Barbeque Ville, Wakad, Pune

Barbeque Ville Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A Barbeque to relish !

Rating – 4.5/5

Quick facts
Ambience – 4/5
Service – 4.5/5
Starters – 5/5
Main Course – 4/5
Desserts – 4.5/5
Address – Green Valley, Near Mankar Chowk, Kaspate Vasti, Wakad, Pune.

bbqvillepricingThe concept of Barbeque based buffet is in the trend these days however it is not an easy combination to pull off as during my experiences in Pune one element or the other among starters/main course/desserts isn’t quite up-to the mark. The idea traditionally has been to stuff up starters so that not a lot of main course appetite is left however that shouldn’t mean that the main course dishes are just up for making numbers without any quality as happens to be the case in a lot of places.Therefore with great expectations we were more than excited to try out the new barbeque kid on the block “Barbeque Ville” in Wakad launched recently on Valentine’s Day.

The Ambience & Service – It might appear as a not so large place from outside however the place has a seating capacity of 120 and the ambience is largely pleasant and well lit and offers a comfy seating.

On the service front, starters were replenished quickly and on most occasions without asking and with a smile, they were happy to customize the spice level according to taste and I really enjoyed having some of the spicy barbeque starters for a change. Our server Mr. Shahabuddin was more than happy to serve us according to our preferences.

The Food – One word of advice, keep some space for the Main course & Desserts after the sumptuous starters as each section is worth keeping the appetite for.

The Starters – With Six non veg and Six vegetarian starters complemented by Veg/Chicken sizzler make sure you go strictly empty stomach. The outstanding starters of the Day were Tangdi Chicken served on a Sword, Hariyali Tikka, Cajun Spiced Potatoes (very nice), Chicken Hariyali Kebab, Banjara fish tikka, Peshawari prawns, Chicken sizzler (not a full blown sizzler with rice/fries/veggies but quite tasty).

The Main Course – Haven’t quite seen Crab curry in the main course in any of the Barbeque places in Pune but you may find it here as one of the main course items as we did. Other out of the ordinary items were Maithi Paneer, Dal Bukhara, Aloo capsicum dry, Gosht Shikara (went awesome with biryani), Chicken Dum Biryani (a bit dry because on buffet but tasted fair) and Chicken hara gravy.

The Desserts – Apart from the usual pastries and Gulabjamuns, the desserts craving for my attention were the Coconut halwa, Mawa burfi, Besan laddu, Punjabi phirni and Fudge cake apart from cut fruits like watermelon, papaya and ice creams, phew… The desserts itself appear like a mini buffet so again mind you to keep space for them and don’t regret later:)

Value for Money & Verdict – At a price point of 600/500 all inclusive for Non veg and Veg option it is a no-brainer that it absolutely is a winner in the value for money quotient and wins it hands down ! I strongly recommend to visit Barbeque Ville as it is piping hot right now and just cannot be missed. Huge shout out to Mr.Hatim of Crescent Inc. for inviting us and Mr. Parth for giving us company and showing us around.

Picture CreditsShweta Parijat

Senses Oakwood Premier, Mundhwa Pune

Sen5es - Oakwood Premier Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Good Food but terrible hospitality !

