A decent Prem affair !
Rating – 3.5/5
Address – Close to SBI Training Centre, North Main Road, Koregaon Park
Cuisine – North Indian, Chinese, European
Cost – 1000-1200 for two.
This place has been around for a long time and I remember dining here once during my initial days in Pune in 2004 and since then it was my only visit until Today. This visit was of-course motivated by the absolutely fantastic PEO offer that is available to all PEO Card holders.
The Ambience & Parking – We were a little skeptical to visit them for lunch in this scorching heat as we were aware that there wasn’t an indoor a/c seating option. However I have also heard about their sprinkler based misty ambience which prompted us to give it a try and we weren’t disappointed at all. The sprinklers combined with fans does a good job and we didn’t feel the heat at all.
There’s a large seating section (80% of area) where one can smoke as well and the water sprinklers are at a good height, in the other non smoking section the sprinklers are closer in terms of altitude and you might feel a bit more sprayed with the water droplets so choose your section accordingly. On the Parking front they offer a Valet parking where they park your vehicles in the lane on the opposite side of the road so this is one aspect you don’t have to worry about while you dine at Prems.
The Service – This was probably the best part of the experience, service was fast and top notch. The servers and Captains were all quite courteous and recommendations were made as per our preferences and overall I was pretty satisfied with the experience and didn’t quite mind paying the mandatory 10% service charge that they levy. However I am not quite sure why this isn’t optional still.
The Food – Food was a combination of hits and misses and overall was a decent affair but frankly I had more expectations considering the legend it has become over a period of all these years. Though I have to add that the quantity/portion size of the preparations were fair and in sync with the pricing.
The Veg Manchow (Rs.160) & Chicken Manchow (Rs.200) Soups were right on the button and surprisingly I liked the Vegetarian one better.
Paneer Tikka – This was one preparation that could have been so much better but remained as average due to the marination feeling a little raw, especially the Red chilly powder. Thankfully the Paneer itself was soft and tender and still went Okay with the Salad & Green chutney.
Chicken Banjara Kebab – This came across as a below average preparation as some of the chicken chunks were juicy and properly marinated while others were devoid of proper marination. Consequently some of these chicken chunks had a bit of a raw feeling after-taste which ruined the preparation for me. By the time we discovered this issue everything was on our plates and I had finished 1/3rd of the preparation as well. I informed this to one of the Captains with no intention of a replacement since we had already served everything up and left it at that after providing the feedback.
Paneer Tikka Masala – Along with the Soups this was the best preparation of the Lunch and we enjoyed the rich tomato gravy topped by cream consisting of soft Paneer Tikkas to the fullest with their well prepared Butter Naans. With this we ended our lunch on a happy note but definitely both the Paneer and Chicken starters could have been better and that would have been an ideal meal but this was still decent nevertheless.
The Verdict – This is definitely a friendly place to have your lunch/dinner and expectedly the evenings on weekends are a bit more busy than the afternoons so choose your time of visit carefully. This is an all day dining place so you can time your visit accordingly in case you don’t like waiting for Tables to become vacant. Despite food being mixed bag I would still visit them again and see how other food items hold up, definitely a one time place to visit for sure.