce was made dark and a tad bit sweeter and then charred by pouring alcohol and setting it ablaze. It was quiet a picturesque scene there, with a huge flambé towering out of the sizzling plate and then a sweet-bitter dark chocolate reduction left behind which made the dish a pleasing surprise. #LovedIt
Fabulous recipes dished out one after other and a never ending jolly conversation with the man behind the brand – Manu Gulati, it simply couldn’t get any better. Effingut had been our 2nd home for a while and now with Baner outlet opened up the house just got bigger and a lot crazier.
A special thanks to Manu sir, Imran, Priyank who got us invited and team Effingut for making the evening F***inGood……
(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 taste and experience might differ from the one portrayed for varied reasons like the Chef and staff that serves you, Ingredients used and other factors that change from time to time. The opinion/ review is purely based on my experience and there is no biased, favoured or commercial angle to it. At times, I might have used a few references from the freely available information on the internet to draw a correct more accurate picture but the sole intent of the is review is to give back a piece of my experience to the foodie community.)