Cozy Tete-a-tete lunch in Pune

TETE-A-TETE LUNCH IN PUNE

By

VIKRAM KARVE

Which is the best place for a cozy tête-à-tête lunch near Deccan in Pune? Khyber? Good food, but it’s always crowded. Poona Coffee House? It’s disappeared! Good Luck? Not quite the ambiance. Vaishali? The whole world will come to know!

I’ll tell you what – just head down Bhandarkar Road to Raviraj. It has just the right blend of ambience, food and service for you to enjoy your snug heart-to-heart (romantic?) lunch in undisturbed serenity. [By the way, I am talking of lunch – at night the place is quite crowded].

Tell me – is there such a thing as a ‘romantic meal’? As far as my experience goes, my attempts at so-called romantic meals always ended in unmitigated disasters! Whenever the food was terrific, the romance was a disaster; and when the romance was memorable, the food was forgettable! Maybe I’m a ‘mindful’ sort of chap and can focus only on one thing at a time. But I’ll tell you about my disastrous romantic meals later. [Like my most romantic meal where the pasta was so insipid that I had no choice but to accord my total undivided attention to my attractive companion!] Now let’s talk the lunch I enjoyed at Raviraj recently.

Outside it was noisy, suffocating and scorching blazing hot [the sweltering summer heat in Pune is worse than Delhi now-a-days]. Inside it was tranquil, pristine and soothingly cool. We sat comfortably in the pleasantly muted, placid environment whispering sweet nothings to each other. No one disturbed us. [That’s the beauty of this place – they don’t disturb you at all. You can sit for hours in peace, undisturbed, uninterrupted, and enjoy your tête-à-tête. Should I say the service is discreet? Subtle? Nonexistent? Maybe inconspicuous, or conspicuous by its absence! If you are in a hurry, go elsewhere.]

We beckoned the waiter, placed our order and let it take its time. The Tandoori Chicken was really good – cooked just right, delicious – reminded me of Moti Mahal Daryaganj Delhi [I’m not exaggerating!]. The Mutton Masala was okay – nothing to write home about. The specialty of the place is the Malai Kofta – rich, tasty and filling. The Methi Malai Mutter (one of my favorite veg dishes) was quite heavenly, but not that delectable to mesmerize me totally. Of course I made an effort and I tried to desist from eating too mindfully. This enabled me to tactfully apportion my attentions between the food and my charming companion [I think so – overall the meal was not a disaster].

They serve Mughlai, Chinese and Continental. And there is beer, spirits and wine too for the spirited. It’s a nice place to have a cozy tête-à-tête or leisurely repast on a lazy afternoon.

VIKRAM KARVE

vikramkarve@sify.com

http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com

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1 Comment »

  1. 1

    Dear Vikram!
    Greetings!
    This is Robert-Gilles Martineau from shizuokagourmet.wordpress.com and other blogs!
    You do surprise me! I should say more humbly, my hat off (the cricket one, too!).
    You are just proving me (and the rest of the world?) that food (cuisine, to use one of my homeland language/so lucky to be French!) is not the prerogative of a sole country or nationality!
    I do have many Indian friends here in japan, and they ought to read your blog!
    In any case, you are stuck with me now!
    I wonder if I will have the time to read them all!
    Cheers,
    Robert-Gilles


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