Rating – 3/5

I was here for New Year brunch on January 1st 2016 and I was both surprised and shocked at the same time. I know it’s a strange combination but that’s what it really was – pleasantly surprised because of the food quality of the buffet and terribly shocked because of the rather cold and indifferent serving staff which messed up my dining experience !
We (me, wifey and little princess) thought of starting our new year with a long pending brunch at Oakwood Premier which incidentally is listed as the #1 Hotel in Pune on Tripadvisor. We went with an impression that the food might not be the best in class but the service level would definitely be owing to such good reviews however what followed was definitely a dampener of sorts to our new year’s dineline (more on this in the Service section) !
Location and Ambience – I would rate them a very good 4/5 on this parameter.
Located in the KP Annex within Mundhwa, the location is good with a Valet Parking on disposal though your cars may end up in the open parking by road if you’re not a hotel guest. The Ambience of the restaurant is good with an option for both indoor and outdoor seating and both sections are quite spacious with a portion of the indoor one which runs parallel with the live kitchen. There’s then a water body located just before the restaurant which has a fair share of some colorful fishes which keeps the kids interested.
The Food – I would rate them a very good 4/5 on this parameter.
They have a pretty varied buffet with lots of options for Salads, 4 starters, a pretty good Indian main course and some options for Italian and Mediterranean cuisine as well.
I would list out the impressions in brief and highlight the items that need to be outlined due to reasons good or bad as below:
The Goods – Chicken Tikka, Sikandari Lamb (though a bit dry), Mutton Dum Biryani (very good), Paneer Lababdar (the best dish of the buffet – cottage cheese balls in a tasty Tomato gravy), Egg fried rice, white thai curry, chicken shepherd pie, veg variant of Sushi, khandvi and patra (the interesting additions in tid bits).
The Bads – Vegetable Tikki (filling was sour), Tofu based starter (nothing exceptional about it and didn’t see any effort to even out the dryness associated with Tofu), the chicken and mutton gravies were ordinary as well.
The Desserts – They had a fair share of options in Desserts and some of the ones worth mentioning are the Chocolate fountain, the chocolate cake (the best), Ivorey Marquse, kaju katli and Chocolate brownie. The Desserts were good and couldn’t find any flaws 🙂
The Service – Now comes the worst part of the meal. I would rate them a poor 1/5 on this parameter.  I would list my very specific observations here and it’s for anyone to judge what rating can be associated with this aspect of the Restaurant.
#1 – While we had initially been seated at 12.40pm the place was fairly vacant and with just two other tables occupied, still our server Mr. Gautam didn’t ask us for water.
#2 – The starters had gone hard and dry as they were laid out on the buffet which is something I don’t prefer usually. However from my experiences in Marriott and other places where this arrangement is prevalent, as soon as you tell the serving staff about the dryness they promptly offer to get a fresh serving from the Kitchen which never happened here. When I asked my server he very reluctantly agreed to get us a fresh chicken tikka from kitchen which came after a good 30 minutes. I saw that the fresh preparation was left unattended for at least 5-10 minutes and by the time it reached our table it was cold.
#3 – The Sikandari lamb starter was good but due to the aforementioned reasons had gone dry and hard, when I informed our server about it, he nodded as if he would get a fresh on the table but unfortunately it couldn’t make it to our table for our entire duration of 3 hours.
#4 – I had given the above feedback to the Restaurant Supervisor/Manager Mr.Sahil and he was very apologetic about our experience and he himself served us the breads when again none of the other staff was interested in asking us about our preferences in breads when they clearly saw we were moving to the main course.
#5 – After all we went through the worst was yet to come when someone had asked us if they can get us something. I reluctantly asked the person if he could serve us a tiny portion of Mutton biryani as the one on the buffet was sticking to the base of the serving utensil. The person readily agreed with a smile however that was the last of him I saw and after reminding others thrice the Biryani was served on the table after a gap of thirty minutes as we were moving to the desserts, phew !
The Verdict – I am not quite sure if I’ll be back here again though as I stated before the food is good but the serving staff made our experience pathetic. It wasn’t as if they were understaffed however I could just see them passing by without being bothered too much. Although I might be hallucinating but I didn’t see the place overbooked or swarming with people so it could have been easily managed but for some unknown reasons it wasn’t and all this was enough to spoil our first dining experience of 2016 !

The Cafe Hyatt Regency Pune

The Café - Hyatt Regency Pune Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

An underwhelming experience of sorts !
Rating 3/5.

I was here for a Buffet Dinner on 30th December and my experience in terms of food border-lined between average and just above average. I have been to Eighty Eight in the other Hyatt Property on Nagar Road more than a month ago so it was only natural for me to draw a comparison. I was definitely surprised to observe that the dining experience in Eighty Eight both in terms of quality and quantity was much better than what I experienced in the “The Cafe” at Hyatt Regency, Viman Nagar Pune.

Ambience and seating comfort – I would rate them a very good 4/5 on this parameter.
As with any other Hyatt property the lobby area and approach to the restuarant were dazzling and the seating was comfortable with ample space between the tables to provide the required privacy for those crazy conversations over good food.

The difference here being the food wasn’t quite upto the mark as what it should have been in comparison to other competing five stars in the similar price band.

