BBQ OnFire, WTC – Kharadi, Pune

BBQ OnFire Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Seems like a never ending plethora of Good Food !

Rating – 4.5/5

BBQ OnFire much like its other Barbqeue cousins (other barbeque brands in the city) has started with a bang but also has all the ingredients to take it far into the game and not a six months wonder. Kharadi hasn’t had a Barbeque alternative so far and with all the IT folks slogging their days (and nights at times) in WTC and EON, it has all the makings of an affair that may last for a long time if treaded carefully with care and devotion.

Ambience – They have an option of both indoor and outdoor seating and during the evenings it is fun to sit at the covered outdoors with a bit of chill and a hot barbeque on your table lights everything up. On the night we were there it was January 2nd when Pune witnessed a good amount of caste related tension but that also couldn’t deter us from going for this Barbeque and in the end it was definitely worth it.

The Food Line up – So it goes something like the below:

  • 1 Veg / 1 Non Veg Soup
  • 5 Veg Starters
  • 5 Non Veg Starters
  • 6 Non Veg Tawa counter items (Keema kaleji, Fish fry, Keema Pao etc)
  • 5 Veg Tawa counter items (Aloo Gobhi, Bhindi Masala, Veg Tawa subzi etc)
  • 4-5 options of on demand oriental dishes (like Chicken chilly, Paneer chilly, Manchurian etc)
  • 10 Veg Main courses
  • 5 Non Veg Mains inclusive of Biryani
  • 10 types of Desserts (Hot/Cold/Indian/Continental)
  • The meal ends with an on the house “Fire Paan”

All this can be yours at the prices mentioned as per the below flyer:BBQ_OnFire_Pkg

The best recommendations on the Day included Tangdi Mumtaaz, essentially a Tandoori Leg-piece infused with a bit of cheese and it was absolutely lip-smacking. The Chicken Biryani was pretty competent as well and despite being on the buffet for a while, it was kept in its special vessel and on coal fire which ensured that the moisture was retained and the chicken pieces were tender and juicy. The Jhinga Gol Mirch on the grill was one outstanding starter that we kept on ordering one after the other. Almost all of the grilled starters were good and they indeed conspire to make it good so that you can’t eat much of their mains 😉 However between starters and mains there’s still two more categories you have to go through namely the Tawa items and Oriental items and my top picks from here were the Keema Pao and Chilly Chicken, both were outstanding.

The Desserts – In case you happen to have any space left after what I have aforementioned then the desserts are pretty good as well especially the two types of Mousse variants they had on the evening we visited them. In the Indian starters the Gajar Halwa was a traditional home cooked style halwa usually cooked with North Indian style with Khoa instead of just with milk and the end result was pretty rich and satisfying.

The Verdict – I am not sure if I needed to provide any clear verdict here as it should already be clear by now – at this price point the quality as well as the quantity is currently unmatched by any other Barbeque variant in Pune and for the folks living close-by to BBQ OnFire’s location this is an ideal spot to spend your evening with Family coupled with great food and courteous service at an unbelievable value for money quotient !

Dakshin Bhavan, Stellar Spaces, Kharadi – Pune

Dakshin Bhavan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pocket friendly South Indian !

Rating 4.5/5

Quick Facts
Address – Stellar Spaces, Kharadi Opposite Zensar and next to Kotak Mahindra bank.
Cuisine – South Indian (Bangalore) / Bit of Desi Chinese
Pricing – Pocket Friendly – 200 for two. (A plate of Idli costs Rs 30, Masala Dosa – 60)

To begin with South Indian Vegetarian Food isn’t really my favorite so I am always careful (not too keen in other words) before I make my mind to go for it. In this instance though I am so glad that I did visit as I had a really good experience. The positives are of-course kept in mind considering the price I am paying for the food along with a decent ambience compared to other shacks like establishments in the area opposite to Zensar.

Ambience – Dakshin Bhavan formerly known as Sambar offers a pretty decent ambience compared to a lot of places in the surroundings. Has an option of both indoor and outdoor seating available. Though Air conditioning isn’t available but that could be a blessing in disguise as well since it keeps the Service Tax out of picture and keeps the pricing extremely pocket friendly.

Food – I had one of the best Masala Dosas in a while in the form of Ghee Masala Dosa (Rs.80). The Dosa was done crispy just in the right magnitude while the taste of Ghee really took this to another level and on inquiring I was told they source their Ghee from Bangalore (read the famous Nandini Ghee) ! That was interesting and on further discussions I was told the Coffee beans along with Happalam (papad) are also especially sourced from Bangalore !!

The potato filling and accompanying Sambhar can be refilled without paying anything extra, at that price it’s a steal I must say. The Sambhar to be clear is a bit on the sweeter side with added jaggery as is the norm I am told in Bangalore side of things so take your pick accordingly.

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Curd Vada (Rs.50) – This was pretty decent as well and comes in a sweet variant with the vada being soft and tender which is the most important part of this dish and it turned out fine.

Filter Coffee – Available in the conventional Hot (Rs 10) and the Cold variant as well. I found them pretty good and it was a little bitter in the end but expectedly so and mind you their coffee beans are sourced from down South. Therefore it must be close to the real deal back in Bangalore though I haven’t had it in Bangalore so I can’t confirm or deny the fact. However I did like both the variants though.

Service – It’s a self serviced place and I did find the Open Kitchen a good addition Where You See What You Get and it’s Ok to provide your customizations while the dish is cooking on the amount of butter, ghee and other nuances etc. It could get really crowded during the breakfast hours so choose your time carefully if you’re looking for a quiet meal.

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Dakshin Bhavan is housed at the GF towards the left of Tower in Picture right next to Kotak Bank.

VFM & The Verdict – It’s an absolute value for money place and there’s just no doubt about it. After taking into account not just their pricing but the overall dining experience along with taste I find it a very good place to frequent if you’re looking for a budget friendly place. It’s an ideal spot for working folks in the nearby areas and gets a big thumbs up from my side !!

Healthy Bites, Kharadi, Pune

Healthy Bites Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A decent place for home delivery !

Rating – 3.5/5

In terms of home delivery places what is highly desired is an establishment which can deliver at the promised time with decent quality and quantity. Healthy bites checks all these marks…well almost, read on to find out about my experiences with them over a period of an year which is more than enough to gauge them I guess.

Delivery time – 3/5 – In terms of delivery time I think it varies based on the platform you’re using to order from here. You basically have three options namely Zomato, foodpanda or their own site hbrestro to order for delivery. Each option has some discounts associated with them while their own site gives 20% off on orders beyond 400 and an additional 20% off when paying with Mobikwik (once a month per user) so you may order based on your preferences accordingly.

In terms of delivery time they’re a bit inconsistent and this is the single most factor which they need to concentrate on to improve the customer experience. I have been at the receiving end couple of times when the order delivery took close to 1.5 hours ! Though just last night they delivered within 40 minutes so as I said before they need to be more consistent in this parameter.

Food – 3.5/5 – My take on some of the items that I have ordered over the last year or so :

Tandoori Chicken – 3.5/5 – The preparation usually is juicy and the chicken is tender if at times a bit under-roasted so it’s a good idea to call them and let them know your preferences. Taste wise the marination is pretty good and I am taking a point off because of their inconsistency of char-grilling the chicken properly.

Chicken Lollipop Masaala – 4/5 – This is by far one of the tastiest Chicken Lollipop preparations I have eaten in a while and it comes with a lot of Masaala (veggies and seasoning) accompanying the preparation which you can even eat with a bread like Parantha (may sound a strange combination to some) and I just loved it 🙂

Mutton Biryani – 2/5 – The only advice I have in this regard is to skip this one as the dish is pretty uninspiring to be really honest. It doesn’t appear to be a dum type version of Biryani and the taste of the meat is pretty average. At best it’s passable as a pulao with chunks of mutton thrown in later on.

