Monday, October 29, 2012

Restaurant Review - Cafe Maroo, Aundh, Pune

Cafe Maroo

Location - Aundh, Pune

Ambiance - ***1/2
Menu options - ***1/2
Taste - ****
Service - ****
Price - ***

Overall - ***1/2

Cafe Maroo is a small Korean restaurant that was earlier located next to Rahul restaurant in Aundh. Now it has moved to a different location in the same area. It's little difficult to find even as it is a very small place and located in a small lane.

The ambiance of the place is nice. It's a two level restaurant with about 5-6 tables. It's a small place. Lot of Korean artsy stuff adorns the walls and it gives a nice feel. It is owned by a Korean who has been in Pune for quite some years.

The menu options are many but they are all Korean dishes (of course). I never understand what the dish is by just reading the name so I ask them about it and order. But since I have been there many times, I have an idea about what to order. Basically there are three broad types of dishes - fried rice with different sauces (VERY different from Chinese), Stew type of dishes and chicken/beef steak kind of dishes. The different mocktails/iced tea etc that are available there are really good.

The bill for 2 people was around 800 INR. Considering that it's a specialty restaurant serving dishes that are not available at other places, that's not a bad price.

It's good place to go if you want to try out Korean food. Just be prepared to wait for a seat. Go slightly earlier than usual lunch/dinner time.

Cafe Maroo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Recipe - 5 min Chocolate cake in a microwave

Ingredients - 
1. All purpose flour (maida) - 4 Tabsp
2. Sugar - 4 Tabsp
3. Unsweetened cocoa - 2 Tabsp
4. Egg - 1
5. Milk - 3 Tabsp
6. Oil - 3 Tabsp
7. Chocolate chips - 3 Tabsp (if you want)
8. Vanilla (or other) essence - 1 drop

Method - 
1. Take a big, microwave-proof mug and put all the dry ingredients in. Mix.
2. Whisk the egg separately and then add it to the mug. Mix again.
3. Add milk and oil and mix well with a spoon to make it into a paste.
4. Add the choco chips and essence. Mix.
5. Put the cup in the microwave. At 1000 watts, cook for 3 min. at 700/720 - cook for 3.5 min. Depending on your taste, you may want to increase or decrease the timing by 15-20 seconds when you make it the second time :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Recipe - Black Chana (Chickpea) Curry

There are multiple ways of making chana. Each brings out a different taste. This is a very simple and basic way of making it.

Ingredients (Servces ~ 3)

1. Black chana (Chickpea) - 150 gms
2. Onions - 2 big
3. Tomato - 1 medium
4. Green chilli - 2
5. Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
6. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
7. Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
8. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
9. Garam masala - 1 1/2 tsp
10. Chole masala - 1 tsp
11. Salt - as per taste
12. oil - 4 tsp

Method - 

1. Soak the black chana in water for about 12 hours.
2. Put the chana in a pressure cooker cook them. Let the whistle on it sound about 5-6 times and then let it cook in the pressure till it cools down.
3. Finely chop onions, tomatoes and green chillies.
4. Heat oil in a pan.
5. Put mustard seeds in till they split.
6. When they start spluttering, put the cumin seeds in and then the green chillies.
7. After about 15-20 seconds, put the onions in and let them cook till they are golden brown.
8. Put the cooked black chana in it and mix well.
9. Put the tomatoes in and cover the pan to cook it further for about 3 minutes.
10. Put the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, Chole masala and salt. Mix it well.
11. Put some water in to make a slight gravy. Cover the pan and put the burner on sim. Let it cook till the chana is soft enough.
12. If more tangy taste is needed, some amchur(dry mango) powder can also be put.
13. Serve with chapati/roti

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review - Flag's, Bund Garden Road, Pune

Flag's restaurant

Location - Bund Garden Road, Near Inox, Pune.

Ambiance - ****
Menu options - *****
Taste - ****
Service - ****
Price - ***

Overall - ****

Flag's is located on Bund Garden road near Inox. It's been around for quite sometime and has improved immensely over the years. Remember going there earlier and finding it overrated. Things have changed since then.

The ambience is pretty good. The walls are adorned with photos of buildings/parliaments across the world and with flags from across the world. It's not too congested though there are many tables in the restaurant. There are also some semi enclosed areas for a more private dining experience. There's also an overhead projector in case you are having a party and want to project a fun powerpoint presentation or a video.

The menu is varied and includes cuisine from across the world. Mediterranean  Middle eastern, Indian, Thai, Chinese, etc. So you do get to taste some interesting dishes. They also have a set menu which gives you the option of a 4 course meal at INR 350 only.

