Sunday, January 20, 2008

Rahul: What's in a Name?

Rahul Restaurant PuneRahul is a very common name in India. Almost like Tom or Harry is in the USA. When someone recommended Rahul as a good dining option, I was sceptical. Many restaurants spend a fortune to conjure up evocative names - Sigree, Chingari, Bombay Brasserie, Whispering Bamboo, etc. But Rahul? Unusual name for a restaurant. Is he a Shahrukh fan?

I eventually found that the owners own Rahul Cinema, one of Pune's oldest. When the new multiplexes mushroomed, this cinema hall went out of business. Recently, it has re-appeared with a face-lift. The cineplex now also houses another branch of their restaurant of the same name. I guess they plan to use the nostalgia associated with the Rahul name in Pune. Please note that the Rahul I am reviewing here is the one in Aundh.

The great bard once wrote:

What's in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet

Rahul restaurant is pretty large with seating in two levels. Interiors are contemporary, tastefully done and brightly lit. The menu has a good selection of vegetarian, poultry, lamb and sea-food dishes. And peppered with dhaba-style humor: Poultry selections are in a section titled Nukkad Da Kukkad while lamb is under Bakre Ke Nakhre.

We sipped on refreshing Sol Kadi as we awaited our starters. The Hazari kabab and surmai pepper fry were both excellent and I recommend you try them too! I had heard of their pomfret curry and so this is what we ordered as our entree. Again, very good!

Sol KadiHowever, the neer dosa we ordered wasn't made well; you may want to consider steamed rice or other breads.

Friends who have visited this restaurant also recommend the crab tawa masala if you like spicy food. However, their advice is to stay away from the 'gassi' and always order fish 'curry' instead.

We didn't try their desserts during this visit. Also, I forgot to take pictures once our kababs were served. So all I can share with you is the sol kadi and a view of the restaurant from a rather odd angle. :-)

To summarize, this is a good restaurant for sea-food, especially so for people who live in the Aundh/Baner area. But they need to improve their neer dosas and gassi which are very common items people for people trying Konkan sea-food preparations.

Rahul is located at Western Riverview, Paranjpe Scheme, Near Conversys (close to McDonald's), Aundh. Ph: 25888080, 25121007.


Sig said...

Sounds like a great place... what is gassi btw?

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a wonderful place and as a Norwegian, I love sea food you know - a bit exotic if it is that spicy though, but I'm always willing to try.

Anonymous said...

@sig: Gassi and Curry are one and the same, though gassi may be a little thicker and a little less sharp. But actually it is a matter of names: in Mangalore they call their curries gassis, in Savantwadi, Goa, Kerala, they call their curries curries.

@rennyba: You should plan a trip to Asia.

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Anonymous said...

@shaan: Seems like a more recent creation. It is essentially boneless chicken enhanced with garlic, ginger, green chillies and cheese and cooked in a tandoor.

Unknown said...

What's in a name? lol. Well, you misspelled the landmark. The name is Convergys and it's where I work so please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you are here

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Anonymous said...

I love spicy food!

Could you start reviewing restaurants in Ottawa so that I finally get to taste your picks? :D ;)

The name Rahul is also somewhat popular in France... where it's "Raoul".

Lakshmi said...

liked the name rahul..there are restaurants like that in chennai -sangeetha , for instance


I am going to Chandigarh next month, could you please suggest me some good restautants over there ?

Kajal@aapplemint said...

hahaha ....nukkak ka kuukad ! how crude ! i dont really know how i feel how reading that on a menu , but its got me smiling for now. I had neer dosa and some wonderful crab gassi while i was in Bombay this time in Andheri opp the Infinity mall , near Fame Adlabs ...i forget the name but beautiful food !
And yes Rahul is a really weird nam for a restaurant. !!

Anonymous said...

@vishal: LOL! Convergys indeed.

@zhu: I am saving Canada for later! Heh, not sure if Raoul and Rahul are somehow connected.

@backpakker: You are right, but rarely in the 'upscale' ones.

@harekrishnaji: Unfortunately, it's been a very long time since I last visited Chandigarh. Those days I was in love with the dhabas there, where the chicken portions were ample and they even served drinks!

@kate/kajal: Welcome back!

River rafting in Rishikesh said...

That an amazing post....