Kissa Chakhna Ka – Punjab Grill, Gourmet Fine Dining

When you get invited to a dinner at one of India’s famous fine dining places, you don’t say no. Punjab Grill – Gourmet Fine Dining owned by Lite Bite Foods is currently serving a Chankna Menu that has put the most familiar bar snacks right back on the map, North Indian style! The menu is totally designed to encourage conversations and the repertoire reinterprets some cult favorites. The thought behind each ‘Chakhna’, its presentation and execution takes the whole experience to the next level. So, here is the lowdown on the dishes that paved way for a prefect evening

Restaurant Week India, Pune Edition – Kabab Hut, Sun n Sand Hotel

Restaurant Week powered by John Jacobs, is the largest pan-India culinary event spanning 10 days, across 6 cities and gives discerning food enthusiasts the opportunity to dine at some of India’s finest restaurants at a fraction ofa la carte rates. This year Restaurant Week has made its debut in Pune.  The 10-day event from 16th to 25th September 2016 showcases over 100 restaurants across Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkatta, Mumbai and now in Pune offering diners a chance to experience some of the finest restaurants in the city. By being a part of this you can experience a three-course prix fixe menu at a fraction of the price it would normally cost. Restaurant Week Pune features 8 participating restaurants that will offer a three-course menu (with an option of vegetarian or non-vegetarian) at INR 750 for lunch and INR 750 for dinner per diner. The price, per individual, is exclusive of applicable taxes, service charges and anything ordered outside of the special Restaurant Week menu. As a result of the association with Ola, all Restaurant Week diners will receive complimentary Ola rides to and from their meals.

Fab Fridays at Incognito, Pune

Love to explore different food options with colleagues, friends or family during lunch hours? But, eating out is a bit expensive for your pocket? Fret not! Incognito presents to you the fab Friday Lunch Buffet in Pune, priced at INR 550 plus taxes. Yes, you read that right! Go ahead and don’t miss out on quality meal time with your near ones, which are easy on pocket too. The menu here is a decently curated spread.

Yin & Yang Food Festival @ Baan Tao, Hyatt, Pune

Want to experience the holistic balance of  Yin & Yang in your food? Head over to Baan Tao, the in house restaurant of Hyatt Pune  that has come up with an unique food festival – Yin & Yang. The Festival starts on 20th July 2016 and is on till 10th August 2016 for both lunch and dinner at Baan Tao. You must be wondering what is this Yin and Yang? In Chinese Culture it is believed that there are two basic forces that rule all that exists. These energies, Yin and Yang, are opposites that complement each other and there must be a good balance between them to bring in good fortune. How is translates into food is as simple as Yin is cooling and Yang is warming. It is as simple as Green tea is cooling, black tea is warm,  Crabs are cooling, shrimp are warm for the body. #TheBTeam was invited for a preview tasting of the dishes and we surely were knocked out with the offerings here The talented Chef Sunil Joshi has curated three set menus (1 Vegetarian and 2 non-vegetarian sets) around the concept that entails varied vegetarian and non-vegetarian salads, appetizers, soups, main course in addition to Jasmine tea, While I chose lamb, chicken and prawns as my proteins for the day, I did taste some of the dishes from the other two menus as well. Overall trust me you wont be disappointed here and the mélange of flavours that you will experience will linger on your taste buds for times to come. The Drinks & Accompaniments There were two the Yin Wolf made with cucumber, ginger and cranberry  and the Yang Mary that was a spicy twist on the Bloody Mary cocktail with a hint of cinnamon and star anise. My choice for the day was the Yang Mary, I can never pass up the spice Pumpkin Crackers with Wasabi Peas served as accompaniments with the drinks there were Prawn Crackers too but they were gone in 60 seconds from the table to the tummy. Amuse Bouche offerings of panko fried garlic prawns and a rice paper roll of veggies were served to stimulate the appetite before the meal The Appetizer The appetizers started with the green peas, spinach, truffle oil crystal dumpling. The dumplings were stuffed with baby spinach, fresh peas and truffle oil. A #MustHave But the Hatchew Latchew - silken tofu tossed in black pepper, red chilli, scallion and pepper was definitely the highlight (That is one big compliment, coming from a hard core non-vegetarian). Melt in the mouth tofu with a great balance of flavors, that will make you ask for more. Have the Thot man gai,  a  preparation made of mince chicken, lemongrass, chilli, garlic, galangal and you will be transported to Thailand and if you love kaffir lime just like me, you will be in for a treat. Another one was braised wine butter garlic prawns, they prawns were cooked to perfection but I missed the garlic in them... The Salads For salads we were served the Kaisho, smoked salmon salad with rucola and the Rojak Buah, a malay fruit salad with a tamarind chilli dressing. Both the salads were uplifting but between the two i will choose Rojak Buah.   It was super refreshing fruit and the tang was rightly complemented by a light tinge of spiciness. The Soups We were served the Tom Kha Phak Soup which had flavors from coriander roots, mushroom, carrot, zucchini, cauliflower, beans, lemongrass, kafir lime and galangal. I found it a little too coco-nutty  for my taste, i thought it hid the subtle flavors of other ingredients in the soup. Thumbs up for presentation. But on the other hand the Sop Ayam, the Indonesian chicken soup was the perfect soup for a rainy day. A medley of chicken stock, somen noodles, kaffir lime and lemon grass and sliced chicken will surely make you go back for seconds...oh but wait there are mains still to go... The Mains Its always a thumbs up if it's a  juicy pile of shredded lamb with a sticky Asian sauce and some kick ass basil chicken rice to go with it. You could'nt ask for a better main course #HighlyRecommended The Desserts We ended on a sweet note with three desserts... The first on up was the Cendol Ice...looked like a ice gola with but paired sophistically with fruit syrups, maraschino cherry, coconut ice cream, carnation and hot chocolate syrup. #MustHave  This was followed by the Chiffon Litchi Ice Cream Cake Slice Dessert, a combination of house made litchi ice cream with chopped nuts  and a fried chiffon cake. I am not a great fan of chiffon cakes but the  ice cream was to die for. But my favourite dessert was a simple Baked Yogurt with Frozen Berries. Silky smooth wobbly baked yougurt power packed with  blueberries & cranberries. #HighlyRecommended