Dal Tadka – 3.5/5 – Your standard Dal Tadka with nothing exceptional or bad about it !

Kadhai Paneer – 4/5 – This is a pretty good preparation but the only slight issue I have here is with the gravy or the lack thereof 😉 It’s a semi dry preparation with a good taste and the quantity of Paneer is fair enough as well.

Chicken Tikka Masaala – 3.5/5 – Fairly good preparation with Tikka Chicken that goes best with the Butter Naans.

Value for Money – 4/5 – The items are fairly priced with respect to quality & quantity and the aforementioned discounts only enhances the overall experience.

In a nutshell it’s a decent place for home delivery as per my experiences, I haven’t had a chance to dine there so far. Have communicated with the owner Ms.Gargi once when the delivery was really delayed and she came across as a courteous person who cares about the Customer feedback so I think they are in safe hands and would do well to strive to fine tune further on the little bottlenecks.

Kimchi Kharadi, Pune

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

 

One of my favorite places to have Indo-Chinese & Thai in Pune !

Rating – 4.5/5

My first contact with Kimchi was initiated more than a couple of years ago and I used to order from here primarily owing to exciting offers on home delivery (read 50% off) from Tastykhana (now foodpanda).

Over the years my appreciation for the place has only grown due to the three following important factors:

  1. Quality of Service.
  2. Consistent and tasty preparation of dishes.
  3. Reasonable price point.

These days whenever I am in a mood to get over my North Indian and Mughlai fetish for food, the next best option for me is to go over and have some Indo Chinese and Indo Thai preparations at Kimchi.

Having tasted both the authentic Chinese and Thai preparations in Vancouver and Hong Kong I can vouch that what we eat in India is hardly authentic Chinese and that’s why I refer the preparations here as Indo Chinese style instead of Chinese. As a matter of fact I doubt how many of us will be able to take in the authentic Chinese preparations as it doesn’t use too much of spices and is somewhat bland with a primary usage of extensive sea-food stock even in non sea-food dishes resulting in a bit of off putting smell which I can hardly bear. However I am a big fan of Indo-Chinese food and I can equally vouch that Kimchi has more or less pioneered this variant and cuisine beautifully and it’s easily my favorite Indo Chinese Restaurant in the Kharadi Area.

Talking about the Thai cuisine I can comfortably say that what gets served in here resembles fairly closely (if not completely) how Thai food needs to be prepared with the green, red and yellow thai curries being really good !

Ambience – a respectable rating of 3/5.

There’s nothing wrong about the ambience of the place though essentially it’s a small place with a place for about six tables, some able to accommodate six folks and others four. It has sufficient number of ACs to beat the heat and the seating is decent enough for a good family dinner.

Service – a good rating of 4/5.

The servers here are quick and efficient and the best thing I like about them is their readiness to always ask about the feedback of their dishes once you have taken a bite or two. Also to highlight that once you report anything which is not up to the mark they are always eager to hear the customer’s feedback and if the dish is too salty or something not cooked properly it’s guaranteed that it will be changed and corrected with a smile and you don’t even have to tell them to do it but they’re likely to do it on their own !! Keep up the good work folks 🙂

Food – an excellent rating of 4.5/5.

The best thing about Kimchi is the fact that it serves awesome food for both vegetarians and non vegetarians alike. There’s no discrimination if you are herbivorous or omnivorous like me, you’re guaranteed to be served value for money and tasty food. I am going to list my favorite dishes that I have had in Kimchi over my countless visits all this while.

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Manchow Soup – Veg/Chicken – Among the soups my favorite is the manchow soup and it’s not too tangy, not too sour and not too spicy either. It’s just about the perfect manchow soup and undoubtedly one of the best I have had in Pune.

