Kabab Hut, Sun n Sand, Bund Garden Pune

Kabab Hut - Sun N Sand Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A Mughlai Food affair to remember !

Rating – 4.5/5

These days there are Buffets of all kind available in Five Star Hotels/Fine dining restaurants which are at times so lavish that you would never be able to relish all the delicacies yet half of the items end up just making the numbers instead of being called taste-worthy. And then there are Buffets like this one which are not so lavish in the number of items but the items that do make it to your plate are brilliant which was indeed the case when I ended up sampling their Menu on a mundane Wednesday evening.

The Menu that is on offer as part of the Fixed (yet unlimited) Dinner menu had the following (see pictures) and I must say each and every item was impeccable in taste and I thoroughly enjoyed my outing !

They also scored Brownie points when I requested them to replace the Malai Jheenga (prawns) with some chicken/mutton starter without sweat which was refreshing to observe as Restos these days can be extremely fussy about things like these but it wasn’t the case here. The extra half point in this review is because of the extended hospitality and no fuss service 🙂

The Food – 4.5/5

I have spent 20 years of my life gorging on the aromatic (Lucknawi) and spicy (Delhi/Agra) Mughlai preparations and I believe this gives me a upper hand when talking about Kebabs and Biryanis in particular. I have been to Kabab hut before and one parameter I was also looking to judge was on the consistency front and they came on top here as well. A look into the hits and misses of the day in brief as below:

What can’t be missed (Non Veg)- Chicken Seekh Kebab – The bestest Chicken seekh kebab I have ever had, it was all that you could hope for – it was juicy, tender and had a silky texture which was mildly spiced yet so tasty that I had at-least ten pieces of it if not more. It was so good that it beat the Mutton seekh kebab easily.

The Hits –  Mutton Galawati Kebab (tender and juicy, would have liked a little less of Saffron essence though), Mutton Seekh Kebab (the best part that it was tender enough though not melt in the mouth category but fairly good)

The Misses – Chicken Hariyali Kebab (the marination was ordinary and the chicken wasn’t tender though wasn’t chewy either) , Kasundi Macchi Tikka (easily the most forgetful preparation of the evening, it was dry and had an overpowering pungent smell)


What can’t be missed (Veg) – Chhaine se bhare khumb – The stuffed mushroom starter was divine to say the least and I would rate it right up there with the Chicken Seekh Kebab. Spicy mushrooms with creamy stuffing made up an almost perfect combination.

The Hits – Malai Paneer Tikka – Paneer coated with Malai which is spiced in the most subtle of manners makes up for a very good starter especially if you don’t like your food to be spicy.

The Misses – Paalak ki Tikki – This failed to leave any out of the ordinary impression as the preparation still had the raw taste of spinach which didn’t really go well as a starter dish.

The Main Course – 3.5/5 – The main course has a choice of either Daal Tadka/Daal Makhani and you could order a choice of breads. When you come to think about it that’s not an option to really write home about. However the meal focuses primarily on Kebabs and Biryani and apart from a few chinks here and there they were able to deliver what was promised i.e. awesome Kebabs and mouth watering Biryani.

Dum Pukht Mutton Biryani  – 4.5/5 – No matter what I write about here, one has to taste the Biryani to experience that almost perfect combination of long grained basmati rice, nicely spiced up mutton chunks and that hidden spicy gravy under the white and colored rice. I really had to struggle not to stuff myself with the tasty kebabs so as not to miss out on the awesome biryani later and the strategy turned out great in the end.

Desserts – 3.5/5 – The two options comprising of Malai Kulfi & Gaajar Halwa were not the greatest of choices available but after a heavy meal proved to be decent enough. The Malai Kulfi was how it should be however the Gaajar Halwa could have been a lot better as it seemed a bit dry and was devoid of dry fruits and khoa which could have enhanced the preparation.

Ambience & Service – 4/5 – The Ambience was fair enough with most of the Restaurant available only to us we enjoyed a pretty attentive service as well. We were served well by Mr.Anup and Mr.Kamal and all the dishes were replenished without any noticeable lags. We also had the pleasure of meeting the Chef Mr. Chandramani Patel who dished out some really wonderful preparations and we had a nice little conversation regarding the tasty delicacies.

In a nutshell with a set yet unlimited menu I would rate the Kabab Hut very highly for Mughlai and North Indian food, go for it if you’re in a mood for some authentic Kebabs and Biryanis 🙂

Kokkita Hadapsar, Pune

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


It’s a good find for sure !

