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 !

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4 Seasons East Street, Pune

Food is Good but not Biryani !

Rating – 3.5/5

So here we were shopping at M.G. Road and East Street and planned our rather late lunch at Baghban around 3pm thinking that there will be less or no waiting.
However there are some strange rules creeping up in that place recently like only group of four and above are allowed in the A.C. family section and the rest will have to be content with the open area in the heat and that too with a waiting of more than 30 minutes on weekends!
This prompted us to try something else and as I checked on Zomato 4 seasons was hardly half a km away and we immediately decided to give it a try before we ourselves got tandoored while waiting at Baghban….

This place is next to the Sujata Mastani outlet and is easy to miss while driving through east street.

Ambience – 3.5/5 – The ambience was fairly alright and seating was comfortable and the place had good air conditioning which we just loved after spending more than four hours bargaining in the scorching heat on. M.G. Road 🙂

Service – 3.5/5, they were not full by any stature of imagination when we visited but still the service was a touch laid back and lethargic but thankfully when the food arrived it was hot so not a big turn off but definitely can be improved upon.

Food – 4/5, following is what we ordered:

Chicken Nizami kebab – 5/5, these were the most awesome kebabs we tried in a long long time. The chicken was well marinated, tender and perfectly tandoored at the same time. I tried hard to find if something was missing but I just couldn’t find a fault as it was so good 🙂

Mutton Rogan Josh – 3.5/5, This was fairly Okayish to eat and nothing outstanding but not bad either. Could have done more with a bit more meat on the bones though 😉

Mutton Biryani – 2.5/5, this was the spoiler of the show. Their menu talked about how Hyderabadi Biryani is like and what goes into making it the authentic way etc so my hopes were really high.
What came out in the handi was a dry serving of Biryani that didn’t really taste anything like a Hyderabadi Biryani. The taste was not the worst I ever had but it was just devoid of any spices and had it been not that dry I believe it’s on the lines of Lucknawi Biryani preparation with no khada masaala ever making it to the actual Biryani rice.

So we really tasted two dishes at the extreme ends of the spectrum and I would have rated them high if not for the Biryani debacle, would give it a try again in the near future.

Visited April 2015

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Bagban Restaurant East Street, Pune

Quite a decent place though requires overhaul in terms of the waiting staff !

Rating – 3.5/5

This place is always buzzing with people and someone or the other is always in the queue to go in. On one such afternoon I noticed a queue of eager people and we decided to give this place a try.
First things first, they don’t accept credit or debit cards so make sure you have enough cash to clear the dues.
Secondly don’t expect a world class service experience while you wait for a Table or getting your food on the table. They are a bit unpredictable with the service part so I suggest if you like their food which is the first reason you’re there then enjoy that and take the service experience with a pinch of salt if you may:)
With the usual “Gyaan” on service done let’s concentrate on the food they serve – it’s largely good whatever I have ordered here and have seldom been disappointed with quality or quantity.

Mutton Biryani – 3.5/5, mutton is tender and the quantity of both meat and rice is sufficient for two people with moderate diet. Where it misses out is in its authenticity as you can’t classify it as a Hyderabadi or Lucknawi style of Biryani but it has a got a taste of its own but yet not as good as the Hyderabadi or Lucknawi variants. Thankfully it’s not dry and that’s always a good sign for a Biryani.

Chicken Afghani – 4/5, nice juicy tandoori Ichicken preparation, medium spicy and always good to have.

Chicken Malai Kebab – 3/5, as you would expect it was mildly spiced but it lacked flavor somewhat as well. I wouldn’t term it bad but it was average at best.

Mutton Rogan Josh – 4/5, it was spicy and good and had all the flavours going for it. We loved it.

Chicken Kadhai – 3.5/5, it actually literally gets served in a Kadhai and we ordered it only because we saw someone else ordering it and we were not disappointed. Though when you first see it the gravy has a blackish color to it but it tastes just fine. Even a half portion is more than enough for two persons.

Butter Naan – it’s nice and crispy and comes with three pieces per order so two are more than goof for a meal.

Indoor seating is recommended as the outdoor one may not look very hygienic with flies giving you ample company. The outdoor has a separate menu with the same dishes but slightly lower prices on an average by 20 bucks or so.

The place doesn’t have its own parking so you’re dependent on the public parking slots of East Street. The vacant slots are extremely difficult to locate over the weekends and the waiting time for a table increases many folds so I seldom visit it during the evenings on weekends.

Full marks for food and is decently priced for the quantity. However the entire staff including the Manager/Owner have to go a long way to look after their customers and give up their rather snobbish behaviour and it will only serve them good in the long run.

Another annoying point are the folks who usually take down your names as you wait to be seated, c’mon guys you’re not doing a favor to humanity as you talk to your patrons, have some humbleness and politeness that will only increase your reputation.