Friday, July 19, 2019

Restaurant review - Thikana, Hinjewadi

Ambiance - ****
Menu - ***
Service - ***
Taste - ****

Overall - ***1/2
Thikana Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Located on the busy Hinjewadi road, near the flyover, it's in the same building as Absolute barbecue and Tarsh. The building as enough parking and valet service is also available - though on weekends, even that parking maybe full.

Tuesday to saturday, they have special evenings - girls night, guy's night etc. You can check on their website. Also, they have many offers ongoing on drinks usually. They are not Zomato Gold members though.

Outer smoking zone is quite good, though you will smell the smoke a bit even if no one near you is smoking. Inner non-smoking zone is small because of the presence of the bar and also the dance floor. It's beautifully decorated though. Seats are quite comfortable as well.

Menu options are quite limited. But whatever they serve is quite good. Of all the things we tried there, drunken vegetables was the best. Almost all the dishes that we tried were either good or better. No complaints on that front yet. Service is also quite prompt. Also, you don't have to wait for the same steward to come to you to place your next order. Billing was also prompt.

The biggest NEGATIVE about the place was that when we went there, there was no water in the washroom. Despite letting them know multiple times, nothing was done and we were handed over the bill immediately because I suppose they feared we won't pay the bill as we were complaining about the water. It was girl's night and there was a big crowd. Having no water in the washroom for the entire evening on such an evening is not just wrong but really unhygienic. Not done.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Review - Don't startup - Karthik Kumar

Verdict - *****
This seems like a wrong place for a book review. But many of the foodies who will read this blog would've thought about starting up their own food joint at some point of time. Fears of failure, not having enough money, etc. Are always the factors holding us back.

This book does not give you a rosy picture about starting up and doesn't tell you to go for it just because your heart wants it. It starts with the basic question and makes you think of... Why you want to start something in the first place. And goes from stage to stage of the experiences of a start up based on his Karthik's own experiences.

It gets you to analyse your thoughts about the start up at every stage. It tells you some points that are counter intuitive but make sense when think about it. Best part is, it let's you decide whether or not to start up based on the analysis you do and also gives you suggestions on how to handle the steady state.

A must read for anyone who has ever thought of starting up their own venture - food related or otherwise.

The most structured, realistic and thought provoking book on starting up.

Restaurant review - Flechazo, Wakad

Ambiance - ****
Menu - *****
Service - ****
Taste - ****

Overall - ****

Flechazo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Went to Flechazo for lunch on a saturday afternoon. It's in a new building near the wakad flyover and hence there's no issue in parking. Valet parking available and tips are not allowed. The ambiance of the place is good. Well let, well decorated, comfortable seating. The only eyesore at the moment is that since the building is still new and lot of work is still going on around, the view is a little... unclean outside. But the restaurant itself is quite nicely decorated. Loved the sun.

There's buffet for approx 700 and 600 for non-veg and veg and kids plate is about 100. It's quite reasonable. There's a bar as well but drinks need to be ordered separately and not part of the menu. The options of starters and main course are quite good. There are live counters for some chat items and small shots, pizza and pasta, and kulcha with kheema, etc. Jalebi with rabri and Nitro ice cream is also served at a live counter.

The taste of everything was amazing. Prawn were the best. Main course was also good. Crab was good as well. Dessert options are standard that you generally get in any barbecue restaurant (this is not a barbecue restaurant). Only two issues that we found with the food was that the mutton shorba had too much garam masala and less salt, so the taste of mutton was not coming out. Also, the kulfi ice cream was, well, quite bad.

Service was good. They keep asking you if the food was good - which sometimes gets a bit irritating. But it's all good. Birthday celebrations are also done there, with the stewards dancing to a remixed happy birthday bhangra song. It's funny but cute.

Overall 4.5 out of 5. Half a star reduced for the problem with the two dishes. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Restaurant review - Masalabar, Balewadi high street

Ambiance - ****1/2
Menu - ****
Food - ***1/2
Service - *****
Overall Rating - ****1/2

MasalaBar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Went to Masalabar on a Thursday afternoon. So there were hardly any people around. The restaurant is at Balewadi high street so parking is usually full. There's ample parking on the road outside but be careful about the no parking signs around.

