Tag Archives: Food

Mineority By Saby, Kalyani Nagar, Pune

I had been thinking of visiting this place for quite some time now. The name intrigued me and its pictures put up on some food blogs were fascinating enough to finally push me its way. Unfortunately for me the reality couldn’t catch up with the expectations and I was a tad bit disappointed. Read on for more!

The first thing you love about the place is the ambience. It has a fresh café like look….bursts of colours here and there, big comfy sofas strewn about, lots of lights…it’s a vibrant look that preps you up for something unique and different coming your way.

Mineority by Saby, Pune

The second exciting thing is the menu. You read it and realize that you could taste authentic dishes from all over the North East under this one roof. There are dishes from Odisha, Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Arunachal. And although there are international dishes, I decided to stick to the national ones. We started off with the Kalimpong Chilli Cheese Rolls. These were really good, albeit oily. They were really fine crisp rolls stuffed with looaaddss of cheese with a serving of mayo on the side.

Kalimpong Chilli Cheese Rolls @ Mineority,Pune

Then we went for the Black Vegetable Skewer. This was again a good dish, although again, on the oilier side. It had grilled paneer, cauliflower & pumpkin in a black sesame paste served with coriander chutney. What disappointed me was the fact that the sesame didn’t make its presence felt in the dish…at all. Although tasty, it was almost like any regular tandoori vegetable platter. The serving of flat bread on the side too puzzled me as I just couldn’t see it going well with the grilled vegetables.

Black Vegetable Skewer @ Mineority,Pune
Black Vegetable Skewer @ Mineority,Pune

The main course is where the real disappointment set in. We ordered for the Arunachali Thukpa. It had momos floating in a clear broth with mushrooms and carrots around. The thukpas I have had in Sikkim have been surreal, with the clear water oozing with the freshness from the vegetables. To my dismay, in this one, I could see droplets of oil floating on top…so the extra oiliness seemed to continue everywhere I looked. Also, the broth itself tasted of haldi. The momos were good and the dish overall wasn’t bad, but definitely not the exceptional surprise I was expecting.

Arunachali Thukpa @ Mineority,Pune

We also ordered the Odiya Chatu Bhaja & Kasundi Vegetable Jhal. Being an Odiya myself, these were the dishes I was really looking forward to. I hadn’t had an Odiya/Bengali meal for days and I was craving the mustardy taste we typically incorporate into our dishes. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the dishes authentic at all. The Chatu Bhaja was way too tomatoey and thick and full of masala….the kind of gravy I have never eaten in Odisha. The menu had said it would be served with Ajwain Puri. Instead we were served an undercooked ajwain paratha.

Odiya Chatu Bhaja @Mineority,Pune

The Vegetable Jhal was alright in that I could taste the mustard here and there but again, nowhere close to what any authentic Bengali dish tastes like.

Kasundi Vegetable Jhal @ Mineority,Pune

In the end, I decided I wanted to give the place one last chance and ordered the Jurassic Cheesecake which is basically the Chena Podo , ‘the oldest cheesecake in the world’ as the menu says. As an Odiya I am extremely fierce about my Chena Podo being tampered with. But that’s exactly what this place did . The exquisite burnt cheese taste of this mouth watering sweet was definitely missing. In its place all I got was weirdly a taste of dry gulab jamun. Again, while not bad, definitely not authentic.

Jurassic Cheesecake @ Mineority, Pune

All in all, the place was a disappointment. Maybe if they had publicized it as a modern fusion of authentic dishes, I might have gone in with different hopes. But with the tantalizing talks of original dishes from the North East, this place unfortunately failed to deliver for me.

Finally, My Ratings for the place would be :

Ambience : 3.5/5 ; Service      : 4/5 ; Food          : 2/5 ; Pocket Friendly : 2.5/5 (About 2500 for 2) ; Presentation : 3.5/5

Royal China, Mundhwa

As with all my other food discoveries, this one was not only by chance but in fact was the cause of a tiff between my husband and me. My husband, who believes in zomato blindly (apparently correctly so!!) said we must try this Chinese place, while I said I wanted to have something light and satiating and Chinese would just be too oily and heavy with the sauces. Finally, pretending to be a loving partner while holding a grudge for the future 😉  I sacrificed and gave in to his dictum and ever since, I haven’t stopped hearing of the amazing choices he always makes. And in this case I actually have no arguments, because it turned out to be the Best Chinese I have ever had!