Rating – 4/5

Kokkita is derived from an Indonesian name koki-kita which means “Our Cook”. As the name suggests they believe in laying importance on the heart of their kitchen i.e. the Cook. They definitely had flavors going for them in the complementary meal we were served at the recently concluded Zomato Meetup on Monday,14th December.

The Location

People who are not familiar with the Hadapsar Area may find it a discovery of sorts to uncover the restaurant’s location but thankfully Google Maps have listed them correctly so if you’re going there first time it will help to go with GPS. I took the left turn after the Magarpatta bridge and this road though was a bit narrow at times but was devoid of any traffic compared to the congested road that goes between the Amanora and Seasons malls.

The place apparently has two parkings, one that leads to their indoor AC section while the other bigger and valet facilitated parking leads to their vast Garden Area.

The Ambience – I rate them a very good 4/5 on this parameter.

Kokkita has both an indoor and outdoor seating space designed to cater to people’s preferences. The indoor section is Air conditioned and can house upto 90-100 people at time while the outdoor section would be my preferred one. The outdoor section comes with a garden type setting which is further accentuated by some interesting artifacts like a fish aquarium at a couple of places with one of them situated beneath the pathway under a transparent glass so you can literally walk over it. There’s a set of fountains located in the garden area as well which makes up an ideal spot for a photo session which we all foodies did while we were there 🙂
The outdoor section is huge and can accommodate up to 200 people at a time and in addition they have a banquet hall as well with a capacity of 120-150 which could be utilized for private parties I guess.

The Food – I rate them a very good 4/5 on this parameter.

The Zomato menu that was planned for the event was huge and had atleast one dish from the different cuisines like Mughlai, Chinese, Sea food, continental etc to give the foodies a taste of most of their items. The menu selection definitely deserves credit, at times in other food tasting sessions I have seen the menu turn out to be one dimensional, serving different dishes containing almost the same ingredients but not here and thankfully so !


The Zomato meetup started up with a serving of soups and mocktails, conscious of the huge menu I decided to keep away from the soups and ordered my Guava based mocktail – Guava spice colada which came with a pinch of salt all over the glass’ edges. The drink was fair enough and I would rate it 3/5.

Drinks – I am a non alcoholic drinker but judging by reaction of other foodies it seemed the alcoholic drinks were a rage and to me the most mystical drink was a fire shot called as           B- 52. The B-52 is a combination of three types of liquer namely Coffee liquer, Irish cream chocolate flavor and Cointreau orange flavor. It’s served as a shot and is to be ignited and gulped in a single shot !

We even had mocktail shots during the end of our meal which was strawberry syrup based and was quite average to be fair. 

Starters and Salads – I rate them a very good 4/5 on this parameter.

I will first talk about the starters I liked from the Menu and then come to the ones that didn’t quite exceed my expectations:

Red Chilly Garlic Chicken – 4.5/5, this was spicy alright and had a lot of things going for it like the spice level, the chicken quality was good and the end result was tender chicken in a spicy sauce and I liked it very much.

Lucknowi Mutton Chops – 4.5/5, it was tasty and again the mutton was really tender, I thought of ordering a second serving but again due to the items to come I restrained myself from doing so. In any starter comprising of mutton the key is to not have that raw smell of mutton as otherwise it’s a complete turn off however there were no such issues with the preparation and I liked it good.

Stuffed Mushroom – 4.5/5, the evidence that I am rating mushrooms higher than the mutton chops speaks volumes about the preparation. This was chargrilled mushrooms with a tasty filling and the end result was a perfectly grilled mushroom with a soft stuffing that took the preparation to a higher level.

Chicken Caesar Salad – 3.5/5, it was good but with so much of meat around I wasn’t really a taker for any type of salad on that evening but I did taste it in order to rate it fairly.

Paneer Hot pan – 3.5/5, this was sizzler style preparation of paneer and went well with my Guava mocktail.

Coming to the other starters, I didn’t like them as much as I liked the ones above, a brief about them as below:

Achari Paneer Tikka – Being an achari preparation I think the end result of tanginess was a little too much for my liking.

Tawa surmai & Tandoori surmai – I found both of them a little too pungent than what I usually come across and didn’t end up eating them as much as other starters.

Murgh rossali kebab – I digged into this with great expectations and to an extent it was bit of a letdown with the starter coming out dry on the top and that was the deal breaker for me. The presentation of the dish was however good.