The restaurant ambience is quite good with some things kind of looking larger than life - but not in your face. The menu, though has a lot of options, is not that long. In fact, the drinks menu is bigger than the food menu. There are many good dishes to try. All the items that we tasted were good except the mutton based rice pot - the mutton was a little chewy to eat. Other than that, all the items were excellent. There are many interesting drinks to try and some of them actually are a treat to "watch" while they are being prepared or final touches are being given at your table. It's fun.

The service at this place was quite good. Yes, there were fewer people there, but still I have been to places where the food takes ages to arrive even in such situations. Here, it was pretty quick. And didn't have the stewards standing over our heads asking if we wanted something else. I like that.

Overall amazing place. A bit costly, but worth the experience

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Restaurant Review - K9 - The coast line - Rahatani

Ambiance - **1/2
Menu - **
Food - 0
Service - *
Overall Rating - 1/2

K9 The Coast Line - Dine & Wine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
So I am not usually this harsh about a restaurant. But this time I gotto be.

There's a bit of parking in front of the restaurant but you can always park on the road alongside.The interior is ok, the lower floor is crowded and cooling is random. So strictly ok. The only attraction is a chariot in front of the restaurant, that is good for taking a pic.

Menu options are limited, expected a lot more. Wine menu is also limited which is fine. But not sure how the orders are interpreted because first a double whiskey was brought when I wanted single and then the wrong brand. We ordered 2 starters and drinks. The drinks came after 15 min and the first starter after 45 min. The second came after 1 hour and 20 min after at least 3-4 reminders.

I would have rated the food for taste, but - this one gotto be zero. a BIG ZERO. they served raw chicken. It was a kebab dish and what they served was raw kebabs. We realised it after taking a couple of bites but by then the damage was already done. My wife, my 4 year old daughter and I - all had an upset tummy the very next morning. My daughter is still recovering.

And the reason given - there's crowd today.

If you want all of this - please go for it. Just ensure you have health insurance.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Restaurant Review - Villa Casa, Pimpri

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

Villa Casa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
This place was on my list of restaurants to visit ever since they started building it. It looked interesting from the outside with a nice name and so I was excited about the place and the food. Finally got a chance to visit it.

So the ambiance is good. Outdoors and indoors. However, there were a lot of mosquitoes even inside. They of course very kindly put mosquito coils to help us. The tables and chairs have various things written on them but I am not sure how it goes with the theme of the place. In fact I am not sure what the theme of the restaurant is frankly. The name is villa casa, and the menu has everything in the world. No specialization as I had expected. The menu card starts with photos of Monolisa and Colosseum etc. in 3 left side pages with menu on the right. You start thinking that it's an Italian themed menu. But after 3 pages, it's lost. there's only menu after that. And even that menu is a mess. Some cuisine starts and then we move to a different cuisine and then again come back to the same cuisine. No idea what is going on. and that leads me think, that if they haven't put thought into their menu (which is the most important part of a restaurant? to decide what they're gonna serve?) then what's the point?

The taste of stuff that we ordered was ok. No great shakes. Also they kept bringing one dish at a time and we couldn't eat together. The price was ok. There were issues with the credit card machine which is ok - these things are teething issues. Service was definitely good. There were a lot of people waiting on us since there was no one else there :)

Friday, December 30, 2016

Review - Hari Varma pickles

Taste - ****
Options - ****
Delivery - ****
Overall - ****

I have always loved pickles. A lot. When I was a kid, there were few options at home. Usually mango or lemon. Sometimes a couple of other things but rarely. Of course the pickles were made in different types and also tasted different in different homes.

So when a friend introduced me to Hari Varma pickles, I was very excited. He ordered different pickles from there for me. I didn't know what to expect but when I saw the pickles they sent I was amazed! They had sent me prawns pickle, Chicken pickle, Tomato picke, Gongura (ambadi) pickle, Ginger pickle and Mango. And I must say I was mighty please with ALL of them. Tasted AMAZING! they finished in no time and I am already ready for ordering the next batch. The only negative thing that I thought was that the chicken pickle had a few bones that couldn't be eaten (though I am sure they improved the taste)

They deliver in India. Not sure if they deliver outside of India as well - you might wanna check that. So if you want some amazing mouth watering pickles that you just can't stop eating, go for it. they are definitely worth it!