Irish House, Phoenix Market City, Pune

The Irish House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A Power Packed Lunch Indeed !

Rating – 5/5

Irish house brings the concept of Power Lunch with some delicious fare up for grabs. Apart from the usual menu, the Power Lunch Menu has especially designed items with portions curated for a single person.

My recommendations.

Crispy Chicken Parmigiana – I absolutely loved the Crispy Chicken Parmigiana in the foreground, it had a crunch going for it in every bite and combined with a rich baby tomato based sauce had a bit of tanginess that went really well. Coupled with grilled Zucchini spaghetti it couldn’t get any better than this.

Grilled Pepper Chicken – This was one tasty preparation and a must have while you’re here. It’s an interesting departure from the usual accompanying mashed potatoes with this kind of preparation. The red wine jus (French Ju) and the mushroom spaghetti were not the supporting cast here but too this recipe to another level. I would even be tempted to say that I liked the spaghetti more than the chicken but I must add the combination of the three elements – pepper chicken dripped in flavorsome Jus to go with this delicious spaghetti made for an awesome dish.

Lamb Sliders & Drinks – The Lamb sliders or the sort of Mini Burgers were fantastically done and had such nice Kebabish kind of lamb patty that was the soul of this preparation and I loved every single bite of it.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Shake / Spiced Guava Mary

Both drinks were a potent companion for a Teetotaler like me during this lunch, while the spcied Guava Mary was a spiced up drink, the shake had all the goodness of Chocolate with the Peanut butter making up for a special appearance and hence I like it very much everytime I am here.

The Verdict – All the items I tasted in this Power Lunch were fantastic one after the other and at 349-425 bucks per item that is good enough for a single person’s Lunch this is an amazing proposition to be had at a setting like the Irish House, go for it by all means !

1441 Pizzeria, Koregaon Park – Pune

1441 Pizzeria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Go for the Peri Peri Chicken !

Rating – 4/5

What makes for an ideal meal? Good food, cozy environment and a great company ! This was one such evening when all the elements came together and we had a great time.

1441PizzeriaThe Ambience is pretty decent, right now the parking is a paid one while the service though is not lightening fast, the servers were courteous but they need to up their game in terms of being more pro-active in terms of supplying the condiments on to the table. Nothing serious to complain about but just a few little blemishes here and there if avoided can make the overall experience even better.

It’s primarily a Pizzeria but the show stopper for me every time are these perfectly grilled, aptly spiced Peri Peri Chicken Legs. The only slight grudge I can think of is the fact that once the upper grilled/spiced up layer is eaten the stuff beneath is a bit bland. Once this is taken care of there’s just no better preparation than this one by a great margin !

Among the Pizzas I have enjoyed the Krish and Smoked Chicken Pizza while I was there while the Cheese Chilly Chicken bread was pretty decent too ! The Tiramisu in desserts was pretty delicious too and was a good way to finish a good meal.

In a nutshell the newly opened 1441 pizzeria at Koregaon Park is a cool place to chill out if you like your pizzas and chicken wings at not so exorbitant prices. The place has come up next to Starbucks & Savya Rasa in KP, needless to say it’s a must visit for sure !

Royal China, Westin – Pune

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

Royal food outing at Royal China !
Rating – 4.5/5
As we entered this piece of art at the Westin Pune, the first thing we were told that we serve Cantonese food. While no offence to this cuisine but having lived in HK as my Indian taste buds suffered quite a bit, this opening statement did send a shiver down my spine and I was skeptical how this experience gonna turn out.

The Ambience is classy and sort of formal with light music in the background, this isn’t a place for loud parties but rather a place with serene setup and soft conversations.

HotnSourSoupSoups – Chicken hot & sour / Chicken Coriander soup – Out of the two Chicken Coriander will be my preferred option when dining again while hot and sour soup was good in its own right but didn’t quite suit my taste buds.
MongolionFriedChickenStarters – The showstopper of the evening in starters and main course for me was the Mongolian Fried Chicken. These boneless chicken chunks were fried in appetising spices and had that unexpected “chatpata” flavour that was the USP of this preparation 😍

The other recommendations in starters are the steamed chicken & chive dumplings, smoked shredded chicken and fried chicken wanton.

MocktailsMocktails – The Mango punch was the best Mocktail of the evening and after every bite or so I stealthily had a sip or two away from the prying eyes of my companions 🤓

Mains & Desserts – For mains we chose to be a bit more conventional and went for Chicken Fried rice with Chicken in dry red chilly. These are not your usual Indo-Chinese spicy fried rice and chicken preparations but they were pretty good. This can be a good option for Mains if like me you’re biased towards Indian cuisine.

ChocoDomeThe Chocolate Dome dessert was the perfect way to end this memorable dinner, after the initial spectacle of warm chocolate sauce breaking up the dome revealing the Icecream underneath. The end resultant of Icecream dipped in chocolate sauce coupled with crunchy chocolate flaky bits is bound to give some crispy and delicious bites indeed and we loved it 😍
Overall I will rate this experience at Royal China very highly. I would like to add the food here is not authentic Cantonese but it is not your typical Chindian style either. The food here is somewhat a crossover between Indian/Chinese food and it definitely worked for me !

Flechazo, Wakad – Pune

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

Love at first sight – Flechazo !

Rating – 4.5/5

Flechazo Pune is the next best thing in the buffet segment and thankfully a reprieve of sorts from the Barbeque Grills mushrooming in almost every lane of the city. This place has an enormous variety of options to choose from and basically something for everyone.

The seating area is large enough to accommodate over 100 folks at a time and the ambience in general is pretty good, it’s especially lit beautifully during the evenings.

The options vary ranging from making your own Pizza, live counters serving keema Pav, oriental, chaat and other tid-bits on a conveyor belt and what not !The buffet consisting of Starters (14), Mains (12+) and desserts (14+) come on top of all of this ☺️

LiqNitrogen

Liquid Nitrogen at work

The desserts counter is further accentuated by use of liquid nitrogen though it didn’t quite add much to the overall experience for me but it looked good for sure.

However whenever I am here, it’s really these colorful Macarons that I just can’t get enough of and it again ends up a cover picture of my post whether on Insta or on my blog. I can’t help but they are just so photogenic 🙂

Recommendations 

Chicken Wings – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Chicken 65 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Brownies, Macarons and Liquid Nitrogen based Icecream – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mocktails – Kiwi, Watermelon & Apple based were all awesome – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Veg Crispy – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Fish starter – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Chicken Biryani – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Verdict – This blog is a summary of couple of my visits and during the second one, it was time to validate what seemed to be a great promise during the initial one.To be fair to them they actually surpassed my expectations This was one fantastic experience that would be difficult to forget and any buffet place which I visit from now on would be bench-marked against this one for sure.

Lastly I also learnt one more thing as to whatever hacks I may try (like not eating for 14 hours or having a dash of lime & salted water before the meal) I will never have enough appetite to try every single item on their Menu. It’s fantastic and a must visit place !

Onesta, Kalyani Nagar, Pune

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

An honestly fantastic deal & experience at Onesta !

Rating – 4/5

Had a chance to visit Onesta Pune during Navratras (no non-veg) ): I got lucky as part of their #nameoftheweekoffer through which two of us got 4 pizzas, 4 pastas, 2 beverages and 4 desserts in all, totally on the house !

I was wondering as it is with these offers we will be told some fine print and then probably service will be at a different level but none of it came true and we had a pretty good time 🤗

Coming to the food, the Paneer Tikka Pizza was cheesy, crunchy, spicy and biryanimaster enjoyed every bit of this vegetarian pizza.

FarmhouseAndMargaritaUnfortunately the same I cannot say about the Pasta & Margarita Pizza, they were at best – half decent 🙂 The Farmhouse Pizza in the background however was good and loved every bit of it !

The Desserts however were pretty decent and the Chocolate Mousse was fantastic and this is something you should definitely try while you’re at Onesta !

