Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tingling my taste buds

For the last few weeks, all I have been doing in some free time is eat & drink. It is worth mentioning because I have had some really good & bad experiences in this duration. So, I will just list the restaurants / events as it happened and will also try to make some assessment of the restaurants.

1) Swiss Cheese Garden, ABC Farms, Koregaon Park:
Service: Slow but efficient, good thing is they told me their service will take time as they don't keep semi cooked food.
Taste & Presentation of Food: Amazing

I visited this place first with some of my colleagues to have some drinks. Drinks were priced below average and so the starters. We ordered only starters and Chicken cheese balls, Mozzarella fingers, Chicken banzara kebab all were amazingly delicious. The place was instantly hit with us.

Sure enough, we selected that as our next company dinner venue and we were there again the very next week. I took the drink menu and I got a taste of inflation right there. All the drink prices were up almost 50-60% and thats huge. Suddenly the pricing was above average from below average.

Nevertheless we ordered lots of starters. Mostly repeating our last time favorites mixed with some new items which looked interesting. I must say that they have good variety of starters and also they have a distinctive taste. All cheese / paneer dishes were amazing, mostly because from the farm they get it really fresh. Main attraction of the meal was the Chicken Fondue. Its chicken in melted cheese, mixed with spices and served with garlic bread. Fondue is served in a porcelaine bowl kept on a mini stove to keep the cheese melted. What a delicacy it was. We had a great time and great food.

2) Football Night at my place:
I started loving football as a consequence of our football nights with my old colleagues during FIFA 06. A football nite basically is a gathering people with following qualities, they love
1) Football
2) Food &
3) Booze.
and agenda of the gathering is to
1) Gather resources (chicken, mutton, fish, vegetables, booze),
2) Drink till you drop
3) watch football supporting one side.

So, this time it was Euro 2008 & my new colleagues. We decided on cooking Mutton & Fish as we had specialists for them among us ;) ... Booze inventory was Chiva's Regal 400 ml, Antiquity 750ml + 360 ml. We were four and it was enough to knock us out.. we kept on cooking, eating, drinking and finally when the match started at 12:15 am .. we enjoyed football as well.

And yes indeed we had specialists.. Dhiraj cooked the best mutton chakhana I have ever had and Paresh cooked some really tasty Surmai fry in specially arranged malwani masala.

What a night... we slept really late but interestingly reached office by 11am the next day.. quite a feat for me :)

3) Dinner buffet at Sigree Restaurant, Dhole patil road:
Service: Very good Food & presentation: Amazing Pricing: Expensive
I took my younger brother, bhaiya, bhabhi & my nephews to Sigree for dinner. I wanted to take them to kebab factory / bombay brasserie, but I couldn't book a table there as they were full. So, we decided to go for buffet. Buffet was INR 430 per person including taxes. Drinks were excluded and were really expensive. We had 2 large 1 small antiquity blue and it was 900 bucks. Man you can get a 750 ml bottle just for 680 bucks and that will serve 12 large and 1 small pegs.. Phew!! I promised to myself not to oder drinks again in Sigree.

So, we were seated outside for buffet. It was a large wooden table with grills in center. I checked closely and oh my god .. there were burning charcols beneath the grill. They started serving the kebabs as starters and I forgot Kebab factory. The kebabs were perfectly done .. really tender and tasty... with great variety for both veg & non veg. I couldn't say which was the best as all had great taste & aroma which takes your taste buds & you on a heavenly ride.

We were already feeling full with rounds of kebabs so decide to go and check out the buffet. Yes!! unlike kebab factory, they have a full fledged buffet after kebabs.. They had 3 non-veg main course dishes (1 each of mutton, chicken & fish), Chicken biryani, chicken salad, lots of veg salads, raita, 3 veg main course dishes, veg biryani and Daal. I tasted the nonveg dishes and salads.. Roti/Naan they serve on table.. Now it was turn for desserts.

Here also the quality is maintained.. they had 5 types desserts... and I love desserts!!
They had, 1) crisp, made in ghee mouth watering Jalebis, 2) Two bengali sweets, 3) Fruit salad (for health concious ones) and 4) Ice cream

The restaurant is expensive .. but the buffet is really value for money.
That is why I suggested & we went again to Sigree for a party given by two of our colleagues. Kebabs were as good as it were last time.. with some changes in the menu. Main course items were also different .. just the salads were more or less the same. In desserts they had
1) New for me & really tastly Fruit Jalebi, 2) bengali sweet, 3) Fruit salad, 4) Ice cream & 5) Coconut paysam (yummy).

4) Rahul restaurant, Aundh:
Service: Pathetic Food & presentation: Good Pricing: Moderate
Ambience: Very Nice

We went there as some migratory birds were visiting Pune and we didn't miss the chance to see them all.. We quickly got a table for 10 but soon we were waiting for a table. The table which we were given just got dismantled at the central joint. We were lucky not get hurt. Now we were sitting in an awkward position with one table and 10 people waiting for another table (which took no less than 30 minutes) .. and all this while there was no one avaiable to attend to us or server water. But yes they had taken order before it happened and were smart enough to get the order to us with no table to eat... We spent about three hours in restaurant trying keep ourselves calm. Food was good .. and the long iceland ice tea was super strong .. we had the kick in the first one itself.. WOW!!

5) Booze at my place:
My cousins decided to get drunk last Sunday. So we got one Bacardi white rum 750ml and I got a free, really sexy glass which looks quite like this...

So, I am planning to make a collection .. any participants??

These more or less summarize my experiences of last few weeks.. quite a job for my taste buds huh?


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