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Paneer Chilly – This is one of the best starters in vegetarian, it’s prepared in a different manner in the sense that it’s not prepared crispy i.e. no/minimal corn flour is used. The cottage cheese used is really soft and is a bit of a different perspective on the usual mundane preparation but has a good accompanying masaala comprising of garlic, bell peppers, onion and other usual suspects.

Roasted Chicken Chilly dry – This is the spicier version of the chicken chilly dry and this is my choice as the chicken chilly dry starter is a bit washed down and I like this spicier variant to be honest.

Chicken LollyPop – Works well with a schezwan sauce, the chicken is a bit crispy on the outside and tender from inside, it’s a nice choice to be had in the starters section.

Fish Placho – A fish starter in a dry variant that comes with a hearty sprinkling of caramelized onions/coriander and other tid-bits. The starter has a unique sweet and tangy taste and surprisingly it worked for me and I’ll look to have it when I am there the next time.

 

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Chicken / Veg Hakka Noodles – After having tasted different variants of rice like the fried rice or the schezwan rice preparations I have settled now for the hakka noodles and both the veg/non veg variant just goes fine with any of the thai curries based on your personal preference.

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Chicken Laksa Curry – Another thai preparation that goes absolutely well with the hakka noodles and the combination worked like a charm when I had it on one of my usual visits. It’s one of the new dishes introduced by Kimchi and in my view is a valuable addition along with Fish Placho in the starter section.

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Chocolate Brownie with hot chocolate sauce – This is the usual way to polish off a satisfying meal. The brownie is soft and served hot with a warm chocolate sauce which makes it a good option for dessert. The brownie comprises of walnuts and works well with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream as well. It’s a bit of a mundane dessert but works just fine for me 🙂

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Finally I have attached a snap of the new menu introduced at Kimchi and I tried two dishes from the same and both turned out to be quite a find. As usual I had a top class experience here and I wish them all the luck and determination to maintain their consistency in the future as well. I’ll be back for sure !

Karan Tasty Jalebi Kharadi, Pune

A place to reckon with for tasty chhola bhaturas !

Rating – 3/5

It’s a fairly modest place among the scores of other similarly ambient joints located opposite Zensar. It could be a little challenging to expect absolute cleanliness in the dining area with ample flies to give you company. One would be better off to have low expectations on the cleanliness front and you might end up liking the food as I did.

We went there for basically tasting their Jalebis and the following is what we ordered:

1. Jalebi – 2.5/5 – Preparation of Jalebis can be a little deceptive than what it usually looks like, we do it at times at home so we know from experience. A Jalebi has to be crispy, the smaller the size the better (my personal preference), it just has to be sweet enough so that it shouldn’t feel to be too sweet and then it shouldn’t be less sweet at the same time.
Phew….enough of jalebi fundas, coming to the one we tasted here it was crispy and the size was small however what was the deal breaker really here was it was just too sweet and the preparation seemed like not of pure ghee but ghee mixed with some other oil. Despite these points I would say it still was better than the usual fare we get at other sweet/halwai shops in Pune and if the above points can be addressed it has the potential to become a good place for Jalebis.

2. Rabdi – 3/5, This was not the thick and sweet variant but sort of the runny version with subtle sweetness and it was primarily a preparation to go as an accompaniment with the Jalebis. When eaten in combination with rabdi, the extra sweetness of jalebis were nullified to an extent.

3. Chhola bhatura – 4.5/5, as can be judged from above, the experience was a bit underwhelming so far to say the least and then we happened to have one of the tastiest chhola bhaturas in a long time in Pune 🙂 Yes these are better than Teri Rajput by some margin! The best part about this preparation was the fact that the bhaturas seemed without any oil at all, ofcourse they were deep fried in oil but as they were served they were so dry that it felt they were done on a Tawa 🙂 The Chholay subzi was tasty and I could just eat that like a usual curry preparation with Rice or Roti.

The overall meal costed us 120 bucks and in around 150 bucks 2 people can share a hearty meal here.

Here are the overall ratings :

Food – 3.5
Cleanliness – 2/5
VFM – 4/5

I would definitely be back to have more of chhola bhatura and to sample Chaat, aloo tikki and Samosas that are prepared fresh in the evening.

Visited September 2015

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Biryani King Kharadi, Pune

A really bad experience ! 
Rating – 2/5

It really pains me to write this review since I was very excited to place the order for my favourite food i.e. Biryani.

So I ordered a Hyderabadi special Mutton Biryani through food panda which is priced at 269 bucks which is not at all cheap by any stature of imagination but what followed was cheap behaviour indeed.

The quantity of Biryani is sufficient for one person and the salan that accompanies is downright terrible to be honest, tastes more like the south indian rasam.

As I opened the packing, the Biryani was topped with cashews and brown onions which is always a good sign. I immediately tasted a chunk of rice with a piece of mutton and it did taste very different and good from what I have recently tasted in the name of Biryani but my excitement was shortlived.

The topmost layer of rice was all white rice which is the norm usually however what is not the norm is almost lack of masaala rice beneath the top layer which made the overall Biryani very very bland.

I called the person manning the counter telling them about the goof up, the guy named Ganesh was so laid back could offer “Sorry Sir aage se nahi hoga….woh masaala daalna bhool gaya hoga”

However wth when I have paid you in full this time why should I wait for the next time but the guy just wasn’t interested in replacing this and kept making excuses.

Eventually I had to be content with what was on offer and calling Foodpanda meant waiting for another hour atleast and I was damn hungry.

Out of the mutton pieces only two qualified as alright, rest three were just chunks of bones and I was really frustrated but I just thought that it was probably not my day.

I wanted to rate them negative but since that option is not provided in Zomato and secondly I can sense that if that Biryani had a fair mix of masaala rice and decent mutton pieces it could may have been an above average preparation.

However that was not to happen and I was left feeling cheated and I wish the guy at the counter “Mr.Ganesh” was more proactive to handle the situation.

Bad experience indeed! Please notice the white rice in the snaps and the bones too 🙂

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Punjabi Flavours Kharadi, Pune

A fair enough option for an inexpensive decent meal !

Rating – 3/5

This is one of the good parcel points/minimum ambience eat out places among an entire crop of similar food joints to have mushroomed over the last couple of years opposite Zensar, Kharadi.

They don’t do home delivery so you either eat there or pick up a parcel after placing your order on phone. I did the latter and when I reached on a Thursday at around 9pm the place was full with many waiting for their parcels. This was encouraging and the owner occupying the counter seemed like a simple no nonsense person with no big airs about him unlike the rather terrible host at Bibi di rasoi 50 metres away.

I have done a couple of take outs so far but it did clear a couple of points as below :

1. The taste of the gravies is going to be a little different and may taste like made at home which is a good thing as I think they don’t use edible colours and a lot of soda which is more than welcome.

2. Almost all of their Paneer and Chicken gravies are in the range of 60-80 bucks and the quantity is still sufficient for two persons so it’s truly a VFM place.

3. Coming to the taste, it’s definitely above average but looking at the prices and the quantity offered, it makes up for a usual meal without burning a hole in pocket.

Dishes I have tried:

Chicken Kadhai – 3/5, comes with three medium sized chicken pieces and is fairly edible.

Paneer Matar – 3/5, fairly edible and thankfully the green peas were not raw.

Lachha parantha – 4/5, this was nice and fluffy even after doing a take away and eating at home 30 minutes later. The size of the bread is fairly decent as well.

Lassi – 3/5, it was fairly alright but not like a typical Punjabi lassi.

Overall it was a good experience and this place can be your saviour when not in a mood to cook and don’t want to spend too much on ordering food from outside.

Two people can have a decent meal for under 200 bucks 🙂

Red Chillies Kharadi, Pune

Decent Ambience, more than decent food and service !

Rating – 4/5

Owing to the below average reviews in general on Zomato I was a bit skeptical about visiting Red Chillies.
However being the Non Veg fasting season of Navratra literally killing my gastronomical desires and not able to cook Today we gave this place a try and I am glad we did 🙂

Ambience is good and servers are polite and note down the orders carefully.

Coming to the food, I must say it really really surprised me and it was a pleasant surprise for sure.

We ordered the following :

Manchow Soup – 3.5/5 – Taste was good though it was just a little bit sour for my liking but wasn’t bad at all.

Paneer chilly – 4/5 – This was amply spiced with capsicum, onion and green chillies accompanying the crispy Paneer. Good taste for sure, beware of the green chillies, it could turn out to be really hot.
Hara bhara kebab – 5/5 – This was the star of the show, it was a bit crunchy, topped by 2-3 fried cashew nuts with a really tasty stuffing. This was the best Hara bhara kebab we had in a long time.

Dal Makhani – 3.5/5 – the taste and texture was a little different compared to the traditional Dal Makhani which is rather brownish and creamy combination. This one was prepared in a shade of red and tasted quite alright but was a variation from the usual Punjabi preparation. Also the lentils could have been a little bit more boiled, took a half rating off because of that.
Paneer Tikka Masaala – 4/5 – This was a red gravy preparation with 7-8 pieces of Paneer and was a tasty preparation.

Overall we had a good outing at this place and I must say this place is definitely recommended for an all Veg outing.

It was almost full during our visit on a weeknight but there were no delays in terms of service. Still not able to understand the ratings on Zomato.

Also happened to meet Mr.Yashwant, the owner of the place and he came across as a humble gentleman.

Value for money for sure – 3 adults and one kid could have a satisfying meal under 700.

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Shivshakti Pure Veg Kharadi, Pune

A fair enough place for home delivery !

Rating – 3/5

Ordered from here as we couldn’t cook Today. This is a veg only restaurant and is fairly modest in terms of pricing. Three adults and a kid were able to eat well under 500 bucks and the quantity was fairly good.

Daal tadka – 3.5/5, the Daal was spicy and full of tadka and that’s how I like it so it was definitely above average.

Paneer darbar – 3/5, was quite alright, it was a thick gravy preparation with chunks of paneer, was a medium spicy preparation, average stuff but not bad at all.

Paneer Matar – 3/5, this was pretty ok as well, was a rather thin gravy preparation but nothing outstanding.

I am writing this review to let others in kharadi area know that if you’re looking for simple and economical food to be delivered in less than 30 minutes, this could be an option to consider.

Taste wise food is average, however they have an extensive menu so there’s still a long way to form a strong opinion at this stage. I would update the review and ratings if I happen to order again from here.

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Nirvana Kitchen Bistro Grille & Bar Kharadi, Pune

Quite decent but an expensive option in Kharadi !

Rating – 3.5/5

To start with, this is a rather expensive dining option and the food quality is above average but nothing outstanding except my favourite dish.

Following is what I tried and the only reason I went there was a Groupon I purchased.

Tandoori chicken 2/5, the marinade was good but the chicken had a bit of a subtle foul smell and was an absolute deal breaker for me.

Tambdi Chicken – 4/5, I asked them to prepare this spicy and boy it was damn spicy!! Chicken was tender and no foul smell thankfully.

In the main course we tried :

Murgh Kadhai 3/5, this was an alright gravy dish with ample spices.

Mutton Dum Biryani 4.5/5, this was an absolute surprise and a pleasant one too. It seemed like an authentic version of Hyderabadi Biryani and I loved it.

Dessert:

Chocolate Eggplant Lasagna 4/5, this is something very unique to this place and a must have if you happen to visit Nirvana.

Ambience was good.

Service was a little strange to say the least as on couple of occasions I ordered an item and the waiter nodded and we waited for a good 10 minutes or so and when I enquired they acted as if I never placed the order.

It would not be an understatement to say that they have to improve manifolds in the area of customer service and thereby improve the overall dining experience.