Friday, December 18, 2009

Pune Dining: New Hot Spots

Dessert at Momo, Courtyard by Marriott PuneI have a lot of catching up to do! With my increasing travel, I have been reviewing more restaurants outside Pune than in this city I call my home. Hopefully, this post will quickly put Pune back on this blog. Let me begin by Momo at the Courtyard in Hingewadi: I went back to try their dinner buffet on a weekend. The live Chinese and Pasta counters enhanced the already elaborate buffet spread. The chef also turns out a mean pizza. And like always, I loved their desserts; they seem to have a very talented pastry chef.

I also visited Kareem's multiple times. In addition to their East Street outlet, they now have one in Dhole Patil Road, right next to Zamu's. The biryanis are robust, served in ample portions, and yet modestly priced. Ph: 26053374

Kareem's Dhole Patil Road PuneOn yet another day, I discovered the Bombay Duck at Rahul in Aundh. Bombay Duck despite its name is not a duck but a fish. This ugly looking fish has a powerful odour when dried; however, the expertly fried fillets at Rahul were excellent and I can recommend it safely to seafood lovers who want to try something different.

Bombay duck at Rahul
Bombay duck at RahulWhile I was away travelling, a host of eating options seem to have emerged in Pune. Here are the ones which are top of my list:

Cafe Maroo, an intimate little Korean restaurant has opened at Westend Plaza on New D.P. Road, Aundh. In addition to Korean green and herbal teas, you can find kimbap - Korean rice and other condiments rolled in seaweed, dduk - rice cakes, and bulgogi in their menu.

Coffee lovers rejoice! Aromas on Dhole Patil Road (opposite Madhuban) has brought gourmet Australian coffee into the city. Aromas is part of the chain popular all over Gold Coast and Brisbane in the Australian continent.

Salad at MomoThe good news just doesn't end. Pune's first microbrewery, 1st Brewhouse and its brewpub opened with fanfare at the Corinthians. Beer lovers can now sample four varieties of beer with retro rock and a variety of meat and veggie wraps and rolls - if you don't mind driving down the far end of town.

Other new openings and interesting discoveries:

Squisito in Koregaon Park. Yet another vegetarian-only Italian place that also has Mexican and Lebanese on its menu. 1 Jewel Tower, Lane No. 5, Ph: 2605-4005

Tertullia on South Main Road has reopened as a fine-dining restaurant. I love their pastries and coffeee but haven't yet visited them in their new avatar. Lane No. 5, Ph: 26151100

Pizza at MomoBombay's popular Cream Center: For those who fondly remember its crowded namesake in Chowpatty, you can now sample their delectible Mexican nachos, ragda-patties and Channa Bhatura in Fern Hotel, Kalyani Nagar.

BBQ Nation opened its second outlet in town, this one open-air on the rooftop of the new Sayaji Hotel. Ph: 42121212

Another international restaurant chain brings Legacy Restaurant to Pune. Known for their Cheese Naan, Hazari Kabab, Chicken Methi Malai and Mutton Biryani in far-flung cities of Africa and the Middle-East, they have even brought their chefs from Dubai to make a good first impression. Lunkad Sky Station, Viman Nagar, Ph: 66410110

Westin finally opened in tony Koregaon Park, bringing with it some upscale dining options as well. Kangan opens daily for dinner and specializes in frontier cuisine. Prego, the fine-dining Italian restaurant looks promising too (Dec 2009: reviewed here). QBA promises to introduce the best Cuban delights to Pune. Mix@36 is the bar for whiskey lovers; they claim to have over 68 different varieties here.

The Great Kabab Factory comes into town in the newly opened Radisson Hotel. Their much imitated and unique concept of unlimited kababs, biryanis and speciality Indian breads in an upscale ambiance has been a personal favorite of mine ever since I first visited the New Delhi Radisson many years ago.

After Galaxy Grill, Corinthians now brings the second Greek dining experience to town with Salsa. However, for those not too adventurous, they have some Indian food on the menu too.

Then we have '96K' for some royal Maratha fare including the fiery mutton rassa with wade and patra fish. Incidentally, '96K' stands for the first 96 Maratha families who had their roots in Rajasthan. Really! What say Thakeray and Thakeray? Located in Sanas Memories, 927 F.C. Road, near Deendayal Hospital. Ph: 25679669

Finally, Cafe Boulevard in Hotel Kapila on Dhole Patil Road is getting good reviews for those out of good options late in the nights when you are desperate food and drinks at non-five-star prices. This restaurant is open 24 hours. Ph: 6644 6644 (Jan 2010: Reviewed here)

I will keep updating this post with links to more detailed reviews. I would like to hear from you too. Bon Apetit!

Other posts on Pune's dining scene:


Chica said...

Thank god ur back to Pune !

Prats said...

Thanks for nice tip on Boulevard Cafe.. Will try today :-)

Great to see some pune places on the blog

~G said...

This is a nice consolidated update on Pune joints. In spite of staying in Aundh for so long, we never went to Rahul, which is quite surprising. We ended up doing take-aways from Tareef and occasional dinner at Sarja's. Now Rahul and Maroo is on the top of the list. Thanks, nice initiative this.

Sharmila said...

Am glad too that so many new places have come up in Pune ... the oldies were getting boring. :-)
I liked a particular naan at Rahul ... kind of sweetish and stuffed with dry fruits. Just wanted to know ... where is that full meal (thali) snap from? Much thanks for this update. :-)

Anonymous said...
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Nisha said...

Good to see more options at Pune.

Lakshmi said...

Its been ages since I came to Pune..

kyh said...

One of the reasons I so want to visit India besides its rich cultural offerings is the availability of vegetarian food. Since I love curries and Indian cuisine, I think I'll have no problem fitting in the local food culture! :)

Ashish said...

And we have Shantanu back in his element. Thanks for this so comprehensive a roundup !

GMG said...

Hi Shantanu! Lucky you with increasing travel; I'm more on the decreasing side... ;)

Blogtrotter is waiting for you in London! Enjoy and have a great holiday season!

Shantanu said...

@Chica: Thank you! I will try to be more regular with the local updates. :)

@Prats: Curious to know how you liked the Cafe.

@G: Rahul's a good choice for seafood in Aundh. However, lately seafood lovers seem to flock to Nisarg in Karve Road, Kothrud (Phone 25442921).

Shantanu said...

@Sharmila: Thank you. Yes, Rahul does have some great stuff outside of seafood. It is safer to stick to the waiter's recommendation though (rather than pick from the menu).

@Nisha: Thank you!

@Lakshmi: Let me know in advance if you do visit Pune.

@kyh: I have to agree with that. India can be a foodie paradise for vegetarians (and also those with special dietary restrictions).

@Ashish: Thank you! I am honored. :)

@GMG: Hi, my friend. Good to see you back here. I guess some much-needed rest is necessary after all the travel you have been doing!


Yesterday we went to Cream Centre in Ferns. We stay near Cream Centre, Chowpatty and I have been going there since childhood. The Icecreams served in my wedding, my and my son's thread ceremony were from Cream Centre.

It's a good place but nowadays I feel it too costly . We end up spending almost Rs.1200 for snacks and little here and there which wasn't worth. Buffet in Cafe Momo would have been hundread times better.

Actually I wanted to go to any other place as suggested by you in the blog after watching Avatar.
(houseful no movie either )

But I was so hungry my brain stopped receiving signals and I couldn't remember a single name except Mainland China and Sigree.

In Mainland China the waiting period was unbearable , so we decided to go to Sigree. I was little nervous one we went inside, I think their downfall has started. It was almost empty on Christmas day, the staff wasn't looking decent, with dirty cloths and the atmosphere was disappointing. We walked out. Then my son suggested Cream Centre.

Shantanu said...

@Harekrishnaji: Hmm, surprised about Sigree. However, I usually avoid these 'special days' for dining out. The restaurants are usually over-crowded and the experience invariably underwhelms.

Unknown said...

Glad you have come back to food blogs in was much awaited...Btw have you tried out O hotel as well as sayaji? and is the food there good?

Shantanu said...

@Aarti: Yes, have tried both hotels. I have reviewed the Japanese and terrace-top Indian restaurants in O Hotel some time back. As for Sayaji, I tried their lunch buffet today; will post on that soon.

Estévao João deSa said...

Nice post!!
Long list of places to eat out on my weekends in Pune.

Hopefully, you will do a round-up of places to enjoy a drink at :)

G said...

Nisarg has been tried and tested umpteen times. We unfailingly go there for the crab festival. :)

Shantanu said...

@Estevao: Thank you!

@G: Yup, have only heard nice things about this place.

Peenuts said...

Thats for the list..keep up the work :)