Barbeque Adda, Xion Mall – Pune

Barbeque Adda Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A good place for tasty Barbeque Food !

Rating – 4/5

Barbeque places are a craze in Pune for the last couple of years and we have 20+ brands operating in the City as I write this 🙂 What makes for a special place among so many is not only the numbers but good quality food coupled with good Ambience and warm hospitality.

My latest outing in Barbeque Adda ticked all the right boxes and I was surprised to know that this wasn’t a chain but a homegrown brand of former IT employees which made me appreciate the experience even more 🙂

Among the starters the Tandoori style chicken wings were the best I have ever had while all of the starters were fantastic including the chilly chicken and corn chatpata in the frame.

I must add that almost all of the starters were fantastic and you would be pressed not to eat them in large quantity making the mains a difficult proposition to negotiate as you would be so stuffed 😉

1536068923771.jpeg

The Verdict – The other USP of the place is the availability of Cold stone flavored ice creams in Desserts ! We had a Paan flavoured one and it turned to be pretty good to be honest with a decent sprinkling of nuts and dry fruits ! The rates are pretty reasonable too, it starts from Rs.475++ and goes up-to Rs.640++ based on the day/time of the week.

In a nutshell this place is a must visit when in the vicinity of Wakad / Hinjewadi areas and is an ideal place to have some quality Barbeque time with family and friends !

Babbi da dhaba, Old Pune Mumbai Highway

Hotel Apsara - Babbi Da Dhaba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

An exceptionally ordinary experience !

Rating – 2/5

On our way back on a fine rainy day from Lonavala and having read a bit about “Babbi Da Dhaba” on a Pune based foodie group on facebook and otherwise we decided to have our lunch here.

The setting is pretty ordinary (which I don’t mind as long as food is good) with a logically separated section where folks can have their drinks and smoke (which will eventually find its course to your table too. I hate passive smoking around my child but then this was a Dhaba, people even don’t care about it in City).

The server had no clue of what is the speciality or what one can order, so walked over till the counter and asked “Butter Chicken Meetha toh nahi hoga?” – question I ask every time I am pondering over the decision of ordering a portion of butter chicken away from North India. The answer thankfully was “Chatpata hoga ji – Delhi/Punjab ke jaise” – which was definitely reassuring !

Ordered for Daal Tadka, Half butter chicken, butter naans.

Service was fairly quick and food arrived in a matter of 10 minutes, however from this point onwards everything went downhill ):

1534857119524Daal tadka – there was something very sour about the Daal and it didn’t even taste like the Daal tadka we get in Pune, forget about calling it the Daal Tadka we are supposed to get in Dhabas. On bringing this to their notice they quickly changed it and brought another one in 5 minutes which was less sour but then again not good. To add insult to injury the owner – Senior Daarji comes up and tell us they checked the Daal and there’s nothing wrong with it, I couldn’t tell him that we even feared that the preparation might have been stale, didn’t take another bite !

1534857095799Butter chicken – First things first, this butter chicken wasn’t sweet at all. Infact not even minutely Sweet but it wasn’t a typical Dhaba butter chicken either, no creaminess – just adding a gallop of white butter to a Masala shredded chicken gravy doesn’t make for a typical Punjabi Butter chicken.

This isn’t the first time that my dream of having that perfect Butter Chicken is shattered in and around Pune. However the troubling part is that this was supposed to taste good as I was at a Punjabi Dhaba but I guess that’s what my food destiny had in store for me Today ):

That old Mumbai Pune highway with its string of so called Dhabas continue to disappoint me with their botched up food and serving anything in the name of Dhaba food.

The only slight point I found in favour were the decent pricing compared to the other dhabas on this stretch which will give even some 5 star restaurants a run for their money. Here the overall damages for a decent quantity lunch for two adults and one kid were under 500 bucks.

P.S. – My yardstick of judging this food is of-course the scores of Punjabi/North Indian Dhaba food experiences I have enjoyed over the years in North India (UP/Delhi/Rajasthan/MP).

In case you appreciate the Dhaba food at one of those places then this may not turn out to be your cup of tea.

Mahabhog Thali, JM Road Pune

Mahabhog Thali Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fantastic vegetarian Thali experience !

Rating – 5/5

Saturdays are sadly vegetarian days for me and I am in constant fear as to where I will be dragged along by Wifey dear for the next dosage of vegetarian food .

I respect vegetarian food by all counts but in my personal opinion it is best to be had at home only as per our food orientation being biased towards the non veg side of things when eating out. However the high command loves her vegetarian Thalis. With couple of raving reviews on PEO having caught her eye I knew the writing was on the wall and here we were having our share of Mahabhog on a pleasant Saturday late afternoon.

To be on the safe side I got our table booking done through Zomato and pleasantly we didn’t have to face a lot of crowd (because of rains probably) and were straight away given a table as we reached around 2.30 pm.

1535196916264Some facts:

Parking – Valet parking is thankfully available at an otherwise busy area like JM road.

Cost : Each Thali costs 301 bucks.

Items : inclusive of salads etc there were 27 items in the Thali Today.

Best items : Khandavi, Sitafal Rabdi, Dahi vada.

Service : It was quick and full of courtesy.

Seating capacity : 60 indoor & 60 outdoor.

Waiting time : Can range from 20 to 90 minutes (during peak hours/weekends)

Details:

This is a huge thali and you better be hungry by a margin if you want to enjoy this to the maximum extent.

1535196606391The farsan has a good variety of five options with Khandavi (which I never usually eat) taking most of the honours. It was such a delicately rolled and tender preparation that was prepared with subtle masalas and I absolutely and surprisingly loved it ❤️ The next item which I ate the most was the Dahi vada, though the vada could have been a bit more soft the curd was perfectly sweetened in a subtle manner and I loved it 👍🏼

The dry manchurian was fair enough but was on the edge of being a little more salty than what I would have liked.

The best part about the Mains was that the taste of the items was unique from each other
with Paneer butter masala being the preparation – “jisko kha kar shaadi ke khaane ki yaad aa gayi” back home in Agra 😍

The Punjabi chholay and green peas curries were pretty good too and went well with Puris and later on with pulao.

1535196950396The icing on the cake was the Sitafal Rabdi, it wasn’t the thick preparation I usually like but even in a relatively runny preparation, it maintained its consistency and I ended up having it for more than a couple of rounds.

As was evident from my excitement on the taste and quality I did get a earful of – “dekha maine kaha tha na, veg khaana bhi kha lena chahiye baahar jaakar par tumhe toh biryani he khaani hai”. I nodded my head however couldn’t pay any serious heed and dug even more ferociously into my bowl of Rabdi and boy it was fun indeed👍🏼

In the end when talking to the owner Mr. Roopesh Jain, he came across as an extremely humble person and he further surprised me telling that since Today they had a large Jain group Booking, all of the prepared food today was not just vegetarian but jain compliant too!!

On the whole this experience which started with a lot of reluctance, ended up with a lot of indulgence and as is the case with all the arguments with one’s wife, in this one also there was only one undisputed winner but I was glad that in the process we got introduced to this lovely place and we will surely be back for more.

Damages – 602 bucks, we were not charged for our Daughter as she doesn’t like veg Thalis either and couldn’t eat much but had her fair share of Rabdi and Malpuas !

Grillicious, Kharadi, Pune

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

Pretty good experience at Grillicious Kharadi.

 

Rating – 4/5

Grillicious as the place has been on my hit list for a while and having missed the recently PEO connect at the Baner location courtesy a Project going live over the weekend and ensuing support I couldn’t even plan for it ):

However later on realised that we now have one in Kharadi as well and Today being a Sunday we thought we will give it a try and the overall experience turned out to be pretty good especially with the courteous staff and warm hospitality of the location owner Mr.Bhaskar.

The Ambience is that of the covered rooftop, doesn’t have an AC, but in this season it was pretty cool with just the fans and cool breeze flowing around !

Coming to the food, my recommendations would be Fiery Ghost Chilli Tikka (Bhoot jolokia preparation) – it is indeed chilly but we managed to finish it. Let me warn you the Chilliness wasn’t confined to the tongue but at times it was felt in the throat too but the experience was unique indeed as apart from the chilliness it tasted good and the chicken was tender too !

Among the drinks, chatpata guava and cranberry based Mocktails were pretty decent and went well with the food.

1534683188624Coming back to the food, the “Pack of three-349” worked pretty well where one can select three items from this section of the menu and we were pretty satisfied with Original Chicken crispies, Sichuan Chicken Strips & Fried Onion rings were a good combination to have.

In the Mains the Peshawari Chicken Masala went well with the Garlic butter Naan while in desserts the Gulab Jamun-Rabdi-Motichoor Laddu combination was unique and tasted pretty nice.

1534683781749Overall pretty satisfied with the experience at Grillicious and I can say that is indeed going to be my goto place in Kharadi when planning for a food outing near my place.

Taste of Punjab, Viman Nagar, Pune

Taste of Punjab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A fantastic Buffet experience at Taste of Punjab !

Rating – 5/5

Where – Taste of Punjab, Clover Park 5th Floor (where Rude lounge is, from the same group)

Cuisine / Speciality – North Indian Buffet style food, no ala carte option is available.

Damages – Ranges from 599 bucks to 899 bucks based on veg/non veg lunch/dinner options plus 5% gst.

Parking – Valet parking available.

Alcoholic drinks – Available !

Ambience – The ambience is dazzling, happening types with Punjabi Music that comes out of a Truck shaped DJ.

mehendiWhat’s extra – A mehendi waala which I first found to be a bit odd but all the ladies at one point queued up to get their hands dirty (pun intended) including my better half and I guess a mehendiwaala in middle of a sumptuous buffet does work.

Also there’s a centre stage dedicated for live Bhangra that happens once an hour for a live Bhangra song by their dancers !

Was it any good – It wasn’t just good but it was fantastic . It was only their third day today but the Food and service were right on the button.

Recommendations – Rabdi was fantastic, a little thick just like you get way up North.

The dessert/Multi cuisine Chef is from Banaras and that shows up in the fantastic preparations of Rabdi, Dudhi Halwa & Warm Masala Milk (a first for me in buffets) !

Among the starters, the Chicken Tikka, Cheese balls, Corn tikki, Fish fry, Mushrooms were just fantastic.

From the live counters, the Gobhi Parantha was pretty decent and the Raan Biryani which you can customise like I did to have double Masala added which resulted in a pretty decent mix.biryani

There was also an option to try Punjabi Dosa but we couldn’t try it at all.

From the Mains, both the Chicken and Hare Mirch ka Mutton were good preparations to have. In vegetarian the Daal Makhani was quite rich and prepared just the way I like it and the Paneer gravy was delicious as well.

I didn’t feel like I was having food from a buffet as the quality was as good as when you order something from ala-carte which offers a fantastic value for money quotient.

Preparations I didn’t like were as below:

1. Chicken wings – didn’t taste like your usual Indo Chinese wings but had a taste like that of Indian gravy preparation.
2. Seekh Kebab – as usual in Buffett places, it was hard and a bit chewy
3. Paneer Tikka – completely bland and didn’t offer much to my taste buds.

Although drinks are not included in the buffet price, some Mocktails definitely worth trying here are Mango Tango & Peach Margarita.

I was also told that the Alcoholic drinks are extremely reasonably priced and even the packaged bottles are available at MRP / near to MRP prices. I have been a teetotaler all my life so I have no idea about these claims but just stating what I was told, the interested ones may want to try them accordingly.

ChaatWaalaAt the mentioned price, one is getting 10 starters (served on the table), 2 soups, 3 Veg Mains, 3 Non Veg Mains, 6 salads, 6 desserts, Chaat counter, Biryani counter, stuffed Parantha counter, Dosa counter.

I am definitely impressed by the quality of the buffet items and if they maintain the taste they had on just at Day 3 of their operations, this place definitely has the potential to be the next best thing among buffet food options available in Pune.