Service – I would rate them an average 2.5/5 on this parameter.
The rating is primarily because the starters were served in very less quantity at a time and the gap to have them refilled was 15-20 minutes on a number of occasions. I didn’t find any issues with the serving staff as Mr.Nand Kishore did his best to serve us with all the courtesies but I guess the Kitchen wasn’t able to support the staff completely and the infrequent serving of starters wasn’t something I could excuse easily. Another point where the service/kitchen needs to improve is the fact that their desserts counter was getting replenished at a snail pace and there was a point where the counter was almost down to its dumps and wasn’t filled for more than 25 minutes ! During our entire meal we kept waiting for a Pine apple pastry but it could never make it to the desserts section till the time we left.

Food – I would rate them an average 2.5/5 on this parameter.

I am going to talk about the different courses as below and to be really honest I had far better expectations from Hyatt Regency after having had a good meal at Eighty Eight in their other location on the Nagar Road but as the title says it was an underwhelming experience of sorts for sure. 

The Starters – I would rate them a good 3.5/5 on this parameter which was incidentally the best part of the meal.

They have 2 veg and 2 Non Veg starters as part of the buffet and the ones making the cut on the day were Chicken Manchurian (4/5), Gobhi Manchurian (2.5/5), Corn Tikki (3.5/5) and Fish fingers (3.5/5). The oriental variant Chicken starter was by far the best of the evening and was crisp from outside while the chicken inside was tender and the combination worked really well. On the other hand the Gobhi Manchurian was absolutely bland when served the first couple of times. However after responding on my feedback during the third serving it came with the required sauce and the usual taste associated with the preparation. The cauliflower however was nice and crispy and not too oily which was the saving grace of the dish.

From the live counter the grilled chicken was okay and our drinks which were Fresh lime soda were a bit inclined towards the sour taste that you get in the seed of lemons so that was bit of a letdown.

The Main Course – I would give them an average 2.5/5 on this parameter.

I never expected the food to be this awkward and downright bland as it was served in the Dinner that day. The only good part of the main course were the oriental dishes, most of the other items in the main course were tasteless and devoid of anything noteworthy.

I tasted Mutton curry, paneer methi malai, tawa subzi, daal etc but none of them could provide any value for the taste buds, apart from the Fried Rice and Chicken preparation in Oriental menu, the only other item which came close to my liking was the Malvani fish curry

Desserts – I would give them a decent 3/5 on this parameter.

The desserts were a mix of all kind of assorted pastries which were mostly decent and tasted the way they should but it came across a bit single dimensional to be honest. The desserts section could definitely be improved by adding a bit of variety instead of having same kind of desserts in different variants. The choco pastry and paan masaala based ice cream were the best in the desserts and fitting were a good way to end the meal after a disappointing main course.

At the danger of sounding like a broken record I would again like to reiterate that my experience at Hyatt in terms of food quality and service response felt short of expectations by a size-able margin and at least for improving the aspect of food taste they don’t need to look too far, they can always take a cue from their sibling Eighty Eight !

I conveyed my feedback to their Manager Mr.Manjay who actually made notes of my feedback and was all ears for it which is always a good sign. I hope the listed improvements are given the due importance since Hyatt as a brand deserves much more than what was on offer during my dining experience 🙂

MoMo Cafe – Courtyard By Marriott, Bund Garden Road

MoMo Cafe - Courtyard By Marriott Pune City Center Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A case of class apart Hospitality !

Rating – 4/5

In my series of visiting Buffet places within Pune, my next stop on a lazy Saturday was Momo Cafe at Marriott Courtyard. Having read some of the latest reviews on Zomato I was not quite sure what I was signing up for but I must say the place pleasantly surprised me with its appetizers, desserts and warm hospitality.

As I entered the place couldn’t help but notice the impressive lobby area of the hotel with some decorations lined up for the Christmas. The area was brightly lit and I overall liked the look and feel of the entrance and the lobby waiting area.

Ambience – I give them an excellent rating of 4.5/5

The seating is nice and comfortable and the entire dining area is brightly lit with a view of the adjoining swimming pool. There are decorated lights and colorful interiors further enhancing the overall atmosphere of the restaurant. There’s also a mini bar setup along with a display of their wine collection which makes for good viewing if you’re into the history of wines and the associated dating stuff.


Starters – I give them a good rating of 4/5

The starters consist of a veg and non veg starter each and the having read other reviews on Zomato some people are not happy with the number of their starters.

I got  chance to interact with their Executive Chef Mr.Pradipt Sinha for a while and he explained that more than 80% of their clients are corporate folks who are looking for a quick lunch mostly and that’s the reason they lay out their starters in the buffet and can’t put more than a variant each due to the want of space as other items in main course make up most of the space. I asked him if that’s the case then why don’t they keep more starters and serve them on the table? Mr. Sinha tried to explain further that during the lunch hours the place is nearly full with 60-70 folks dining at a time and it’s difficult for them to server starters on the table quickly as it takes time and the corporate folks are usually in a hurry and they don’t usually have a lot of time hence they’re following this model. It was good to interact with Mr. Sinha and I got to know more about the serving model of their Sunday Brunch at the Eviva Lounge which sounded a bit tempting and in due course I would visit them so would provide more details in that blog as and when I pen that.

Personally I would have preferred more starters but that’s really not mine or anybody else’s decision except the people concerned at the Restaurant so be their guest if you’re OK with it I guess.

Chilly Paneer – The chilly paneer was good but had become a little soggy as a result of being kept in the buffet so we asked the Captain Mr. Abhijit to get us the fresh ones and he duly obliged. The fresh servings were really good and the standout factor was the fact that it wasn’t overflowing with oil as happens at so many places.

Chicken Hariyali Tikka – The chicken tikka with a tinge of green was very good, it had all the qualities of how a chicken tikka should be, it was tender, juicy and well roasted to give it a bit of a smoky flavor. Mr.Abhijit was gracious enough to serve the chicken on the table for us as well.

In addition to the starters one has the option to order for Pasta and Pizzas in either veg or non veg variants. I opted for a Chicken Pizza which came with a thin and crunchy crust, lots of cheese and a nice chicken topping to complement the preparation. What more can you expect from a Pizza, simply put it was pretty decent.

Main Course – I give them a good rating of 4/5

The Main course was laid out with a lot of Salads to choose from and I am primarily a no salads guy so except the pictures I won’t elaborate much on this front.

Some of the items I liked from Main course were the Chicken kolhapuri, dahi waali macchi, dry bhindi, green peas preparation and really loved the eggplant infused Melanzane Parmagiana.

As I was having the mains, I was greeted by their Chef Mr. Hitesh who asked for feedback and I told him about the good starters, pizza and other stuff but also told him about the bland Paneer preparation and enquired if they ever keep a Biryani in their buffet. He confirmed that at times the Biryani indeed makes up in the numbers but Today wasn’t the day but he’ll check if he could do something about it. In the next 5 minutes or so I was surprised with an amazing Kadhai Paneer preparation that was served especially for us on the table and was perfectly spiced which enhanced our experience of the main course.

However this wasn’t all he asked us to take the main course a bit slowly as he was in the process of getting us a Mutton Dum Biryani. We got a perfect 5/5 Mutton Dum Biryani after waiting for 10-15 minutes and this was as amazing and tasty as the one I have had in Kabab Hut at Sun n Sand in Pune. The mutton was succulent, rice was well spiced and spaced out and one just didn’t require any accompaniments to go with the Biryani and this took our dining experience to another level of satisfaction !

Desserts – I give them an excellent rating of 4.5/5

Most of the desserts were good and the best ones were the assorted pastries, the chocolate crumble cake, gajar halwa and the best of the lot was another exclusive preparation made for us (the last two dessert pics) of a dessert called Opera. This dessert had everything you could hope for, lots of chocolate, a layer of coffee and a crunchy layer in between which gave this a very unique yet amazing taste. A special thanks again to Mr. Hitesh who really treated us well and went out of his usual responsibilities to put a smile on face and make our experience an awesome one.

Hospitality – I give them a perfect and outstanding 5/5 on this parameter.

Usually I use the term service to define this parameter but in this case Today I’ll use the rather apt term hospitality because that’s really what it was and that too top notch to say the least.

Right from the executive Chef Mr. Sinha, our Captain Mr. Abhijit to the servers taking care of our table, everyone ensured that we had a rocking experience and we spent a good two hours as we lazily gorged on our Lunch buffet on a Saturday afternoon. In the meantime a big batch of corporate folks came, had their lunch and left while we were having our desserts. A special mention of Mr.Hitesh is absolutely necessary who served three dishes exclusively for us as we gently told him about the rather bland Paneer preparation in the mains and he did everything he could to ensure that we walked as satisfied customers and we were absolutely delighted with our lunch experience at the Momo Cafe Today !

