Food Galore with the PEO Menu !
Rating – 4.5/5
So what do you do when you have a large and I mean it a really large set menu consisting mostly of tasty items in front of you? You eat them and you better have the appetite to have them all so if PEO Menu is on your mind I would advise going with an empty stomach and probably after a round or two of Lemon water (limbu-paani) to keep an honest appetite 😉
Ambience – I don’t really have any pics to describe the Ambience as like the Arjuna of the greatest epic my sole focus was the Food and only THE FOOD. However I can say the Ambience is pleasant to have a quiet meal with your loved one if you’re sitting inside while the outdoor seating is pretty decent as well.
The Soups – Kumbh Adraki Shorba & Steamed Keema Wanton Shorba – Both the soups were tasty and simply delicious and are satiable enough for Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian food lovers. Surprisingly the creamy and mushroomy vegetarian soup takes the cake here, I loved it !
The Salads – Choices of three salads – Two Vegetarian and one Non Vegetarian were available but we chose to give them a pass in the interest of delicacies to follow.
Mushroom Galauti Kebab – With the word galauti / galawati associated with a dish comes a great responsibility. To a large extent despite this being a vegetarian variant comprising of mushroom filling this was one delicious veg starter to kick-off our gastronomic journey.
Palak Cheese Fritters – This was the biggest revelation of the set menu and this was the best starter for me during our outing. It was everything you would expect in a pakoda, it was crispy from the outside yet juicy from inside with melted cheese and spinach making a savage combination. Did I forgot to mention the hari mirch ka thecha – this indeed was the icing on the cake with the thecha providing the required spicy kick and the two partners in this gastronomic crime blew us away with its outstanding taste !
Chatpatta Aloo Sliders – These sliders came in a burger like presentation and for a starter largely dominated by Potatoes was pretty decent, we did manage to gallop more than a couple of them gleefully.
Malai Kasundi Chicken Tikka – Tender and with a distinct yet subtle taste of Kasundi, this was the first non vegetarian starter of the lunch and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Chicken Khurchan Roti crisps – Chicken tid-bits served on top of crispy roti morsels, a pretty decent starter.
Amritsari Bombil with Mango Chutney – Nicely flavored Fish preparation with not a lot of spices and it went well with the Mango chutney. The fish chunks were crispy yet tender and had everything going for it !
Bombay Sapphire Prawn Pakodas – This was another delicious fritter though not as phenomenal as the Palak Cheese Fritter but tasted really nice and a match made in heaven for Prawn lovers.
The Mains – I was almost already full by this time and the idea of able to finish Mains and desserts was as exciting as one would feel to travel from Kharadi to Baner on a Friday evening 😉 Nevertheless I was determined and the Limbu-Paani + empty stomach combination came to my rescue and after a bit of cooling off period we approached Mains with vigor.
The Matka Butter Chicken Lasagna – It was a close contest between this and the Palak Fritter for the best dish of the meal and in the end both were first among the equals. This I would say is the epitome of innovation where the Chef and their Team have created a combination which I haven’t quite seen anywhere else. You have to taste it to understand what is being talked about here and whether PEO menu or not, this is one dish you cannot miss if you’re at Zora.
Mutton Nihari, Brun Pao – A flavorful Nihari is what we relished with an interesting combination of brun pao. Another innovative pairing and our tummies were now dangerously close to exploding but as they say there’s always room for desserts we decided to move on.
Reshmi Malai Chicken Tikka Biryani – When you’re the Biryani Master, this was one dish I was looking forward to and after informing the Captain that we require this to be prepared in a spicy variant, the end result didn’t really disappoint me ! Not quite the traditional biryani but it was a decent attempt which I sort of liked
Areas of improvement – Though our experience with most of the items was great but few points certainly came up that required improvement in both service and food, here’s a brief on them :
The Desserts – This was one area where I expected a bit more flavors and the combinations didn’t work for me as well. With the Chocolate Puri not available for the day and one dessert option of your usual ice-cream variant I felt a little underwhelmed by the choices of Desserts (Two in particular for the day) after a varied and distinct overall Menu. It didn’t seem to be a deal breaker for me as we were too full anyway but this is an area where I saw a definite scope of improvement.
Non Alcoholic Sodas – In all four flavors of these sodas were available but I found the flavors in all of them too subtle to really like them and the level of sweetness was considerably less than what I would like to have in my drinks accompanying starters.
Paneer Achari Wonton – The only starter which actually disappointed us as it was way too oily than what was desired and on bringing the oily aspect to the Captain we got a standard reply as you would expect at so many places (but not in Zora) – “Sir that’s the way it is prepared everywhere and we can’t really help with the extra oil as it is the nature of the preparation !”
The Service – Since we went for Lunch and apart from us only one other table was occupied, at times the lag between some dishes and across courses was definitely something which I couldn’t ignore, even the billing and the time to apply the PEO offer took a good 10-15 minutes from the time I asked for check.
The Verdict – It is a fabulous place to visit in terms of quality of food, their innovations actually work for most of the visiting customers and the owner is extremely passionate about what he serves. It is just a matter of handling the aforementioned nitty gritties otherwise as an unassuming Zora customer you’re in for a joy ride with very few hiccups !