Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Great Punjab Koregaon Park - Experiencing Authentic Punjabi food

In one of my earlier blogs reviewing food, I had mentioned how Western parts of Pune are deprived of good food options. A quick look at Zomato and Trip Advisor – both of these places where I am active contributor and it highlights the lack of options for gourmet food.

So one fine day, when we wanted to have authentic finger licking Punjabi food – it again meant making a trip to the other side of town and exploring some options. Outings to buffet at Sun n Sand, Taj, JW Mariott, Seasons in the last few weeks and months had not been fruitful in having an authentic Punjabi food experience, due to the way everybody have structured their menu – a mix of continental and Indian food options.

After some research, we decided to settle on The Great Punjab in Koregaon Park.

There would be many hotels by this name, but the famous ones are – The Great Punjab at Dadar TT, Mumbai ( with 48 years of legacy and the logo and website is different than the one which is in Pune ( at Baner, Koregaon Park & Bandra in Mumbai) ( and ) which started operations in 1981 in Bandra. A little more research and I find out that it belongs to the same family who branched out to run two different chains of hotels.

I had made a reservation and was promptly attended to as we reached the restaurant, which is located at Lane#5, off North Main Road at Koregaon Park, this place has been around for many years and has a valet service though there is ample parking available in the lane if its late in the evenings. Currently, this area is facing the ire of civil authorities probably, since the work of concretizing the roads has not been completed for a long time.

The restaurant has a mezzanine floor with two staircases at the ends and seating – mix of couch & chairs on the ground floor. We were seated comfortably next to the wine cellar – which are one of the better tables with a lot of space in between them, unlike the couches.

One good thing you notice about this place is that their menu is inclusive of the bar menu and the food menu, and one does not struggle to juggle between the multiple menu cards that come your way. The first page of the menu, lists out the meaning of Punjab – a nice read!

We were a family of four, and the order was varied – Antiquity Blue Large (Rs.500), Fresh Lime Soda (Rs.95), Ginger Lemon(Rs.130) and Chicken Soup (Rs.180) along with Masala Papad (Rs.80). They have something known as Kadak Roomali, which is a large papad shaped as a basket and sprinkled with Tomato, Capsicum and Onion – but having tried that before and not liked it, we opted for the normal Masala Papad.

Paneer Tikka Methi (Rs. 390) was the starter we chose along with our drinks and soup. While the soup, drinks and Papad were good, the starter wasn’t on the expected lines. It looked like some Methi (Fenugreek) stuffed between Paneer, but neither the paneer not the Methi had taste.

Main course comprised Dal Tadka (Rs 270), Vegetable Kadai (Rs. 380), Rotis (Rs.45 each) and Steamed Rice (Rs.190). The food tasted well, with the Dal served in bowls and Veg. Kadai having distinct gravy with just the right amount of spices.

All the main course fare was served with Onions and Pickle.

The whole experience cost us around Rs. 2500 but after a long time, it was an authentic Punjabi fare that we enjoyed over the last weekend.

I would definitely rate this place higher than most of the places claiming to serve authentic Punjabi food in Pune and keep it high on the list of places to visit again in future.

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