Friday, 19 October 2018

Independence Brewing Company – Because I Had Kheema Pau On My Mind 😊

A friend and I were out one afternoon to shortlist the menu for her upcoming wedding. As usual, I hadn't eaten breakfast and all that 'food talk' had my tummy growling in anger. 😟

Once done with the wedding menu we rushed to IBC. While she was craving Chicken & Prawn Dumplings in Sichuan Chili Oil, I wanted to try the new Mutton Kheema Pau with Half-Fry Egg from IBC's 'Chef's Special' menu.

The Prawn & Chicken Dumplings were excellent, as always. While the dish looks like it can blow a hole in your gut, it does not. It is on the spicy side and perfectly so, so as to allow the chicken and prawn to shine through. I'd describe this dish in one word; moreish!

I have been wanting to try the Kheema Pau, ever since IBC put it on the 'Chef Special' menu. More so, because this was 'Mutton' kheema.

The kheema was perfectly cooked. The ratio of mutton to fat (which is very important when cooking kheema) was spot on! This was the dry 'kheema fry' kind of kheema which goes perfectly with pau. Those of you who like Kheema Fry but stay away from it because of the ‘excess-oil’ factor, it’s time to rejoice because this beautiful, robust-flavoured kheema is not overly oily at all. Wonderfully spiced and toothsome, I could find no fault with the kheema. The pau was very nice, but it would've been nicer had it had more butter on the inside. Also, had they flattened and crisped the pau on a tawa, or a grill, the flavour and texture of the pau (bread) would've skyrocketed. Except for this teeny-weeny 'pau' point, this dish was stellar! I will go back for this time and again. I truly hope this dish goes from the temporary 'Chef's Menu' to their main menu. IBC, I hope you're reading this. πŸ˜‰

For drinks, while I sipped on Diet Coke that afternoon, my friend chose Ronella (mocktail). The total cost of our meal (GST included) was INR 1118. They do not levy any SC hence we did the needful.

IBC happens to be one of my regular haunts. Over the past year, other than the visit that I’ve mentioned above, I’ve lost count of the number of times I've walked into IBC. Mum and I, usually, finish outdoor chores and head to IBC for their lip-smacking food. I promise I’ll pen more details of all their ‘must-try’ dishes. For now, head to IBC and give these two dishes a try. πŸ˜‰

Address: 79/1, Zero One Complex, Pingale Vasti, Mundhwa, Pune
Tel: +912026881500 / +918888168886

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

The Authenticook Manglorean Pop-Up At IBC

Independence Brewing Company (IBC), in association with Authenticook, recently conducted a Manglorean Pop-Up (unlimited food) which I attended with mum. Here’s a short write up for the same.

We began the meal with a Ragi Malt drink which is not everyone’s ‘glass of drink’. πŸ˜›

It is a healthy, ‘acquired taste’ kinda drink and I sure as hell hadn’t/haven’t acquired a taste for it. I asked why they hadn’t chosen Sol Kadi or some other drink. The chef wanted to serve something different was the answer to my question. Well, different is fine, I only wish they'd chosen a better option. Taste is subjective which is why, for me, this meal began with a 1/5 rating. 😞 

Next, they served Fish Rava Fry, Chicken Ghee Roast, Mutton Sukka and Prawn Masala Fry. 

The Mutton Sukka can ideally be named Bone Sukka. I informed the person in charge about the bony pieces I'd received and requested another helping. The second serving had one rubbery mutton piece, the rest of the mutton pieces, once again, turned out to be bones. The masala in which they cooked the mutton (bones) was delicious. That is precisely why it's a shame that the dish fell short for lack of mutton pieces. 

The Rawa Fish Fry, Prawn Masala Fry and Chicken Ghee Roast, though, was a completely different story. 

The chef had fried the Rawa Fry Fish to a perfect crisp, yet, from inside, it was flaky in texture. 

I ordered the Prawns Masala Fry thrice. That says it all, right? The Chicken Ghee Roast was perfect in taste. The chef deserves full marks for all three dishes. They were scrumptious!

For the mains, we ate Fish Pulimunchi with Manglorean Rice, Chicken Kori Rotti and Prawn Gassi with Idli.

Fish Pulimunchi was spicy and vinegary. It had a distinctive flavour; it paired gorgeously with the Manglorean rice. 

The chicken in the Kori Rotti gravy was succulent and the gravy perfectly spiced. That crisp rice Rotti was elevated to a high when dipped in that moreish gravy. Chicken Kori Rotti was stellar! 

As for the Prawn Gassi with Idli, I could have bowed to the chef and kissed her hand for this one. Oh! Those Idlis! Oh, oh those spongy, pillow-y babies! Sigh! Not in all the 49 years of my life that I have walked this earth have I ever had such fabulous Idlis. No, I am not exaggerating. The toothsome Prawn Gassi complemented the Idlis in totality. I never expected this dish to be what it turned out to be. It stumped me! There is no way I can complain about any of the mains served that afternoon.

We ended the meal with Payassam. Payassam is a dessert made of rice; this Payassam, though, was made from bottle gourd. It was a very comforting dessert. It was creamy with the appropriate hint of sweetness. It was a delectable end to a good meal!

Though the pop-up began with a disastrous take-off (that drink – uff), it spread its wings and smoothened out its flight beautifully (starters). Mid-way, it soared and flew high and majestically like an eagle (mains) and eventually, the chef ensured it was smooth landing (dessert). Except for those two hiccups (drink and bone sukka), the meal was well worth the 1500 buckaroos (per person) paid for it. I look forward to seeing Divya Shetty work her magic at many more pop-ups.

Authenticook hosts pop-ups of various cuisines and various cultures. To keep a finger on the Authenticook pulse, to know when and where they are hosting the next pop-up/s, please log on to their website or keep an eye on their Facebook page.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

La Kheer Deli (LKD) - Gourmet Kheer, Indeed!

After lunch, on Sunday afternoon, we drove around wondering where and what to eat dessert. We suddenly realized La Kheer Deli (LKD - I'm a true blue Bawi hence the initials brought another acronym to mind. I am going to (angelically) refrain from mentioning it here πŸ™ŠπŸ™ˆ) was in the vicinity.

We tried four flavours.

Blackcurrent: Surprisingly, this turned out to be a beautiful balance of sweet and tangy flavours. I'm not much for fruity stuff, but, I have to say, I really liked it.

Brownie & Nutelloreo: Both these were chocolate based. What, in heaven's name, can ever go wrong with a chocolate flavoured anything? Answer: Absolutely nothing!

I'm not a big fan of kheer, but by now I was quite impressed with the flavours I'd tried.

The fourth flavour I tried was Gulkand. I don't eat paan, which is why this was not a flavour I was eager to try but I gave it a shot. I was not expecting any 'wow' factor. Well, it stumped me! It didn't merely have a 'wow' factor; it had a 'WOW' factor. The kheer had just the right quantity of Gulkand and Dry Fruits added to it. Of the four that I tried, this was my favourite! 🀀

I cannot wait to head back to LKD and try some more flavours. They have two branches so, if you're at Aundh or JM road, do walk in and give this place a try. You won't regret it.

We paid a total of INR 416 for 4 cups of gourmet kheer. Well worth the price, I'd say.

Address: Next to Natural Ice Cream, Ghole road, JM Road, Pune
Tel: +919766777854 / +919970710036

LKD | La Kheer Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato