Sunday, February 07, 2010

Pune Dining: TGKF, Shikara & The Ship

The Great Kabab Factory in PuneWe finally made our way to the newly opened Radisson to check out The Great Kabab Factory. The restaurant differs in look and feel from its Delhi and Chennai counterparts. More airy and larger, the tables more spaced out, and the tableware not as interesting.

Thankfully, the kababs and biryani more than make up for it. The signature Gilauti Kabab on an ulte tawa paratha was as fragrant with its heady mix of spices as I remember it. Their version of the Tangdi Kabab was absolutely fabulous too. I wasn't too excited by the Amritsari Mahi Tikka but enjoyed the Sheermal and Bakarkhani -speciality breads - with their version of Black Dal. Next came the Dum Gosht Biryani and the finale: a dessert selection that comprised of Gulab Jamums, Rasmalai and Teeli Wali Kulfi - kulfi on a stick.

Signature Gilauti Kabab at TGKF PuneOverall the food here is every bit as authentic its original Delhi avatar. The Radission itself is a welcome addition for people in this part of town: a short drive for those in the Kalyani Nagar and Koregaon Park area. By the time we walked out after dinner, a trio of Philipino (?) girls in itsy-bitsy dresses were belting out a number in the lobby. The bar area was unimaginative and didn't seem very exciting.

Tangdi Kabab at TGKF Pune
TGKF PuneThe Radission Hotel in Pune is located in Kharadi. The easiest way to get there is by Nagar Road; keep going past Kalyani Nagar, Viman Nagar and turn right into the large divided road that goes all the way to Magarpatta. The Radisson sign is visible from a distance and is on the left hand side of the road. Ph: 2706 0606. Website.

Desserts at TGKF PuneShikhara shares space with the newly opened Cafe Zaatar and is located on the terrace atop Casanova in Kalyani Nagar. From what I could see, this is one restaurant with two names and two menus! Persian themed tents covered the tables and a hookah occupied pride of place on the tables. The entire place seemed set up like a casual lounge rather than a fine-dining restaurant.

Shikharra PuneThe food, however, was a revelation. While Tabak Maaz was on the menu, we wanted something less oily. We chose a Zafrani Boti Kabab - tender mutton pieces delicately marinated in saffron infused spices and barbequed, a Chakori Kabab - chicken marinated with fenugreek leaves along with herbs and barbequed over charcoal, and followed with Gushtaba - a Kashmiri delicacy of finely minced mutton-balls in yogurt gravy. The kababs were excellent and the Gustaba was the best I have had in Pune.

Chakori Kabab at Shikhara Pune
Gustaba at Shikhara PuneWe ended with a dessert of Baklava - I guess this was from the Cafe Zaatar menu! However, the Baklava was quite good, richly doused with syrup and dry fruits, and came with a scoop of delicious rose-flavored ice-cream. Ph: 26608888. Website.

Baklava at Shikhara PuneI was back at Malaka Spice for dinner. This time we took a table in the outdoor area which has a far more interesting ambiance. This restaurant is clearly a labor of love for the owners and the food continues to delight. You must try the excellent sour and gingery Assam Laksa seafood soup with noodles and fish, a Malaysian staple. We skipped the starters tonight. The slow-cooked mutton in a red paste from Indonesia was a perfect companion to the Mee Goreng, Malaysian spicy noodles stir0-fried with chilli, sprouts, and vegetables. Very nice! Ph: 26156293, 26151088. Website.

Malaka Spice PuneThe weekend buffets at Mainland China on Boat Club Road retains its quality. However, it helps to start early since this popular place becomes madly crowded after 1 PM. We were seated at 12:30 pm when people were just trickling in. The variety on offer was impressive and included crab, prawns and fish in the main courses. Starters included dim-sums and other delights. Ph:66013030. Website.

Weekend Lunch Buffet at Mainland China PuneFinally, The Ship in Kalyani Nagar. I had always loved the concept and the food. Among the few places that serves a variety of International cuisine with an eye on presentation, this restaurant has a lively bar area and a brand new open-air lounge on the terrace. The restaurant has changed owners but continues to be popular with the expat crowd in the evening hours. Visit this place for their excellent grills, seafood, pasta and desserts. The music is usually retro and the ambiance casual.


Vamsee Modugula said...

Nice post. I am more and more impressed with Pune's list of restaurants. Makes me want to drive up there just for dinner (almost the same time as driving to S.Mumbai for us)
I went to the Great Kabab Factory in Hyderabad and liked it a lot. Their biryani was not so great compared to the other Hyderabadi one.
I am in Bangalore this week. Any suggessions?

Shantanu said...

@Vamsee: Lots to chose from in Bangalore! Off the top of my head: Samarkand for Afgani ambiance and great kababs, Blue Ginger for upscale Thai, Caperberry for tapas delivered via molecular gastronomy, and Umerkot for exquisite contemporary creations.

Anonymous said...

@All: Dined at The Ship yesterday. Will post pictures in my next Pune update. Great place unless loud music and noise level doesn't work for you. Food is excellent always.

Vrush said...

I have been a regular reader of your blog since two years now :)
I really look forward for your reviews; rather picks. And they have always became top in the list of next time visit place.
Well this time in need of a suggestion for d perfect quite n romantic evening(2nd anniversary). I've been thinking of O Hotel rooftop. Any other suggestion?

Unknown said...

enjoyed reading it. I need to read more on this topic...I admiring time and effort you put in your blog.
rooftop restaurants in hyderabad