Retox, Viman Nagar – Pune

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

An effective fix for your social gatherings indeed !

Rating – 4/5

Viman Nagar over the years has become such a traffic crazy place that I almost try to avoid it every single time there’s a thought that I needed to visit place for an errand or to see a friend. Retox’s location in that aspect comes as a cool breeze on a warm Indian Summer evening – just before all the chaotic scenes start just near the Datta Mandir Chowk therefore it is extremely convenient indeed.

Ambience – The Ambience is pretty casual is an assortment of various types of seating with small / large tables and some seriously kick-ass music. The music ranges from retro, contemporary to even 90s Bollywood which apparently is a bit of rage among the patrons. The Bar is pretty well stocked and there’s no dearth of cocktails and other alcoholic drinks for the enthusiasts.

Mocktails – It was good to see due importance given to the preparation and presentation of Mocktails. Though I would prefer the green juice in hindsight but for Teetotalers like me it was important to notice that they are just not keeping them for the sake of it but their intention came across as being innovative and serving the mocktails with passion.

The Food – The food was largely good and following is a brief on some of my picks from the evening:

Retox Original Fries – These fries come in with a plethora of toppings and thankfully all of them make sense together namely mayonnaise, cheese (make it a lot of cheeeeze), jalepano, a bit of barbeque sauce and few more. Surprisingly even after being loaded with so much of stuff the fries still managed to keep their crispy texture indeed !

Roti Chips – These were actually created from wheat based flour and hence aptly named as Roti chips. The chips were sprinkled with a slightly spicy masala that was a bit on the chilly side so don’t munch on these too excitedly and I am sure you would do just fine 🙂

These were among the best preparations and Butter Chilly fish was the best of the lot, this was everything you would want your fried fish to be – crispy, tangy, tender and infused with a perfect sprinkling of masala on the top. I couldn’t stop myself and on the bloggers table I must have shamelessly eaten half of this prompting another serving on the table in no time 😉

The Verdict – This is a nice place to spend time with your colleagues and buddies over a round of drinks and some pretty good finger food. With the prices not being kept at a sky high level, Retox scores pretty good on the Value for money quotient as well and I ended up liking the place more than I initially thought I would 🙂

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 !

212 Bar & Cafe, Phoenix Market City, Viman Nagar

212 All Day Cafe & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hola Bienvenido al Festivalen México 212 !
Rating – 4.2/5

As the title suggests the 212 Bar & Cafe Welcomes you to their Mexican Food Festival which started from 15th of June and is going to run till July first week. To set expectations I am not a die-hard fan of Mexican food but I don’t dislike it either so when I received the invite from Team Carpe Diem for the food tasting I had mixed feelings but nevertheless I thought of giving it a try.

The detailed review will follow however I want to say that I was impressed by the quality of the food fare served in the festival. This is basically a fusion of Mexican food so the taste seemed along the familiar lines and it had all the ingredients for making up a wonderful evening which was further complemented by a live session from the Band “BlackWings“.

Location & Ambience – 4.5/5 -Situated at the Ground level of Phoenix Market City, Viman Nagar, the 212 All Day Cafe & Bar is centrally located both in the City as well as in the Mall and is the goto place for finger food. It has options for both indoor and outdoor seating and our Bloggers table was setup indoors which had brighly lit decor and comfortable seating. Thursdays are the Live Band Session Days in 212 with a different Band playing every week (with no extra charges) so grabbing the more spacious outdoor seating is definitely a good idea on such days.

The Food & Drinks – I would rate them a 4/5 on this parameter. Talking about drinks and happy hours they have flat 50% off on even a single drink from 4pm-9pm and you don’t have to buy 1 to get 1 to avail the discount which came across as a cool offer.

Drinks Recommendations – In total there were six varieties of Tequila based Cocktails planned for the Food Festival. My fellow bloggers enjoyed their Cucumberita & Zapatista drinks among others. However since I don’t drink alcohol I had the company of two Mocktails – one based on Pear & Vanilla and the other on Watermelon juice. I would recommend the Watermelon Mocktail to my non drinking counterparts though we’re becoming like extinct species in the current times 😉

Veg Recommendations – I seldom eat vegetarian food when eating outside and you can say I am biased towards the Non Vegetarian stuff, still I liked the following two Vegetarian dishes from their Menu which speaks volumes about the preparations.

DSC02724The Habanero Cottage Cheese with fries and Jalepano Dill Mayo was quite good in taste and the spice level was on par with any of the Indian starters. The initial serving was a little sweet and sour but once the feedback was provided the next servings came with a good level of spice and did justice to this Habanero (spicy chilli pepper) based preparation.

DSC02718Veg Chimichangas – These were the Deep fried Tortillas rolled with veggies and served with Salsa Sour cream were pretty good. The outer crust was a little crispy evoking a “Samosa” like feeling and the filling was pretty appetizing as well. It had all the ingredients like the sauces within the filling to make it soggy which could have killed the dish but thankfully it was crispy yet had a flavorful and moist filling inside.

Non Veg Recommendations – For the Non Veg fans things were even rosier with 4/5 Non veg preparations making it to my recommendations list.

Habenaro Chicken & Habenaro Prawns – Both of them were outstanding and I just can’t pick a winner between the two. It was spiced just right with the flavors not too subdued and not too strong, everybody absolutely loved it.

DSC02716Chicken Chimichangas – Much like it’s vegetarian counterpart the chicken veriant was even butter. Tender chicken chunks with delicious sauce making up the inside while the outer crispy covering complemented it very well.

Beer battered Fish Taquitos – Yummy ! This was easily the winner of the evening for me with a fish filling that was so tender and fresh and various other ingredients like Mayo and Salsa giving it such a flavorful bite. This was liked by almost everyone and was re-ordered by a common consensus among all the food bloggers.

DSC02742Chiptole Chicken Skewers – These were spiced in a subtle manner and were almost analogous to Malay based recipe of Chicken Satay, it made a decent combination with a Salsa based dip. 

Triple Chocolate Mud Pie – The best dessert of the meal, it was gooey, chocolatey and simply delicious. A perfect way to end the meal I guess. The other desserts were decent but the Mud pie was awesome to say the least !

Value for Money – I would rate them a 4/5 on this parameter, a decent meal for two without alcohol should set you back by at-least 1000-1200 bucks. Considering the ambience, taste, service and the electric atmosphere in general with the live band, it’s an experience up for grabs for sure. Going on a Thursday will only make it more rewarding so it’s definitely recommended in my opinion.

Credits – As always we were graciously hosted by the wonderful Team of Carpe Diem (Carina, Shivangi & Pracey) while Karthik & Nikhil from 212 Cafe listened to our feedback in the most positive manner. They even tried incorporating our feedback almost instantly and it was good to see them so passionate about their work and yet so eager to improve at the same time.

As always it was great fun to interact with other foodies and to see things from their perspective, a last piece of GYAN – don’t miss the Mexican Food Festival at 212, see the menu below for reference.

Mexican Menu-page-001

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.
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 😉

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 🙂

Atmosphere 6, Viman Nagar

******************** Update 7th Feb 2015 ********************

Since the time I wrote this review initially I have been to Atmosphere 6 more than a couple of times and I have the food to be awesome always.

Chicken Malai Tikka, Rozali chicken tikka and Lahori Murgh are among the best dishes. Among the mocktails they have one with a leechi base and it’s quite good as well.

Service and ambience is good always, gonna visit again soon 🙂

******************** November 2014 Review ********************


Well I got an opportunity to visit this place through an office get together.
I don’t drink alcohol or smoke so this wasn’t in my list of priorities hence never tried this before.
I primarily went there with curiosity to taste the food and I wasn’t disappointed at all.
Starters are delicious, ratings as below:
1. Chicken tikka 3.5/5 – nicely spiced
2. Tandoori chicken 3.5/5 – nicely cooked
3. Chicken Malai Tikka 5/5, awesome – topped with bits of cheese and cream and was purely pleasurable. I can just go back for this dish alone.
4. Chicken seekh kabab 3/5 – not very tender but alright
5. Kunchao Chicken 4/5 – oriental starter spiced in a subtle manner.
6. Chicken chilly 4/5 – nicely spiced
7. Paneer chilly 4.5/5 – Paneer was so soft and accompanying veggies were crispy.
8. Tandoori mushrooms 4.5/5 – excellent taste and more than medium spicy
9. Crispy honey fried chicken 3/5 – It was an ok dish with honey complimenting crispy chicken with very limited spices.

Going for tandoori chicken platter is a good option.

Among mocktails one can go for Atmosphere Punch and it won’t disappoint you.

We had lots and lots of starters and when it came to main course we ordered the following:

Chicken Lahori 3.5/5 – tasted like a bit of chicken tikka masaala and was alright.
Paneer kadhai 3.5/5
Daal tadka 4/5
Jeera rice 3.5/5

Overall it was a very satisfying experience, ambience was good and service was right on the button. Our server Mr.Manas was courteous and helped me in choosing the right dishes as per our group’s taste.

Would definitely visit again 🙂



Punjab Grill, Phoenix Market City, Viman Nagar

I will get straight to the point here, I didn’t find any of the preparations out of the ordinary during our Dinner outing at the Punjab Grill.
The fact that it prides itself to be a fine dining North Indian outlet and charges exorbitantly for the same, it was bit of a letdown on both quantity and quality. Below is what we ordered and the respective ratings:

Non Veg Platter – 3/5. Firstly it’s a sin to call this a platter primarily due to its quantity. The chicken tikka and mutton chops were good, however the chicken Malai Tikka was absolutely bland (You get awesome Malai Tikka in Atmosphere 6) and the Mutton Seekh Kebab was not tender. For me the ultimate seekh kebab has to be tender and tasty at the same time, if it’s a little hard it’s a deal breaker for me.

Badaami Chicken Shorba – 3.5/5 – This was a tad different from the usual Chicken soups and we liked it.

Chicken Lababdar – 3/5 – It was an Okayish kind of thick Gravy preparation, mildly spiced, with a decent portion size (Full portion is enough for 4 and half for 2). There was nothing unique about the preparation but it wasn’t bad either.

Be careful while ordering Naan as 2 butter Naan can be sufficient for 3 people so always order one at a time:)

Overall if I talk about Value for Money it disappointed me a bit as I am ok to spend much more on a quality dining experience than I usually do but if you spend close to 2300 bucks for 3 people but your taste buds are not exactly satisfied then you know it’s not the experience you were looking forward to.

Lastly, the service is good, ambience is OK and the food is alright (not bad) but doesn’t give me any reason to spend extra when I can have a much better meal at half the price at so many other places.

Visited August 2014 and never again.

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.


Aubergine – Parc Estique Viman Nagar, Pune

Talking about the kind of buffets, there are the lavish ones with so many items to choose from that one could hardly taste everything and still be satiated but the probability of finding good items in this kind of scenario are higher simply because of higher number of items.

Then there are buffets which have limited choices which is good in a sense that you get to taste and eat everything but then for such a buffet it’s absolutely essential that you get your preparations spot on else the customer is bound to feel shortchanged.

My buffet experience at Parc Estique lies somewhere between the above two described situations. The buffet wasn’t the most lavish buffet by any stature of imagination, with only one Veg and Non Veg starter it was definitely a bit off putting to start with but as we progressed through the buffet I realized it was quite alright.

Corn tikki – 4/5, this was good and we actually waiting for its second helping for around 15 minutes and delayed our main course. It was soft from inside with a bit of a crunch from its outer covering.

Fish Fingers – 3/5, nothing outstanding, it was standard fish deep fried with a coating to give it a crunchy bite. The preparation could have done more with addition of some spices to give it a distinctive taste but it was almost devoid of any. Also some kind of dip along with this starter would have helped but there wasn’t anything on offer so we had it with green chutney, however it was sans the pungent smell of fish at times so that was the saving grace.

Salads 3.5/5, there were around 3-4 variety of salads with the cold chicken cuts making to my liking along with another variant which I galloped with the starters.

Cola with Strawberry Mocktail – 4/5, it was a pretty good mocktails with a distinct taste and I couldn’t help but have a second serving of the same.

The main course had variety of items with continental, Indian and Chinese options to choose from. I found it really difficult to pin point any preparation that was out of the ordinary or for which I would like to go back and have the buffet again. This was the most surprising part of my overall experience to find a pretty average main course on offer.

From the entire main course boasting of Fish in lemon sauce, Chilly Chicken, fried rice,manchurian, Paneer maithi Malai, Daal fry, Daal Makhani, Mutton Rogan Josh, kadhai chicken, Tawa subzi, Eggplant preparation with some fried potatoes, only a couple of items appealed to me.

The best of the lot was Tawa subzi, a combination of crispy and somewhat spicy beans, carrots and cauliflowers went so well with Daal fry and Butter Naan. It was definitely 4/5 for me.

The other good items worth mentioning are:

Fish in lemon sauce – 3/5, absolute tender preparation of fish in a gravy that could have had some more taste but it was fairly alright.

Mutton Rogan Josh & Kadhai Chicken – 3/5, they were pretty Ok but somehow as aforementioned I didn’t find any wow factor associated even with these dishes which were relatively better than the rest.

Surprisingly I would rate the desserts far better than the rest of the stuff and items worth mentioning are strawberry soufflé, pineapple crumble, creamy gulabjamun and I must mention the Rabdi was very nice, definitely desserts deserve a rating of 4/5. I didn’t quite like the Jalebi but the other items more than made up for it.

Talking about service it wasn’t the most efficient to begin with as we had to really wait for the only thing they were serving i.e. the starters and with only 3-4 tables occupied during the first 30-45 minutes I thought they could have certainly done better. Though later on one Mr.Aniket tried his best to make up for the earlier shortcomings and served us well.

Ambience was pretty good and there was another group of guys who were shouting and talking so loud as if it a road side dhaba was the only disturbing part and I wondered if they could have been reminded of where they were but anyway that wasn’t really the restaurant’s problem but probably plain bad luck to have buffoons as company I guess 😉

Overall I won’t say this was a bad experience but it wasn’t a very good one as well, thanks to the people responsible for Desserts, Tawa subzi, corn tikki and Mocktail as those preparations really saved my day 🙂

Visited July 2015.

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Incognito – Restaurant, Bar & Cafe Viman Nagar, Pune