Posted On Friday, February 24, 2012 at 07:46:54 AM
A couple of decades ago, Udipi hotels used to be ‘the’ hotspot to meet friends or even clients to discuss business over a cup of tea. Eventually, coffee houses came to town and the beverages and their many permutations came to be accompanied by quick bites.
|Pics: Nikhil Ghorpade
‘Bistros’ are an age old phenomenon in Europe and the Oakwood Premier Hotel’s new Bistro is their attempt to provide a milieu for casual meetings in a classy way.
The décor here is superb — the mood is warm, relaxing and ideal for business meetings, quiet introspection or even an informal rendezvous. The deli here serves up rustic Italian and other European dishes.
Freshly baked breads, croissants, muffins, doughnuts, sandwiches and home style pizzas are a part of the menu. A variety of teas, coffees, freshly-made healthy juices, pastas and some innovative fusion dishes are also available.
I started with their Veg Bruschetta with Goat Cheese and Grilled Zucchini (Rs 195) which was very good. Soft Italian baguette bread, moist grilled zucchini flavoured with olive oil and pepper and micro dollops of goat cheese came together for a lovely flavor.
Their BBC — signature Barbecued Chicken Wings (Rs 395) are a must-try. The secret barbecue sauce recipe is unique and gives the dish a thick crust with a dark, glazy texture and an excellent smoky flavor. While the crust is dry and thick, inside, the meat is juicy and succulent.
Pastas here have few options but the menu of the day has special sauces that are served with a choice of pasta. Their Penne in Creamy Tomato Sauce (Rs 350) was mild, flavourful and perfectly cooked.
The Chicken Saltimbocca (Rs 595) — a chicken version of the original saltimbocca (prepared with veal) is breast pieces stuffed with prosciutto flavoured with sage and grilled with olive oil. It is served with mashed potatoes, home-roasted potato wedges, fresh greens and lettuce.
The taste was mild and creamy but the chicken wasn’t as soft as it could have been. The highlight of the place is their herb garden as well as the shelves of foreign food stuffs they have on sale — the kind we rarely find easily in supermarkets. Cheese, cold meats, wines, spices, tea, coffee, coffee machine and candy bars are all on sale.
The chef claimed all their ingredients — even the tomatoes — are flown down to Pune from Europe. Dining here will definitely pinch your pocket, but it is a good place to indulge in irresistible desserts, get some quiet ‘me-time’ with a cup of coffee or have some great conversations with friends.
Oakwood Premier, 81 Mundhwa, Koregaon Park Annex, Pune 411 036, 020 6725 7788