Bar Bar, Phoenix Market City, Viman Nagar

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

 

Do you love deals on booze? 
Rating – 4.1/5

Well it’s only ironical to say that the poor me who doesn’t consume alcoholic drinks is in-fact going to review Bar Bar in this write up 😉 However I can only add that though I am a strict non alcoholic drinks person to the core I do love my food and it’s because of that love for food I ended up here for a food tasting session.

Before I dwell into the food experience it would only be fair to talk about their concept of wholesale pricing of drinks. To cut the long story short the money saving mantra here is to order all that you plan to drink in one single shot and not in multiple orders if you want the price of your drinks to move South. In the process of doing so you can get your drinks prices reduced up-to 50% ! If that’s what excites you then you’ll have to pay them a visit else in this review you won’t get any markers on what drinks to try as I won’t be able to tell you because I don’t drink 😉

However what I can do tell you is about some of the innovative and pretty decent finger food they serve and this review and ratings are solely based on the Food part. Moreover from what I could observe, the other accompanying bloggers liked what was served in the Drinks and the unique pricing concept takes it to a different level altogether.

Location & Ambience – 4/5, Located at Level 1 Phoenix Market City, this is yet another swanky place from the same owners (The Phoenix Mills Ltd/Bellona Hospitality) as Shizusan & 212 Cafe also located in the Phoenix Mall in Viman Nagar. It has all the constituents of a Bar and a Party friendly place ideal for groups of all sizes looking for a good time.

They offer both Outdoor and Indoor seating – the usual Table style and Bar style seating, DJ dishing out party numbers, Bouncers to take care of any situation in the making and a well stocked bar for all your drinking needs.

Food & Drinks – 4/5, food largely is finger food with an option of Main course through an innovative offering of Dabbas – a self contained Dabba enough to finish the Bar outing after drinks and munching crunching the snacks. Let me provide a brief on some of my recommendations when you’re here.

Drinks – Among the Mocktails I tried I liked the Spiced Guava Mocktail, you get the same Masaala on the Drinking Glass’ edges as you so fondly put on the Guava when eating at roadside or at home.

DSC02638In other words I want to say it worked well for me !

Toasties – Found both Tandoori Murgh & Kung Pao Chicken Toasties to be tasty and I like my food with spices so that did fit the bill nicely.

Fries – I liked the DIY Basket of Fries a lot and I am sure I might have come across hogging on to these for some as this was the first food item that was served and I just went for it. The Potato wedges within the preparation were tastier than the fries and went just fine with the provided Dip, Yummy !

DSC02665Popcorns – These were deep fried small sized balls available with different types of chief ingredients like chicken, fish, shrimps etc. This was one item I ate the most and liked it the most among all the dishes.

Among the Popcorns the Amritsari Fish Popcorn served with Mint Mayo Chutney was the Winner for me with the fish (surmai) so tender and fresh with a subtle marination that went really well with the Mint Dip.

The Vada Pav Popcorn was pretty good as well and it was amazing to see the little popcorn chunks able to fully capture the aroma and taste of an original Vada Pav. I have to admit I haven’t tasted that kind of variant in Popcorn before and it was pretty good.

The other notable mention would be of the Shrimp Popcorns that were pretty decent as well, a bit crispy on the outside and slushy on the inside made for a good combination.

Tiffins – I liked this concept of Main course being packaged in a Mumbai style like Dabba which is enough for 1.5 people with a moderate appetite.

DSC02699Lovely Singh Da Dabba – The one that was ordered was the Veg one comprising of Butter Paneer, Chapaatis and Jeera Aloo. The Butter Paneer thankfully was not all sweet but a combination of sweet and a bit of a smoky tadka like flavor to balance the sweetness and I can only imagine how the Butter Chicken would have turned out, must have been Yummy. In my opinion this was the best Dabba of the evening.

DSC02700Happy Ending Dabba – Though dubiously named does it’s job pretty well i.e. gives your meal a happy ending, again the one I found my hands on was a Vegetarian variant, came with thai green vegetarian curry – seemed a bit more Indianized than the usual but I liked it more than the usual so no complaints, went well with the accompanying steamed rice.

DSC02698The Lucy Liu Tiffin – Finally got a non vegetarian variant with the Kung Pao chicken, Fried Rice and Fried Wantons – made up for a spicy and tasty meal.

However I am a little disappointed with myself, being the self-proclaimed BIRYANI MASTER how on earth could I miss the IRRFAN’s Lunch Ka Dabba comprising of a Chicken Biryani ? Ah well it’s a cardinal sin I know but I guess that’s the reason I’ll be back to taste their Biryani and take it from there 🙂

Service – 4/5, Being served in a large group is never an easy task for the serving staff no matter how hard you plan it beforehand. Therefore considering our group size (9-12 people) and varied requests in food and drinks I think the service part was managed pretty well. Our main server for the evening Mr.Lateef did a pretty good job in this area.

Value for Money – 4/5, considering the drinks prices go down based on the quantity you order and the food being decently priced when compared to good portions usually I think the Value for Money quotient can definitely be rated as good.

Credits – Huge shout to Team Carpe Diem (Shivangi, Pracy & Carina) for inviting me to the event and Mr. Kartik Ganesh (Bellona Hospitality) for taking extremely good care of the entire group and especially ordering customized Virgin Cocktails for me (something not too many people would ask for I am sure). It was a good experience for sure.

Hope you like them enough as I did to visit them Baar Baar !

Shizusan, Phoenix Market City, Viman Nagar

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

A different take on the much exploited Chinese Food Paradox in Pune !
Rating – 4/5
Date of Visit – 9th March 2016

So here I was at the Oriental abode of Shizusan where you could expect to have a different take on Chinese (not Indo-Chinese), Vietnamese, Thai, Japanese and other Pan Asian Cuisines. Having spent considerable time in HongKong and Vancouver (having a considerable Chinese presence) and not having a liking for the authentic Chinese food I was a bit unsure about the experience to follow.

I can definitely say that the food they offer is definitely not Chindian but is more towards the authentic side of preparations but is still prepared considering Indian sensibilities in mind to a certain extent as I could experience a comfortable level of spiciness in some of the hot plates that were on offer. Not that I minded it in-fact those were the very preparations I ended up gobbling the most ! However if I were to compare it with some of the stuff I had in HK or Vancouver, the level of blandness and rather awful smells of sea-food based items I had to endure this was a pleasant experience for sure.

As confirmed by Prekshaa (who handles Marketing) they have tried to give Pune a taste of Pan Asian Cuisine but the focus is not too much to suit the Indian Palate but ever so slightly with a twist and I can vouch for that is indeed the case as per my aforementioned comparison.

Location & Ambience – Located on the Upper Ground floor of Phoenix Market City, it is right besides the 212 Cafe (from the same Management) and offers both a plush indoor and a rather casual outdoor seating. In this weather it’s preferrable to sit comfortably inside and enjoy a hearty meal with some interesting artifacts doting the walls and while you’re waiting for your order to fulfill you need to spend some time for the brilliantly conceptualized Food Menu that outlines the tales of their mascot Shizu-San (Shizu – Name of the food traveller and in Japanese you suffix the Salutation as a token of honor which is what San is).  

The menu lists the offerings in order of Cuisines as Shizusan’s Travel tale starts from Beijing and culminates at Day 215 in Thailand. The menu is quite varied starting with the dumplings and dimsums Shizusan learned in China, through to the types of Sushi he mastered in Japan and the Rice and Noodles based delicacies and desserts Shizusan learnt in Thailand. I did enjoy reading it to a certain point and then of-course the food arrived and eventually couldn’t get back reading the rest as the food acquired my complete attention.

Food & Drinks – The customized menu for the event comprising of 30+ items looked to me like a Daddy of all food tasting sessions in a while and consequently I limited myself based on the priorities of my eating palate which is not generally inclined towards Asian Cold plates styled preparations.
DSC02035
Mocktails – They’re in the process of getting the alcohol license but they have good options in Mocktails which anyway would have been my choice since I am a strict Non Alcoholic and it was a Welcome change to see the fellow foodies having the same drinks as I was having 🙂
The drinks I enjoyed the most were On the Beach and Thai Thai Mocktails.

I am going to categorize the review of Food items as Fair enough, Hits and Misses and what just can’t be missed as below:

Fair enough bites :

 

Vegetable Chui Chow – Dumplings of Tofu, Mushroom and roasted peanuts was pretty Ok if a little bland but I guess it stuck to the way it’s supposed to be prepared so no issues.

Quinoa Maki – A type of Sushi constituting pickled vegetables had good amount of flavors and went well with other spicier items like the Poached Chicken Dimsums.

Others that were worth a one time try were the Edamame, Petit Pois & Truffle Oil and Crystal Vegetables – steamed and vegetable variants of dimsums and Shizusan’s 17 Ingredient Signature Slaw.

Hits :

DSC02046Poached Chicken Dimsums – Dimsums filled with minced chicken and other vegetables served in a tangy sauce, after the initial servings of cold plates this was my true savior and I just loved it.

DSC02066Shizusan’s Chicken Soup Dumplings – This is nothing like that I have tasted before, dumplings filed with steaming hot soup (it really is steaming hot) along with minced chicken and shiitake mushrooms. As a directive you need to first make a tear using fork or chopsticks and then you can eat and drink it or drink and eat it as you like it 🙂

DSC02036Vietnamese Watermelon Salad – Being a carnivore Salad wasn’t something I looked forward to eating but the taste was sweet and sour with a bit of crunch. It was so good that it could qualify for a good dessert option as well 😉

DSC02059Pepper Garlic Mushrooms – Aptly spiced the big sized crunchy mushrooms went really well with the Mocktails.

