Khiva – A state of royalty! — Reviewed!

Khiva, a popular restaurant from Mumbai has just opened its another outlet in Pune. Many of us are unaware that Khiva is also a location in Uzbekistan and is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Located at Phoenix Market City on the third floor, Khiva is at par with the other fantastic brands like Indigo Delicatessen, Copper Chimney. What's special about this place? Well, unlike conventional restaurants serving regular Punjabi, Italian, Continental food, Khiva serves amazing Persion and Bhukhara cuisine which is sometimes mistaken by Punjabi and Mughali ones. I am so glad Pune is slowly becoming the hub to such distinguished cuisine serving restaurants.

Ambience:: A big majestic gate with replica 'mashaals' at the entrance, transparent kitchen, dim lights, folk music in the background, wooden furnishings, big lamps and the huge painting of polo are some of the points of attraction. Intricate carvings at the copper jug, copper glass, beautifully organized table surely is charming to begin a memorable meal.

Food:: Dining at Khiva is not only limited to the food but also is an experience in itself. The cuisines as I mentioned are Peshawari and Bhukhara with loads of richness and culture to it. The menu has Shorbas, Kebabs, Tandoori items, Sea food, Curries, Rice, Breads and Desserts. I was glad to see wide choice of vegetarian food too.
Following are the dishes I tried....
Tamatar Shorba (4/5)
Chowki ki Tikki (3.5/5)
Peshawari Paneer Tikka (4.5/5)
Makai Seekh Kebabs (3.5/5)
Cheese Kurkure (4/5)
Mutter aur Cheese ka Tikka (4.5/5)
Dal Khiva (4.5/5)
Meloni Tarkari (3.5/5)
Subz Nargisi Kofta (4/5)
Chhole Rawalpindi (4/5)
Subz Biryani (4.5/5)
Butter Roti (4/5)
Baked Anjeer Halwa (3.5/5)
Lychee ki Tehree (4.5/5)
Khubani ka Meetha (3.5/5)
Elaichi Jamun (4/5)
Zaffrani Angoori Rasmalai (4.5/5)

The fresh preparations take time to serve until then the hungry patrons are served with complimentary Parra, which were the savoury colorful, flavoured sticks eaten with different chutneys like Chilli-Tomato, Tamarind-Guava and Mint-cheese. Bit hard but I loved the spinach one amongst all.

Our lunch meal started with warm Tamater Shorba which was nice soup with prominent Indian spices to fuel the stomach. Chowki ki Tikki was a regular potato patties stuffed with cheese and raisins. It was bit sweet, medium spiced and paired well with the tangy tamarind chutney.

Peshawari Paneer Tikka was fresh and creamy malai paneer marinated with yellow chilli and other spices and char grilled. The spices may not look in color but it was a hit. I loved the balanced flavours and the way it was cooked retaining the moisture of paneer. Recommended!

Makai Seekh Kebab on the contrary was bit dry to me. No complaints as it happens with all the veg seekh kebabs. It had spiced corns, herbs and veggies.

Next on the plate was Cheese Kurkure. A deep fried starter can almost never disappoint. Wheat dough warq was filled with mushroom and cheese. Oh I so loved it! The crunchy outer texture, creamy cheesy bite and spicy mushroom was a crowd pleaser. Recommended!

Star dish or the signature dish which made its way on our table was the Mutter aur Cheese Ka Tikka. The green color of the tikka was eye-catching, which it got from green peas and herbs. Best part it was stuffed with cheese so with each bite one can feel the gooey, cheesy, crispy Tikka. Recommended!

Gourmet Curries I had for main course were exotic and delectable. Each dish was cooked on charcoal grill and have the smokey flavour.
Dal Makhani - It was slow cooked lentil simmered with tomatoes, ginger garlic, cream and butter on top to give a creamy texture. It was one of the best I had in near future. Highly Recommended!
Meloni Tarkari was non other than mixed veggies prepared with cream. Loved it. Medium spiced veggies went well with the butter roti.
Subz Nargirsi Kofta were just too good. Bit sweet but rich in onion tomato gravy with spices.

Rice is an integral part of the meal for the mountain people. So even after being stuffed to the brim, we had to try Subz Biryani. Oh the aroma of the rice was killer. Creamy veggies layered with aromatic rice and drizzled with strong rose and kevda water flavour made it irresistible. Highly Recommended!

Not a dessert person, but was tempted to try Lychee Ki Tehri, chef's speciality. It was deliciously sweet enough to give a sugar high. Gulabjamuns were awesome too, just balanced sweet, the way I like it. Khubani ka Meetha was the overdose of sweet though it was a creamy preparation of dried apricots stewed in honey and garnished with dry fruits. It was bit high on sugar for me. Angoori Rasmalai was sinful with oodles of milk and pistachios. Recommended!