Mains – I rate them a good 3.5/5 on the mains, there were fish, mutton and chicken gravies each in Non Veg and for me the main attraction of the meal was the Mutton Biryani. Out of the mains I liked the Chef’s special chicken and Mutton rogan josh which went really well with a fair enough Mutton Biryani. The Biryani could have been a bit more spicy and could have definitely done with a bit more masaala rice as I thought probably the white rice outnumbered the masaala one with some margin.

To be honest after the rather sumptuous starters I was expecting the mains to be in the same league. Though the mains were pretty decent but didn’t quite enjoy as much I liked the starters, probably I had one too many going for me 😉

The meal ended with a serving of sizzling brownie, imagine a soft brownie topped by a soft scoop of Vanilla and then dipped in sizzling hot chocolate sauce. The fact about the dessert was that it tasted really nice when the three constituents were eaten together. It was like any other brownie but the sizzle factor made it stand out from the mundane brownie preparations.

Service – I rate them a good 3.5/5 on this parameter, we were served well by our servers Mr.Ashim and Mr.Nigam. Our Captain Mr.Haridas was on his toes all the time and we had a good interaction with their Manager Mr.Rokade as well more than a couple of times. Mr.Rokade came and gave us personal attention to check if things were going as per expectations.

On the improvement part I can see there was some level of confusion on who ordered what and things got mixed up on more than a couple of occasions and probably the turnaround time needs to be improved a bit as well 🙂

About the Zomato Meetup Zomato Meetups are always fun and apart from the complementary food the other big attraction is to meet foodies, the ones who’s posts you read and rejoice and it was great to share the table with Malay, Mishri, Abhishek, Ankita and Shreyasi. A big note of thanks goes to Vaishnavi for the invitation and rest of the Zomato staff (Mohammed, Kishore and Shravanthi) for making the event possible and giving us company.

In the end I want to thank the Management of Kokkita and especially the Proprietor Mrs. Archana Wasulkar, it’s always nice to see a Woman drive Business and I wish her all the best for her future endeavors 🙂

Hyderabad House Hinjewadi, Pune

Hyderabad House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hyderabadi Cuisine at it’s spicy best !

Rating – 3.5 /5

Having heard so much about the biryani twins of Hinjewadi namely A1 Biryani House and Hyderabad House it was always on my radar to visit these outlets for quite a while. Since I live in Kharadi and Hinjewadi is literally at the other end of Pune I couldn’t make it here so far thanks to the horrific Pune traffic nowadays.

Therefore while returning from one of our road trips recently from Ahmedabad we thought of giving Hyderabad house a try. After a hectic drive of close to 11 hours thanks to the chaotic Mumbai traffic though a breezy drive from the expressway we landed up at the Hyderabadi Biryani land of sorts here in Pune 🙂

Ambience – I rate them a decent 3/5 though it has enough room for improvement.

We reached there on a Saturday evening at 8 pm and thankfully there was one parking spot remaining for my car in front of the restaurant and I accepted it gleefully. There’s a full time security guard who will assist you with the parking though just towards one of the restaurant’s sideways there was another area where a number of two wheelers were parked.

As could be measured from the Parking numbers I realized that the place was almost full and as I entered there were chaotic scenes near the entrance/reception area with the entire reception area blocked by people. I was scared initially as to whether these people were waiting for a table to become vacant? Later I realized these were the folks who were waiting to pick up their parcels much to my pleasure 🙂

I quickly scanned the area 180 degree and thankfully found a table with chairs at one side and a sofa seating at the other end, visiting with a child I always prefer this type of setting so we gladly occupied the table and next step was to get someone’s attention to take our order.

Service – I rate them an average 2.5/5, definitely an area of improvement for sure.

Due to the place almost being like a Circus with just people running from pole to post I had realized that it would definitely be troublesome to get some good service and I wasn’t completely wrong. It took more than a good 10 minutes and at least couple of reminders for the service staff to give us a visit on our table and take down our order.

Eventually sanity prevailed and out of the blue came our food messenger cum Captain and with a sigh of relief we placed our order with a hope to dig in to the delicacies as soon as possible. Expectedly our starters arrived after another 25 minutes and we knew the wait time and attention span of the servers is going to be along similar lines and accordingly we set our expectations and enjoy while we were there.

Food – I rate them a good 4/5 and the food is almost worth the hype though it’s not outstanding to be honest.

We ordered Tandoori chicken, Hyderabadi Chicken with Butter Rotis and of course the Central character of Hyderabad house – the Aroma’s Special Mutton Biryani. Here are the specific ratings and my take on each of the preparations.

