Tag Archives: Pune

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

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

 

 

BIPIN SNACKS AND JUICEBAR, Erandwane, Pune

Come Saturday and the one place I want to head off to for breakfast is Pune’s very own Bipin’s!! I won’t be surprised if you haven’t ever heard of it. It’s literally a hole-in-the-wall place, but the food it doles out is simply mind blowing! It specializes in Indian breakfast items such as Poha, Sabudana, Batata Wada, Pattice etc and fresh, piping hot ones at that! I am an out-and-out English breakfast person normally, but this place has changed my mind.

Bipin Juice And Snacks Bar
Bipin Juice And Snacks

The most popular dish here would probably be the Sabudana Khichdi. I am not a lover of Sabudana Khichdi especially because most places disappoint, with the almost-gluey-elastic Sabudana giving my jaws a hard time! But not here. The Khichdi itself is just perfectly cooked to be super soft. But what’s different here, is the accompaniment it gets. The dish is actually “Kakdi Khichdi”. So they serve Kakdi Raita with the Khichdi. And they are just perfect for each other! The cold slightly-sweet Kakdi wonderfully complements the HOT mildly-spicy Khichdi. It’s a Jodi made in heaven, trust me!

Bipin Juice And Snacks Bar - Kakdi Khichdi
Bipin Juice And Snacks – Kakdi Khichdi

If you’ve had the Indori Poha ever, you would agree that Poha in Pune falls short of its counterpart. But once again, this place surprises me. The Poha is soft & delicious, served with a garnish of grated coconut and a green chutney of chillies. The chutney again is probably a dish EVERY eatery in Pune has, and yet, the balance this guy manages to give it is found lacking in most other places.

Bipin Juice And Snacks Bar - Poha
Bipin Juice And Snacks Bar – Poha

We also went in for the Bata Wada-Sample combo, and although superlicious, go for it with a brave heart!! It is HOT and SPICY, staying true to the Puneri Sample standards!

Bipin Juice And Snacks Bar - Wada Sample
Bipin Juice And Snacks – Wada Sample

Lastly, we had the Bread Pattice, which is basically bread stuffed with a potato mix, dipped in besan and then deep fried. Again, with a stylish twist one wouldn’t expect from such a small place, it is garnished with onions, green chutney and coconut that elegantly manages to elevate the taste of this simple dish.

Bipin Juice And Snacks - Bread Pattice
Bipin Juice And Snacks – Bread Pattice

Although we didn’t have it this time, they also have Sooji Sheera. I found it a little too sweet with a little too much ghee for my taste. But I would recommend you give it a try! They also have sandwiches, juice, tea, coffee, idli sambar.

Bipin Juice And Snacks
Bipin Juice And Snacks

Service here is super fast, but don’t get too late heading out as they run out of the dishes pretty soon cz of the huge crowd. Reaching around 8 would I think be perfect, and definitely not later than 10:30. Also, do note the place is closed on Sundays. The one negative about this place would just be that there’s no place to eat as such. You have to stand on the footpath and the place is so popular that there’s generally no place. We eat in the car but finding parking space too is a bit of a fuss as the place is on the side of a busy main road. So just think it through or if you can, get it packed to enjoy the delicious food in the comfort of your home!

And if by some chance the food doesn’t appeal to you, there are places next door serving yummy dosas and cold sugarcane juice, so you won’t come back disappointed! Do try this place, especially in the rains. Nothing beats the feel of piping hot yummy food in the beautiful monsoons of Pune..Ahh..La Dolce Vita!

My Ratings:

Ambience : 1/5 ; Service      : 5/5 ; Food          : 4/5 ; Pocket Friendly : 5/5