Overall, it was a wonderful experience. Since they started just a few days ago, the service needs a bit of improvement, which I am sure will. Prices are slightly steep but the quality and taste of food is worth it. Do visit if you want to relive the history and experience some uncommon delicacies. Cheers!

Khiva Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

On Fire – New Rooftop Restaurant to look out for! — Reviewed!

While looking for roof top restaurants, what do we expect – spacious place, uninterrupted scenic views, scrumptious food under open sky. Few of which I liked are Paasha, The Flying Saucer Sky Bar, Teddy Boy and adding on this list of rooftop places in Pune is On Fire. Located on the Sankriti Arcade Terrace, Wakad, the place has ample parking space and the lift to take you to the related floor. Stairs can be used alternatively.

Ambience: You can see frames of different cities, world map, small book rack, sign boards for the major cities around the world, live bar counter and the country style color combination of furniture. I loved the use of Cane sofas, printed cushions, colored tables which gives the place a funky vibrancy. On Fire has probably one of the finest sunset view, since I went for the lunch, I missed it. Also, currently they have covered the rooftop because of the rainy season, but I am sure, it looks good.

Food and Drinks: Menu is a blend of Indian, Italian, Mexican and Continental. They do have on table grills and bbq but was not started when we were there. Soon, people will be able to avail those too.
From the mocktails, I tried Baby Bellini which was a nice concoction of peach, apple with a dash of lemon. Found it bit sweet.

One more of their signature mocktail with a drama was the On Fire Shots. Taste was good with the mix of peach, lemon, orange, cranberry and passion-fruit. Fire was set around the shots and it was surely a treat to eyes.

Talking about the food...we had following in our lunch meal...
  • Wine Cheese Broccoli Soup (3/5)
  • Insalata Caprese (3/5)
  • Hang Curd Dumpling (Dahi ke Kebabs) (3.5/5)
  • Cheesy Jalapeno Logs (4/5)
  • Broccoli and Cheese Balls (4.5/5)
  • Jamaican Cottage Cheese Skewers (3/5)
  • Chilli Paneer (3.5/5)
  • Paneer Tikka Masala (4.5/5)
  • Dal Makhani (3/5)
  • Veg Biryani (4.5/5)
Started our meal with Wine Cheese Broccoli Soup on a rainy day lunch. Taste was good but the soup was bit watery with less or almost no broccoli and the cheese too was lacking. Broccoli florets and added cheese would do wonder to this dish. Suggestions were shared directly with the chef and I am sure the changes must have been done.

Insalata Caprese is one of my favourite salad. I had different picture but the presentation here was a bit let down. Larger chunks of mozzarella were missing though the flavours were bang on. Can be tried.

Dahi ke Kebabs- One of the melt in mouth kebabs were nicely made but extra seasoning was required. It was a great starter though.

Who doesn't love Cheese and that too when it is combined with potato and deep-fried..Cheesy Jalapeno Log was one such dish. Loads of cheese and heavy on tummy this dish was super yumm. The dip served it was delicious too. Recommended!

Another starter on the same line was the Broccoli Cheese Balls. It was almost the same as logs but had bare minimum crushed broccoli. I wish it had more to live up to its name. I liked it though. It was insanely addictive but super heavy. The outer crust was crispy fried. Recommended!

Had huge expectations with the Jamaican Cottage Cheese Skewers. But unfortunately, was bit disappointed by the way it was cooked. Paneer had lost its moisture and was dry while the marination was just a thin layer and was cooked on high flame to make it burn. I guess that was bad day for chef. I might go again to have it fresh.

We tried Paneer Tikka Masala paired with Butter Roti. Trust me it was one of the best I had in the meal there. Spices, flavours was just perfect in the rich, creamy gravy. Paneer was fresh too. Loved this one. Recommended! Dal Makhani needed lots of improvement. Salt was on the lower side and it was not 'Makhani' but had thin consistency. I wish it was made with some more patience and time.

Too stuffed to eat Biryani but was tempted with the aroma of it. I tried a spoonful and it was just WOW! Nice layer of aromatic basmati rice over a bed of surprisingly delicious paneer curry. Super duper yum. Recommended!

And you know, how can I miss desserts and they had Fried Ice-cream so was keen to try that. One plate had 2 fried ice-cream balls, one of which was chocolate and the other one was vanilla. Outer coating was bit thick but the taste was good. I loved Vanilla one more. Fresh! Recommended!

Overall, On Fire is a wonderful, cosy place to spend personal time with family and friends. I am sure the evening views are mind blowing. Would love to give it a try in winters. A place where you can take a coffee in one hand with a book on another and have some quality time.
On Fire Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato