Saturday, September 08, 2012

New Dining Options - Part II

Breads at Cafe Mangii Pune Cafe Mangii advertises itself as Mumbai's most popular Italian restaurant. Not sure if that is true, but I was quite happy with the experience during my first visit to this restaurant within Phoenix Market City. This place has a contemporary casual look with great thin-crust pizzas and cappuccinos. When I returned last weekend, I had difficulty getting a table; apparently it is also getting more popular!

Cafe Mangii Pune

We started by ordering an Italian green salad which came with nice crunchy garden lettuce and other salad greens drizzled with olive oil and crumbled feta cheese. All very nice and refreshing.

Green Salad with Feta at Cafe Mangii Pune

The broccoli and chicken meat-ball soup was quite delicious too; the meatballs were nicely spiced while the smooth texture of the broccoli felt just wonderful on the palate.

Broccoli soup at Cafe Mangii

But the best thing here is clearly the wood-fired pizza. Their signature pizza is the Napolitana, but I ordered the pepperoni which was very good too. The crisp pizza base came out baked just right and the toppings were in ample proportions the way I like it.

Pepperoni Pizza at Cafe Mangii Pune

Finally, a chocolate brownie with ice-cream for the girl. I didn't taste this one, but she seemed delighted.

Choco Brownie at Cafe Mangii Pune

Please note that Cafe Mangii has another outlet in Amanora Town Center. Not sure about how that outlet compares with this one.

Cafe Mangii Pune

Rajdhani, the thali specialists, opened their newest outlet in the Food Court of Phoenix Market City.  Given that a nine screen PVR multiplex just opened its doors this week, this entire area should be a lot more bustling than before.

A Rajasthani turbaned guy opens the door after applying teeka on your forehead.  They get you a brass jug and basin at the table wash your hands.  In short, they try to recreate some of the princely experience of Rajasthan.  However, the food itself falls short.

 While they have a huge variety of stuff that make their way to the large thali, I have found far better thalis even in Pune.  Chittor in Hotel Ritugandh on JM Road (on the lane beside the McDonald's) is my favorite.  Not upscale but the food beats Rajdhani hands down.

Thali at Rajdhani Restaurant Phoenix Mall Pune

In fact, for a fantastic thali option, albeit of the non-vegetarian variety, Zambar has a far better offering. The Andhra style starters, Kerala curries and the soft appams make for a satisfying lunch or dinner.  I like ending with a strong cup of South Indian filter coffee.

South Indian non-veg thali at Zambar Pune

Strong Filter Coffee at Zambar Pune

Finally, Asia 7 at Amanora City Center. With a whole list of Oriental food on the menu, this restaurant directly competes with Mainland China which has opened its latest outlet right above this place.

Asia 7 restaurant Pune

Hot and Sour Soup, Asia 7

We tried the Hot and Sour soup, Hakka Noodles and Chilli Chicken, all of which reminded me of my first Chinese dining experience of childhood days. The food was pretty good, but in a Indian-Chinese kind of way, if you know what I mean.

Chilli Chicken Asia 7

Hakka Noodles at Asia 7

That still leaves a bunch of other restaurants I expect to review soon:  Incognito, Spaghetti Kitchen among others!


Anonymous said...

Much informative and useful article… I like it personally…

Anonymous said...

That pizza looks enormous!

Lazy Pineapple said...

I love the food at Cafe Mangii. I have tried their Amanora one too. Next time you go, do try Grandma's apple pie. You will love it.

I never liked Rajdhani food. I feel it is too expensive for the quality.

Zambar sounds promising. Will make a trip there.

I went to incognito a few weeks back, the food was not bad but I not too keen to go a 2nd time.

Mona said...

Hi, I found your blog when I was looking for review between Emirates and Singapore Airlines :) I read your profile and I thought it's very interesting because I work in IT too, I love travelling and I love trying new food/restaurants too. Great blog, I guess next time when I am somewhere and I need to find a good place to eat, I just need to read your blog :)

Shantanu said...

@wehearttravelling: It does. But because the crust is thin, you can easily finish it. :)

@Lazy: Let me know how you find it.

@Mona: Welcome here! And thank you for the kind comments.

Unknown said...

Really Yummy!!!

roses said...


priyadarshan said...

Don't know why I have never visited Ritugandh. Will try some other day.

The "Mad" Foodie said...

Hey Shantanu..
Loved your blog.
I manage a restaurant in Pune by the name of Mad House Grill. We at Mad House Grill would love to have you drop by for a meal if you're ever in town!

Would love to hear from you, here are are our contact details:


Seher Azar,
Seher Azar,

Anonymous said...

Do visit Shahji's Paratha House !

Unknown said...

I found your blog while searching a tweet ....and interesting read !!