Soft, succulent pieces of mutton explode into a veritable bouquét of flavours... a hint of saffron, the slightest presence of cardamom. As the flowing gravy settles itself nice and thick into the soft grains of rice, you're well on the road to culinary Nirvana. Make no mistake about it - the perfect biryani is a work of art unto itself - and Dorabjee's are artisans of the purest, highest calibre.
This tiny, rundown little Iranian restaurant is hallowed ground in Poona's cultural mindset. For well over a century (!), Dorabjee's has been preparing the tastiest helpings of chicken and mutton biryani north of Hyderabad. There's so much character to the place - speckled/ cracked walls, ancient tables and chairs - that you almost expect to be greeted by a waiter doused in sepia. Instead, what you receive is a no-frills service attitude - quick and simple. Almost as though everyone wants to cut to the chase, and get to the biryani asap!
You'll get here after a manic, twisting rickshaw ride through the little by-lanes of Central Street which adjoin MG Road. And such an adventure seems only appropriate, given the treat that lies in store at journey's end :)
Does that opening claim smack of hyperbole? Well, perhaps. But then consider this, won't you... a cozy, secluded log cabin with secret ambitions towards becoming a treehouse. Surrounded by lush green foliage, which sometimes seeps in charmingly inside the café as well. Welcoming interiors, with quaint tables and chairs scatterd about for those unlucky enough not to nab one of the divans. The divans in question being sprawling, comfy affairs... where you could idly lay back and talk the night away.
The best shisha place in the whole wide world
doesn't seem so tall a title now, does it :)
Run by a kindly old Iranian gentleman/ character by the name of Mr. Mehdi, the Shisha Café gives you that surreal feeling of deja vu, even if you've chanced upon it for the first time. Everything seems calm and just right, right down to the all important shisha itself. Aromatic old devils these are, with the apple and mint flavours taking top honours.
But the atmosphere takes precedence over all else... a lilting, hypnotic feeling.... where you find yourself drifting off in the gentlest haze of shisha smoke.
Favorite Dish: The Iranians know their kebabs, so don't miss the platter!
Aah, the more things change... Marz - o - Rin is indelibly linked to my childhood.... escaping away from school in the afternoons to grab a cold coffee, spending endless lazy early evenings savouring every bite of their chicken and chutney sandwiches, furtive dates when you were too young enough to actually be paying more attention to the girl than your food!
This Parsi restaurant is a legend unto itself in Poona. Tucked warmly alongside M.G. Road, with a constant flow of traffic and people gracing its front porch. Home to some of the tastiest fast food in town. Not of the greasy, McDonaldized variety mind you, but stuff that seems as though it was prepared with much love and thought at home.
On returning to Marz - o - Rin this time around, I thanked God that it hadn't lost any of its old world charm and flavour. If anything, the cozy little balcony upstairs only seemed to have added oodles of atmosphere to the 'ol maiden. To visit Poona and not come calling at Marz - o - Rin, would be pure sacrilege.
Favorite Dish: Chutney Sandwiches & Chicken Rolls - soft bread, topped just right with a chili-sweet paste (in the case of the former) and a lovely helping of mayo-laden chicken goodness (with the latter).
Spicy, saucy, saffron-tinged food... whipped up in a jiffy. The Coffee House is famed for its authentic take on South Indian food, and that's no mean achievement - seeing as how food from that region varies wildly from the ubiquitous paper masala dosa to perennial favourites like the wada sambar and uthappa. The accent is on a redolent, spice-laden culinary experience that's as much about aroma as it is about taste.
Situated in a happily bustling part of the city, The Coffee House is never found wanting for patrons. The place has enjoyed a facelift or two over the years, but its soul has remained pretty much intact. A happy, unfussy sorta' vibe that extends upto a second level as well, where you can partake of more 'serious' dining of the Chinese and Continental variety. Done with a most delicious meal, don't forget to stop off for some ice-cream at the parlour set up just outside :)
Favorite Dish: Dosas! Crisp on the fringes, and softer towards the center. Accompanied by bowls of hot sambhar, and a heavenly white coconut chutney. Lip-smackingly unforgettable!
Yet another Iranian restaurant tip from Siddharth. Hey, go easy on me now. The guy just likes his biryanis, it's simply an Indian thing :) George for years, had a dilapidated, crumbling dememanour to its interiors... accentuated by furniture from around 35 BC, and waiters from around the same time as well ;-) Then they went and spruced it all up, slapping on some paint and prettying it beyond recognition. No guesses for which version I preferred.
While some of that old, evocative character might have disappeared from George, its knack for a deliciously divine biryani, thankfully has not. Opt for the mutton variety, and settle into a long afternoon of chatter, coffee and a good book.
What is it about food and memories, huh? Or is it just me? :) I've got the most lovely flashbacks of this place too... downing masala chai by the bucketloads while discussing urgently existential issues like love, hope... and trips to Goa. Making friends with random travellers just passing through on their way to Hotel Nirvana. Making promises to meet up years hence, and forgetting them in the very next instance of cigarette smoke...
The German Bakery is no more than a cozy battered wooden shack, perched precariously on the side of the road where Koregaon Park begins. But within its wooden benches and open-aired exits, lies enough spirit to keep you enraptured for days on end. With cameo appearances by an unmatched band of characters... hippies carving their trail through forever, filmmakers with aspirations towards Bergman, refugees from the Osho Ashrama nearby, or just the lone traveller who just can't get enough of his/ her masala chai :-)
Favorite Dish: The Masala Chai is so good, it hurts. Strong, sweet and potent. Best accompanied by the gentle patter of rain outside.
Here's what makes a legend: Character, feistiness, roughness around the edges... and that fierce sense of individuality. In other words, everything you're not likely to find at Mcdonald's. Maha Naaz may have closed down now, after years upon years of doling out stellar culinary service - but in the hearts of thousands of rickshawallahs, students, residents, tourists and down-on-their-luck ruffians who took shelter here amidst sudden pangs of hunger,
it will always hold a special place.
This grubby Iranian joint was home to the most liveliest of discussions, amidst orders shouted across from all directions. Crisp tiny samosas, steaming hot glasses of chai, and other dirt-cheap stuff that was insanely delicious all made their way to you, a second after being ordered. All the while, traffic would be buzzing crazy all around you, the world apparently crashing down upon Main Street's fabled opening turn.
They might have folded up the last chair on this place. But there's no dusting years of memories under the carpet. Khuda Haafiz, Mahanaaz.
The food here is very much south-indian. but lot of popular dishes here are the dosas and the wadas. it has 2 sections of restaurant. one enclosed. on in air condition. and third one is open air.
all the three are good for the food...hahahaha
the service is very very fast. it does get crowded during weekends. but that shows how good the food is!!! isnt it?
Favorite Dish: This is by far the best batata wada (fried potatos with indian spices) in the world.
so soft and crispy. it melts in your mouth.
this has been a very old place in pune and till date it has maintained it quality.
donot forget to gulp down with a cup of indian coffee.
This place is Air Deccan of the aviation industry i.e. no frills. The restaurant has a clean look consisting of simple table and chairs. But the place is clean, has ample light. They have also fitted air-Coolers to cool off in hot summers of Pune.
Biryani has always occupied highest place on the tastebuds of the food-lovers in India and also on the tastebuds of the guys coming in Indian from abroad !
A spicy preparation originated from the kitchens of Mughals and Nawabs consists rice as its key ingredient mixed with a variety of ingredients. Well, these ingredients play an important part in making the biryani tastier !
Favorite Dish: chicken and mutton biryani,
butter chicken with butter roti..............yummie
I generally dont like too much chinese food. but this one restaurant has been an exception. opened almost 3 years back. its been my lunching place everytime im in pune.
kind of a small place. but good food. service is also perfect. there is also a french restaurant next to it. cant remember the name, but the owners r the same.
Favorite Dish: try the thai soup, and thai noodles. the best out here. very rich in flavour.
the waiter there is very kind. just tell him the taste you want and he will guide you to order...
This restaurant is a bit hard to find but once found, you will not regret it. As you enter the hookah (sheesha) lounge, the beautifully done pine-wood, green tiles and comfortable kane furniture bowls you over. I have been frequenting this place with friends for quite some time now. I find it a good place to relax with hookah and refreshments. The Mughlai food and shawarmas are excellent. They have a separate section for families.
Favorite Dish: Bheja Gurda Fry with Reshmi Paratha - I hardly ever like bheja but I have been eating this quite regularly because this preparation style reminds me of a certain place in Colaba, Mumbai. Love it!
Tareef has the best Butter Chicken I have tasted in Pune. Ambiance is superb. It however only has few tables so a bit congested. I visit this place often. Highly recommended!
Favorite Dish: Butter Chicken - They don't make it like this anymore. I had some taken in parcel for my Dad. He loved it too.
OLYMPIA ON EAST STREET – THE PLACE FOR KATHI ROLLS IN PUNE
Olympia. The very mention of the word “Olympia” makes every ardent Foodie’s mouth water as it immediately brings fond memories of the unique eatery on Colaba Causeway in Mumbai which arguably serves the best Biryani in the world apart from other lip smacking non-vegetarian delights.
But, do you know there is an “Olympia” on East Street opposite Kayani Bakery in Pune which serves perhaps the best Chicken Kathi Rolls outside of Kolkata. Priced at a reasonable forty rupees it is value for money nourishment at its best. The piping hot paratha enriched with a generous and well cooked soft covering of beaten eggs and filled with substantial pieces of succulent spicy chicken – it tastes heavenly as you dip it in the accompanying pudina chutney and pop it on your tongue along with a freshly sliced onion ring. The Chicken Kathi Roll is substantial and you feel truly satiated; unlike the empty feeling you get after having other fast foods like pizzas and burgers.
Earlier this no-nonsense down-to-earth eatery was housed in a charming old-world bungalow at the same location where now stands a modern building with the new looking Olympia on a small part of the ground floor. But the ambience and food is still as before.
Next time you are in Pune Camp don’t forget to visit Olympia on East Street and relish its delicious Kathi Roll. And don’t forget to pick up some Shrewsbury biscuits from Kayani Bakery opposite on your way home.
Favorite Dish: Chicken Kathi Roll - it's wholesome and delicious.
German bakery is one of Pune's well known landmarks.
Its just down the road from Osho (Rajnish) ashram, and its quite a common sight to see lots of men and women (mostly foreign), wearing maroon robes, and milling around there...
They serve a good assortment of stuff- from cakes and pastas to coffee and some interesting kinds of tea... pancakes are quite popular too.
Just behind the bakery are some interesting shops- from `western union money transfer' to one upstaris, which sells some pretty psychedelic stuff
Really nice place .. sit outdoors and Enjoy. Try the fresh mushrooms with cheese sauce .. mouth watering ... they have a wide variety of Sizzlers . They blow away - The Place , Main St ; which really doesnt stand a chance anymore ...