Italy via Punjab – Long way to go! — Reviewed!

Italy via Punjab – the name somehow gives the sneak peek to the theme of this small newly launched restaurant at NIBM Road. Located in the prime location near Nine hills, the place is easy to find. The restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating space. Evenings can be spend outdoors but Indoors are the better choice for the scorching summer noons. As soon as you enter, you can see the 'desi' style decor, typical dhaba style rustic and raw interiors like carts used as the table, barrels transformed to the chairs, charpai, quirky frames, colorful cushions, planters, and big coolers. Overall, a very Punjabi feel is given to the restaurant.

Menu consists of Indian, Italian, Continental, European, Mughlai with the choices of fusion food. If you wish you can ask for the regular dishes as well. Currently they are running exciting combo offers on meal for 2 or 4 people. Also, there are daily promotions too. I was really eager to try the fusion food here. I opted to sit outside and sadly it was a bad decision. Hot winds and heat was unpleasant. Nevertheless, I was looking for the food. Chef Ninad Joshi, who is also the owner of Italy via Punjab, suggested me few of the dishes to try.

My lunch meal started with Tuscan Tomato Shorba. Presented beautifully in the crescent shaped cup, the Shorba was the Indian twist to the Italian tomato broth. It was thick, spicy and had the hint of garlic, pepper and ginger. Loved the herbs used.

I have a small appetite so asked chef to bring small portions in a platter to try more varieties. My veg platter had Jalapeno and Cheese ke Samose, Paneer Pepper Parsley and Dahi ke Kebabs. Jalapeno Cheese Ke Samose were sort of patti samosa with gooey, mushy, cheesy filling. Samosa was soft and the filling was delicious. A fusion of the most popular Indian snack with the Italian ingredients. Recommended!

Paneer Pepper Parsley was again a dish with the twist. Sadly, it failed to impress me. For me, the pepper was overpowering the dish and could not find the 'fusion' in it. Just the cottage cheese was slathered with oil and grilled with some minimal herbs. Adding some more of parsley and spices could have made this better.

Dahi ke Kebabs are their signature for usual reasons. They are just melt in mouth kebabs. Crisp outside, mushy inside with perfectly balanced Indian spices. Highly Recommended!

Wanted to try something from Salad, so ordered Winterwash Vegetable Salad. Exotic vegetables with garlic balsamic dressing, lettuce and lebnah dressing sounded something exciting but the presentation and taste could have been worked upon. I would avoid this in my next visit.

Pastas had two variants - Desi and Videsi. Again a fusion dish - Penne Kadhai,the name appealed me so I was quite willing to try. Penne was sauteed in capsicum, crushed coriander and spices. Nice spicy, sweet flavours. Base was of Indian curry; the twist was adding the penne. Nice attempt. Recommended!

Paneer Tikka Cannelloni was my next main course. I loved the presentation. Rolled pasta stuffed with paneer tikka filling in white sauce was scrumptious. The filling was grated paneer, spices and a wonderful combination overall. Dish was very filling, cheesy and heavy. A perfect main course. Highly Recommended!

I was too full to have dessert. But their Chai Pannacotta or Baked Lassi are on my list for my next visit. 

Overall, a nice place to enjoy food. However, I want to get surprised by some kick-ass fusion recipes. As the chef mentioned meat lovers can have a feast as most of their popular recipes are non-veg. Hopefully to see some lovely recipes for vegetarians too.
Italy Via Punjab Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vigour Kart – Healthy Eating — Reviewed!

Eat Healthy! Its easy to say but do we really get good options in the Indian market? When it comes to fast paced life, forget healthy, we do not even take the daily nutrition. In order to transform eating habits, we need a lot of determination and quick access to the healthy food.