We ordered a cocktail, a Mediterranean dish and the set menu. All the courses were pretty good bordering on excellent. I had a slight problem with my main course, but that was because I am not personally fond of black pepper - no fault of the chef. The dessert was also excellent.

Meal for 2 cost us 1000 INR but that was because we had ordered one set meal. If we had ordered individually, it would have cost much more.

Overall the experience was pretty good so was the service. Definitely worth multiple visits.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Restaurant Review - Lai Bhari Kolhapuri, Chinchwad

Lai Bhari Kolhapuri
Location - Chinchwad, Pune.

Ambiance - **
Menu options - **
Taste - ****
Service - ***
Price - ****

Overall - ***

"Lai Bhari Kolhapuri" is located on the Aditya Birla Hospital road in Chincwad. As the name suggests it is a Kolhapuri restaurant. Not a high class restaurant. There are two sections - normal section has tables and chairs while the family section has Indian seating (it's quite comfortable). Lot of photographs from of Kolhapur adorn the walls. Though it's quite a simple restaurant, it's clean (if you are not too fussy about it).

The menu is of course limited to Kolhapuri food. There are different types of Thali available and you can order a la carte as well. In all of the thalis, you get the pandhra rassa and tambda rassa as much as you want. Oh and they also serve solkadi if you want.

We ordered three different types of Thalis. All of them were fantastic. Spicy. And the quantity is definitely enough for one person.

Thali costs around 175 INR.

Overall the experience is fine. Service is good. Ambience lets it down.
Kolhapuri Chicken Thali
Lai Bhari Kolhapuri Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Recipe - Shrimp pops

Ingredients -
  1. Shrimps - 250 gms
  2. Red chilli powder - 2 tsp
  3. Salt - 1 tsp
  4. Lemon juice - 2 tsp
  5. Rice flour - for coating
  6. Oil - 1 TabSp
Method -
1. We first need to clean the shrimps properly.
2. Break the head off and throw away. Press the bottom of the tail with two fingers to slide the meat out of the shell. There will still be some shell at the center of the meat, peal it off as well.
3. Run either a small knife or your thumbnail along the spine of the shrimp so that the meat opens up a bit. You will see a black thread like thing running along the length at the center of the meat. This is the food pipe of the shrimp. Take it out. This is likely to cause food poisoning if not taken out.
4. wash the shrimps well.
5. Marinate them in the lemon juice, salt and red chilli powder for a couple of hours.
6. Heat oil in a frying pan.
7. Coat the marinated shrimps in rice flour.
8. Shallow fry the shrimps till they are golden brown.
9. Can be served with ketchup or chilli sauce

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Restaurant Review - Zamu's, DP Road, Pune

Location - DP Road, Pune.

Ambiance - ***
Menu options - ****
Taste - *****
Service - ****
Price - ****

Overall - ****

Zamu's is located on DP Road in Pune. A cozy kind of a place reminiscent of the 80s era. Nothing fancy but still very comfortable.

The dishes available are not the usual ones you would find in a menu. Some English, some Iranian, some Indian... the menu offers variety though the number of dishes is less. Beer and Wine is available. Local wine only.

we had ordered Chicken Kiev, Fish and Chips, Salli Chicken, Shepard's pie, Garlic mushrooms, Chicken lollipop. Everything was amazing. Mashed potatoes were one of the best I have eaten anywhere. Meat was perfectly cooked. Haven't tried any desserts there yet.

For all of this we paid about 1700. The service is also quite good. No undue interference or delay.

Overall it was an amazing experience. I have been there earlier, and I am sure to go there again. And this time, desserts is all I am gonna try out :)
Zamu's Place Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Restaurant Review - Polka Dots, Aundh, Pune

Location - Aundh, Pune.
Ambience - ***
Menu options - ****
Taste - ***1/2
Service - ***
Price - ***
Overall - ***

Polka dots is located near Parihar chowk at Aundh, Pune. It has been around for many years now and so has some ardent fans. The ambience is fine. It's very congested owing to the small space. Some renovation is going now, so hopefully that will make things better.

The menu is varied. Mexican, Thai, Chinese, etc. So you do get to taste some interesting dishes. The main courses that we ordered were pork and chicken based. And the taste was quite good. They have not increased the prices much in the last one year but they certainly have reduced the quantity. That was a dampner.

We order blueberry cheesecake as dessert - and it was... a disgrace. It tasted ok, but it wasn't a cheesecake.

Main courses are about 200 odd bucks. But the quantity is less.

Overall the experience is fine. Service is good. But can't give more than 3 stars due to the issues mentioned.
Polka Dots Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato