Mexican lunch at MoMo Cafe, Courtyard by Marriott, Hinjawadi – Reviewed

Hola Amigos! Pune has a limited choice for restaurants offering Mexican cuisine. Being a huge Mexican food fan, I am always in a search of delectable dishes around. Had some good and some average experiences and finally, I am so glad Ms. Nanavati suggested me to try Mexican at Courtyard by Marriott, Hinjawadi.

Anyone craving for one of the best Mexican food in Pune should definitely head towards MoMo Cafe, Courtyard by Marriott, Hinjawadi. I was exhilarated by the food they had to offer. Chefs are enthusiastic, passionate and ever-ready to make anything as per the requirement.

Below is the pre-decided Mexican food menu which was prepared and presented by Chef Vikram, Chef Pravin and his team....
Jalapeno Peppers,
Enchiladas and
Churros were made by very own Pastry Chef, Umesh.

My favourite Nachos plate was first served to us. Nachos are made of Tortilla chips (totopos) and served with Cheese sauce or dip.Type of snack but can be made main course by covering with variety of toppings like olives, beans, jalapeƱos, tomato, onion, cinlanto, ranch dressing, chive or cabbage. Best part of Nachos at MoMo Cafe is Tortillas are freshly made inhouse. That completely makes it stand out from other joints offering Mexican. Our plate had Tortilla chips loaded with cheese, beans, onions, tomatoes and garnished with coriander. It was served with Sour Cream, Tomato Salsa and Avacado dip. Nachos were superlative! Hats off chefs!
Quesadillas were next to be served. It is basically a parantha in Indian version! :) Haha! Wheat or Corn tortilla rolled with choice of filling and cheese; cut into triangles. Ours had the usual filling of beans, jalapenos. tomato, onion, served with lemon wedge. Awesome it was!

Jalapeno Peppers are hollowed out and stuffed with cheese or any choice of filling. Usually, we do not get full Jalapenos and if they are then preservatives are added to it. So, chef used local Bhavnagri Mirchi to make this dish. Quite smart! My suggestion would be to add more cheese and add bread crumbs while deep frying to make it more crispy. But Commendable effort!

Enchiladas were next and they were drool-worthy! Rolled Tortilla around a filling of choice and covered with cheese sauce and chilli pepper sauce. What else you want? Again, a fantastic dish. Well made!

Churros is a fried snack coated with cinnamon powder and sugar eaten with chocolate sauce. The look was slightly different. Usually, it is made with star nozzle but end of the day taste matters! Isn't it? And it was just 'Perfect'. Nothing to say more about it. Went well with chocolate and tasted heavenly!

Cheese Pizza came as a surprise to me. I was full by the time and tasted single slice and it was stupendous!

What can one ask for other than a highly satisfying meal and type of cuisine you look for so long! So, now I know where my Mexican craving will take me to. What is your favourite place to try mexican food?

Thank you Mrs and Mr. Nanavati, Nitin, Chef Vikram, Chef Pravin, Chef Bhushan, Chef Prashant and his team for inviting me and hosting me all those wonderful meals we had together to make beautiful memories. It is always a pleasure to be there and meet you guys!

Buffet Breakfast at Courtyard by Marriott, Hinjawadi – Reviewed!

Breakfast like a Queen! :) It is the first and the most integral meal of the day and I always make sure it to be the most filling and the healthy one. What if we get a whole lot of variety and get to eat whatever we want to? Just like a King? Yes, you can relish and kick start your mornings with the buffet breakfast offered at MoMo Cafe, Courtyard by Marriott, Hinjawadi. Mostly the in house guests at the hotel have their complimentary breakfast there.