With the thought in mind to provide easy availability and lot of options in healthy and tasty food, Fedora Fernandes, a woman entrepreneur, has came up with the idea of Vigour Kart. So, located on the BT Kawade Road, Vigour Kart has lot of healthy products like Puddings, Brownies, Ice-creams, Energy Bites, Butters, Chocolates and Mousse which are delivered all over Pune. All of the products are Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free and Dairy Free. Some healthy substitutes like Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Honey, Maple Syrup is used.

I recently tried...
Mango Smoothie: Being a seasonal fruit, this has to be on the menu. Fedora is quite brilliant in incorporating season's favourite in her dishes and creating something innovative out of it. Mango Smoothie is made with coconut milk, bananas and Mangoes blended into thick shake and presented with Mango chunks, topped with Cranberries. Balance of sweet and tart was visible. Love this. Recommended!

Coconut and Pomegranate Chia Seed Pudding was the basic one and could not impress much with its base. Though it is heavy and can be substituted with any meal especially breakfast but it could be more exciting to see more flavours in it.

Who doesn't love chocolates? Best combination of health and taste was the Dark Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding. With first spoon of it only, you can feel the indulgence. Yummy chocolate topped with almond crush was balancing the sweetness with the crunch. Highly Recommended!

Rose Tea Chia Pudding
looked appealing but somehow lacked the flavour of tea. A different refreshing taste. The rose petals on the top was adding visual appeal.

Guiltfree butters? Yes, Fedora has done a great job here. Almond Butter and Chocolate Butter are two variants available as of now. Both had beautiful grainy texture however I somehow missed that nutty flavour in Almond one. Chocolate always make us happy and so did this chocolatey butter. With perfect sweetness it can easily replace usual butters. Loved this!

Flour-less Chocolate Brownie is another creative dish. Loads of Dates, almonds were used to make the base of the brownie and then coated with the chocolate ganache. The shine was nice, texture was chewy. Overall, a guiltless dessert for all chocolate fans.

Out of many icecreams, Vigour Kart has, The Cranberry Ice-cream, we tried was heavenly. For the natural sweetness, bananas were used which had the strong taste. Bits of cranberries were adding texture. Loved it! Just a perfect post meal dessert one would want.
So, guys go ahead and ask for the daily, weekly subscription. If you want to try once, you can even order one bowl of it. Prices starting at Rs. 250 for 500ml pudding. Check out the menu at Zomato to know more.

The Vigour Kart Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beer and Sizzle Fest – Chill and Sizzle at 3 Spices, DoubleTree by Hilton — Reviewed!

Summers have set in and in the scorching weather, one needs a cooling drink, and some good light food to go with it. Keeping this in mind, 3 Spices at Double Tree by Hilton, Pune has come up with the Beer and Sizzlers festival started from 17th April 2017 wherein patrons can enjoy their chilled beers with some scrumptious sizzlers which is light and goes well in the summer evenings. 

With decent choices on the menu, Chef has curated sizzlers like Lemon Turkish Chicken Sizzler, Malvani Mutton Sukka Sizzler, Shanghai Fish or Phad Pak with an influence from around the globe. The menu is pretty selective with a choice of Non-Veg, Seafood, and Veg sizzler.

I am a non-alcoholic person, so I ordered a mocktail to pair it with the sizzlers. Being a vegetarian, I had limited choice of 5 of them and was very excited to try. Chef suggested to try the Tandoori Broccoli with Walnut Cream. The dish offered was sweet yet had earthy flavours of the tender, well-cooked broccoli. Walnut cream added extra texture and flavours to it. To balance out the dish the plate also had nicely made smashed baby potatoes. Accompanied to it was cheese naan which was equally good. A hero in its own, this dish left me salivating for more. Highly Recommended!
Next on the list was Spanish Garlic Cheese Potatoes Sizzler. Cheese and Potatoes and Sizzlers? Wow! Crispy fried potatoes fries slathered with salsa and cheese was scrumptious. It was spicy and cheesy. Loved it. Served with freshly made inhouse Masala Dinner Rolls. 

Phad Phak and Cantonese vegetable sizzler were next. Liked both of them. Mushroom lovers can surely opt for the Cantonese one. Stir fried mixed veggies cooked in stock and presented with the fried rice was a filling dish. It had the crunch of veggies, slightly tangy, sweet. Overall a nice dish.

The fest menu have Mirin and Honey Glazed fruits with Ice cream and Molten Choco Lava cake for the desserts. We skipped that and moved to the regular buffet for the extensive choice. Sinful pastries, Indian desserts are available. 

What: Beer and Sizzler Fest
Where: 3 Spices, Double Tree by Hilton, Chinchwad, Pune
When: 17th April 2017 - 30th April 2017
Cost: Starting at Rs.400+taxes and a pint of Beer.

3 Spices - DoubleTree By Hilton Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thai Food Feast at Sheraton Grand — Reviewed!

I love Thai food. Why? Because it emphasises on freshly ground spices, light dishes with a strong aroma and a spicy edge. The final dish is the harmonious result of the combination of the unlike elements. Each single dish demonstrates the finesse maintaining the texture, details, colors and taste. It is just burst of all fundamental taste senses in the mouth. No wonder it is one of the most popular cuisines in the world.

I like the simplicity and freshness of the dishes in Thai Food. And when it comes to the food prepared by the local Thai Chef, my happiness knows no boundaries. Feast - Sheraton Grand, Pune has come up with the 10 day Thai Food Festival, headed by Masterchef Tiwaporn Metta from Thailand.

The extensive buffet spread has a combination of Thai food and the regular dishes, in case you want to enjoy different cuisines. You can see grills, salads, curries, starters, main course, desserts presented beautifully. Amongst the appealing salads, I tried my hands on Som Tam, Som Tom Khao Pod, and Yum Pollamai. Each salad had a different texture and the taste. Som Tam, the most common green papaya salad was juicy, tangy, spicy and crunchy. It had goodness of cherry tomatoes, papaya, peanuts, lime, and sugar. Wonderful combination.

Another mouth-watering salad. It was unique with the usage of glass noodles. Just WOW! The Salad was basic but full of flavours of onions, peanuts, spicy lime dressing that puckers your lips and revives your senses. A must try!

Yum Pollamai - Has to be yum! The Spicy fruits salad blew me away with the medley of flavours. Spicy, tangy salad is a perfect follow on for moving at the main course. Pineapple, grapes, mangoes, kiwis chopped to perfection and topped with lime juice and some spices. Awesome!

I tried Satay from the grills. With the choice of multiple veggies and non-veg; I asked for sweet potatoes and baby corn. Beautifully marinated and grilled still maintaining the base taste. Scrumptious.

With an array of the main course, I was willing to try the authentic Thai Food. So, from the buffet, tried Pad Ce Awe, a flat noodle preparation, stir fried with loads of vegetables. This is quite popular in the streets Thailand. The soft, chewy rice noodles were fresh with the added crunch of veggies.

How can I forget my favourite Thai Curry. Packed with flavours and healthy punch, Thai Yellow curry was releasing the delectable aroma. It was served with the Jasmine rice enveloped in the banana leaf to keep the flavour and aroma intact. As soon as you open it, wow! That fragrance, taste of rice combined with curry becomes irresistible. Highly Recommended dish!

Few of the desserts too were Thai inspired. I had Tub Tim Krob, Khao Niew, Phuk Thong Kati and Cake Gluay Hom. Each dessert had the traditional Thai touch. Basic ingredients, flavoursome. Water chestnuts, mangoes, bananas were one of the few ingredients for the desserts. Loved everything!
What: Traditional Thai Feast
Where: Feast, Sheraton Grand, Sasoon Road, Pune
When: 21st April 2017 to 30th April 2017; 7 pm onwards
Cost: Rs.1375 plus taxes.
Feast - Sheraton Grand Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato