Saturday, July 11, 2015

Beetroot and Krusty's

Beetroot and Krusty’s are a new generation of Western-style restaurants that are becoming increasingly popular in a city that was dominated by North Indian and Chinese food until recently.  Clearly food lovers in Pune are finally beginning to experiment and cast their net wider when hunting for a new place to eat. Italian pastas are no longer the only European food they want to try!

A decade back I would only have Arther’s Theme to choose if I wanted a European food experience.  Now you would be spoilt for choice. Incognito and The Flour Works (among others) brought Western cuisine into the Maratha heartland successfully. Beetroot and Krusty’s are taking this further ahead by combining Western flavors, ambiance and even infusing them with an Indian ethos.

Krusty’s has two outlets in Pune; I visited the one at Koregaon Park during lunch hours.  The restaurant has a well-lit, pleasantly upscale cafe ambiance.  The menu is quite substantive with several interesting appetisers, salads, sandwiches and burgers.  On this day, I decided to try the Grilled Chicken Burger and was pleasantly surprised by both the presentation and execution.



The burger was served open-face with caramelised onions over the grilled chicken and melted cheese.  The other half had fresh tomato, lettuce and gherkins making for a very appetising sight indeed.  The fries in a wire-mesh basket completed the presentation.  The burger was very filling and completely satisfying.  Good job, Krusty’s!



Beetroot Bistro is a more recent opening in Koregaon Park.  Located on the terrace of an apartment building, the place has a nice feel especially in the evening hours when the rustle of the leaves in the trees around and the blue and white paintwork makes for a nice atmosphere.



In keeping with my burger craze, I decided to try their Peri Peri Chicken Burger. However, we also ordered a starter of Beer Drunken Prawns first.  The prawns were crunchy and tasted right, keeping our hunger pangs at bay as we waited for our mains.



The Peri Peri burger was a delight.  The spicy peri-peri sauce, the jalapeños and the grilled onions enhanced the flavours and tastes of the burger considerably.  A must-try for anyone who is willing to experiment with their burgers and can stand some heat!



Peri-peri sauce is showing up in multiple Western menus in Pune now-a-days. Both Krusty’s and Beetroot use it to make some Western staples more interesting for Indian palates. Peri-Peri originated in Africa (and actually meant pepper pepper in Swahili), but is best known for its use in Portuguese and Goan cooking now.  For a spice lover like me, I don’t mind this recent trend at all.  Keep it coming!



In other news, Starbucks opened another outlet, this time on F. C. Road. I love to dig into the tomato and mozzarella on Multi-grain bread when I am in Starbucks during morning hours.  Coupled with a hot caramel macchiato to satiate my sweet tooth, this sandwich makes for a perfectly good breakfast!



Finally, The Flour Works continues to do all the right things. From the busy tables all through the day, I can see their patrons continue to appreciate the combination of food and laid-back ambiance this place provides.  I tried the Chicken in a lemon and caper sauce which was served with potatoes and a spinach cake and turned out pretty delish.

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