Thursday, 12 June 2014

Stone Water Grill

Stone Water Grill is hands down the city's most loved party/ dining destination and Pune diners have missed the place sorely since it closed for renovation.

Stone Water Grill re-opens this week and with  my lovely friends from Pune Foodiez , I was invited to a Preview Dinner.

Its already at a great advantage  being located in Koregaon Park , the epicenter of all things happening ...add to that a spectacular river view and spruced up interiors ....

Like before there is both an indoor and outdoor dinning can choose to dine outside under a canopy of twinkling stars along side the dramatic lighting effects and water features or inside in the elegant charcoal grey dinning area...

Stone Water Grill has been instrumental in introducing Pune to experiential dining along with excellent service...

Chef Shailendra Kekade- Pune's style chef is all set to take diners on a world class gastronomic journey with a new innovative menu..... The new menu comprises of modern European dishes and every dish is prepared to delight the diner

Miso butter with cumin breadsticks, Infused olive oil with bread, Aracinni di Riso with smoked aubergine soup

Not only does the food taste spectacular with several layers of flavor and great texture it also looks breathtaking! I love when a restaurant puts in so much care and love in plating a dish!

The soups are fantastic I loved the Light Tomato Tea aka the ginseng , ginger and tomato soup....the Mushroom Cappuccino was fabulous ......

Light tea- tomato, ginseng, ginger soup, Chicken & Mushroom Broth ,Chilled Pomegranate Gazpacho with garlic bread

The food is dramatic and fabulous ....there is plenty to choose from Salads like Soy Roast Duck with medicinal herbs and pomegranate , Mushroom Galouti with saffron brioche .........Wood fired pizzas that Stone Water Grill has always been famous for.......even the humble burger has been elevated to dizzying culinary grandeur under the skilled hands of Chef Shailendra Kekade.....

All vegetarian Mushroom Galouti Kebab served over saffron Brioche

All the vegetarian food we tried was remarkably good....right from the fluffy as a cloud Miso butter with cumin flavored bread sticks to the Mushroom Risotto....the Arancini di Riso with smoked eggplant soup....

Grilled wasabi cottage cheese with papaya salsa

Roasted pepper Tortellini with creme fraiche and toasted garlic crumbs

The salads are a work of art so many different flavors at work all at once....

The shots and Mocktails/Cocktails are astounding but thats no surprise because Stone Water Grill has always boasted of an amazing bar!

Eye of the Tiger ;)

I tried a shot called the "Eye of the Tiger" with a Raspberry Raviolli and lets just say it made me a better person if only just for the evening ;))

And dessert was luscious Pannacotta with lemon leaf and pink peppercorns amongst serveal other equally fantastic desserts....

Malai coconut Panacotta with pink pepper corns and Kafir lime gastrique 

Its rare for me to enjoy a place THIS much ....I have never found any reason to complain of my time at Stone Water Grill ....the place looks amazing....plays great music....attracts the right kind of people ....boasts of an excellent service staff and good God even serves spectacular food!!

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a memorable night .....this is the place to go to for seriously good food or if you just want to unwind over a few drinks along with great appetizers and  great music !

Stone Water Grill
Pyramid Complex
81/82 North Main Road
Koregaon Park

Call (020) 67251000 for Reservations

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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Pune's best Vada Pao

The summer is on its way out and its time for the great Indian Monsoons!
I was away from India for the last two monsoons so I am really looking forward to the rains this year!

punes best vada pao

Its amazing how the change in weather gets me craving for completely different kinds of food.All through the summer months all I wanted was lots of fruit ...Mangoes...lots of juices and cold coffee 

And now just after the first rains of the season all I really want is hot chocolate , onion pakodas ( fritters) and ofcourse Vada Pao!

punes best vada pao

Vada Pao is basically a giant potato filling.... batter coated and deep fried to crispy perfection and served in a pao (melt in your mouth pillow-y bread)...