DSC02060Chilli Celery Cottage Cheese – There’s just one word for this – Awesome !! The preparation had some delicious seasoning while the Paneer had a bit of a crunchy layer outside while inside it was of melt in the mouth texture. This was one preparation I ate and enjoyed the most, slurp….

DSC02065Malay Style Chicken Satay – This was the good old Chicken Satay preparation and it was prepared the way it’s supposed to be, no complaints here.

DSC02038Asparagus Tempura – I am not a big Sushi fan by any stature of imagination but I did try this one and I really liked it, perhaps the only reason why I can try more varieties of Sushi in future now. The Asparagus was crunchy and the overall preparation had a tender yet crunchy bite to it with a lot of accompanying flavors. A word of caution about the accompanying Wasabi, kindly take very very small portion if you’re new to the recipe as it produces notorious vapors upon eating that hit you in the nasal passage instead of the tongue and can be an awkward experience to say the least for the first timer.

DSC02050Pulled Chicken Bun – As the name suggests the pulled variety of preparation is gaining popularity wherein the meat/chicken is cooked/simmered on slow flame till the time the chicken pulls easily from the bones. The resultant are threads of chicken meat which were then put together with a tangy seasoning into a soft bun, this dish actually came off really well and was easily one of my favorites.

DSC02078Hot Stone Rice – With bits and pieces of Chicken and egg sprayed all over the rice, the preparation was pretty good and is a good candidate to wash down with Thai curries.

Desserts – All the three Desserts Tiramisu Asia, Lychee & Date Wontons and Peanut Butter Pie (the peanut taste can be moderated a bit) were pretty good and were enjoyed by everyone alike.

Misses :

Pattani Lamb Chops (first in the image above), Minced Chicken Kaprow,  and Lamb Suimai – All these dishes actually suffered from a strong pungent smell that I couldn’t ignore and which unfortunately over-powered the flavors. I would still say the Pattani Lamb chops were the better of three but still had a bit of raw/pungent smell of meat.

What just can’t be missed ? Poached Chicken Dimsums, Vietnamese Watermelon Salad, Chilli Celery Cottage Cheese and Tiramisu are some of the best items and I can have them day in and day out gladly 🙂

Service – Since most of these dishes were new to most of us, the Service part was very important and to help matters out we had the able company of SukhManjeet Singh at our Table. When a table has around 8-10 ever enthusiastic foodies and you have a long menu to serve things can get chaotic at one point or the other. However SukhManjeet was exceptional in handling all our chores and did his best to help us all out with the Menu and the dishes that were being served. I am sure till the time he’s manning the Restuarant’s service management, chances of anything going awry are next to none 🙂

Value for Money – The value for Money factor is going to be dependent on an individual’s perspective here, it’s not moderately priced to be honest but some of the ingredients used in these recipes for instance Wasabi are actually not very cheap either. I found the Sushi preparations and Rice/Noodles to be reasonably priced in terms of quantity, a sizeable meal for two should set you back by 1200-1600 bucks depending on your appetite and your specific choice of preparations.

In a nutshell I enjoyed my outing at Shizusan and liked most of the stuff that was served, time to say a special thanks to Team Carpe Diem – Pracey, Shivangi, Amrita and Minoti. A special word of mention for Prekshaa who provided the insight and motivation behind Shizusan – the brand and engaged all of us with two little Shizusan dolls. I almost ended up dropping one off the table while being inventive with my photography skills and God knows what hell would have broken loose had it actually happened 😉

Moti Mahal Delux Viman Nagar, Pune

Only hype, nothing out of the Ordinary !

Rating – 2.5/5

Well I heard so much about this place and finally decided to order through a third party food ordering site and they had an amazing Eid offer going on and I took full advantage and placed an order for a half Tandoori chicken and Mutton Dum Biryani.

What followed was a disappointment of sorts and experience was just about average at best.

Half Tandoori Chicken – what came in the delivery must have been one malnourished chicken (four small pieces) as the fleshy portion was much less than I expected and the marination was just about alright. Chicken itself was tender and the only saving grace here.

Mutton Dum Biryani – The Biryani didn’t have any Dum at all, it was a preparation devoid of any spices and was mostly bland and dry. It’s a cardinal sin for the Biryani to be dry and it’s fairly irrevocable from that point onwards. The mutton pieces were all the fatty ones and it was hard to find a good chunk of meat within the Biryani.

Overall the Biryani was one of the most ordinary ones I have had in a while and that was the deal breaker for me.

Since we had ordered online and through an offer we got all this for 208 bucks only, had we got this for its original price of around 500 bucks it would have been a catastrophic evening but thankfully it wasn’t 🙂

Ordered August 2015.

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