Breakfast buffet had a nice spread of different breads with one of my favourite sections —Cheese! Gouda, Camembert, Swiss, Cheddar etc. name it and they probably have it!
North Indian:
Paranthas of your choice served with pickle and curd.
South Indian:
Idlis, 2 types of vadas, 3 kinds of chutneys, sambhar, Upma. Dosa counter is arranged separately where they provided plain,masala, multi grain dosa or any dosa as per requirement.
Poha, Upma, Misal Pao and Puri Bhaji (Atleast one)
Assorted fruits and nut soft cheese, oatmeals with nuts, fresh juices, yoghurts, eggs on demand. If you’re looking for something a little more basic, they also have a nice selection of cereals for you! Sandwich, assorted breads are also lined up along with pastries, muffins..
I was exhausted after a long distance driving and wanted to be energised. Started my breakfast with Watermelon Juice and what a quick flow of energy! I make sure my breakfast to be healthy one, so ordered Oats with dry-fruits and Egg White Omelette. Oats porridge was cooked properly and the dry fruits were adding the health punch along with the crunch!

Guiltfree Omelette was cooked with onions, tomatoes and tasted lip-smacking.
Few dishes on the recommendation of Ms. Nanavati were Mozzarella Cheese Parantha, Zucchini, Capsicum, Tomato grilled Whole Wheat Sandwich. and Pesarattu Dosa; and must mention what a choice! These three are highly recommended!

The whole buffet was simply delightful.

Cost: Rs.499+ taxes
Address: Courtyard By Marriott, P4 Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park Phase 1, Hinjawadi, Pune

Varhadi Thali at Buzz, The Gateway Hotel, Hinjawadi – Reviewed

Varhadi comes basically from the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra which is quite a dry land round the year, one of the reasons their cuisines have homemade ingredients. Basically, Vidarbha region have two types of cuisines - Saoji and Varhadi. The difference is the spice level; Varhadi towards the milder side; still a killer for people who can't take spice. Eyes, nose and ears open with the first bite.

Coming on to Varhadi Thali, authentically it has Patodi Rassa Bhaji (Gramflour cooked and put in spicy curry), Zunka (Again gramflour or chickpea flour cooked and tempered with onions, mustard, ginger garlic), Pithala, Bhakari, Bharli Vaangi (Stuffed brinjals), Puran Poli with lots of ghee poured, Gola Bhaat and Vada Bhaat. Varhadi cuisines is dominated by Chickpea flour (besan) preparations along with Black Pepper, Mustard, Red Chilli powder (obviously), Dried Mango powder.

Finding traditional and authentic food out of any region is a difficult task. I had heard a lot about the Varhadi Thali and being a spicy food lover, I had to try this. Few places in Pune offer Saoji and Varhadi cuisine but never tried them so when I was invited by Mr. and Mrs. Nanavati to relish one of the specialities of executive chefs at Buzz, The Gateway Hotel, Hinjawadi. Mr. Ashish, Mr.Kaushik and Mr. Akshay, I accepted.

Tables were pre-booked and after having chit chats with chefs, we were served Kairi Panha, much needed raw mango drink in summer. It was truly refreshing and could not stop myself after having one.
A five bowled chutney tray was next along with Wheat Kurdai. Kurdais were exceptional. Green Chilli Thecha, Karla chutney, Jawas chutney, Peanut chutney each one of them had distinctive taste but Chilli Thecha ruled them!

Woah! Then came our loaded huge Varhadi thali—big, colorful, full of aroma and variety. It had Tomato Saar, Moongachi Usal, Zunka, Patodi Rassa, Shev Bhaji, Bharli Vangi, Bhakri, Sambharwadi, Puranpoli, Gol Bhaat and Vada Bhaat. Where to start from? What to eat first? Everything was just par excellence.

  • Tomato Saar, sort of soup, is made with grinding ginger, garlic, chillies and coconut with tomato puree. Surely was increasing appetite. 
  • Usal was very nice could have been better by adding more spices.
  • Zunka was perfectly made with delicious tempering. Tasted best with Bhakri.
  • Shev Bhaji and Patodi Rassa were surely tasted superb. Traditional recipe made with gramflour and curry.
  • Bharli Vangi was another star with stuffed brinjals in an exceptional gravy.
  • Sambharwadi is a spicy roll stuffed with fresh coriander, coconut, peanut and spices. A rare snack to find in Pune. Flawlessly made.
  • Masale Bhat were nice with amazing combination of spicy flavours and mouth-watering textures
  • Vada Bhat were scrumptious with aroma of rice and crunch of vada (cooked gramflour chunks)
  • Special mention for Puran Poli which had perfect balance of sweetness and thickness. Served with ghee it was a meal in itself. Not to be missed! 
One of the best Varhadi Thali you can get in Pune.
Last but not the least, the team who put a lot of hard work, efforts on bringing magic to the plate. Applaud! 
You can book your table at..
The Gateway Hotel, Xion Complex, Wakad Road,Hinjawadi, Pune
020 30163553
Buzz - The Gateway Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Holi Brunch at MoMo Cafe, Courtyard by Marriott, Hinjawadi – Reviewed!

Holi is the most fun-filled, lively and exuberant spring festival which is sometimes tiring too. People are all coloured and unidentifiable that day. Basically, a festival of colours, food, fun and togetherness. Traditionally, Gujhiya, Gheevar, Malpua, Chaat, Kachori, Thandai are served on the platter. People visit each other's place and exchange sweets. I usually like to spend my 'Holi - day' quietly at home only.

Sometimes, something you can't refuse and one amongst that is Holi Brunch at Courtyard by Marriott, Hinjawadi, Pune. Holi was celebrated very decently with music, dry colors, thandai and jalebi. In house guests enjoyed a lot and danced with joy. I reached at around noon and Holi themed Momo Cafe was ready to serve us. A cart with pichkaris, gujhiyas, boondi laddoos and colors were placed at the entry. A grand buffet was waiting ahead. Super excited about the food, I took a round to check what is all gonna come on my plate.

Was super happy to see live Jalebi, Pakodas and Chaat counter. Hot aloo, mirchi, baingan bhajiyas were tempting me. Few starters that came to our table were Hara Bhara Kebab, Achari Paneer Tikka, Mirchi Bhajiya, Bhelpuri, Sev Potato Dahi Puri.

Thandai was the first thing served to us. It was chilled and a perfect drink to start with. Many people might not know what Thandai is, for them, Thandai is a chilled drink prepared with a mixture of almonds, fennel seeds, magaztari seeds, rose petals, pepper, vetiver seeds, cardamom, saffron, milk and sugar. Post Thandai, starters were served on the table.

Hara Bhara Kebab was made of balanced flavours and grilled perfectly; chaat masala sprinkled on it was adding tanginess.

Bhelpuri and SPDP was customised accordingly. Achaari Paneer Tikka was fresh, nicely marinated in pickle masala and grilled beautifully! Mirchi Bhajiya was just WOW! Chef took extra effort to use 'Puneri Teekhat Mirchi' rather than 'Bhavnagri Mirchi' which was used for other people. I was so touched by the hospitality of the staff. Eveready and enthusiastic.
Buffet had exotic spread of salads, so colorful and healthy. I liked each and every bit of salads.

Main course buffet had a huge range from continental to Indian to Italian. I tried Schezwan Rice, Dal Makhni, Lachcha Parantha, Palak Mutter which were good and yes how I could I forget Curd Rice – It was just lip-smacking with right amount of sourness in curd.

Vegetable Au Gratin was super yumm but my palate was alluring towards Jalebi and voila it appeared on the table! But could you believe they had n number of desserts like pastries. cakes, mascarpone, angoori rasmalai, pudding, beetroot halwa. I skipped all those items just to have my favourite Jalebi.

Jalebi with two flavours of Rabri–Malai and Strawberry was on the live counter. Jalebi was thin, hot and crispy, the way it should be. Rabri accompanied well with it. Not really a rabri fan but the malai rabri was thick and made a great combination with Jalebi.

Just in like that, we decided to try the Italian snack and ended on Cheese Chilli Toast. My God! What a Toast! Superbly generously made with cheese, onion, tomatoes and served with salsa. It should not be missed whenever you visit this place.

If you think you missed it..Don't feel sad, they have Sunday Market Brunch where in local kiosks are put and recreate market along with scrumptious food. Will visit the place for Sunday brunch and share my experience soon. I must say, this was a memorable holi!

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Here is the address...
Courtyard By Marriott, P4 Rajiv Gandhi Infotech Park Phase 1, Hinjawadi, Pune
020 30189824
MoMo Cafe - Courtyard By Marriott Pune Hinjewadi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Royal Kitchens of India Food Festival at JW Marriott, Pune reviewed!

Royal Kitchen – one of my fascination to eat there. Wouldn't it be one of a life time experience to be a King/Queen and get a royal treatment? I would definitely want to try that. Not sure when but recently the wish was heard by JW Marriott, Pune and they arranged a 'Royal Kitchen of India' festival starting from 18th March to 31st March at Spice Kitchen and Shakahari.

During the festival, one can get a unique chance to experience the erstwhile royal kitchens from the far flung lands of Kashmir, Rampur, Hyderabad and Lucknow. The food festival is curated by the team of renowned chef, Chef Mujeeb-ur-Rehman from Lucknow. Known for his delectable creations across the globe, Chef Rehman is a self-taught master and a perfectionist.

These dishes served in the festival are handcrafted by three chefs from the famed Chef Mujeeb-ur-Rehman’s team. Something which makes them different is their homemade masalas. They use Yellow Chilli Powder, Sandal Powder, Potli Powder, Achar Masala and Sabzi Masala.

The festival is featuring few of the exotic dishes like..
  • Galouti Kebab
  • Sarson Paneer Tikka 
  • Dungari Murgh Tikka 
  • Subz shami kebab
  • Sheermal
  • Bakarkhani Roti
  • Haleem
  • Dalcha
  • Murgh Yakni Pulao
  • Mutter Pulao
  • Hyderabad Gosht Biryani
  • Khatti Dal
  • Rajmah Kashmiri
  • Kashmiri Dum Aloo 
  • Shahi Halwa and more..

I ordered for Spiced Mango Mojito, which had the minty freshness with mango pulp and chilli flakes. Spice level was perfect.

We started with Sarson Paneer Tikka which was properly marinated with mild flavour of mustard and grilled to perfection. 
I could see Subz Shami Kebabs and wanted to try it eagerly. It is a very popular awadhi dish authentically made from minced meat, lentils and spices but since an option for vegetarians, this was made with carrots, beans etc. The kebabs are succulent, tasty and melt in the mouth.

Dalcha is a popular Hyderabadi recipe, basically made from chana dal, mutton and tamarind but since for vegetarians mutton was replaced by tur dal and I must say, soft and creamy it was. Mutter Pulao is easy and made with mixing green peas into steamed rice. Tasted well with Dalcha.

The Sheermal were so soft that you could it like that only. It is mildly sweet, saffron flavoured flatbread having an aroma of kevda water. Highly recommended! The chefs brought and used special four piece bhatti and assembled in the kitchen at JW Marriott. It is used specifically for making rotis here.

My non-vegetarian loving fellow bloggers were going crazy eating Haleem and for them it was one dish you should not miss!

Last but not the least, Paan shots were served to us and it was super cooling and refreshing drink.
Few of the other desserts I tried from the menu was Red Velvet, Mascarpone Kisses, Fresh fruits...Here is what my plate looked like..

So, if you want to pamper yourself with the royalty, do not miss this limited time opportunity. Its so rare that we get to eat the food cooked by royal chefs. Do visit them today.

Date: 18th – 31st March 2016
Time: 7:00 pm onwards
Venue: Spice Kitchen and Shakahari
Cost: Rs. 1595 inclusive of taxes
Contact: 020 6683 2345/2346