And now for the food. This is the most authentic Chinese I have ever had. Everything isn’t tossed in extra oil and double extra soy sauce to match the Indian tastes. And yet, in no way is anything bland. The flavors are delicate and mild and every single ingredient in a dish makes its presence felt. We tried loads of things and after each one, our hearts screamed for more and surprisingly, our stomachs agreed! And the best part was the offer they have on Mondays and Thursdays….for 1095+Taxes, we could order ALL we wanted from the ala-carte and dimsum menu, no limits on the number of dishes, nothing. What’s the catch then, we asked? Well, honestly no catch at all! The secret is in the portions. They give you a reduced portion of any dish you order, which is still more than enough for 2 people, and you get to try all the variety your heart craves for!!! For people like me who have got tiny stomachs but insatiable palates, this was an amazing deal!

Royal China, Mundhwa

To start with, we chose Creamy Sweet Corn Soup & Chicken Coriander Soup from the elaborate menu. The sweet corn was truly creamy with a good amount of corn and very fresh in taste. The coriander soup was light and very refreshing. This was the first time I had soups which were actually appetizing rather than filling.

Sweet Corn Soup @ Royal China, Pune
Sweet Corn Soup @ Royal China, Pune
Chicken Coriander Soup @ Royal China, Pune
Chicken Coriander Soup @ Royal China, Pune

There was no way we were going to give the Dimsums  a miss. We chose Vegetable Crystal Dumpling, Roast Pork Cheung Fun, Chicken Shanghai Dumpling & Sesame Paper Prawn Roll. They were Out of the World Delicious! The dumpling covers were transparent, thin and really soft and could be seen oozing with the stuffing. Served with them was a chilly soy sauce which was mind blowing. I can literally eat ANYTHING after dipping it in this sauce. I had to ask for it thrice during our meal and I still wish I had brought back some (Yes, it was just a soy sauce, I know I sound mad)!

Vegetable Crystal Dumpling, Chicken Shanghai Dumpling & Roast Pork Cheung Fun @ Royal China, Pune
Vegetable Crystal Dumpling, Chicken Shanghai Dumpling & Roast Pork Cheung Fun @ Royal China, Pune
Vegetable Crystal Dumpling & Chicken Dumpling @ Royal China, Pune
Vegetable Crystal Dumpling & Chicken Dumpling @ Royal China, Pune
Sesame Paper Prawn Roll @ Royal China, Pune
Sesame Paper Prawn Roll @ Royal China, Pune

For more starters, we tried the Smoked Shredded Chicken and we just couldn’t get enough of the amazing smoky flavor. We also had the Cambodian Basa in Chilli Oil & Spring Onion. The fish was cooked to perfection and the dish was heavenly!

Smoked Shredded Chicken @ Royal China, Pune
Smoked Shredded Chicken @ Royal China, Pune
Cambodian Basa in Chilli Oil & Spring Onion @Royal China, Pune
Cambodian Basa in Chilli Oil & Spring Onion @Royal China, Pune

For main course we had the Vegetarian Royal China Lotus Leaf Rice with Mixed Vegetables in Yellow Bean Sauce. After eating Chinese for all these years, I never knew a simple yellow bean gravy would drive me crazy, but it did, and I don’t think I can just feel the same for black bean sauce again!! We also had the Pork in black pepper sauce, but were unfortunately disappointed with the way the pork was cooked. This was probably the only so-so dish among all the ones we tried.

Vegetarian Royal China Lotus Leaf Rice @ Royal China, Pune
Vegetarian Royal China Lotus Leaf Rice @ Royal China, Pune
Mixed Vegetables in Yellow Bean Sauce @ Royal China, Pune
Mixed Vegetables in Yellow Bean Sauce @ Royal China, Pune

Finally, it was time for desserts. We went for the Banana in Toffee Syrup, Chilled Mango Pudding, Steamed Chocolate Buns and the Mud Cake. While all 4 were good, I loved the Banana in Toffee Syrup best!

Banana in Toffee Syrup @ Royal China, Pune
Banana in Toffee Syrup @ Royal China, Pune
Chilled Mango Pudding @ Royal China, Pune
Chilled Mango Pudding @ Royal China, Pune
Steamed Chocolate Buns @ Royal China, Pune
Steamed Chocolate Buns @ Royal China, Pune
Mud Cake @ Royal China, Pune
Mud Cake @ Royal China, Pune

All in all, we indeed had a Royal Dining Experience! The grandeur of the interiors only enhanced it further. This restaurant is in fact in the same complex as Hotel Westin. And yes, for those who think, same compound, must be similar price range, you are right. This place is not for a pocket friendly meal. I went there twice, once with just my husband and that cost us around Rs.4000 and the second time we were a group of 4 and that cost us around Rs.7500 inclusive of all taxes. But we tried an enormous amount of dishes (yes, there were many more to my pics above, I just got tired of clicking pictures and decided to dig in!!) thanks to their Eat All You Can Offer and by the end of the meal, we felt every penny was truly worth it! And although most dishes I have mentioned above are non vegetarian, there are LOADS of vegetarian options as well. I just happened to go with a group who preferred non-veg. The menu is as extensive as it can get and I really wouldn’t mind going back a third time to try more.

If you love Chinese food, or even if you don’t, you MUST visit here for an “Ahh La-Dolce-Vita” experience!!! 🙂

My Ratings for the place would be :

Ambience : 3.5/5 ; Service      : 3/5 ; Food          : 5/5 ; Pocket Friendly : 2/5 (About 4000 for two, no alcohol) ; Presentation : 3/5

Farzi Café, Kalyani Nagar, Pune

As with most of my experiences, we landed up here without much research coz we were in a last minute rush to find a place to celebrate the start of my birthday(yayy) and this is literally the first place you come across as you enter Kalyani Nagar(hehe) and of course because Zomato said it was trending(best app ever)!! 😉

My first realization when I reached there was that it’s a lounge, and not a restaurant like I had initially thought. So don’t go there for a quiet evening or for a conversations-over-dinner kind of a night. There’s some loud music, amazing ambience and a super busy bar.. you get the picture right? 🙂

So..speaking of painting the picture, there’s been a lot of thought put into designing the whole place. There are quirky little quotes and drawings all over the menu. The cocktails are served with a twist. Anything you order is sent out of the kitchen in a unique dish. You can see someone being served something in a small truck. Someone else is pulling out lollipops out of branches of a mini ceramic tree. The menu itself has not a single dish that you may have already heard of…everything has been fused with something else and a unique combination has been created.  The whole place oozes DRAMA!

Quirky Quotes @ Farzi Cafe
Quirky Quotes @ Farzi Cafe

The cocktails here are quite good. There has been innovation involved and the menu shows.

Cocktails@ Farzi Cafe
Cocktails@ Farzi Cafe

And finally we come to the food. I keep the food for last because I am not entirely convinced about it. You see there’s so much effort been put into reinventing the Indian cuisine to a fusion, and the effort is so apparent that I WANT to LOVE the food. But the problem is, my taste buds are too khadoos to be bought out by my swaying heart. The menu primarily offers Indian food, ofcourse redesigned Indian food, but Indian food nevertheless. We went for the “Amritsari Fish & Chips, Desi Ghee Hollandaise”. It was good, the fish had been cooked well, but otherwise it was pretty standard fish & chips one can find anywhere.

Amritsari Fish & Chips, Desi Ghee Hollandaise @ Farzi Cafe
Amritsari Fish & Chips, Desi Ghee Hollandaise @ Farzi Cafe

Then we tried the “Tandoori Soy Chops, Cheese & Nut Fudge, Burhani Cream”. This, I was super excited for, but was unfortunately very disappointed. If you have tasted Soya Chaap, that’s what this is. Only, here the problem was that the chops were too big! So as long as you had the nutty masala to give the soy company, it tasted OK, but once you took a bite in the middle of the chop, it tasted too bland! The “Cheese & Nutty Fudge” was a tandoori masala with nuts, but it didn’t taste too different from the regular tandoori masala and I wasn’t impressed.

Tandoori Soy Chops, Cheese & Nut Fudge, Burhani Cream @ Farzi Cafe
Tandoori Soy Chops, Cheese & Nut Fudge, Burhani Cream @ Farzi Cafe

We also went for the “Bacon & Eggs, Curry Leaf & Pink Pepper Appam”. It was good, the chutney, I must admit, was great. But I have definitely eaten better Appams.

Bacon & Eggs, Curry Leaf & Pink Pepper Appam @ Farzi Cafe
Bacon & Eggs, Curry Leaf & Pink Pepper Appam @ Farzi Cafe

Finally we asked for the “Ras Malai, Tres Leches, Carrot Cream, Rose Petal Net” which was basically a layered cake of ras malai and gajar halwa. While good, again, it wasn’t extra-ordinary.

Ras Malai, Tres Leches, Carrot Cream, Rose Petal Net @ Farzi Cafe
Ras Malai, Tres Leches, Carrot Cream, Rose Petal Net @ Farzi Cafe

So in conclusion, the problem with the place is, the menu describes too many variations, but when you take a bite, you realize there’s actually nothing very different from what you get in any regular Indian restaurant. Their USP is definitely their flair in dramatic presentation and that is worthy of applause! So head there with friends for some great ambience, for the lovely energy in the place, for some great drinks and for some amazing presentation, but don’t go with the hope for extraordinary food!

My Ratings for the place would be :

Ambience : 4/5 ; Service      : 4/5 ; Food          : 2.5/5 ; Pocket Friendly : 3/5 (About 1800 for the food+alcohol) ; Presentation : 5/5

KARGO, Koregaon Park, Pune

Our discovery of this place was as a result of a last-minute hunt for some yummy Sunday dinner! It had been trending on Zomato for a few weeks and we decided to give it a shot, and thank God for that J The food here looks absolutely drool-worthy!! And when you dig in, you aren’t disappointed!

Kargo
Kargo

We started off with the Soups as there was good deal of variety in this section of the menu. We tried the Potato & Leek, the Asian Spiced Pumpkin and the Roasted Tomato Garlic & Thyme soups. All three were very good. The potato & leek soup is very rich & creamy and almost reminds you of the Bechamel sauce. So although very tasty, if you plan on going white-Italian for the night, you can give this a miss. The Pumpkin soup hits your Thai palate just right with the wonderful aroma of lemongrass & galangal. The Tomato Garlic and thyme is your regular tomato soup, but tasty nevertheless.

Potato & Leek, Asian Spiced Pumpkin, Roated Tomato Garlic & Thyme Soups @ Kargo
Potato & Leek, Asian Spiced Pumpkin, Roated Tomato Garlic & Thyme Soups @ Kargo

For Starters, we were drawn to the obvious highlight of the place, the “Naanzas” which have a whole dedicated page on the menu. It is, as the name suggests, a Naan-Pizza..almost along the lines of a thin crust pizza. We went for the Mushroom & Pokchoy naanza…and Oh My!! It was absolutely yummylicious! There was loads of cheese just oooozing out and just…somehow..this dish is a lip smacking blend of Indian, Italian and Chinese cuisines. Do try this one!

Mushroom & Pokchoy Naanza @ Kargo
Mushroom & Pokchoy Naanza @ Kargo

We also tried the Baby Corn & Potato Bujjule and the Kurkure Makkai Sheekh Kebab which, while not outstanding, were pretty decent.

Baby Corn & Potato Bujjule @ Kargo
Baby Corn & Potato Bujjule @ Kargo
Kurkure Makkai Sheekh Kebab @ Kargo
Kurkure Makkai Sheekh Kebab @ Kargo

For Main Course, we had the Pattaya Curry, again a Thai dish, served with sweet & spicy flat noodles, fried rice and Asian Veggies in a soy-like-gravy. The dish was a hit and we had no complaints whatsoever. Next we tried the Mushroom & Spinach Lasagne, which was sooo good, one of the best lasagnes I have had in a long time, made just with White Sauce, Just the way I love it! We also had Khow Suey, which is an all-time favourite of mine. Unfortunately, this dish disappointed us. It was too sour, enough to overpower the delicious flavor of coconut milk that this dish deserves. Lastly, we finished with the Asian Veggies Ramen. I am very particular about my ramens and expect a super clear broth, overloaded with unexploited flavours from the veggies, and this dish scored on all accounts, almost cleansing your palate with its lovely freshness!

Pattaya Curry @ Kargo
Pattaya Curry @ Kargo
Mushroom & Spinach Lasagne, Khow Suey @ Kargo
Mushroom & Spinach Lasagne, Khow Suey @ Kargo
Asian Veggies Ramen @ Kargo
Asian Veggies Ramen @ Kargo

By then, we had almost reached our bursting point! But the Desserts menu was just tooo tempting to miss 😉 We ordered for the Caramel Baked Cheese Cake And…Ahh..La Dolce Vita..It was heavenly! It was smooth and velvety as a cheese cake should be with the occasional bursts of saltiness from the caramel. I am a cheesecake maniac and such cheesecakes just remind me why!! We also had the Opera, which is a layered sponge cake served with their homemade dark chocolate & espresso ice cream, And the Cream Cheese Muffin which is a red chocolate sponge topped with cream cheese and served with their homemade berry lime ice cream. The sponges in both cases were a huge disappointment. They were just too dense for my taste. The saving grace in both dishes were the homemade ice creams, especially the tangy berry ice cream. You can skip trying the cakes and go right for the homemade ice creams they recommend.

Caramel Baked Cheese Cake @ Kargo
Caramel Baked Cheese Cake @ Kargo
Opera @ Kargo
Opera @ Kargo
Cream Cheese Muffin @ Kargo
Cream Cheese Muffin @ Kargo

All in all we had a Lovely Scrumptious meal and would definitely love going back. The menu is extensive and there are still so many dishes I want to try out. Just in case you go with people who prefer Indian in the main course, there’s Tomato & Batata Rassa and Buttered Paneer on the menu too. The presentation is commendable, with attention to detail, making the food look appetizing and beautiful!The biggest surprise was the cost. I expected a bomb considering the number of things we tried, but we just had to shell out Rs.3300 for this meal for 10 people!! Also, please note that this place is ALWAYS crowded. We have always had to wait. So if you want a reservation, call and reach the place before 8. It’s a small little place on the outside, but on the inside, it’s a whole world of flavors waiting to be explored!

My Ratings for the place would be :

Ambience : 3/5 ; Service      : 4/5 ; Food          : 4.5/5 ; Pocket Friendly : 4.5/5 (About 700 for 2, which the food is worthy of); Presentation : 5/5