 The vegetarian, non-vegetarian and seafood pre-set menus are priced Rs. 1450, Rs. 1650 and Rs. 1850 respectively and you get more than your money's worth. So hurry up..and and dont miss a chance to experince a little bit of Yin & a little bit of Yang A big thank you to Ankoura Verma for inviting us and Chefs Suvendu Roy and Sunil Joshi for hosting us. Kudos to the team at Baan Tao. 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.All Rights Reserved.

Sporty Affair Scrumptious Grub – Aufside@Hotfut

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...

Terttulia Bistro – Discover food, one delicious bite at a time

Tasting food has always been interpreted differently. But when it comes to discovering great food, that too with pals with the same food wavelength…you are home. So here is my chronicle of a soiree with great food and good vibe, where each of us discovered some classic elements on the plate one delicious bite at a time…at Terttulia Bistro, Balewadi

So my maiden trip to this quaint place was courtesy of the generous folks at Carpe Diem, a drive to Balewadi High Street, (Well my first) and a showcase of interesting twists to food - the evening had so much to offer…

Happy Place, Happy Menu – Open Window Cafe Bistro, Pune

What strikes you when you step into this new rooftop bistro in Shivaji nagar, Pune are the colours and the quirky wall graffiti with a fabulous rooftop panoramic view of the Pune skyline. Buzzing with  a perfect melange of colours you can also experience an extraordinary seating. So the moment we arrived, we got to clicking pictures, all the while admiring Team OWCB's eye for detail and what a happy and buzzing place that they had transformed the roof top to. Walls are adorned with funky frames and the two blue windows on the bar gave the ambience a colour pop all the while reiterating the name of this cafe. So the table was set, to explore the food in this place under a starlight sky…

Shazia Khan’s What’s on the Menu Cookbook Review

My engagement with The B Team took me to the launch of a debut cookbook - ‘What’s on the Menu’  by Celebrity Chef Shazia Khan in Pune. Published by Om Books International, the cookbook was unveiled by Chef, Food stylist and Food Photographer Michael Swamy and noted food connoisseur, Karen Anand. This was followed by a cooking demo by the chef herself where she tossed up a Fig and Asparagus Salad from her cookbook.

At the first glance what captures your attention are the stunning colour photos which depict food as the centre stage of celebrations. The book captures the essence of home-cooking. In this cookbook Shazia shares family recipes and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Look closely and inside are 90 recipes for both classic and contemporary cooking that are perfect for day to day extravaganza and special occasions with family and friends.

Where Rassa Rocked! – A taste of Maharashtrian cuisine

My heart skipped a beat when I received an invite to be a part of the bloggers table to explore the culinary traditions of Maharashtra specially curated by celebrity chef and food connoisseur Aditya Mehendale (Author of the book- Rare Gems- A Non-Vegetarian Gourmet Collection from Maharashtra). I looked forward to an evening full of gastronomic food. And when I stumbled upon the fact that I was going to be served an authentic Kolhapuri thali, your stomach growls with unsatiated hunger. This scrumptious opportunity is brought to Puneites by Courtyard by Marriott, Hingewadi, Pune in association with Maharashtra Tourism and Development Corporation (MTDC) to promote indigenous Maharashtrian food. This 10 days Maharashtrian food festival is scheduled to run from April 11th April – 21st April 2016. A vibrant ambience greets you, with women in nauvari sarees and men dressed in traditional maharashtrian attire. The Momo Cafe is decked up with local kitchen tools and spices.

Makrana – A kebab affair

You know what is pure bliss?...for a food enthusiast like me walking into a food establishment and being surprised and enchanted by the flavours and aroma that an eatery offers. Same was the case when my sojourn took me to a small eatery called Makrana in Primerose Mall, Baner. Trust me when I tell you don’t go by the looks of it, flavours from this small eatery sure pack a punch, that will surely make you go back for the seconds. Here you can gorge on delectable non-vegetarian preparation spanning across North India and so this is how my bellydriven chronicle goes...

Jumeirah – Where food lovers throng

Travelling 20 km one way in search of great food – CHECK

Devouring an exquisite platter of food with a bunch of foodies – CHECK A Bellydriven Delight – CHECK What more do you want from a food tasting escapade? That is exactly how my evening ended at Chandralok/ Jumeirah Cafe that is situated near Mahalaxmi Lawns in Karve Road. Even though the place dates back 20 years, one should have a look at their new avatar, absolutely a must go for the youngsters. Run by an amazing bunch of people from Aperto Hospitality- Abhinav, Udit and Aditya Neelgaonkar, Chandralok has 4 sections – A fine dine, an open garden restaurant, a party lawn and a roof top cafe with an Arabian theme that caters to their different target segments.

Khorisa – An evening full of fun and feasts…

So my bellydriven journey started with a bellyfull note in Pune. A newbie in pune, completely oblivious to the Pune food scene, I stumbled upon an event hosted by the - at a Bengali and Assamese food restaurant – Khorisa (meaning bamboo shoot in Assamese). And true to its name the décor of this place celebrates bamboo handicrafts that Assam is known for. Red hues and minimalistic décor make you instantly fall in love with this place. Meals served in Kansa thalis took me back home to Orissa and miss mommy…