I am rating them 4/5 considering what was available in the buffet along with the terrific service that was bestowed on us. However if I take the extra three exclusive dishes served to us out of the buffet into consideration (Paneer Kadhai, Mutton Dum Biryani and the Opera Dessert) then definitely the rating for my experience is 4.5/5.

My special thumbs to the place and I strongly recommend the readers to give it a try once and do let them know about your preferences as you dine. I am sure they will take a corrective step then and there itself if you don’t like something from the buffet and would try their best to make up for it.

Cheers !

Eighty Eight – Hyatt Pune, Kalyani Nagar

Eighty Eight - Hyatt Pune Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

An experience of its kind !

Rating – 4/5

This Hotel is located on the Nagar Road close to the Aga Khan Palace and was formerly called as Ista until it was eventually taken over by the Hyatt Group. As is usual with the five stars there’s an efficient Valet Parking on offer and you have to go through the usual Security checks which I seriously don’t mind at all since it’s for our own safety. A big thumbs down to folks who consider this as a waste of time and pretend as if this is a wastage of even 2 minutes of their precious time. Grow up Guys, seriously !!

So if you ask anyone who has visited Hyatt as what’s the first thing they noticed upon entering and I would seriously doubt if they will forget to mention about the Lobby Area of the Hotel. Trust me it’s a Grand setting with a huge and spacious lobby to greet the visitors with some exquisite interiors, a piano on one side and a decorated wall in the background where water flows from the top creating a nice effect.

All these ingredients put together present an absolutely delightful view of the place and I can easily say that it’s among one of the most beautiful settings for a Hotel that I have witnessed if I compare them to my stints in North America and Hong Kong. A special credit needs to go towards the Interior designer of this place and the same reflects in their banquet halls, hotel rooms and the restaurants.

I know a bit more about this place than I would generally know just by dining somewhere because I was involved in a huge training of sorts for the HSBC Software development folks and during that time I had the chance to make some observations. Though not all was perfect as the food served during that time was sort of average but I had decided at that time to give this place another try by visiting one of their three Restaurants and that’s what I exactly did on the occasion of my wife’s Birthday.

Hyatt Pune (different from Hyatt Regency) boasts of three dining places to be precise namely:
The Fish bowl (a lounge type setting perfect for drinking hobbyists to go with finger food)
Ban Tao (their special take on the Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine)
Eighty Eight (their buffet restaurant with a fair mix of Indian with international cuisine)

We chose to have our Dinner in Eighty Eight as we don’t fall into the category of drinkers and Chinese/Vietnamese cuisine we sort of like but not something that we would go out for every now and then. We zeroed in on Eighty Eight to taste a mix of the huge buffet and though the rating on Zomato was a bit of dampener to start with but we were glad we still went ahead and chose to dine here.

Ambience – I would rate them an outstanding rating of 5/5.
As we entered the Restaurant much like the Hotel’s lobby the area was huge, nicely decorated, well lit and tables were placed at a comfortable distance allowing you to have privacy during those dinner conversations where you discuss on topics ranging from climate change to the fate of big boss contestants so I like my seating area to be well spaced out 😉

There’s also a door towards the much darker shades available in the open air part of the restaurant which is apparently a smoking zone as well for you to take in Nicotine should you wish to. That area is dimly lit and situation among a decent cover of greenery and looked equally charming in the dark. I guess it’s not too difficult to admit that I absolutely loved everything that’s got to do with the ambience of this place 🙂

Food – I would rate them a respectable 3.5/5.
My rating for the food is slightly because of the ordinary set of starters and equally ordinary mocktail (presumably a slice/maaza with a hint of basil flavor) that was served while we were there. A brief on each course of the meal as below:

Starters – what gets served and the Quantity?
Starters comprise of three veg and three non vegetarian items, during our visit we could only find the Fish fingers with Tartar sauce and a mushroom based veg starter worthwhile. The rest of the items in starters were ordinary to say the least and not something that I expected to be served in a Quality place like this.

Main Course – The Main course was relatively good compared to the starters and I enjoyed most of the gravies including the cottage cheesem chicken adraki and the daal makhani with the star of the main course being Urlai roast. It was a dry/minimal gravy preparation of baby potatoes roasted in a fingerlicking masaala and I remember having a butter roti just with this dish as it was so good.

An addition like a Chicken/Mutton biryani would have definitely added a lot of glaze to an already decent main course and something that I thought was missing from the ensemble.

Desserts – Unsurprisingly with quite a large presence in terms of variety this was the best course of our meal and I really ate the sweets like a kid. I loved the Indian sweets more than the western ones 🙂

Service – I would rate them a respectable 3.5/5.
It would be an understatement if I say that the service needs to improve by a notch or two, if it was not for their Captain they would have figured poorly in my books. The Captain was a courteous person who attempted that anything which was not according to our taste atleast an effort be made to replace it with the improved version. Though it’s a different thing that there wasn’t a lot of change in the improved items but they deserve a pat on the back for trying and showing that they care about the customer feedback.

Impressions in brief:

The good:
1. Ambience – one of the most beautiful settings and perfect for celebrating special occasions.
2. The buffet spread – it’s a lavish buffet by all means with loads of options in salads and other tid-bits (Thin crust roasted chicken pizza was good) and options to order stuff from the live counter.
3. High quality desserts and a decent main course.

Improvement Areas:
1. Service – wish if they can be a bit more forthcoming to listen to feedback and should strictly ensure that nothing cold gets served as it sets the wrong impression to start with. As mentioned before if not for the captain our outing could have been really bad as some of the servers had little clue on some of the most basic of things, not sure if they were new on the job. This feedback is only to ensure that they undergo proper training and other customers are able to have a better experience than this.

2. The starters – The chicken starter only had cumins overpowering the entire preparation and it felt that all you were eating was cumin and it didn’t matter whether it was chicken, paneer or soyabean, all would have tasted the same due to the magnitude of cumin used in the marinade.
Similar problems surfaced for the mutton starter which was also overpowered with loads of cinnamon.

In a nutshell the starters section of the buffet needs to be improved considerably if they want themselves to be counted among the top buffet serving five stars in the vicinity.

Despite the shortcomings we still enjoyed our visit to Eighty Eight, it’s definitely better than the rating of 3.3 which is how it’s currently rated on Zomato at the moment.

Zodiac Fortune Select, Lavasa

Does the job…..Well almost!

Rating – 3.5/5

We were in Lavasa on a weekend in the first week of August and we chose Fortune for our stay and I was more than excited to dine at their Mughlai speciality restaurant Earthen Oven but as luck would have it they had a corporate party scheduled on a Saturday night ):

So here we were at their 24 hours Cafe – Zodiac. At close to around 900 bucks per person for a buffet that doesn’t include any starters it was a bit disappointing of sorts but nevertheless we thought of giving it a go.

For salad fans it had around 6-8 variety of salads with couple of them quite good like the one with lettuce and pineapples.

The chicken soup was just edible and we had a quarter of the bowl and we slurped it up with the Salads.

Among the main course there were three Non Veg preparations – chicken, fish and mutton. The Veg had usual suspects like Kadhai Paneer, Daal fry, noodles and Manchurian, mix Veg etc.

I would rate the Main course and salads at 3/5, there wasn’t anything extraordinary in the food fare considering the price we were paying.

However there was quite a bit of variety in the desserts and pleasantly they were quite good as well. The blueberry mousse,Red velvet cake, chocolate Brownie were all good but the real star of the show was the doodhi Halwa. It had nice amount of khoa and it had the right amount of sweetness and a touch of crispiness in every bite.

The desserts certainly added a nice touch to our Dinner and would definitely rate desserts at 4/5.

The breakfast next day was complimentary and I would say it was better than the main course served the previous night in terms of taste and selections.

There was a live counter serving utthapam, Dosa’s and omlettes. The items which I liked from the laid out buffet were poha, aloo paranthas, Red sauce based kidney beans, hashbrown potatoes and grilled chicken. The desserts in the breakfast had chocolate donuts, Danish pastries, some chocolate and Kiwi based pastries which I liked as well.

The overall breakfast experience was 4/5.

Ambience – 4/5, addition of any sort of soft background music would have added another dimension to the nicely laid interiors and would have definitely contributed to the overall dining experience.

Service – 3/5, well apart from looking into their dinner buffet main course selections and addition of starters the next best thing they can do is fine tune the serving staff.

With the absence of starters in their menu, the only thing their servers are left to do is to ensure proper cutlery is laid on the table, Naan/rotis are served on time, water is replenished frequently and in case of an order given at the live counter is first correctly taken down and then served and not forgotten if the crowd is substantial. I witnessed sort of slippages in all these departments during the dinner and breakfast experiences one after the other.

The restaurant manager Mr.Das took the feedback positively after the dinner experience and tried his bit to make up during the breakfast next day but I guess it’s still the serving staff that have to really pull up their socks to add value to the overall dining experience.

Folks but seriously for the price you’re charging please add couple of Veg and Non Veg starters to make the buffet complete and more value for money!

Visited August 2015

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Time After Time – The Central Park Hotel Bund Garden Road, Pune

Above average dining experience!

Rating – 3/5

The only reason why I am rating them at 3 and not any lower is because of the following reasons:
1. Service was quick and nice.
2. A Chinese style fish based starter was delicious.
3. Desserts were thankfully good especially the Dudhi Halwa, kheer and chocolate brownie.
4. Last but not the least I was utilizing Groupon vouchers with a further discount on the Groupons due to an offer.

Now coming to the not so good points, the starters were ordinary to say the least and the fish starter was the only saving grace. The other chicken starter was bland and the veg starters were nothing to write about; a tandoori babycorn and a cheese based kebab of sorts which didn’t impress me at all.

The main course had three non veg preparations with chicken and fish variants being western/continental which were average in taste and nothing outstanding.

Some good items from Main course were Mutton Keema, Paneer gravy,the daal preparation and the lachha paranthas.

Soup was not good but the Salads were fairly better and desserts were the best part of the meal.

I believe with two starters each for veg and non veg at 470 bucks using Groupon followed by the main course and desserts is a good deal on paper. However I just hope the restaurant management looks to ensure that dishes are just not there to make the numbers but they are indeed worthy of being put in the buffet.

I paid even a lesser price than what I quoted above because of which I didn’t quite feel too underwhelmed for what was on offer 🙂

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Clay Pot – Best Western Star Residency Koregaon Park, Pune

It would not be an understatement if I say that I am always on the prowl for sampling some good buffet and I am usually excited about trying new buffet places.

I am also a firm believer that a place may not serve the most lavish of buffets but serves what is presentable and eatworthy. I also consider if I ordered that dish in Ala carte would it serve the purpose and usually that is the benchmark I take while rating buffets.

Alright then enough of my buffet fundas and coming to the review of Claypot at Best Western Star Residency, it’s certainly not a mind blowing location and the surroundings are pretty average to start with.

This is a 3 star property and since we basically were going to sample their restaurant’s dishes and not going to stay so all of the above didn’t quite matter in the end but those were the first impressions I had of the place.

As we entered, the restaurant was just towards the right of the lobby and was of fairly smaller capacity, by this time I was a bit shaken up and didn’t quite know what to expect next…

We were greeted by the captain and were quickly seated with water served at lightening pace (always a good sign).

The service for starters commenced in no time and we had the following:

Aloo tikki – As mundane the name sounds, the taste was definitely top notch and I must have had 8-10 pieces of this. It was crunchy from the top and had a very tasty filling of potato and other ingredients.

Chicken lollipop – This was a spicy preparation and was decent enough to be had more than a couple of times.

Chicken Soup – This tasted mostly like boiled water scattered with some spices that were although visible but had no taste whatsoever with shredded pieces of chicken. I didn’t like it at all and wasn’t quite upto the mark.

Veg hot and sour Soup – This was relatively better than the chicken soup but was nothing to write home about.

We then switched over to the Main course which was mostly good as below:

Paneer maithi gravy – The look of the preparation wasn’t the most promising but it tasted quite good and thankfully so as we needed something quickly to move on from the rather indifferent Soup we had minutes ago.

Gobhi masaala – This was one of the stars of the show and the preparation was spicy and tasty. I just loved it, this comes from a hardcore non vegetarian so must be a true reflection of the preparation.

Veg Diwani Handi – This was pretty alright and went well with Daal tadka and steamed rice.

Chicken chilly – This went well with the fried rice which was equally good in the Chinese preparations.

Kadhai Murgh – This was a little less on salt but after adding the desired amount of salt it turned out a good preparation.

Fish masaala – The fish tasted fresh with no smell at all and went fine with hot Butter Naan.

Among the desserts we liked the Kiwi pastry and chocolate mud pie. The gulabjamun was quite alright and we were not able to taste the ice cream as we all had sore throats.

Couple of times the Manager Mr.Agarwal came to our table to ask if everything was going alright and our server (forgot his name) made sure that we didn’t have to wait too much for starters or Naans during the eatout.

In the nutshell it wasn’t the most lavish of buffets by any stature of imagination but then it never promised to be so to start with.

More importantly it was a buffet of limited yet tasty items and through a Groupon for 399 per person was definitely value for money 🙂

Visited July 2015

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Aadrika Viman Nagar, Pune

Good Food at reasonable prices !

Rating 4/5

This review is based on my couple of outings to Aadrika and is strictly based on their Ala carte menu. I am yet to try their buffet which from a distance seemed reasonably priced 🙂

Service – 3.5/5, the servers are polite, however the service can be a little slow so better to order starters, main course and accompaniments upfront to save some waiting time. It’s needless to say that this aspect could definitely be improved.

Ambience – 3.5/5 and is pretty Ok with ACs in place with an Okayish kind of setting but nothing out of the ordinary or below average. I am anyway not too bothered by ambience as long as it’s basic enough not to hinder my tryst with food 😉

Food 4/5 :

Paneer Tikka – 4/5, this is amply spiced and could be a bit tender but overall a tasty veg starter.

Hara bhara kebab – 5/5, this is one of the best veg starters I have had in Pune and the filling is absolutely awesome. It’s softer inside and crunchy outside, very nicely done.

Tandoori Chicken – 4.5/5, this was again one of the most tender chicken starters I have had in a while. In the beginning I was a little confused if I was eating fish or chicken 🙂

Chicken/Veg Manchow Soup – 4/5, fairly decent and again spicy enough to tingle the taste buds.

Cheese balls – 2.5/5, this certainly could have been better as the cheese inside the balls wasn’t melted when served and turned out to be a major drawback in the dish.

Mutton Rogan Josh – 3.5/5, this was good in taste though can’t vouch if it was the authentic kasmiri style thin gravy preparation. Also could have done better with some more meat on the bones.

Paneer Birbali – 4/5, this was a stuffed Paneer with gravy preparation and was quite different from the usual Paneer gravies on the offing. It had a bit of tangy flavor going for it and Paneer was tender enough for my liking.

Paneer Tikka Masaala – 3.5/5, I expect my Paneer tikka masaala to be spicy but this one was a bit too tangy and slightly less spicy for my liking to be honest. It wasn’t bad by any stature of imagination but it wasn’t the best either.

Daal Makhani – 4/5, this was fairly good and did taste like a Daal Makhani instead of just a Daal infused with lots of cardamom and cinnamon as is the case with so many places.

Veg Manchurian – 2/5, this wasn’t the best of items they offer and despite me giving them a feedback once that both the Manchurian balls and gravy were spiked with salt, I couldn’t see the improvement when I ordered it again ):

Veg fried rice – 3/5, was an average preparation devoid of any spices but could be a good option for kids.

Veg kadhai – 4/5, I usually don’t like my gravies to be sweet but this one turned out to be an exception with its subtle hint of sweetness 🙂

Daal tadka – 4/5, this had the right amount of tadka in it with garlic present in the right amount to make it a good dish.

Gaajar Halwa – 3.5/5, this was good enough but could have had more variety of dry fruits.

Having tasted so many dishes here I can vouch that the food quality is good and is definitely a VFM place considering the otherwise inflated pricing of restaurants generally prevalent in Viman Nagar.

Visited April 2015

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BluO Viman Nagar, Pune

Food and entertainment under one roof and quite good too !

Rating 4/5

It’s a great place to hangout in a large group, ideal place for Team outings with a large bowling alley and some really awesome starters.

Bowling was fun though at times I felt the music was too loud for my liking but still bearable.

Among the starters, chicken tikka is mouth watering and Amritsari fish was really good as well.

Veg starters were alright with Veg crispy and Paneer tikka worth mentioning of the lot.

We had around 4 games of bowling and we ate a lot of the aforementioned starters leaving not a lot of space for main course though I must say the main course items were not as good as the starters.

Mutton Biryani was a total letdown.

Overall a good experience with bluO and I am definitely coming back here again soon 🙂