Good option for Mughlai Food !
Rating – 3.5/5
Tarawade Clarks Inn falls into the category of Business/Boutique class Hotels located a little off JM Road. The franchise is part of the well known Clarks Group in Northern parts of India like in Delhi NCR, UP and Uttarakhand, they are now making forays into Western India as well and this is an attempt into a different segment of Boutique Hotels unlike their Grand five star hotels like the one located in Agra.
As a young 10 year old food enthusiast I have fond memories of attending a number of my Dad’s Office parties back home in Agra in The Clarks Shiraz Hotel. I always loved their chicken kebabs, those were one hell of perfectly marinated and superbly cooked morsels of chicken tikkas I ever had. Back in those days in the 90’s I used to wait for Dad’s Office’s annual party as it usually took place in Clarks therefore this visit definitely reminded of all those fantastic memories and the nostalgia of some lip smacking food.Talking about food let me get straight to the point in the next section.
Food – 4/5 – I would rate them a pretty good 4 on a scale of 5 simply because of the North Indian / Mughlai taste they have on offer.
There was a Wine tasting presentation/session as part of the invite by Rhythm Wines which are basically into the business of fruit based wines. They had two offerings in the shape of Peach and Alphonso Mango Wine. However the poor me isn’t quite inclined towards anything alcoholic so I gave that a miss, I’ll leave it to the other foodies to comment on the Wines.
Food Recommendations – The Mutton Biryani, Fish Tikka, Mutton Seekh & Paneer Tikka.
Mutton Seekh Kebabs – 3.5/5 – One of my foremost issues with most places serving this delicacy is the hardness associated with the end product. However thankfully this wasn’t the issue here. It was a relatively tender preparation but wasn’t quite the melt in the mouth preparation and that’s where it needs to improve. I have been brought up on Seekh Kebabs that are almost impossible to pick up without breaking into pieces so in that aspect they definitely have to further improve to make it more tender the way a real authentic seekh kebab needs to be.
Fish Tikka – 4/5 – The Fish tikka was chargrilled well, had good amount of spices and was tender enough for a good bite that one could hope from a Tandoori starter.
Paneer Tikka – 4/5 – The Paneer tikka was amply spiced if a little short on salt, but it’s USP was in its moistness and tenderness.
Mutton Biryani – 4/5 – This was promised as a Awadhi style preparation however the end result wasn’t quite exactly that though I won’t complain at all. The reason being I like my Biryani at-least to be a bit spicy if not super spicy like my favorite Hyderabadi variant. On the other hand the Awadhi style of Biryani is aroma based with usually no khada masaala being visible in the end product. All the different ground spices are usually put in a potli and removed once the cooking process has finished. The end result of this style of cooking is minimum taste of spices but with maximum aroma of these very spices.
The biryani that we were served in the tasting session was like a Mughlai Biryani that you typically get in Northern parts of India, I have had these all my life while growing up in Agra so I absolutely loved it. It was moist, flavorful, had a lot more spices than a typical Awadhi Biryani but the spice level was still subtle compared to a Hyderabadi Biryani. I would have rated them 5/5 on the biryani preparation if not for an average quality of mutton chunks that really messed with an otherwise perfect preparation.
Desserts – 3/5 – Gulab Jamun and Vanilla ice cream served as the final destination of our tasting session and didn’t really evoke any out of the ordinary response from my taste buds but pretty alright.
Service – 2.5/5 – The service we had during the tasting was Average and would be great to see them improve in this area as they already have a good texture and taste to their food so an improvement here will only complement them perfectly.
Ambience – 3/5 – The restaurant area has a capacity of 50-55 covers and comes with a fairly stocked bar towards the side of the entrance. The furnishings and decorations within the Restaurant are fairly new so it offered a good enough ambience for a quiet family dinner.
Credits – A special word of thanks goes to the BTeam for extending me the invite of this session and it’s always great to have interesting conversations over the food with Divyanshu, Vaibhav, Arvind, Neel & Maanas. To make matters even more interesting I had the company of Ashish & Anupam as well on the dinner table. It was also good to meet first time with some of the other foodies in Pune – Sarah, Sidhartha, Saquib, Alok and some more. Also had interesting conversations with foodie cum techie Basant responsible for the FoodieApp that should be launched in Pune pretty soon so it was an evening well spent for sure.
For the Tarawade Clarks Inn, special mention goes for Mr. Arindam Sarkar (the GM) and Mr. Tarawade (the franchise owner) for hosting us. It was a fairly good experience.