There are several versions found all around Maharashtra and Vada Pao makes for excellent street food ...think of it as India's version of a burger!

punes best vada pao

Makes for a great , quick , portable lunch/snack...

This post is about MY most favorite Vada Pao in my home city of Pune....I have tried several iconic stalls that serve this addictive snack but this is THE best according to me...

Its always bustling with people , the vadas are crunchy and hot , its served with a delicious sweet-spicy chutney and comes with a side of chopped onions and pickled lemon /green chillies...

Go here when you are in Pune next ...Rs 14 for a Vada Pao dont forget to ask for double chutney and lots of green chillies. :))

JJ Garden Vada Pao
Behind M G Road
Near JJ Agyari (Fire Temple)

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Asian Express

Think fast food and all that comes to mind is Mc Donalds and KFC or at best the road side vada pao vendor.....well not any more!

Asian Express, a small chic eatery conveniently located in Mariplex Mall in Kalyani Nagar is all set to change the drab fast food scene in the city!

Asian Express Pune review

Asian Express offers popular South East Asian food in an "express" fast food format. Dont expect to be served in fancy plates!

But what you can expect is fresh food created using real Thai spices and ingredients.....a great place for a working lunch or a quick snack if you are in the area.

So on a lovely Saturday afternoon , with my lovelyy friends from Pune Foodiez  we had lunch at Asian Express and this is some of  what we ate....

I loved the Burmese Kaho Soi  (Rs 225) - a one bowl wonder with noodles , fried shallots, garlic, boiled egg ,a thick flavorful base and wonderful smoked chilli flakes on top!

 Surely the Khao Soi would make for a very satisfying meal all in itself! What you are served at Asian Express is a pre- assembled Khao Soi but dont be shy and ask for extra condiments if you so desire !

I like my Khao Soi with  extra squirts of lemon juice and fried garlic bits ...

Asian Express Pune review
Burmese Khao Soi
Next thing I liked was the Som Tam (Rs 145) - Raw papaya salad ....its something I can eat every single day...loved the long crunchy strips of papaya  that were tossed in a tangy garlic-y tamarind dressing.

Asian Express Pune review
Som Tam 
The Lemon Grass prawns (Rs 285) were nice was a very generous serving of prawns considering the price :))

Asian Express Pune review
Lemongrass Prawns
Chicken satay (Rs 205) was good! It makes for a good snack though I would have liked the accompanying peanut sauce to be a little thicker with more texture and bite! Paneer satay was lacking in flavour and a little bland.

Asian Express Pune review
Chicken Satay

The Japanese potato cakes ( Rs 125) and Thai french fries ( Rs 135) were both nice! Think an aloo tikki with thai spices or french fries coated in exotic thai chilli and lemon grass seasoning!

Asian Express Pune review
Japanese Potato Cakes

The Tom Kha soup ( Rs 135) was nice but could do with more of a kick of Thai flavour!

Asian Express Pune review
Tom Kha Soup

The Thai red curry ( Rs 235)  and green curry served with a portion of basil rice were both quite impressive! I enjoyed them....

Asian Express Pune review
Thai Red curry

Desserts on offer are not very conventional and may be a little experimental for most people. I tried the mango spring roll ( Rs 155) and a Thai coconut Patties( Rs 140) -  coconut potato dumpling in a creamy coconut sauce.

 They were nice but I am not sure if I would order them again....but then again kudos to Asian Express for being experimental with food and trying new things :)

Asian Express Pune review
Thai coconut Patties

Asian Express Pune review
Mango Spring roll

Over all, I loved the chic interiors with the exposed brick walls and the interesting art .

Will I eat here again?

I will surely  eat here again given my love for South East Asian Food and healthy eating (on most days)  and stick with  house classics like Khao Soi, Red/Green Curry with rice , Som Tam salad and Lemon grass prawns!

Asian Express Pune review
Asian Express- Kalyani Nagar Pune

Its wonderful to find real Thai food in a fast food format at such reasonable prices for generous portion sizes !