Maharashtrian Food on the Occasion of Maharashtra Day at Magnum Opus and Bay Leaf Bistro - Reviewed!

Maharashtrian food is one of the most delicious, nutritious, balanced and enjoyable food of our tradition and culture. Since childhood, we have known it as “Gharcha Jevan” made with the magical recipes of our beloved mother. It’s time again to taste the Tempting , Tender , Tangy, Tantalizing , Terrific and interesting Maharashtrian cusine to relish the memories, or to give you a new experience.

On the occasion of Maharashtra Day, Magnum Opus and Bayleaf Bistro Restaurants have organized an exclusive Maharashtrian food spread from 29th April to 1 May with a specially curated menu.

Highlights the various Local Maharashtrian delicacies, keeping in mind both veg and non-veg lovers are-
  • Malvani kombdi tikka, 
  • Pandra Rassa 
  • Kothimbir Chi Wadi, 
  • Khamang, 
  • Tikhat Subj Kolhapuri, 
  • Veg. Maratha, 
  • Varan, 
  • Masala Bhaat
  • Amrakhand 

The whole place is decorated in a traditional way– Beautiful Rangoli adorns the entrance. Staff in ethnic attire is there to welcome patrons. Mahrashtrian food is available both in buffet and A La carte. Buffet is a mix of authentic traditional and international recipes. If one want anything particular dish they can order separately.

Staff greets you with a smile. They asked me for a drink and to beat the heat I opted for refreshing Kokam Sharbat. Next on the plate was hot, crunchy, crispy Kothimbir Chi Wadi. One of the best, I had in town! Highly recommended.

Tomato Saar was a great appetizer to pamper your hunger pangs! It was hot and spicy with strong flavours of kadhi patta, and red chilly.

Non Veg lovers can go for Malvani Kombdi Masala for starters. Chicken is perfectly marinated and grilled to perfection.

Main course had Bharli Wangi, Subz Kolhapuri, Veg Maratha and Sukkhi Bhendi with wheat butter roti.
Bharli Wangi was again a winner. Crushed peanuts and local masalas were adding flavours to it. I could not stop myself from eating more than my appetite.

Veg Maratha was a mix veg preparation in red gravy, bit on spicier side. Subz Kolhapuri, a mildly spice mixed veg dish was also good. It was a challenge for the Chef Amit Kumar for preparing Pandhara Rassa in veg and he fulfilled it. If anybody wants to have it, they can pre-order and relish the same rassa with vegetables.

Masale Bhaat, OMG! what flavours. Kaala masala especially was added to enhance flavours. Went well with varan, a simple tur dal with a tadka of ghee and asafoetida.

To end on a sweet note, Amrakhand, most awaited dessert was served. Rich, thick amrakhand with right amount of sweetness was surely a show stealer. It was garnished with dry-fruits for crunchiness.

Overall, a lunch worth visiting. Do not forget to make your Maharashtra day memorable this year with the scrumptious food and traditional ambience.

What: Maharashtra Food
Where: Magnum Opus and Bay Leaf Bistro, Pimple Saudagar
When: 29th April - 1st May 2016
Time: 11am-11pm

Asian Street Food and Sea Food Festival at JW Marriott, Pune

Food is the most versatile thing to connect with people, most enjoyable thing for any traveller in the world especially Asia and it great when the fun is doubled with the Asian Street Food on one hand along with the Ocean Treasures on the other at JW Marriott, Pune where the chef will take you on a guided gastronomic tour of the street food and Ocean Treasures.

Who doesn't love street food and that too from Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore! Veg Street food like spring rolls, Satay, Chaat and Pancakes are on the list along with some regional signature beverages like Passionfruit and Chaas at Shakahari.

While Carts offering a wide array of sea food delicacies are placed in the extended dining area of Spice Kitchen. The whole ambience is lively and aromatic with live sea food counters."Few of the specialities are Kaffir lime and Lemongrass marinated steamed fish and Pandan leaf wrapped fish, Western Fried dishes like Bran crusted fish with Remoulade sauce and Machali Seekh Kebab, Kastoori Machali Tikka" says Chef Sidney. The Choice of food comes straight from the tandoor with a wide range of sauces and gravies to raise the temptation of Sea Food Lovers.

We, being vegetarians, tried our hands in Shakahari. There were few street food to try from Japan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

First we tried Kushikatsu or Kushiage, a Japanese street food which is a deep fried skewered veg or meat. Non Fried raw preparations are ready at the buffet counter, one can go and mention the choice and ta da! I personally liked Green Chilli and Mixed Veg ones the most.

Murtaba or Martabak is a stuffed pan cake and fried street food of Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore to name a few. The veg stuffing in Murtaba was crumbled soya with veggies, spices and topped with pickled cucumber and onions.

To accompany there were three types of summer cooler drinks— Rose, Passionfruit and regional favourite Chaas. They were highly refreshing. My vote goes to passionfruit and chaas. Next was Indian Chaat and to my surprise they had Bhelpuri and Papdi Chaat. Tasted super yum.

Hot Noodles and Pan Fried Rice were made hot and fresh on Evo grills. They had a separate counter and you could see the making of it.

Other Evo grills had tikki and pan cakes. Pancakes had nice filling of soya, veggies and spices.

Coming on to desserts, nothing much related to the theme and the regular sweets including lip smacking assorted pastries, brownies, gulabjamuns, barfis, pannacotta, Deep fried banana with vanilla sauce, ice-cream etc.

Totally enjoyed the evening and the best part is the festival will take you to the streets of asian regions and the surprises don’t end here. The Cheese lovers have a lot in store at the Cheese Festival at Alto Vino. The festival has an exclusive menu of Antipastis, Pastas and Souffles curated with Cheese as the main ingredient. Special Dutch cheese from Holland is the prime attraction of the festival.

Date: 16th – 30th April, 2016
Time: 7:00 pm onwards
Venue: Shakahari, Spice Kitchen and Alto Vino
Buffet Price:
Sea Food Festival: Rs.1350 + taxes (inclusive Spice Kitchen buffet + Sea Food buffet during weekends) 
Rs.1250 + taxes (inclusive Spice Kitchen buffet + Sea Food buffet during weekdays)

Street food of Asia Food Festival:
Entire Week: Rs.1000 + taxes (inclusive Shakahari buffet+ street food menu)

Now, these sure are a lot of gastronomic delights to be devoured. Enjoy few more photos!

Shaam-E-Awadhi - Boulevard - The Orchid Hotel, Balewadi – Reviewed!

Awadhi cuisine is the traditional food of Lucknow. The recipes, its spices, cooking style is inspired by Persians and Mughals. Veg and Non-Veg preparations have some exotic spices garnished with dry-fruits for the richness.

Lucknawi or Awadhi cuisine is not only limited to non-veg Kebabs and Biryanis but also they have wide spectrum of Chaats, Faloodas, Halwa, Thandai, Makkhan Malai and Paans for vegetarians.
The extensive and exclusive dishes includes Kormas, Kaliya, Nahari-Kulchas, Zarda, Sheermal, Roomali rotis, Biryanis, Warqi Parathas and above all kebabs of different types.

We are so glad that Pune is opening its avenues to try new regional cuisine and this time The Orchid Hotel has arranged Awadhi Food Festival at its restaurant, Boulevard.

Located on Pune Bangalore Highway, Balewadi, it is an easy find. Valet Parking is available. Boulevard is located on the left side on the ground floor. For the food festival, they had adorned the restaurants alike a palace. Entrance was majestic and as soon as you enter, you will be welcomed by the servers wearing traditional lucknowi attire. Rose and Kevda Attar is sprinkled at the entry.. Little shamiyana with hukkah, lights, royal decoration and live ghazals by Ustaad Hasan Ali were making whole ambience mesmerizing.

Food is served in buffet and the menu is rotating with a balance of veg and non-veg dishes. Menu is designed and prepared by Chef Deep Prakash Noudiyal. Following was the servings for the day...There are 3 types of welcome drinks–Jaljeera being the favourite.

Salads and variety of chutneys-Tamatar, Kairi, Seb, Turai, Lehsun, Lal Mirchi were surely spoiling us for the choices. Refreshing, healthy and colorful salads like Tawa Ande Ka Salad, Kachche Kele ka salad, Dahi Kheere ka, Arbi ka Salad were plated beautifully. Starters are served on the table. Dahi ke Kebab was soft, melt in mouth and tasted good with mint chutney. Veg Shami Kebab, Phaldari Seekh Kebab was equally delectable. Taste was balanced.

Vegetarian main course had mixed veg, Mushrooms, Aloo Tukday, Makhmali Shai Paneer in buffet. Breads were served on table. We opted for Garlic Butter Naan and Lachcha Parantha. Aloo Tukday were fried crispy and spiced perfectly.Just like homemade. Makhmali Shahi Paneer had rich white gravy with kevda essence. The flavours were intact and one could smell the aroma of shahi dishes.

Diwan-E-Sabz was made with the goodness of mixed veggies made in red gravy. Oh that aroma of Kevda water in Biryani, as soon as the container is opened hits your nostrils. Amazing, great in combination with Dal-E-Shan. It was my favourite of the buffet. So thick, so rich and the dash of Kasoori methi was surely enhancing the taste. I could not stop myself after one bowl.

Most looked upon thing is dessert and that too from the lands of royalty-Lucknow. Though mostly regular ones. The one that caught my attention was Egg Halwa. It was crumbly in texture and medium sweet. Malpua were on live counters and were made hot and fresh. Gulabjamun, Kalakand and Mohanthal were also drool worthy. My favourite was Falooda Kulfi–Kulfi with chia seeds; much refreshing and soothing for the soaring temperatures.

Special mention to Ustaad Hasan Ali who is a gem and while he was singing old melodies and taking us back to years. His live singing was as good as the recorded one. Truly enjoyed and it was one of the best thing of our evening along with delicious food.

Last but not the least our evening came to an end with the invigorating paan shots. Looking forward to visit again! Enjoy more photos....

What: Awadh Cuisine
Where: Boulevard, The Orchid Hotel, Balewadi
When: 15th April - 24th April 2016
Cost: Rs.981 (all inclusive) per person.

Boulevard - The Orchid Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato