Tuesday, 28 March 2017

An Epicurean Evening at The Deccan Epicure

This write up comes a month late but as I always believe, better late than never, more so, if the write up is well deserved. The choice for our monthly AGOG meet up, for the month of February was, The Deccan Epicure. We had been hearing marvellous things about this restaurant so what better way to check it out than with my beautifully angelic gang of gals.

The Deccan Epicure is a tiny, yet pleasant restaurant in a by-lane at Viman Nagar. The kitchen is based on the ground floor and the customers are seated on the mezzanine floor. I have bad arthritic knees hence was a tad unsure about the stairs I would have to climb. For any of you, who have troubled knees; let me assure you the stairs are safe and easily climbable so don’t let that stop you from visiting this eatery.

Our choices of drink for the evening were Fresh Lime Soda, Ginger Lemon Fizz, Watermelon & Pepper Salsa Detox. I, of course, flatly refused to touch the detox drink because it had that dreaded ‘F’ word in it. Fruit, fruit, I meant fruit! What were you thinking? (Evil grin) 

The Ginger Lemon Fizz was my drink and I loved it! It was an invigorating and well balanced drink. The ginger came through and I loved the fact that its taste did not overpower on the palate. I took a sip of the Fresh Lime Soda and that too was very nicely made. 

We also ordered tomato soup. It was served with a side of croutons and pesto sauce. The soup was good but the pesto was even better: it was superbly flavoured! We just could not get enough of it!

Our starters comprised of, Poached Pear Salad, Watermelon & Feta Salad, Barbeque Chicken Wings, Orange Honey Pork Ribs, Corn Cheese Fritters, Onion Blossoms, Spinach Pea Tikki and Wada Pau Hot Dog.

I am not someone who eats raw food (salad) hence I am not qualified to write about the salad served but I will say, ‘the other four faces at the table seemed very pleased with the salads’. They mentioned the salads were fresh, well seasoned and drizzled with adequate dressing.

Of all the starters the Spinach Pea Tikki and the Wada Pau Hot Dog were the ones that did not entice our foodie souls. My vegetarian friend wasn’t too impressed and nor were the carnivores. The Spinach Pea Tikki had a very thick outer coating and the spinach within would have been better had it been pureed to a finer texture. 

The Wada, too, had the same problem with regard to the outer covering. A thinner batter for the wada would have been ideal. As for the potato filling within, I have to say, I’ve had better. These two dishes need to be worked upon to improve in taste and texture. We did give immediate feedback to Kevin (the owner) who was pleasantly receptive to our negatives as he was to the positives. I truly appreciate that; it clearly shows that he is a restaurateur determined to do better.

The Barbeque Chicken Wings were nicely done. They were a perfect balance of sweet and spicy. 

The Corn Cheese Fritters were also a hit. What’s to not like about something that is loaded with cheese? 

We were extremely eager to try the Onion Blossoms and most of the petals of the onion blossom were beautiful and crisp, except for a few deeper layers within the onions. Kevin had given us fair warning about the deeper layers remaining a tad soft and translucent. As we had been told about it in advance there was no feeling of disappointment. Plus, the crisp, outer layers had more than made up for the few soft, translucent petals that remained on the onion.

The Orange Honey Pork Ribs was ribs glazed in a blend of orange and honey but the dish was not overly sweet at all. The ribs were savoury and succulent to the perfect ‘fall of the bone’ consistency. The two of us, the hardcore carnivores, who devoured the pork, were ecstatic puppies! For us, this was the ‘dish of the day!’

For our main course we chose, Barbeque Pork Chops served with Barley and Apple, Butter Garlic Prawn with Deccan Risotto, Roasted Cauliflower and Almond Deccan Risotto, Fish & Chips and Steamed Ginger and Leek Tilapia Fish served with Red Rice, Mushroom and Broccoli.

