The Ugly Ducking – BBQ Backyard : Ready to quack! — Reviewed!

The Ugly Duckling - Started as a dream by three passionate friends – Niranjan, Gaurav and Swapnil as a venture where they plan to do BBQ Backyard Pit Grills and Smoked Food. "When one smokes the duck, it might look ugly but tastes great. hence the name", says Gaurav explaining the idea behind The Ugly Duckling. Their forte is smoked food with grills in which veggies or meat is smoked in for hours in the grill and then use it for making a delicacy. It needs immense hard work and practice to keep an eye on the food that is being smoked.

Small and cosy cafe in Baner have limited seating arrangement including mezzanine but that cannot stop one from pulling in for the scrumptious food and friendly atmosphere. A very unique idea of showcasing the love received from their happy customers can be seen on the iron staircase leading to the upper floor. Colorful notes oozing out love adorn the beauty of the cafe. Soothing music can surely lift up your mood. 

Menu is limited but customizable. American inspired All day breakfast to Salads, Sandwiches, Appetizers, Main Course, Desserts, Mocktails, Cocktails, Coffee is more than enough to lure you. We started with a spicy mocktail – Strawberry Jalapeno, a sweet-spicy drink was refreshing and a great start to our gastronomic journey. Recommended!

On a healthy and delectable note, we were served Stuffed Courgette Rolls and Sweet Potato Fries. A very basic yet attractive and lip-smacking dish was Stuffed Courgette Rolls with Olive Oil, Balsamic and cheese, and nothing can go wrong. All the flavours were perfectly balanced which bursts in your mouth with each portion. Recommended! 

Sweet Potato Fries, surely a healthy option, were cooked evenly but could have been more crisp with added seasoning.

A super looking Master chef style platter – Smoked Veg Balls was next in the list. Big flat platter with smoked veg balls, sauteed vegetables and burnt garlic rice looked beautiful. Veggies were smoked for some time, mashed, added spices and were made balls, deep fried and incorporated in oh-so-delicious spinach and garlic puree. Veg Balls were melt in mouth and the blend of flavours, spices, sauces could be felt with the first bite. Highly Recommended!

Bell Peppers, Brocollli, Carrots smoked, stir fried in oil, and sprinkled with bit salt and pepper added freshness to the platter.
Burnt Garlic Rice was making the platter fulfilling. Tasted best with the spinach puree. Perfectly made rice.

Cheesy lovers, here is French Spaghetti with garlic bread for you! A different style of Au Gratin in which Spaghetti is cooked in Bechamel sauce (white sauce) with lots of vegetables and cheese again. It could be a meal in itself. The portion size is quite good. Though the main dish may be Spaghetti but the star addition was crispy, crunchy, delicious garlic bread. I could eat that whole basket of garlic bread all by myself. Highly Recommended!
It will not happen that the Nachos are there in the menu and I won't try. After a huge meal, I was wanting to just taste and asked for small portion, to which they readily agreed. Nachos were crisp, flavoured but the sour cream and toppings were missing for me. It was served with salsa and topped with cheese sauce and olives. Salsa was overpowered with onions but had tangy taste of tomatoes as well.

On a sweeter note, newly introduced Red Velvet Hot Chocolate was served. Somehow it did not interest my palate and unfortunately was the only dish that was not appetising. However, if you really wanna enjoy, go for Traditional Hot Chocolate, which I might try in my next visit.

Service was quick and price wise and staff were courteous and happy.

What: BBQ, American Cafe
Where: Shop 3, Basant Bahar, Opposite Mont Vert Finesse, Baner Pashan Link Road, Baner, Pune
Cost: Rs.650 for two people
Timing: 11am -11 pm

The Ugly Duckling - BBQ Backyard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato