Siddha’s Cafe, Salunkhe Vihar Road, Pune

Siddha's Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Siddha’s Cafe – A tranquil place to be with a Punjabi twist !

Rating – 4.5/5

Situated in the by lanes of Salunkhe Vihar road and thankfully a bit far away from the hustle bustle of fast City life Siddha’s Cafe is one peaceful place which I would love to visit again and again. Though marketed as a Cafe Place on Zomato their USP lies in their awesome Punjabi Food and the foremost reason being their Punju owner – Mr. Vanit Bhalla who invited me to this quaint little place but introduced this as a Vegetarian friendly place.

Well, ahem…people who know me in the food circles I don’t go by my first or last name but by the name of Biryani Master and I am a hardcore Chicken and Mutton eater. I was as usual a bit skeptical reviewing a Veg only place but Vanit reassured me that some of their curries are as rich as one would find in the Non Vegetarian Cuisine and reluctantly I agreed to pay them a visit.

I decided to be there on a Saturday afternoon and it was a wonderful day indeed as while we had some piping hot delicacies it rained like cats and dogs and we enjoyed the atmosphere to the fullest.

Ambience & Location – Their location is too good to be true as it happens to be in complete peace, I felt like I wasn’t even in Pune while I was there, it felt like I was visiting a week-end destination and for the good 2-3 hours I was there never even heard a single honk / vehicular traffic.

Talking about the Ambience it was plain and simple yet contemporary with different seating options available at your disposal, ranging from open air seating and varied interior seating options. You have a Guitar and lots of books/board games to accompany you and the owners encourage you to spend time instead of just coming in, placing order and pay for your food, an interesting concept indeed.

The Food – All I can say is the food – both finger food and traditional Punjabi Cuisine was top notch and I don’t have anything to complain at all. I will mention some of the strongly recommended dishes during my outing that you should definitely try when you’re there.


Tandoori Momos – These are definitely recommended as this comes as an innovative offering wherein they have combined two of the most loved cuisines of our times i.e. the Tandoori flavor with that of the Desi Chinese taste. It’s an item which you just cannot miss and is a must have.

Grilled Vegetable Bruschetta – This was pretty good with fresh veggies complemented by a lot of cheese went beautifully with one of the most fluffy and softest breads one could ever hope for.

Soft n Cheesy Garlic Bread – This offered a bit of a twist wherein the Cheese was not melted but was left in a semi-melted state intentionally so as not to keep the accompanying bread soggy. I wasn’t much thrilled about it initially but slowly it grew on me with the garlic present in a subtle amount doing it’s trick.

Yummy Oreo Shake – This is your ideal companion when you’re having that Yummy Garlic bread or having some crispy masaala fries.

dsc03202Shahi Paneer with Parantha (Strongly recommended) – This was the first Punjabi dish I tried after a lot of finger food and this delivered the absolute knock out punch. The Shahi Paneer you get in this part of India (Western parts) appears in a white gravy and is usually prepared sweet with loads of sugar it seems. After trying at a lot of places here in Pune I literally stopped ordering it as I have had some horrific rendezvous with this particular Paneer preparation. I was advised by Vanit to give it a try and after having the first bite I absolutely fell in love with it as it was my long lost Shahi Paneer from the bazaars and small restaurants of Agra & Delhi. If you like your authentic Delhi waala Shahi Paneer this is one place you should definitely order it and I haven’t had a vegetarian preparation like this in Pune for quite a while.

Tawa Chaap – With the awesome Paneer dish I realized that more than the finger food its really the Punjabi items that are or can become their forte hence tried this Soya Chaap curry based dish and again the flavors were authentic North Indian and felt like I was having my meal in a Chaap speciality restaurant in CP, Delhi.

Service – As I mentioned earlier the atmosphere is a bit laid back and the service is not rushed in as most of these preparations are cooked fresh on order so if you’re in a lot of hurry then probably you might want to label them as slow but once you understand their concept and blend with the overall idea you could only appreciate and have fun.

A must visit for like minded people – if you like your dining place to be laid back and not in your face types and ofcourse with the company of some delicious Punjabi and lip smacking finger food.

Sukanta Deccan Gymkhana, Pune

Best Thali Restaurant in Pune !

Rating – 4/5

This place serves only vegetarian food and that too Thalis which I am not particularly fond of 🙂
So the first time I went there around 7 years ago it would be an understatement to say that I was skeptical 😉
I have seen it serve almost the same thali that use to come for 120 bucks which has now doubled over this period.
I am now a veteran of this place and more than me it’s my wife who absolutely loves this place so you have to always adhere to high command’s wishes else you know what I am talking about ;).

Not that I don’t like the place but my gastronomical orientation is more towards the Non Veg Muglai/North Indian Cuisine so I don’t end up eating there every other weekend.
Since its a popular place if you reach on a weekend at your usual dining hours you can be in for a long queue so always try and reach a little earlier than usual and you would save yourself a good half an hour waiting time.
The food itself is mildly spiced, serving rajasthani, gujrati and maharashtrian cuisine. During the summer you just can’t afford to miss their aamras preparation and usually the desserts are very tasty.
If you’re in a mood for a traditional meal, this is the place to be and value for money compared to places like Rajdhani and Mayur Thali.

Gandharv Vegetarian Kalyani Nagar, Pune

Exceptional Vegetarian Food !

Rating 4.5/5

To begin with, I don’t usually like to spend my hard earned money on Vegetarian Food when eating outside however there are always exceptions like Gandharv which forces me to try the Veggies every now and then.

Firstly this is a very popular restaurant in Kalyani Nagar and if you’re planning to go in the evenings, make sure you’re there by 7.45pm latest if you’re my kind who doesn’t like to wait and likes to go straight to the point in a restaurant which is obviously food 🙂

God forbid if you land up on a week-end after 8.30 pm then you have to wait for more than 30 minutes to get a Table.

The food quality is very good and mostly everything tastes nice and refreshing compared to the Udupi style good for nothing “Pure Veg” restaurants in Pune. As a matter of fact I absolutely despise them but this is a place to be if you like your vegetarian food.

Some of the food items worth mentioning are Veg Angara Kebab, Paneer Tikka Masala, Dal Tadka, Paneer Tikka, Veg Biryani (my food is not complete without a Biryani) and they have an unusual sizzling dessert (ice cream scoops with sizzling chocolate syrup) which is worth trying once. Though I need to warn that it looks more sumptuous than what it really is.

Service is fast, ambience is pretty ok and all in all a very good place to eat Vegetarian Food in Kalyani Nagar.


WahjiWah Kalyani Nagar, Pune

Getting towards where you can have a “Wah” experience !
Rating – 4/5
************10th October Visit Updates*************
Today after catching up a movie and quick shopping in Kalyani Nagar we thought of having a quick lunch here.
Today’s experience was pretty good and thankfully the taste of what is being served here has remain consistent and quality of service was much better and the servers were a lot attentive.
We had the following today :
1. Tandoori platter – 3.5/5 – The Paneer Tikka and Achari tikka were good while the Malai Tikka and tandoori chaap were fair enough. This also includes Daal makhani and a Naan as accompaniments so it adds value to the meal which is good to have.
2. WahJiWah special thali – 4/5, comprised of Veg biryani, Paneer kadhai (a fairly dry/thick gravy version), Daal makhani, choice of one bread to order – we selected lachha parantha, a gravy with chaap and a gulabjamun.
Thali was good tastewise, the only downer was the chaap based gravy, didn’t quite like the taste of it.
They also have tie-ups with Mobikwik and quickwallet to offer discounts like 20% and 25% respectively which again adds to the VFM factor.
As a result of all of the above better than before experience in all departments I have reflected that in my overall review rating experience. Needless to say I’ll be back for more 🙂

This review is based on two outings so far and I can say some of the points I noted are good, some are average and others are nothing to write home about.

To start with, it’s definitely a different kind of outlet which has an All North Indian Menu, with loads of combo meals/thali options and is ofcourse a veg only place.

They have a variety of starters that are kept in the offing in an attempt to give vegetarians a taste of non vegetarian stuff with these options of vegetarian chaaps that are so readily available in the National Capital Region.

Ambience is pretty Ok with around 4-5 tables on the ground floor and further 5-6 tables on the intermediate floor as part of their mezzanine flooring layout where the ceiling could really bump your head if you’re not careful.

Coming to the parking side of things it could be a little painful if you have a four wheeler as they don’t have their own dedicated parking so apart from the space for about five cars, one has to rely parking in the bylanes of Kalyani Nagar.

Coming to the food, so far I have tasted the following as part of ordering the Veg fried platter, Veg thali, kadhai paneer and Dal Makhani combo, Special Veg thaali and ice-creams :

Dal Makhani – 4/5, it’s creamy and has got a nice texture and tastewise it’s fairly close to that authentic Dal Makhani of North Indian cuisine yet it’s not the best that I have tasted in Pune.

Kadhai Paneer – 3.5/5, slightly different taste of kadhai Paneer than what could usually be found but quite alright.

Shahi Paneer – 3/5, it’s a little too sweet for my liking as and like my Shahi Paneer with a subtle hint of sweetness.

Dal fry – 4/5, this was quite decent and it went really good with steamed rice.

Mix Veg – not applicable, it had a hint of foul taste to it which my wife noticed and they changed the dish with a serving of kadhai paneer. So wasn’t really able to review the dish.

Veg Tawa Masaala – 2.5/5, this qualified just as being edible and wouldnt be something that I would order individually apart from making the numbers in their Veg thali.

Veg Biryani – 4/5, this is pretty good and tasty for a veg Biryani and is the second best dish we tasted after dahi kebabs.

Following is what I have tasted in their starters :

Stick Seekh kebabs – 4/5, a fairly good and a unique preparation.

Kurkure mushrooms – 3/5, had a stuffing of mushrooms and was quite alright.

Gulabi Tikki – 3.5/5, would rate it slightly above the mushroom starter in terms of taste and one can order this as an individual dish apart finding it in their fried platter

Dahi kebab – 4.5/5, this is one dish that stood out in the entire food fare and we liked it very much. I have tasted better dahi kebabs in Pune only in Oye Pape and this one is a close second.

Talking about ice creams, the Giani ice creama have a bit of a different flavor to them and so far tasted Rose(4.5/5) and Vanilla (3.5) flavors and would definitely like to taste other flavors.

In terms of service there’s quite a bit to improve before customer can truly say “Wah Ji Wah” as the service is slow and servers almost always even forget to refill water on their own unless you remind them all the time which could be quite annoying.