Lively, Trendy, Sporty, Young and absolutely modern are the tag words that you can use to describe Aufside, a sports bar situated on the 3rd floor of Kumar Pacific Mall at Swar Gate in Pune. This is the perfect venue to hang out, watch sports, play darts or get together with a team to enjoy a football or cricket match, courtesy the indoor sports arena owned by Hotfut. So this review is about a cheerful sports bar with a sophisticated grub. Sure, they pour stiff drinks like any good bar should but just sit back and relax and wait for the drool-worthy menu to hit you…
Like any sports bar, comfortable quirky interiors greet you laden with sports memorabilia. On display you will see autographed cricket bats, jerseys, a projector with two huge screens to give you that consistent sports ambience. Comfortable high leather sofas take up the corners, while tables of four are placed across the restaurant. Outdoor seating is also available if you want less of the high-decibel music and have a conversation, or gaze upon the match going on the indoor turf.
How did I get there? My engagement with TheBTeam and an invite from Mr. Varun Punjabi, the owner of Aufside made sure that I get there for a bloggers table.
As soon as you get hold of the menu, you will the struck by the sport lingo used there. The Bar menu spans across the usual but the cocktails are noteworthy
In mocktails we had the Vuvuzela- a perfect combination of orange juice, hazelnut, blue curacao and ginger syrup, I am a fan of ginger to I can vouch for this one. Next up was Rabona, made using apricot, lemon and mint was too sweet to my taste, The Perfect hattrick with coffee, chocolate and cream tasted like any other cold coffee, The Winning shot with strawberry, orange cranberry and lemon was a great combination of flavours.
In the Beertails, I tried the Quarterback, Doosra and Defender – my take even though they are a medley of fruit juices and beer, in none of the case the fruit overshadowed the beer- That’s a good thing for me when you are having a beertail. Not overpoweringly sweet is another advantage here.
What got me clean bowled was an off the menu cocktail with a medley of Old Monk, Coffee, Coke and Vanilla Ice Cream…well one word to describe it was wow… So wow that I came back home and tried to recreate this one for one of the get togethers at home!!!
After this punch another cocktail with whisky, elderflower, sour mix, tangerine and pineapple juice took me to the cocktail wonderland, subtle flavour with the freshness of pineapple juice emboldened by the whisky. A thumbs up for this one…
In the kitchen, the Aufside folks are quite serious, and this is quite more than a sports bar. The menu has an ambition is evident from the food they served on that evening. In the starting line up, the strikers were Grilled Prawns in a garlic lemon sauce, Crispy chicken tenders perfectly spiced with Cajun spice and Crispy Beef with a honey laced brown sauce and a well marinated Herbed chicken. All four strikers were the performers for me…A special gold to the crispy beef, succulent and performing.
The Midfielders were Jalapeno Cheese balls, Olive Bruschetta, Honey Chilli Potato Bites, Nachos and Cheese & Jalapeno Poutine, Sauteed Mushrooms, Nachos. The Jalapeno cheese balls were a let down, couldnt find any jalapenos in it, on the other hand the olive bruschetta was crisp topped with salsa and olives. The Nachos were laden with cheese, and needed a little more salsa to compliment it. The Honey Chilli Potato Bites were dry. I loved the sautéed mushrooms, plump and well flavored
Then came the Mains- Called the Champions’ League, they would just blow you away. Along came stuffed crepes, that were savoury pancakes stuffed with ratatouille veggies baked in a rich and creamy white sauce served alongside garlic bread. The sauce was a rich and creamy consistency and was perfectly balanced. A lots n lots of cheese, I don’t mind that at all but the ratatouille veggies lost their character in them
Next came, the Grilled Cottage Cheese with veggies and rice on the side. Topped with a robust sweet & spicy peanut sauce was definitely a show stopper. Perfectly cooked and seasoned vegetables were a good add on.
The Chicken Roulade – a chicken breast stuffed with sun dried tomatoes and olives and cooked in a creamy white sauce was made to perfection. You would happily go back for seconds here.
The Beef Stroganoff was served on a bed of rice. Tender strips of beef and mushrooms were first sautéed in butter, then swirled with sour cream and Aufside’s signature sauce. Absolutely delicious, bold and robust.
This was followed by BBQ Pork Chops, this was cooked to perfection, coming of the bone, perfectly marinated pork chops topped with a peppery brown sauce. A side of mashed potatoes and herbed vegetables made the dish absolutely wholesome
Well with our tummies absolutely full, in desserts we hogged on the chocolate mousse. A perfect moist, gooey and a sweet end to an evening
All in all a great destination if you don’t want the attitude and pomp of fine dining and designer bars. In fact, you don’t really need an excuse to go; Aufside a great destination for a fun night out.
Disclaimer: The invite was for a complimentary food tasting event. This review is a narrative of my experience at the event. The views expressed in this review are solely mine and others are more than welcome to agree or disagree with the same. The review is in no way influenced either personally or commercially nor has it been lifted, copied or plagiarized from any source however I have done my due diligence on the event via publicly available information on the internet.