You don’t have to be a Vegetarian to Enjoy Panayaa !
Rating – 4.5/5
Recently had a chance to visit Panayaa (Vegetarian only place) in Mariplex Mall, Kalyani Nagar for a dinner tasting and the first impressions were pretty good. Their food is mostly Indian Food with a Modern take through some level of Molecular Gastronomy and fusion but thankfully they didn’t overdo it despite a huge potential for the same.
The Ambience – The Ambience of the place is classy to say the least and has a very modern feel to it. Some places in Pune do call them fine dine and charge you a bomb for their food with plastic chairs to offer.
However when I say here that they position themselves as Fine Dine they really are up to offer you that classy experience. The presentation of the dishes is quite impeccable as well like the ones you see for instance in the MasterChef series. Till this point everything cosmetic looked pretty good but was it all glitters or was there really any Gold? Read on to find out !
The Drinks – There was an array of Mocktails available at my disposal and they all looked very pretty and colorful together. When it came to the taste, the fruit based ones like the Strawberry Sherbat, Guava Licious & Wild berries were all pretty good. However the thick texture Wild berries flavor (combination of Strawberry crush, Raspberry syrup, lime and mint) stood out the best one for me.
The Starters – Molecular Gastronomy played a crucial role in some of the starters like the Bhelpuri one and later on in the Desserts. My take on this aspect is that as long as it’s not overdone it does add another dimension to a preparation.
For instance it did give both the above preparations a mesmerizing presentation which resulted in a bit of temptation to these age old preparations and that’s the beauty of it. For me both the Bhelpuri Chaat & Khaman Dhokla Oxide were decent preparations but were further enhanced due to their innovative presentation.
Harabhara Kumbh – Undoubtedly this was the star of the evening for me ! Now who serves a Harabhara Kebab with a shaving of cheese and green peas and that too with a filling of Mushrooms but did I forget to tell it was really mind blowing. I feel like I am describing a Galawati Kebab experience but hey I am talking all this about your humble Harabhara Kebab. Don’t miss this one while you’re here, it’s tender from inside but a little crunchy from outside and is not at all dry.
Cottage Cheese Indiana – This was like a usual Paneer Tikka though with an unusual tinge of sweetish flavor to it. The Paneer was soft and creamy and wasn’t bland as sometimes is the case when the outer marination drips out so full marks to this starter as well.
The Mains – With the funky starters over it was time to move to the Mains and frankly speaking I was in a mood to have some plain “Good Indian Food” and Panayaa didn’t disappoint on this count as well. Dal Tadka full of garlic flavor was an absolute delight to go with the all time favourite Jeera rice, loved it totally.
Paneer Multani & Kheema Kasturi – Both these Mains were immediately able to satisfy my cravings for that pure Indian flavor and despite having a sizeable chunk of starters, I ate a good amount of Naans that went absolutely well with these two preparations.
Chocolate Landscape – Till this point despite an interesting evening with good food the best part of the evening was yet to come. Yes this was the final punch and was one sinful preparation with goodness of chocolate, caramel, brownie chunks, kiwi fruit in every bite. The best part of this dessert was the fact that depending on from where you dig in, it gave me four distinct flavors in different bites and all these were good crunchy and juicy flavors. This without a shadow of doubt was the best dessert I had in a long time and the fact that it is prepared live on the table in front of you makes matters only exciting and the quantity is good enough for 3-4 people provided it is eaten like a dessert !
The Verdict – My experience was Top class and I am sure if ever I am going to eat out a Vegetarian Fine Dining Meal in Pune, Panayaa is going to be my one and only choice. So as the title says you don’t have to be a vegetarian only person to visit Panayaa, coming from BiryaniMaster trust me the food here isn’t going to disappoint you even if you’re a hardcore Non Vegetarian like me.
P.S. – They also offer value for money Corporate Lunch Package (Mon-Fri) with a set menu but unlimited servings at Rs.599 All inclusive so this might be a good option to give them an initial look and decide for yourself if you also like it as much as I did !