Tandoori Chicken – 4/5, easily the most spicy tandoori chicken I have eaten not just in Pune but possibly most of the places I have eaten even and I just loved it as that’s the way it’s supposed to be prepared. The rating of 4/5 is because the chicken could have been a bit more tender and the dish was lacking only in this aspect.

Hyderabadi Chicken – 3/5,  it was more of a formality for me to order this as I was impatiently waiting for the Biryani but nevertheless to complete this course of meal I played along and just had a single butter roti to keep enough space for the Biryani 🙂 Coming back to this dish, it was a usual Chicken korma type gravy preparation though still different from the run of the mill ginger/garlic based gravies but I thought the dish demanded a more distinct presence of Hyderabadi cuisine as it almost tasted like a typical Mughlai Chicken Korma.

Aroma’s special Mutton Biryani – 4/5, at last came the hero of our meal and the first look was pretty impressive with the biryani not being dry and accompanied with a number of tender and succulent mutton pieces.

For some people it may taste like an overdose of spices but thanks to the Hyderabad House Kitchen Team they have tried to replicate the taste of Hyderabadi Biryani right here in Pune. For those who have tasted the original at Hyderabad and who understand the cuisine should realize that it’s supposed to be prepared spicy and boy spicy it surely was !! The accompanying saalan only accentuated the taste further and we enjoyed every single bite of the long awaited Hyderabad House Biryani.

Admittedly though I was a bit underwhelmed by the overall taste if I compare it with the Secundarabad’s Paradise Biryani but going by the ever degrading biryani standards of Pune it felt like an Oasis in desert for sure 🙂

With that cliche it’s time for me to pack my bags and being done for the night 😉 However if you’re a Biryani lover (like me) you must go to Hinjewadi at least once, I am definitely going again to taste their Mughlai Chicken Biryani.

Despite their good food I believe with the prices they’re charging they have a moral responsibility to make the dining experience a bit more user friendly for their customers and reduce the clutter that’s evident at least in the evenings and strive to improve their customer service as well. For food alone I would have rated them at least a 4/5 but if I take all the parameters into consideration then I guess a 3.5 it is ! Cheers 🙂

George Restaurant East Street, Pune

George Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A legendary place that still stands tall !

Rating – 4/5

This Restaurant falls into the elite category of select few legendary places in Pune that has stood the test of time and people still throng the place like it has just opened. They offer a wide variety of cuisines under one roof like North Indian, Chinese and Persian to name a few. It’s always a great idea to try their Persian specialties as that’s what they traditionally have been offering though I didn’t have any serious complaints about their North Indian variants either.

I have gone at different times in the evenings and anytime you go after 8 please be prepared for a waiting time ranging from 15 minutes to half an hour especially on the weekends. However like minded people like me don’t mind waiting just to witness George’s different take on kebabs, biryanis and meat gravies that stand them apart from the other traditional and contemporary settings.

Let’s start with the first impressions, on an extremely busy area of East Street Parking is something that you have to manage on your own apart from a limited area for two wheeler vehicles in front of the place. For parking cars you have to rely on the adjoining stretches of ear marked parking on the East Street but please be careful about the designated spots else there’s a great chance that after a hearty meal you may land up in Camp police station to fetch your towed vehicle as the traffic police is extremely strict in this area and rightly so to manage the huge traffic trails usually.

Coming to the Seating and Ambience the place has both AC and Non AC seating. The Non AC seating is on the ground while the upper floor has the pleasures of indulging in their delightful food with the comfort of Air conditioning. I have had my experiences in both the sections and both are equally good, the ground floor section is pretty airy and on most days you would do just fine in the Non AC section as well. Though as per expectations the ambience of the AC section is better than the Ground floor.

Service is quite assembly line like and no nonsense, you get seated, order your stuff, eat, pay and leave. Mostly there’s a sense of urgency with the scores of people waiting outside somehow you do get influenced and you do want to get rid of the ordering part as soon as possible and prepare yourself for the foodgasm to follow !

As with these places it definitely helps to know in advance what to order, I mean if you order the Indo-Chinese fare here and expect that it would be top class then probably you’re having some twisted expectations that may not get fulfilled ever.

So save yourself some trouble and especially after that you have managed to enter unscathed and wondering what to order, go for the following and I can vouch you won’t be disappointed  !!

