A legendary place that still stands tall !
Rating – 4/5
This Restaurant falls into the elite category of select few legendary places in Pune that has stood the test of time and people still throng the place like it has just opened. They offer a wide variety of cuisines under one roof like North Indian, Chinese and Persian to name a few. It’s always a great idea to try their Persian specialties as that’s what they traditionally have been offering though I didn’t have any serious complaints about their North Indian variants either.
I have gone at different times in the evenings and anytime you go after 8 please be prepared for a waiting time ranging from 15 minutes to half an hour especially on the weekends. However like minded people like me don’t mind waiting just to witness George’s different take on kebabs, biryanis and meat gravies that stand them apart from the other traditional and contemporary settings.
Let’s start with the first impressions, on an extremely busy area of East Street Parking is something that you have to manage on your own apart from a limited area for two wheeler vehicles in front of the place. For parking cars you have to rely on the adjoining stretches of ear marked parking on the East Street but please be careful about the designated spots else there’s a great chance that after a hearty meal you may land up in Camp police station to fetch your towed vehicle as the traffic police is extremely strict in this area and rightly so to manage the huge traffic trails usually.
Coming to the Seating and Ambience the place has both AC and Non AC seating. The Non AC seating is on the ground while the upper floor has the pleasures of indulging in their delightful food with the comfort of Air conditioning. I have had my experiences in both the sections and both are equally good, the ground floor section is pretty airy and on most days you would do just fine in the Non AC section as well. Though as per expectations the ambience of the AC section is better than the Ground floor.
Service is quite assembly line like and no nonsense, you get seated, order your stuff, eat, pay and leave. Mostly there’s a sense of urgency with the scores of people waiting outside somehow you do get influenced and you do want to get rid of the ordering part as soon as possible and prepare yourself for the foodgasm to follow !
As with these places it definitely helps to know in advance what to order, I mean if you order the Indo-Chinese fare here and expect that it would be top class then probably you’re having some twisted expectations that may not get fulfilled ever.
So save yourself some trouble and especially after that you have managed to enter unscathed and wondering what to order, go for the following and I can vouch you won’t be disappointed !!
Chello Kebabs – 4.5/5, firstly you got to have a taste for the dish as otherwise chances are that you may find the mutton minced seekh served with subtle flavored rice a bit bland if you compare with the usual North Indian Mughlai items. Within the cuisine this preparation falls into, they do an oustanding job and full justice to the Chello Kebabs. Striking off a .5 as at times I would have hoped the mutton seekh was more tender. Though they get it right most often than not however there is some scope of improvement in this area.
George Supreme Mutton Gravy – 5/5, a wonderful preparation that is not too spicy but not bland either. The succulent mutton pieces just have a texture of melt in the mouth types and is an absolute pleasure to behold to go along with their awesome butter naans.
Mutton Dum Biryani – 4.5/5 – This is different from both the Hyderabadi and Lucknawi variants and is closer towards the Iranian style preparation of biryani. It’s not very spicy at all but has all the required flavors to stand apart from its more extravagant cousins in terms of spice level. You can easily cut the mutton pieces from bones with a spoon without engaging fork or knife as the mutton is that tender and juicy. The Biryani has the right amount of Masala along with the white rice that lends such a fine balance between the two which many innumerable places miss so easily resulting in either an over-spiced or bland preparation.
Nawabi Gosht – 4/5 – This was available as one of the specials of the Night when I visited. I ordered this since they ran out of George Supreme Mutton at 9.30 pm (speaks volumes about the popularity of the dish) and I thought the preparation was good enough to the extent that I didn’t miss the George Supreme too much.
Tandoori Chicken – 3/5 – This was one item which I was not very impressed about, though nothing awfully wrong here but I thought they can do with a better marinade so that once the top layer of chicken is consumed the remaining portions don’t taste completely bland.
Among the desserts their Caramel Custard is pretty good and is a nice icing on the cake types item to sign off your meal.
If you could withstand the waiting time, overall busy look and feel in terms of traffic of the Camp/East Street area then go ahead and have a meal here asap and you would definitely feel good about what you ate !