Saturday, 6 August 2016

Effingut Brewerkz – An Afternoon to Remember!

Very Long Review Alert:
When five gals order 20 items off a menu (food, repeat drinks and extra desserts not included) then in no Universe can I type a short review about the food and do justice to the restaurant.

My first visit to Effingut Brewerkz had been a fleeting one. I had visited them sometime last June (2015) with a bunch of crazy school friends. The only dishes we had at the time were nachos with fried beans and some kind of vegetarian croquettes. The wacky 46+ year olds wanted to eat a wee bit of food and rush to a club to dance the night away. Yes, we girls from the 60’s era are like that! ;-) I remember both the dishes to be delicious but as we had only eaten two things I did not write a review then. It’s only right that I mention it now after my second visit to Effingut Brewerkz.

The second visit happened around mid July, this year. Our girl gang decided to catch up and the place decided upon was Effingut Brewerkz. As soon as we settled in we ordered our drinks: Fresh lime Soda, Virgin Mojito, April Lady, Coffee Porter (craft beer), Caribbean Martini and Iced Tea. Of course, most of us called for repeat drinks. The mocktail April Lady was a delicious blend of mango juice, coconut syrup and vanilla ice cream. All the other drinks, too, were ‘just right’!

One of the gals was a tad delayed but the rest of us decided to go ahead and order a couple of dishes to soothe our hunger pangs. Luckily, by the time the dishes arrived so had our friend and we all dug in. We ordered Jalapeno Cheese Crackers which are cheese croquettes with jalapeno and pepper bits served with a sauce.

The second dish we had was a dish we had merely been discussing. For some reason the server thought we had ordered it. That was how we ended up having Potato Corn in Honey Chilli Sauce. Oh God! Bless the server who made this ‘boo-boo’ because these were the best Potato Corn in Honey Chilli Sauce I’ve ever had at any restaurant.

Just this much food was definitely not enough for five hungry tummies so we went on to order more starters. These were Crispy Congee Lamb, Singapore Black Pepper Prawns, Potato Wedges, Garlic Bread (but of course, with cheese – it would be sacrilege to call for garlic bread without cheese) and Mustard-Chilli Prawns. Each and every dish was fanfuckintastic and that’s a blatant understatement!!

I have to make special mention of the Crispy Kongee Lamb and the Mustard-Chilli Prawns. Firstly, not many restaurants serve Crispy Congee Lamb and, if they do, not many nail the flavour and the crispiness that is such an important part of this dish. The chef had managed to achieve both brilliantly! A couple of friends hadn’t ever eaten this dish and hence found the texture a tad odd and different but two of us knew exactly what Crispy Congee Lamb was and all we could manage between bites was an orgasmic, ‘ummm’. :-) 

When two of my friends suggested Mustard-Chilli Prawns, I winced! I’m not a fan of the flavour of mustard. As we were a gang of five I did not want to let down the other girls by saying no to their choice so I thought to myself, ‘What  the heck, if I don’t like it I won’t eat it’. We went ahead and ordered the dish. The Mustard-Chilli Prawns were beautifully marinated and cooked. The flavour of mustard was right there and yet wasn’t over-powering in the least bit. My taste buds in true filmy style went, ‘oy-oy.. oy-oh-oh-ah’. :D Oh did I mention, the prawns were cooked to perfection!

We sat there discussing food, eateries, food forums on Face book and much, much more. After all, ‘talks’ play such an important role when girlie gangs meet up (wicked grin). After a while two gals decided to order soup and two of us decided to order Pork Ribs. The soup ordered was Crabmeat and Asparagus and the other was a Broccoli and Cheese soup. Being the crazy foodies we are the three gals who hadn’t ordered soup, stole a spoonful from each bowl. I have to say, though, I had a very valid reason to do so as I had to write this review. (I’m such a sanctimonious bitch! :D )

Both the soups were extremely flavourful and delicious but, strangely enough, the creamy deliciousness of the vegetarian Broccoli and Cheese Soup beat the Crabmeat and Asparagus soup by a few degrees. I’m a hard-core carnivore and yet I’m compelled to admit to this.

The pork ribs were so beautifully plated that I could barely take my gaze off them. The glaze on the ribs was mouth-watering but the cooking of the ribs was a letdown as the pork ribs did not fulfil the ‘fall off the bone’ criterion. I’m not giving up on this dish, though, as I feel it has tremendous potential to be a stellar plate of food.

By now you guys must be thinking, ‘Having had so much food it was time for desserts or the bill’. Hah! Think again!  Main course abhi baki tha, yaaro. For the mains we had a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian Khow Suey (with prawns). We also ordered for a Prawn Nasi Goreng.

The Khow Suey sauce was velvety and very flavoursome. The only thing we missed in the platter of accompaniments served to us, was peanuts. The crisp garlic and onions did their bit as delicious garnishes, but that certain crunch was lacking as there were no peanuts. I’m not going to hold this against them because the rest of the dish went ‘bang’ in the mouth in terms of flavour.

As soon as the Nasi Goreng was served my vegetarian friend cringed. She usually is very laid-back about eating vegetarian food at the same table with non-vegetarian food. This time, though, the aroma of the prawns and fried egg in the Nari Goreng was too strong for her. I have a sneaky feeling the egg was sprinkled with aji-no-moto because the whiff of the egg was exactly the same as that of the fried egg served on American Chop Suey. I didn’t mind as I don’t flinch at aji-no-moto. In fact, the Bawi in me wanted to get up and do the ‘jinga-lala-hu’ jungle dance around that beautiful egg. I loved the bold flavour of the dish. It was so very aromatic and savoury!

As we finished the mains we sat back, plump and satiated. With smiles on our faces we asked each other whether we wanted to order desserts. Each and every one of us had the same answer. YES! This was extreme bhukhadgiri (greediness) but we didn’t give a damn. It was our ‘girlie afternoon out’ and we were all celebrating our time together. Aise mauko par, dessert toh banta hai! ;-)

For dessert we ordered two servings of Gulab Jamuns with Ice cream, two platters of sizzling brownies and one honey noodles with Ice cream. 

The Honey Noodle Ice cream though perfectly made is not my favourite dessert hence I just had a noodle or two and concentrated on the Gulab Jamuns. ;) The Gulab Jamuns were so soft and sinfully rich that they bordered on immoral. :P

The brownies were a flaming dessert on a platter. The theatrics involved was a perfect finale to the wonderful meal. The server poured a very generous amount of rum over each of the brownie and ice cream platter and flambéed them. It was the most beautiful flambé I’ve seen in a long time. Usually the flame is a pathetic little flicker that burns for a nano second and sputters out. This was pyrotechnics on a platter!

I have to add, each and every dish that was served was beautifully plated. It is such a joy to see well plated food and such a vital add-on to the overall dining experience. 

Sone Par Suhaga Moment:
We availed of the Effingut Brewerkz’s Monday to Thursday, 1pm to 7pm, 40% monsoon discount. Does an afternoon get any better than this?

P.S: A few days back, I was out for work and by 02.30 in the afternoon, after work, I was famished. I ventured into this restaurant again (3rd visit). I ordered the Chef de Gamberoni; a dish I had eaten years ago when Effingut Brewerkz was the Kiva Lounge. This is prawns in coconut cream served with fragrant saffron rice and vegetables. The plating was very different from what I had seen years ago because then they used to serve the curry in a green coconut shell. This was just as soignee and just as delicious as I remembered it to be. Yes, I rarely forget flavours! The prawns were beautifully cooked in that delicately flavoured sauce and both, the rice and the coconut cream curry were superbly (yet, not overpoweringly) infused with saffron. Is it going to be any surprise to you all that I told them to omit the vegetables and give me some mash, instead? A perfect 10 on 10 was my rating for the dish then and so was it now! An added bonanza was the forty percent discount the restaurant has been offering this monsoon.  (Doing my familiar happy puppy dance)

Team Effingut Brewerkz, it took me a while to visit you guys but if this is the quality of food you serve you have my patronage FOR LIFE!

Food: 4.5/5 (The pork chops did you in by .5)
Service 5/5
Ambiance: 4/5

Address: 21/A, Plot 389, Lane No 6, Serene Bay, Koregaon Park, Pune
Tel: 020 30189858

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