China Toss, Kalyani Nagar Pune

China Toss Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A well tossed up meal !

Rating – 4/5.

Had a pretty good time at a food tasting opportunity at China Toss – the best part they do allow your pets to accompany you in their open seating area️. We had a pretty good time with our four month old puppy Oreo and is always a pleasure to see more places allow the pets and pet parents dine together 🙂

The Ambience – The Ambience both in their indoor and outdoor sections is pretty good and especially the outdoor seating was serene indeed. In peak summers, it might be a better idea to sit indoors and enjoy the dazzling indoors too !

The Food – The two best dishes of the evening were the Chicken Khao Suey & Chilly Cheese Mushrooms.

The Drinks – In mocktails, the Fruit Punch & Love on the beach would be two of my strong recommendations.

Other Recommendations – The next best thing in the Menu were the Tandoori Momos and Man they were nicely spiced too. The Chicken Manchow Soup was thick and full of flavours. The Steamed Momos and Fried Prawns were pretty decent and all of this should make up for a good meal here.

BrownieThe Verdict – Staff were pretty courteous and the service was right on the money. Special thanks to Mr.Raj for the warm hospitality bestowed upon us by him and his entire serving staff. The food definitely exceeded my expectations, it’s a pretty good choice for the Indo-Chinese/Chindian cuisine and the rates are moderate considering Kalyani Nagar standards.

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Sigree, DP Road – Pune

Sigree Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A cool experience at one of their Punjabi Food Festivals !

Rating – 4/5.

When you find the most unexpected of delicacies at an unexpected place the feeling of joy is almost uncontrollable.

Something like that happened during my tasting rendezvous at Sigree, DP Road in one of their food festivals quite a while ago in January.

Jalebi

Among other things, the Jalebi here’s fantastic and among the finest I have ever tasted out of North India. It’s a pure desi ghee preparation and works like a charm, it’s crispy, neither too thick nor too thin – to sum up a perfect jalebi with no cardamom or saffron flavouring that really kills the preparation for me at so many other places.

BadaamHalwaThe Badam Halwa was pretty good too and at first look, you may not recognise that it’s a badaam halwa after all.

Talking about the food, almost all the 14 or so starters in the dinner buffet were mouthwatering. Apart from the Jalebi and Badaam Halwa, following would be strong recommendations from my end:

🤟🏼Rawalpindi Paneer Tikka – absolute melt in the mouth preparation.

🤟🏼Samosa Chaat – awesome

🤟🏼Shakarkandi ki Tikki – pretty unique, a little sweet but went well with green chutney.

🤟🏼Murgh Tikka Lahori

🤟🏼Chicken Biryani – not the most outstanding one you would ever find but pretty decent.

🤟🏼Fish Amritsari

🤟🏼Seekh Kebab

🤟🏼Matar Paneer

🤟🏼Gosht Tariwala

🤟🏼Rabdi – thick and lovely.

It’s an absolute thumbs up from my side and biryanimaster definitely khush hua. The service during the tasting was satisfactory and staff did their best to serve and took good care of us.

 

11 East Street Cafe, East Street Pune

11 East Street Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

11 East street Sunday Brunch experience with Oreo !

Rating – 4/5

 

11ESCFirst & foremost, the most fantastic point about 11esc is – They are pet friendly, yippee 👍🏼Not many places in Pune are pet friendly and that’s so surprising in today’s age and world. Having a pet shouldn’t mean that you no longer can’t go out but I am not sure why this segment is still untapped but full marks to them for being pet friendly and the management was fully cooperative especially their Manager Mr.Akshay Thombre for making our four month old puppy Oreo as comfortable as possible.

Pricing : 1200 and 1500 pp for Brunch with unlimited Sangrias / Beer and Cocktails / Spirits respectively.

Cuisine : Continental and Indian.

OreoLet me cover the points concerning pets and pet parents first:

❤️There’s no separate pet area as such in the place, you could sit wherever you want with your furry child on leash and you both would just do fine.

❤️They do have a housekeeping Team in case your doggy’s natural call gets the better of it, thankfully we were vigilant and we didn’t require it for Oreo😍 but you don’t need to worry about it in case of any eventuality, they have your pet covered😅

❤️While they don’t have any pet specific menu but on request they are always up to make something generic like boiled chicken with rice for your pet if necessary!

❤️One area of concern is the overall place can become way too warm for your pet if you’re not in the range of the on-site cooler, during the afternoons especially, hopefully some steps can be taken to fix this👍🏼

Coming to the human experience part of things, in today’s Sunday brunch the mocktails were pretty much up-to the mark with the Sunsplash Mocktail taking the cake.

Among the food, in starters we found the Chicken Seekh Masala, Jalepeno Cheese Balls, both the veg and non veg pizzas to be nice 👍🏼 The Chicken Seekh Kebab wasn’t the most tender that you will ever find but had a good spicy taste going for it, the Pizzas were cheesy, ever so slightly crunchy and were mildly spiced – a good choice for the accompanying kids to relish these for sure.

What didn’t suit my taste buds among some of the other starters were the Fish in mustard sauce, chilly potato sticks and Hunan Chicken.

In the mains we found the Chicken in ginger chilly Sauce, English chicken in Bbq sauce with veg fried rice go well.

SundaeWithCaramelBoth the desserts of Fruit cream custard & Sundae Icecream with caramel sauce were good and infact the best items of the meal❤️

Service varied between a tad too slow during starters to pretty quick during the mains & desserts, again Mr.Akshay coming to the rescue. The place was full during the entire time we were there for the Sunday brunch & overall we had a good time despite a few hiccups.

Lastly TheStateBus band rocked the Sunday brunch with some fabulous Bollywood numbers and mostly it was fun to listen to.

This is a spot we will definitely look forward to come to again with our furry angel in the near future for sure🔥

Arbour Kitchen, Kalyani Nagar Pune

Arbour Kitchen | Drinks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A different experience in Kalyani Nagar !
Rating – 4/5.

Arbour Kitchen | Drinks opened its doors recently during first week of January and I was there as part of the pre-launch invite, yeah I know the post got delayed by a huge margin. However it was one of the few bloggers only events which was managed pretty well and the service was fast for most of the while until after 9 when the place was full.

The Ambience – In terms of ambience the seating is mostly covered outdoors and a few tables indoors too in the bar section, mostly it was tastefully done. It is an ideal setting for the pleasant evenings that we get in Pune almost 9 months of the year and the overall green surroundings and serene atmosphere adds a charm to the place.

Food & Drinks recommendations

Chicken wings were tasty and thankfully weren’t over fried and made for a cool starter.

Mac & cheese balls were cheesy and the accompanying dip made it a fantastic starter and is ideal for kids.

Orange energiser mocktail was an ideal companion with the starters.

Italian Verdure is an ideal choice for vegetarian Pizza lovers and we enjoyed every bite of this cheesy rich preparation and is something one must try if fond of vegetarian pizzas.

ChickenYakitoriThe Yakitori Chicken skewers were sort of bland and could definitely do with a bit more seasoning.

The Verdict – Overall a cool first impression of the place and the first signs definitely look impressive of what is essentially a European food place fused with Indian flavors. The place starts early during the day from breakfast hours (around 8.30 am) and runs till late into the Night and is great option in Kalyani Nagar area for all day dining.

Rude Lounge, Hinjewadi Pune

Rude Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A cool new Place at this side of the Town !

Rating – 4/5

Rude lounge has recently opened its doors in Hinjewadi and the food & drinks is already killing it️.I was recently out there on a tasting invite and I was astonished and bamboozled by the quality and taste of the starters both veg and non veg. In-fact I would go a step further and say the Vegetarian starters I tasted were top notch – as good as one is going to get at the best of places.

The Ambience – The place is done up nicely and has a valet parking at your disposal, has a well stocked bar which I won’t be able to comment upon as I don’t drink but the Mocktails were absolutely fabulous.

Drinks Recommendations – Among the four Mocktails I had, I found the Kiwi Margarita as the best one but overall the quality of Mocktails were right on the button and the Strawberry Margarita was a cool drink too.

The Ginger Twist wasn’t too far either but  somehow I didn’t like Peppery Crush too much. It felt like a Mocktail on the surface but in reality was a Jal-Jeera as its soul and I don’t quite fancy having a Jal-Jeera as my idea of a Mocktail. However some folks may still like it, go for it if you like your Jal-Jeera and similar stuff !

The Food – The first course of the meal was fantabulous with the starters so delicious that we ordered the Corn Cheese Balls and Chicken Tikka Twice despite a long menu ahead of us. The Corn cheese balls accompanied with a gravy kind of sauce were absolutely delicious while the Chicken Sula Kebab was juicy and tasty too !

The other cool starters were the Paneer Tikka – absolutely tender and fantastically marinated to the core – a rare combination as far Paneer Tikka is concerned. I seriously regretted ordering it in half quantity only ): The Bhatti ka Murgh was pretty good too and the Spicy Cheese Balls didn’t disappoint either. Overall the starters deserved 5 stars out of 5 without a doubt and setup some great expectations for the Mains and Desserts.

Mains & Desserts – As an area of improvement I found the Mains on the average side and desserts require a lot of improvement both in terms of quality and variety. They have their new menu coming up so hopefully the slight issue with dessert options would be fixed up as well. Both the Mutton and Chicken gravies failed to leave a mark and Chocolate Brownie felt a little dry so the end wasn’t the ideal one with the expectations the starters and Mocktails had set during the first half of this tasting.