Chello Kebabs – 4.5/5, firstly you got to have a taste for the dish as otherwise chances are that you may find the mutton minced seekh served with subtle flavored rice a bit bland if you compare with the usual North Indian Mughlai items. Within the cuisine this preparation falls into, they do an oustanding job and full justice to the Chello Kebabs. Striking off a .5 as at times I would have hoped the mutton seekh was more tender. Though they get it right most often than not however there is some scope of improvement in this area.

George Supreme Mutton Gravy – 5/5, a wonderful preparation that is not too spicy but not bland either. The succulent mutton pieces just have a texture of melt in the mouth types and is an absolute pleasure to behold to go along with their awesome butter naans.

Mutton Dum Biryani – 4.5/5 – This is different from both the Hyderabadi and Lucknawi variants and is closer towards the Iranian style preparation of biryani. It’s not very spicy at all but has all the required flavors to stand apart from its more extravagant cousins in terms of spice level. You can easily cut the mutton pieces from bones with a spoon without engaging fork or knife as the mutton is that tender and juicy. The Biryani has the right amount of Masala along with the white rice that lends such a fine balance between the two which many innumerable places miss so easily resulting in either an over-spiced or bland preparation.

Nawabi Gosht – 4/5 – This was available as one of the specials of the Night when I visited. I ordered this since they ran out of George Supreme Mutton at 9.30 pm (speaks volumes about the popularity of the dish) and I thought the preparation was good enough to the extent that I didn’t miss the George Supreme too much.

Tandoori Chicken – 3/5 – This was one item which I was not very impressed about, though nothing awfully wrong here but I thought they can do with a better marinade so that once the top layer of chicken is consumed the remaining portions don’t taste completely bland.

Among the desserts their Caramel Custard is pretty good and is a nice icing on the cake types item to sign off your meal.

If you could withstand the waiting time, overall busy look and feel in terms of traffic of the Camp/East Street area then go ahead and have a meal here asap and you would definitely feel good about what you ate !

G1 G2 G3 G4 G5

Atmosphere 6, Viman Nagar

******************** Update 7th Feb 2015 ********************

Since the time I wrote this review initially I have been to Atmosphere 6 more than a couple of times and I have the food to be awesome always.

Chicken Malai Tikka, Rozali chicken tikka and Lahori Murgh are among the best dishes. Among the mocktails they have one with a leechi base and it’s quite good as well.

Service and ambience is good always, gonna visit again soon 🙂

******************** November 2014 Review ********************


Well I got an opportunity to visit this place through an office get together.
I don’t drink alcohol or smoke so this wasn’t in my list of priorities hence never tried this before.
I primarily went there with curiosity to taste the food and I wasn’t disappointed at all.
Starters are delicious, ratings as below:
1. Chicken tikka 3.5/5 – nicely spiced
2. Tandoori chicken 3.5/5 – nicely cooked
3. Chicken Malai Tikka 5/5, awesome – topped with bits of cheese and cream and was purely pleasurable. I can just go back for this dish alone.
4. Chicken seekh kabab 3/5 – not very tender but alright
5. Kunchao Chicken 4/5 – oriental starter spiced in a subtle manner.
6. Chicken chilly 4/5 – nicely spiced
7. Paneer chilly 4.5/5 – Paneer was so soft and accompanying veggies were crispy.
8. Tandoori mushrooms 4.5/5 – excellent taste and more than medium spicy
9. Crispy honey fried chicken 3/5 – It was an ok dish with honey complimenting crispy chicken with very limited spices.

Going for tandoori chicken platter is a good option.

Among mocktails one can go for Atmosphere Punch and it won’t disappoint you.

We had lots and lots of starters and when it came to main course we ordered the following:

Chicken Lahori 3.5/5 – tasted like a bit of chicken tikka masaala and was alright.
Paneer kadhai 3.5/5
Daal tadka 4/5
Jeera rice 3.5/5

Overall it was a very satisfying experience, ambience was good and service was right on the button. Our server Mr.Manas was courteous and helped me in choosing the right dishes as per our group’s taste.

Would definitely visit again 🙂



Oye Pape, Amanora Mall, Hadapsar Pune.

Among the best value for money buffets !

Rating – 4.5/5


March 2015 Updates
The price of the buffet has now increased to 500 on weekdays and 550 on weekends whether Lunch or Dinner. However over a period of time, their menu has almost remained the same but their food quality and service has also remained the same which is appreciated. Request them to think about some variations and bring something fresh to the tried and tested formula.
31st October 2014 Visit Updates
*********************** ***********
To begin with the quality of food I saw in my last outing remained consistent and they just have the most tender and tasty mutton Shami Kebabs that you can ever get. It was just awwwwesssome! If you have not tasted the kebabs you’re definitely missing out on the joy it would otherwise bring to your taste buds and as I write this I just can’t help but to try and somehow relive that experience again 🙂
Service was top notch and one peculiar thing about this place is they won’t wait for you to ask them for the refill of starters and compared to other places you have to stop them and ask not to bring any more else it would just keep on repeating.
Two of the chicken gravies were really good and tasted wonderful along with the Mutton Dum Biryani.
Last but not the least the Malai Kulfi was out of this world.
I am pleased to rate them again 5/5 and it was an extremely satisfying experience.
I am attaching some pics this time, however I couldn’t capture a lot of images of food as each time I thought about it my hands and mouth worked in perfect coordination to gobble up all the delicacies that were on offer 😉

Alright so I have been a frequent visitor on Zomato for checking Restaurant’s reviews and guilty of not adding my experiences here ):

However the meal I had last night i.e. 17th October at Oye Pape, Amanora has nearly forced me to write this review to let other folks on Zomato enjoy their Lucknawi Food Festival.

I have been to Oye Pape before and liked their setup (Dhaba setting) and courteous servers (Mr. Ranjeet) and Managers (Mr.Sam) so there was no issue in that department. They have always had a varied Buffet with 4Veg/4 Non Veg Staters, 4-5 items each in Veg and Non Veg Buffet along with Chaat counter, Ice Gola/Ice Cream, Chaas, Sweet Milk and around 5-6 Desserts.

I think the above is a really good deal for 450 all inclusive.

So here I was in Oye Pape on the night of 17th October and I fairly had an idea of what to expect but was a bit skeptical whether there would be anything close to be Authentic to Lucknawi Cuisine and I am glad I went ahead and it was a pleasurable meal 🙂

All the starters were fairly good with Paneer Tikka being very soft and mildly spiced, Veg Tikki was fine, Chicken Tangdi is always good and now they have replaced the Chicken wings with Chicken Tikka which was good as well. Fish starter was nicely prepared with not a lot of spices to alter the taste and with no evidence of the usual smell associated with fish, it was also good to eat.

However what came as a real surprise were the Mutton Kebabs and oh they were awesome, if anyone is familiar with Tundey Kebabs of Lucknow then these Kebabs were resembling the same taste and once I had a bite I knew the rest of the items which were part of the Lucknow food festival were going to be Authentic. I am a die hard Biryani fan and to be fair in Pune I haven’t had too many great Biryanis as they call them, at best they are chicken/mutton and rice mixed together and mostly qualify as pakke gosht ki biryani so Pune has long disappointed me on that.

So as soon as I tasted the tender and succulent Tunday style Mutton Shami Kebabs the next thing I did was in middle of starters I got a small helping of the Chicken Biryani, Mutton would have been better but I can live with a nicely prepared Chicken Biryani and it was WOW !

From that point onwards my area of concentration were the Shami Kebabs, Chicken Biryani and just to add more flavor I added Mutton Nihari to the mix which was prepared to perfection as well. It was absolutely delicious and I only got a chance to taste the Chicken gravy barely and gave the rest of Main Course items a skip 🙂

The Manager there Mr.Sam came up to check with me about the food as I had warned him in the beginning that I would realize if the food is Authentic or not and I congratulated him for living upto the expecations of a food festival. After a while as I was busy munching the delicacies I was greeted by their main Chef Mr. Naushad Khan and it was a pleasure to meet the Master himself, he’s originally from Lucknow and during our conversation when I asked him about the resemblance of Kebabs taste with Tunday, he admitted that he worked with them in the 80s and this indeed comes from the same family of Kebabs as Tundays 🙂 Superb !

After exchanging wishes it was time again to concentrate on the food and I proceeded with Desserts which didn’t disappoint me either.

The Senvayi Kheer was awesome, Sevanya Halwa and Moong Halwa were good, Gulab Jamun was the usual but the icing on the cake was the Malai Kulfi.

After around close to 2 hours of eating and wrapping it up with a Magai Paan, with a heavy heart and a heavier tummy 😉 I bid Adieu to the place with a promise that I’ll make it atleast once more before the festival ends.

I have seen some reviews which are rated as 2 which was surprising, it may have been a case on that particular day but folks at Rs 450 I don’t think there’s a better Buffet Deal with so many tasty items as is the case with Oye Pape right now. Go ahead and give a try to the Lucknawi Festival and I am sure you will not be disappointed 🙂


Barbeque Nation, Kalyani Nagar, Pune

Legendary concept still going strong !

Rating – 4/5

So what can I say about Barbeque Nation that hasn’t been said before? Despite a strong chance of this review getting lost like a rain drop in a vast ocean I would still go ahead and share my thoughts 🙂
I have visited the kalyani nagar outlet innumerable times during the last 7-8 years and mostly my experience has been wow during the first few years and then trending to average during the last two years or so.
I thought that the management here became complacent as they were getting the customers anyway but importantly the quality in food was missing.

So after a lot of deliberation we decided to give this place another try for Team Lunch. The primary reason was the close proximity of the property with my Office.
For large groups (we were around 25) it’s highly recommended you book a day in advance else chances of getting a single section for all becomes bleak.
So I booked in advance and we were shown into our seating area and promptly order for drinks were taken. My all time favourite is the litchi mocktail and most of us non alcoholic drinkers went for this.

The starters:
Murgh Bano (chicken legpiece) 5/5 – This was awesome, the best I have ever had in all my outings to Bbq. It was so flavourful that I almost had 5-6 of servings of this alone 😉
Very reluctantly I tried to move onto other stuff, the chicken starters on the grill are always kind of rubbery and it was not an exception during our visit so I hardly had a single bite of it.
Next which I never seem to like is the mutton seekh kebab, somehow the folks here just cant prepare a tender and melting in the mouth type seekh kebab as it’s supposed to be, so didn’t like that either.
Other starters which were good were Potato in Cajun sauce, Paneer tikka, fish tikka was alright and so were the prawns as others told me.

I had also negotiated on two extra starters on top of the menu. Though the Veg starter which was some form of corn was a complete letdown, the chicken satay starter which was served during main course (they were pathetically slow to serve this) was really nice with the chicken so tender and juicy that it was a shame we couldn’t get this served on time. I could have eaten one Tangdi less 😉 but overall the starters were 4/5, a point taken off because of hard mutton seekh and the rather mundane chicken tikka on the grill with no innovation since forever 🙂

Coming to the main course the butter chicken was excellent. It’s rare to find a nicely prepared butter chicken these days as mostly it’s either too sweet or too watered down with hardly any flavour.
The butter chicken in this case was tender, curry so flavourful with just a subtle hint of sweetness in the buttery flavour and it still brings water to my mouth as I write this 🙂
Other dishes worth mentioning are the Mutton rogan Josh, chicken Biryani, Paneer curry and Daal tadka.

Desserts were the usual and I wish the management thinks about introducing something new in this area as well. However that doesn’t the desserts were not good but it’s in an urgent need of variety!
Service was mostly good and when we tried to tip them while adding amount to our credit card receipt, the captain came back and politely told is that they don’t accept tips since they anyway add a service charge within the bill.

Overall the experience was good but can be excellent if attention is given on some of the aforementioned areas.

For this review visited August 2014 but have been visiting them very often recently and the quality remains good if not exceptional.

Zaika-E-Lucknowi Kalyani Nagar, Pune

A somewhat Lucknowi experience!!

Alright so here we were after rather a torturous 130 odd minutes of “Katti Batti”. I was now in a mood to have some real “Boti” 🙂 and we happened to stumble upon this newly opened Lucknowi food joint (around 2 months old)

As we entered we couldn’t help but notice the walls emphasizing historical monuments of Lucknow and also details about some of their special dishes ranging from Biryani to Kormas and Galawati kebabs.

We went ahead and ordered Galawati kebabs and Mutton Biryani.

Galawati Kebabs – 4/5, the texture and the melt in the mouth tenderness of the kebabs almost did full justice to its name barring the fact that I have had slightly tastier versions of this in Agra and Lucknow.
However it’s the best so far in Pune and you would do well to serve it in your plate without breaking it in pieces as it’s that tender 🙂

Mutton Dum Biryani – 3/5, this was a pakka Biryani variant wherein unlike the kacchi Biryani, the meat and rice is cooked separately and then mixed together in layers for a session of “Dum”. Biryani wasn’t dry and the meat that came with it was again very very tender.
However the flavors in Biryani were extremely subtle that it tasted almost bland at times, I made good use of Kebabs and the Biryani tasted better with kebabs.
The Biryani strictly needs to have more flavors to make it more authentic experience for sure.

Service was quick and prompt and the ambience was basic but clean.

In the end I am definitely a bit impressed and can say that they know their stuff and I would definitely be back to taste the Kormas and other gravies soon with a hope to taste authentic Lucknowi recipes.

I called this as somewhat Lucknowi experience because our entire experience was not outstanding, the kebabs were very good but the somewhat flavourless Biryani affected the experience to an extent.


Eternia Rooftop Resto Lounge At Skye Senapati Bapat Road, Pune

A Rocking rooftop place even for families!

Rating – 4.5/5

I was extremely but pleasantly surprised at the quality of food and top notch service at my recent outing to Eternia.

A Groupon that I bought way back in June certainly helped for the unlimited buffet (served on table) which gave me a chance for sampling their various items.

In a setting like this where even main course and desserts are served on the table, the chances of things going haywire are so high and can be unbelievably frustrating if proper attention is not paid towards the customers. However even in such a scenario their service was impeccable so 5/5 for that for sure 🙂

Coming to the food, though it was a buffet the food was of a good Ala carte quality.

The best of the lot were chicken wings (juicy and crispy), Chicken Angara, garlic bread, watermelon Mocktail, Chicken bhuna, Chicken Lababdar, kadhai paneer (so creamy and soft), chocolate Brownie and variety of pastries.

Our Captain Mr.Mohan and our server Mr.Nok Lel were awesome and left no stone unturned to fulfill our orders in a reasonable frame of time. This despite being a big party going on for Symantec in a separate section.

The seating is available in various options like open to Sky, partially covered and indoors as well.

The atmosphere is electric and the Manager Mr.Ambuj is a courteous and accommodating person with no airs about him.

Overall we had a fantastic experience, the Veg starters could have been a little better and that would have made the overall deal as 5/5 but no real complaints actually!

Visited July 2015.

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Barbeque Nation Hadapsar, Pune

A tryst with Iftaar special at BBQ Nation!

Rating – 4/5

Enough has been said about the chain of Bbq Nation and to set the record straight it’s indeed my favourite place for starters and when I am in a real mood to hog 🙂

This was my first experience with the Amanora one as I have always found myself stuffing those delectable starters over the last 7-8 years at the Kalyani Nagar location.

My outing here was refreshing in the sense as every server I saw was with a smile and the usual sense of urgency as visible in popular places like these was missing and for the good for sure 🙂 Hats off to their service that they are able to handle large crowds with so much ease and one hardly feels undeserved!

Add to that their fairly relaxed policy on kids (one 6 year old can share with each accompanying adult) and it’s a steal for a Non Veg lunch any day from Monday to Saturday for 630 per person AI. Too many buffet places these days fully charge the kids from 4 years onwards and it’s so disappointing and total wastage of money as I am not sure who are those 4 year olds that can eat as much as an adult so why pay that price?

Ambience wise it’s fairly alright if somewhat cramped for space at some places but the outdoor seating is definitely a plus during cooler days.

Talking about the food that day, stars of the show were Fish tikka, Tandoori chicken, prawns, mushrooms, Matar paalak ki tikki and special mention for mutton seekh kebab.

The mutton seekh kebab was not the usual piece of wood that Bbq Nation almost always serves and which I so much dislike but it was surprisingly soft and had nice flavor to it. It wasn’t quite still the melt in the mouth types but a vast improvement from before. This was in a variant of gilafi seekh as part of their Iftaar menu and was quite good.

Other Iftaar specials like Haleem (awful), saivaiyaan(3/5), Nihari (3.5/5) didn’t quite live upto the expectations of their special menu and I believe they should have been much better.

As usual the Pacific blue Mocktail was quite good and the roohafza in milk was strictly Ok and didn’t quite deserve to be served as a special Iftaar menu item.

Main course was fairly ok and I would rate it as 3.5/5, I could have rated them at 4 if it wasn’t for their Biryani goof up. The chicken Biryani was as dry and tasteless as you wouldn’t want your Biryani to be and it was the deal breaker for me in Main course. I have had 10 times better Biryanis in Bbq Nation before and I hope this was a one off case.

Desserts were pretty good and a special Kulfi counter was the star here. One could order 6 types of Kulfi combination with falooda, different types of sprinkles and flavors. This was a welcome change from their usual desserts fare and we liked it very much.

Overall ratings:
Service – 5/5
Ambience – 4/5
Starters – 4.5/5
Main course – 3.5/5
Desserts – 4/5

Visited September 2015.