Of the mains, the only dish that did not work was the Steamed Ginger and Leek Tilapia Fish served with red rice, mushroom and broccoli. I enjoy any and all kinds of fish; I’m not the type to turn my nose at a strong flavoured fish. I do believe, though, that certain fish, with very sharp fishy odour, should not be used for delicate, brothy seafood dishes. The fishy odour hits the olfactory senses quite harshly. Tilapia lent a very sharp, fishy smell and flavour to the broth. A milder flavoured fish would’ve been more suitable for this particular dish. The red rice also did nothing to enhance the broth; and vice versa. The dish gave off vibes similar to that of a divorced couple. :P

The Barbeque Pork Chops were beautifully cooked. Once again this pork dish had the pork eaters going ‘ummmm’ at every bite. I cannot begin to describe how delicious they were. Deccan Epicure sure knows how to get their pork right! The vinaigrette dressing drizzled over the apples was superb! The apples and the barley complemented the pork beautifully. The apples with the perfectly balanced vinaigrette, added the tartness; while the barley lent a softer bite to that sticky, succulent pork. Can there be a better ménage à trois on a plate? I don’t think so! These chops were simply delectable!

I always seek creaminess and that perfect bite in risottos. The risottos boldly held their personality in regard to the creaminess but they were a tad short in regard to the ‘bite’ factor. Taste wise, the risottos were very appetizing. The garlic prawns served with the non-vegetarian risotto were fresh and beautifully cooked. No, I did not try the roasted cauliflower (Evil carnivore-ish grin). 

The Fish and Chips was another winner. The fish was fresh, fried to perfection in a wonderful light batter. The Tartar sauce was spot on and the chips were crisp and gorgeously golden. One of the best fries I’ve had in a long time!

As most of you, who read my write up for these AGOG meet ups, know, we never miss out on desserts. We checked out their list of desserts and they had us drooling even before they arrived at the table. Our choices: Banana Bread with Honeycomb Butter, Sea Salt Caramel and Chocolate Bar, Chocolate Fondant with White Chocolate, Orange Wedge & Mint, Saffron & Vanilla Panna Cotta with Orange Syrup and Pavlova with Fresh Fruits.

I was a tad apprehensive about the Banana Bread. Time and again I have known this dessert to be dry and difficult to swallow. When the bread was set at the table the whiff of the banana bread hit me so hard that all I wanted to do was quickly click a couple of photographs and dig my spoon into it. That is precisely what I did! That divine honeycomb butter melted into the warm bread in rapturous joy. The bread was one of the most delicious desserts I have ever had.

The panna cotta had the spot on texture and wobble. (Yes, as usual, I did record the wobble and the video is up at the blog) The saffron and the vanilla came through beautifully. The orange syrup with a sprinkling of orange segments was nectarous. 

The Sea Salt Caramel with Chocolate Bar was a big hit at the table. Kevin sprinkled just a wee bit of salt on the dessert and was kind enough to give us some more, separately, in case we needed a saltier hit. When the words caramel, sea salt, chocolate, all come together, how would you describe that in two simple words? Brilliantly decadent!

The pavlova and the chocolate fondant were also lovely desserts but the ones I’ve described in detail, and swooned over, are the ones I liked best.

Kevin and his servers were extremely attentive and kind to us all through the evening. We gals are a boisterous bunch (angelic smile), not at all easy to handle, but the restaurant did a fantastic job all through the evening in regard to food and service to ensure we have a marvellous meal. Kevin, my friends and I thank you! We truly appreciate that all through the evening we were served with a smile. Also, your honest suggestions and receptive demeanour touch our hearts. Rest assured I shall soon be back for those ‘oinky’ dishes; that’s where my heart lies. I guess the heart wants what the heart wants. ;) :D

Food: 4/5
Service: 5/5
Ambiance: 3/5

Address: Turning Point, Unit II/0I, Phoenix Boundary Road, Viman Nagar, Pune

For reservations: Call Kevin: 020 65808011

The Deccan Epicure Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A few more photographs...

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