Saturday, February 25, 2012

Pune Dining: New Updates and Reviews

Food at Kiva Ivy PuneKiva first opened on Range Hills Road in Pune and quickly became the drinking hole of choice for students and youngsters in that side of town. The tastefully done interiors looked like something out of the Star Wars movie - Tatooine for those who know their Star Wars universe well! They went on to open a second, larger restaurant and bar in Koregaon Park, this time done up in Pacific island themes, totems poles and all. Now they have three more, each of them uniquely themed with a satisfying bar menu and great food.

Kiva Ivy PuneKiva Ivy opened their doors last year on Baner Road (opposite the Symantec building). Themed like an Irish Pub, this place has ample seating and is popular during the evening hours for their cocktails and flaming shots. Their beer selection is steadily improving too and they do stock Irish Stout. Kiva Ivy makes for a great choice for a quick business lunch or a relaxing evening with friends.

Delicious Lamb at Kiva Ivy PuneThe pictures here are of the food we tried on my first visit to this place a few weeks back. A nicely plated lamb dish served with fries, herb rice and lamb cooked in red wine and baby onions. My friend who was off meat due to Lent, chose grilled Paneer on a Skewer. We also ordered a starter of stuffed mushrooms. Everything today pleased us.

Kiva Ivy startersKiva Nea, in Aundh, is the only Kiva restaurant that didn't fit the high standards they have set. This one is a restaurant that serves several Indian staples, including kababs and curries. While the names and descriptions of some of the kababs seemed inspired, the actual execution was poor. Even the decor seemed relatively plain. Also note, this place is designed to be a family restaurant rather than a bar-lounge like their other outlets. We tried their chicken chilly kababs, shaped like giant chilli peppers and made of chicken breast stuffed with spices, minced chicken, peppers and cheese. The saag gosht was tasty but they were stingy with the meat pieces.

Kiva Nea
Kiva Nea
Chicken Chilly Kabab at Kiva Nea
Saag Gosht at Kiva NeaI was back at Sigree on Boat Club Road after a long gap. The restaurant recently won another award for the best North Indian food in a standalone setting. We decided to forgo the buffet and choose from the a la carte menu, which turned out to be a good idea.The Dhuandaar Mugh Tikka was great - including the presentation where they bring the smoking skewer table-side to serve you. The Amritsari Mahi Tikka was another winner - great texture, taste and wonderfully complemented with the tart mango chutney.

Amritsari Mahi Tikka at Sigree Pune
Dhuadaar Murgh Tikka at Sigree PuneAnd finally, we stopped by and sampled the fare at South Indies which won the Best South Indian restaurant award in Pune in a ceremony organized by Times of India recently. Located in the same complex as Little Italy (right beside Central mall on University Road), this restaurant only serves vegetarian food. However. everything is tasty and very authentic.

Podi Tossed Idlis at South Indies PuneWe especially loved the starters of Podi Tossed Idlis - tiny idles with traditional gunpowder and curry leaves, and Keerai Vadai - deep fried lentil dumplings with spinach and spices.

Food at South Indies Pune
Kerai Vadai at South Indies PuneAmong the entrees, I loved the Bisi Bele Baath and Curd Rice done just like in the South Indian heartland. Overall, a great choice for those sudden cravings for authentic South Indian food. South Indies also serves a special breakfast buffets on weekends as early as 7:30AM.


ranjan said...

South Indies was a good surprise, except the waiting time (dinner time). There is a Kiva in Hinjewadi too but had mixed experience. The ambience is real nice, quite spread out place.

Shantanu said...

@ranjan: Hey, thanks for visiting and leaving your inputs here.

Sameer Kumar said...

Your reviews are very well written - informative, and entertaining, a combination that only a few writers manage to pull off. Reading your blog is always a pleasure... :-) said...

Hey Shantanu...

I liked your review... have been going to Kiva (range hills)since its inception.. my fav there is /was Burmese Khowswey..
Have visited the other Kiva outlets, but my personal favourite is The first one :))
Sigree brings back soo many memories.. esp loved their 'kali dal' and starters!!

Looking forward for many more tasty tails

Gauri said...

Oopps I meant "tales" lol

Shantanu said...

@Sameer: Thank you for the kind words!

@Gauri: Welcome here! Yes the original will always be special for those who have memories from those days.