Sunday, 4 February 2018

Independence Brewing Company – A Gem Recently Discovered!

Independence Brewing Company has been operational in Pune since October 2014 but I stayed away from this restaurant as it was a brewery and I’m a teetotaler. 

For some strange reason I didn’t venture in for their food either (my loss, not theirs). That, however, changed in the month of December last year when I walked in for a luncheon with a couple of friends and got blown away by the food they serve. 

Subsequently, I received an invite from Independence Brewing Company which was the first food tasting of 2018. It came in via Team #FoodProwl. In spite of being unwell, I donned my Pashmina and woollen cap and trudged to Mundwa to attend the event. The tasting invite that evening was specifically to showcase the tandoori items they have on their menu. 

As always, we began the evening with a drink. Almost everybody tried various beers and ooh’d and ahh’d with joy through them all. 

Yes, that is my lipstick on the glass. It was cold and I needed that drink to warm me up
I opted for the Sangrita; a mocktail made up of tomato juice, orange juice with a dash of Tabasco. We were sitting outdoors with a chill wind blowing; that hint of chili in the Tabasco helped combat that cold breeze.

They began service at our table with a couple of bar nibbles. We had home fries with dips and Corn Chaat. The fries were hand cut and triple fried. This technique of triple frying the chips is one of the best as it ensures that the chips stay soft and pillow-y from within while the crisp exterior is a gastronomic delight to bite into. They served the fries with a yummy spicy tomato sauce. 

The Corn Chaat was an amalgamation of sweet corn niblets, crisp onion bits and crunchy peanuts. The lime and tomato added the perfect amount of tartness while the chili lent an intermittent hint of spice. It all came together beautifully. Loved it!

They soon began serving us the Tandoori starters; Peshawari Tangdi Kebab, Lasooni Murgh Tikka, Murgh Hariyali Tikka, Amristsari Fish Tikka and Sarsonwale Jhingha were among the first to arrive at the table. Each and every kebab was unique and different in flavour.

The Peshawari Tangdi Kebab was a creamy melt in the mouth delight while the Lasooni and Haryali Murgh Tikkas held their own with the spices they had been marinated in. 

The Amritsari Fish Tikka was made with Bekti (not Basa – thank God for that!) and was very well marinated and tandoor'd. 

The subtle hint of mustard (sarson) was perfect for the Sarsonwale Jhinga. A couple of others at the table said they would have preferred a more robust flavour of mustard but I begged to disagree. Prawns are delicate in flavour and had there been too much mustard the inherent flavour of the prawn would’ve been lost. I believe the amount of mustard in the dish was spot on.

The next rounds of kebabs were were the Tandoori Lamb Chop, Mutton Seekh Kebab and the Vegetarian Tandoori Platter. I’m not very fond of seekh kebab as most restaurants tend to serve a very dry version. This one, too, was not very juicy but it wasn’t too bad either. 

The Lamb Chops were not just fall of the bone they were also melt-in-the-mouth and for the meat to have been cooked to that texture was amazing. Again, we were divided in our fondness for this dish. A few at the table said they would have preferred for the meat to have retained a slight bite while a few of us (yours truly included), loved the melt in the mouth texture. None of us though could find fault with the flavour of the chops. They were so toothsome!

An important point I would like to emphasize on is that all kebabs, barring the seekh kebab, were cooked to perfect texture.

The Vegetarian Tandoori Platter consisted of Bharwan Kumbh, Noorani Seekh, Achari Gobi, Bharwan Aloo and Kalimiri Paneer Tikka. Although I am a hardcore carnivore, with the exception of  the Achari Gobi, I tried all the veg kebabs. I liked them all but my absolute favourite was the Bharwan Kumbh. I could have easily polished off an entire platter of those babies.

Once we were done tasting the kebabs they asked us to select the mains. We were all quite full by then and decided to share 4 main dishes between us. We chose Stuffed Chicken Breast, Independence Burger and the Tenderloin Bulgogi. In all honesty, I barely took a nibble of each. I was so stuffed that my palate was in shutdown mode. I could barely decipher the taste of any of the mains. I therefore am unable to write an honest opinion about any of them. I will add, though, that everyone who ate them had very good things to say.

The meal ended with four desserts: Apple pie, Lemon Orange Tart, Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Tart and Chocolate Soufflé

The Apple Pie and the Lemon Orange Tart were yum but what stole my heart were the two chocolate desserts. 

The tart with the layer of salted caramel and the dark chocolate was sinful. Also, I loved the fact that the caramel had just the right amount of salt. It did not take the glory away from the rich dark chocolate. 

Coming to the pièce de résistance, the Chocolate Soufflé; this was decadence in a large mug. The main words are ‘decadence’ and ‘large’. I hate it when decadent desserts are served in minuscule portions. That is such a sadistic thing to do! The rise on the Chocolate Soufflé was perfect as was the gooeyness within. A perfect 10/10 for the Chocolate Soufflé! Pssstttt.. I cannot wait to go back for the tart and soufflé. 

A pleasant wintry evening, spicy Sangrita mocktails to keep me warm, delicious hot kebabs to fill my tummy, sublime desserts to satiate my sweet tooth and, above all, crazy-happy banter with close foodie friends; this was indeed a wonderful start to the new year. Heartfelt thanks to IBC and their PR Husein Upletawala for the invite. We couldn’t have begun the year with a better food-tasting!

A few more photographs...

No comments:

Post a Comment