Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pune Updates: Copper Chimney, Zomato and More

Baked Potato Skins at Hard Rock Cafe Pune Copper Chimney needs no introduction to those who have lived in Bombay.  They have been serving delectible North Indian mughlai cuisine in that city for over 35 years now.  Pune isn’t new for the people behind Copper Chimney; they ran a restaurant called Bombay Brasserie in Dhole Patil Road; used to be my favorite place for kababs and curries until they closed and Oh! Calcutta took its place.  The good news is they are back!  Copper Chimney opened its doors in Koregaon Park last week.

Copper, wood and a large display kitchen are the highlights of the contemporary interiors.  Even within a week of its opening, the place was crowded by 1 PM on a Sunday afternoon.

We started off with glasses of lassi and ordered the Panchrangi kabab platter.  Copper Chimney has several pages devoted to kababs and there are several options for combination platters too.

Copper Chimney Pune

The lassi wasn’t great - a little too sour for my taste.  However, the waiters were fantastic and quickly agreed to spike it with some roasted jeera for us.  The kabab platter contained a mutton sheek, a chicken sheek, reshmi, mahi tikka and a chakori kabab.  The kababs were very nicely done and very distinct in their flavors and textures.

Our main course was the Raan Masala with Roomali Roti.  The Raan Masala was terrific too and the portion substantive.

We ended with a portion of the Kulfi with Falooda.  The dessert was perfectly made too.

Overall, we found the food pretty good and the service excellent throughout.  This restaurant is a worthy competitor to the likes of Sigree.  Copper Chimney is located in Lane 7, Koregaon Park (near Post 91). Ph: 65203050, 65203060

Zomato PuneIn other foodie news, Zomato - the Indian equivalent of Yelp - introduced printed food guides for a few cities in India.  They sent me a copy of their Pune guide for review.  I found the format of the guide refreshingly different from the others.  Restaurants have been categorized such that you can hunt for their top recommendations by cuisine and occasion (e.g, Romantic Dinners, Girls Night Out, etc.).  Of course, like any food rating site or book, I didn't agree with all the ratings.  I was surprised that All Stir Fry made it to their top list; I would choose the smaller but more satisfying Suon Mui instead.  Similarly, while Alto Vino at the Marriott does stock good wine, their waiters have no idea what they are serving; I would replace with La Terrazza in the Hyatt instead for the Wine section.

Zomato is the labor of love of a team of foodie geeks and I think they are getting it right in many ways  than one.  Their guides are available in most bookstores now, or you can buy it online here.

Meanwhile, Mainland China opened its third outlet in Aundh last month.  The interiors look sophisticated and classy with its combination of red, gold and dark wood.  The food continues to delight like in their other restaurants.

Flambos, which opened recently near the INOX multiplex in Camp, is the latest venture of owner-chef Chris Saleem, who runs Smokies Diner and First Brewhouse at Corinthians.  The eclectic menu has a mix of European and Mediterranean influences.

The appetizer of Roasted Mutton Skewers were pretty good. The meat had been coated with mint and coriander and was served with a salsa fresco.

For my mains, I tried the Chicken Cacciatora, traditional hunters style chicken cooked in a special red wine and tomato sauce with mushrooms.  The dish was excellent!  The chicken was flavorful and juicy inside, very nicely crisp outside and the flavors of the ingredients made for a splendid combination.  The Stuffed Chicken Breast with Wild Apricot Rice was served with asparagus and pimento sauce and pretty good too.

At Hard Rock Cafe on one weekend, I ordered a large platter of my favorite Buffalo Wings along with Baked Potato Skins and a tall glass of Guinness.  But what I enjoyed best was the Tres Leches Cake - delightfully moist and rich, and topped with tropical berries.

The dining scene in Pune is certainly looking up!


ranjan said...

Tres Leches Cake looks awesome, can n't wait to try.

Shantanu said...

@ranjan: Yup, haven’t seen this dessert in India before. You can have the real thing if you are in South America - they are absolutely delicious but also very rich and heavy.

Anonymous said...

This is really interesting…

Anonymous said...

Simply Superb

priyadarshan said...

Recently I visited the very first "Mainland China " at Saki Naka, Andheri. The food was excellent. Unfortunately I could not enjoyed the food as I kept working in between.