The Verdict – Overall pretty satisfied with starters, drinks and service bestowed by their Captain Mr.Karan during this outing. In general the serving staff overall seemed knowledgeable and knew how to handle someone on an invite as well as other customers dining alongside as was evident during the time I was there. A cool new addition to the Cafe/Lounge section in the Wakad/Hinjewadi area !

Ales, Brews & Ciders, Kalyani Nagar, Pune

Ales, Brews and Ciders Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A well laid out Brunch in a relaxed environment !

Rating – 4/5.

This place has come up fairly recently and comes as a breath of fresh air when I compare most of the cafes/lounges which are standard indoor seating stuff. This one has one entire dedicated open air area covered with canopies to give you that relaxed Brunch experience with your loved ones with a live musical performance to give you that chill out feel !

The Ambience – They have a rooftop setting (wasn’t active when I visited), a fairly decent indoor decor but the one where we sat and relished our Sunday Brunch with a musical performance in the background was their outdoor setting. This is ideal for that perfect winter afternoon (or whatever winter we get here in Pune 🙂

The Drinks – The Bartender’s special (in the second pic) was a fantastic drink and true to its name was indeed special with a milk/creme base, it was closer to your usual Pina-Colada but didn’t have that coconutty flavor thankfully and the strawberry flavor went really well for me.

There were quite a few other options too with bases of Lychee, Curacao, Watermelon and Kiwi etc. I do bicker a lot about places which don’t serve decent options in Mocktails but no complaints here at all in this regard.

The Food – Coming right to the point this Sunday brunch with unlimited food at 799++ is one of the best Sunday brunches that are available in Pune. The atmosphere was further accentuated by some fantastic singing by Ashish Mehrotra .

Some of my must try recommendations would be ️Thecha Mushroom, ️Chicken Satay, ️Chicken Pesto Kebab, Veg Exotica Pizza, ️Thai Grilled Fish, ️White Sauce Pasta. The Pizza & Pasta need a special mention, these two items are just perfect for kids with a lot of gooey cheese at disposal in both the dishes that the kids are just bound to love.

️In the frame is butter chicken that went pretty well with the accompanying butter naans, it wasn’t the best butter chicken if you compare it with what you get in the North but by the Pune standards it was pretty decent if a tad little sweet than I would have liked ! The Chocolate Brownie was pretty standard stuff so nothing much to write home about as it was a decent preparation.

BrunchMenu

The Verdict – The combination of a variety of aforementioned elements made this a Sunday brunch to remember and it comes in two other options too (swipe left till last) at 1099++ and 1399++ for unlimited beer/sangria/wine cooler and IMFL/Selected Cocktails/Beer/Sangria/Wine coolers respectively !

 

Raasta Cafe, NIBM Road, Pune

Raasta Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This Raasta is worth persuing, well mostly !

Rating – 4/5.

Far away in the open spaces, yes they do still exist in Pune – on the NIBM Road at top level of Dorabjee’s Mall was this cool place.

On reaching the place, the immediate vibes were of a chic and happening environment on their covered rooftop.

Due to their location inside the Dorabjee’s Mall, the parking is available in plenty. As I entered the place, the simplistic yet colorful ambience was something that you just can’t miss.

Drinks – Having a non-alcoholic drinking preference can be hard when visiting cafes/lounges these days as the options for mocktails are usually limited and on this count I didn’t find too many options during the tasting session as I was offered a choice between watermelon detox drink, virgin mojito, couple of smoothies and a choice of freak shake which would have been too heavy considering the meal to follow. I didn’t fancy these drinks a lot but the Cold Coffee shake was simply awesome as the drink was thick and had the right quantity of coffee which wasn’t too strong nor too diluted, just perfect !

Recommendations

Cheese Jalepeno Poppers – These were pretty fine, cheesy yet crispy snack that was a cool appetizer to start with.

Creamy Chicken Sandwich was creamy indeed and the filling was classic continental style, you should go for this if you’re looking for a non-spicy and light chicken sandwich to satisfy that sudden bout of hunger.

Wood Fired Pizzas – This definitely seemed one of the better items during the tasting and Indian Spice Chicken Tikka Pizza was true to its name – “Spicy” and the Mozarella cheese complemented the spiciness very well. The wood-fired thin crust only added to the fun and overall I was pretty satisfied with this preparation.

Sizzling Chocolate Brownie – This was the usual Chocolate Brownie preparation that was pretty decent and as standard a brownie preparation one gets anywhere.

The Verdict – Overall I would have rated this visit just about average due to a rather extremely slow service experience, one instance was when it took more than 45 minutes to get the Chicken Fondue preparation which I ultimately cancelled. This is a bit of a rarity on tasting invites so I hope they do all the improvement needed to serve their usual customers as that kind of waiting time is not great to witness. The only reason I am rating them as good – thanks to the Pizza, cold coffee and Cheese Jalepeno poppers preparations as all of them were pretty good indeed !