Cafe Pondi - The Essence of Pondicherry in Pune! — Reviewed!

Pondicherry or Puducherry is on my bucket list for such a long time, maybe next year it is on cards. One thing for sure is the foodie in me will find the way to explore the food in the city but until then I can at least see the trailer for it in Pune at Cafe Pondi. Located on lane no. 13, opp. Joggers Park, Kalyani Nagar, the resemblance of French quarter can be seen at this restaurant, feels like eating at home. The classy bright Yellow and Blue color dominates the place. Outdoor and Indoor seatings both are simple, cosy and comfortable. The book shack for leisure noons, the 'jhoola' seating for dining, a small fountain elevates the mood. The quaint place is not only perfect for family but dates or parties.

The menu is given an interesting twist by adding the Italian and European touch to the authentic Tamil food. I loved the affordable menu which ranges from Malabar Poutine to Podi Potato Spirals, to Pineapple Rasam to Idli Waffles. Some of the must-try dishes include Appam, Moong Chilla, Paniyaram, Ratatouille Podi Crostini and Filter Coffee Brownie. Following are the dishes we got to try...
  • Karampodi Cheese Potato Soup (4.5/5)
  • Pineapple Rasam (4/5)
  • Green Moong Chilla (4/5)
  • Mixed Veg Paniyaram (4/5)
  • Murukku Nachos (4/5)
  • Ratatouille Podi Crostini (4.5/5)
  • Southern Spiced Mushroom Pizza (4/5)
  • Appam and Mixed Veg Stew (5/5)
  • Appam and Mushroom Balchao (3.5/5)
  • Dosa Sichuan (4/5)
  • Idli Waffles with Mushroom Pondi Curry (3.5/5)
  • Midnight Chocolate Tart (4/5)
  • Paan Panna Cotta (3.5/5)
  • Filter Coffee Brownie with Saffron Ice-cream (5/5)
  • Filter Coffee (4/5)
We started our lunch with the bowls of happiness. Truly! One of the best South-Indian soups I had was Karampodi Cheese Potato Soup. Puree of roasted potatoes infused with cheese and spicy Andhra mix, nothing can go wrong! It was medium-spiced, creamy, yummy and full of flavours. Highly Recommended!

Pineapple Rasam was good too but wish it was bit thin in consistency and had additional pineapple flavour. But it was nothing less in taste. Quite creative, I must say.

I love Green Moong Chilla anyways. The protein-packed lentil pancakes were lovely, crunchy and soft as well. The crust was well cooked and it was paired with fresh cucumber raita. Truly homely.

Next on our table was the Mixed Veg Paniyaram. The veggie loaded healthy dish can be eaten at any time of the day. They are made with little oil yet full of deliciousness. Nicely cooked, the paniyarams were crusty from outside and soft from inside. Well made.

Murukku Nachos was another innovative dish at the cafe. The addictive munchy was crispy and combined with salsa and cheese. Wish it had more of salsa. But the taste was nice though.

My favourite Ratatouille Podi Crostini was next. This dish had abundance use of lovely summer veggies with a bit of podi and the grilled crostini added lovely, smoky nuance to it without overpowering the taste. It was crunchy, full of veggies and had a dash of olive oil to top it, overall my kind of dish. Recommended!

Southern Spiced Mushroom Pizza was a nice attempt towards fusion. The thin-crust pizza was cooked beautifully, the only thing missing was the southern-spice. More of podi mix could have done wonders.

My super favourite main course on that day was the Appam and Mixed Veg Stew. Appams, the tasty soft hoppers in the center with the crisp and lacy edges went well with the soothing, coconuty veg stew. Appams and Veg Stew are light and perfect for a summer meal. One serving has 2 appams, totally worth it. Though, we had the tasting portion.

Another option was the Appam and Mushroom Balchao. Somehow veg stew was a clear winner for me. Balchao was spicy with some pungent smell. However, others sharing table liked it. It's a personal preference after all.

The Dosa Sichuan was super-scrumptious. Nice, crisp dosa sprinkled with podi and stuffed with Sichuan potatoes was finger-licking good. It was super awesome. Recommended!

Idli Waffles with Mushroom Pondi Curry sounded interesting but failed to impress. They had steamed well however nothing much of a difference in taste. The idli was served in waffle shape instead of regular round one, that's it. Taste-wise, the waffles were soft and paired well with the pondi curry.

Loved the Midnight Chocolate Tart. Smooth, shiny, chocolatey, rich, classy and undeniably amazing! What else can I say, go ahead and try for sure!

Paan Panna Cotta was the creamy delight that melts in your mouth. It was topped with gulkand to give a paan feeling. Adding more of paan flavours would have enhanced the taste.

A must must try and highly recommended dessert at Cafe Pondi is the Filter Coffee Brownie with Saffron Ice-cream. The chocolatey, gooey brownie with the infusion of coffee was heavenly and to balance the taste was the scoop of rich saffron ice-cream. Each bite was divine.

Last but not the least, concluded our meal with the Filter Coffee. Served in the traditional copper vessel, finely grounded coffee had the perfect decoction of frothed and boiled milk. I liked it.

Conclusively, it was a wonderful laid-back summer lunch. Service needs a drastic improvement, apart from little hitches, everything was worth visiting. Enjoy some more shots...

Cafe Pondi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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