Taproom Launch @ Malaka Spice, Baner

What’s better than visiting a microbrewery ( for beer lovers) ?? The answer, visiting Malaka Spice at Baner, which boasts an array of best brews from the finest breweries in Pune, namely, Effingut Brewerks, TJ Brew Works and Independence Brewing Co. Welcome to the Taproom.

An event to launch the Taproom officially, is what got us all to the amazing Taproom which excels in its design, collection of beers on taps, bottles and barrels, and of course, a fabulous view from the room!

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As usual, Malaka Spice had their top notch service all throughout the day, even though the event being a busy and a demanding one. By demanding I mean there were people everywhere asking for beers of different tags and the staffs were amazingly quick and efficient and none had a bad experience with the service whatsoever.

As all were, me and my blogger friends were pretty excited too, and what was more exciting was that we could get a sip of Bira, for the first time.

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Bira, imported, was on the tap and was the first of the beers we chugged. Bira has got 2 variations,White Ale and Blonde Lager. The former is a wheat beer which is pretty low on bitterness and has hint of spicy citrus whereas the latter is more of a bitter beer.

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A Magnificent Opening for Magnum Opus

Magnum Opus is situated on the roof top of Vision Galleria, just after the Kunal Icon Society in Pimple Saudagar. Don’t be disappointed about the building being under construction, just wait till you reach the roof top and an ‘AWE’ is guaranteed.IMG_20151223_131140

Now, the set up needs a bit of an explanation: The roof top hosts 3 different sections. One is the very magnificent Magnum Opus, mostly concentrating on the buffets, but they do serve à la carte as well. Neighboring Magnum Opus is the Veg friendly Bay Leaf Bistro. They serve only veg ( well I mentioned that, didn’t I?) and good news to the veggies, they have a dedicated kitchen. On the other extreme end, we have Lollapalooza, the highly anticipated lounge from Magnum Opus. Parties, dates, anniversaries, [breakups], official dine-ins, family time and what not ??  Have a kid who doesn’t let you sit peacefully for some time ? Magnum Opus has that taken care of too !! They have arranged a Children’s Play area too.

AMBIANCE:

You forget the Vision Galleria building, forget the way how to reach the restaurant and you are in for a visual treat. Someone really have used their creative brains a lot.

Magnum Opus: Amazing that they have a dedicated parking and a lift for themselves. Swift up the lifts and the doors open to a well lit Magnum Opus. Amazing set up for Buffet, and two sections for dining, this place defines fine dining. While the buffet is indoors on the rooftop, they do have a sky view seating as well.IMG_20151223_130109

Bay Leaf Bistro: Right next to the outdoor area of Magnum Opus is Bay Leaf. Amazing seating and aquariums brightens the mood as well as the view.IMG_20151223_130012

Sandwiched between MO and BL is an open bar !! How awesome can it get ?? An amazing open air bar. They have got amazing bottle works on their walls.

Lollapalooza:  Did I spell it right :p ?? Well the place was still under the final touches, but from what we got to saw, be prepared for an amazing lounge. The decors are simply amazing. Huge posters, art work, light work, seating and what not. Do check out the snaps.

FOOD:

Soups and Starters

Well, this one definitely has to be the best part when we are at a restaurant isn’t it? Magnum Opus makes damn sure that we don’t get disappointed in this front.We were greeted by chilled Kingfisher Premium beers and a Red Wine and a White wine and there was soft drinks for the teetotalers.IMG_20151223_132346

Caramelized Onion & Zucchini Broth: Pretty contradictory to my previous statement. This was a sheer disappointment, but definitely the only thing that has disappointed us completely.IMG_20151223_141008

Chaar Grilled Prawns: Just as the name suggests, medium sized prawns grilled to utmost perfection in rosemary preparation, garnished with a hint of balsamic sauce, a treat to your taste buds and a perfect appetizer along with the beers.IMG_20151223_133209

Jalapeño Cheese Balls: Has anyone ever said ‘No’ to a cheese ball? And when its jalapeñosit just becomes irresistible. So was the case and so was the taste with this version.IMG_20151223_133245

Nizami Murgh Tikka: Succulent pieces of chicken barbecued in creamy yogurt flavor, served with mint chutney and onions, a standard, yet a classic fare.IMG_20151223_132554

Anjeer Kebab: This was a first time for me. Though I didn’t feel like tasting it, I did not regret once I had it. A bit of overcooked ?? Well, as i said, first time 😉IMG_20151223_132746

Heavenly Chicken Drums: Welcome aboard to the heaven of all the chicken drumsticks out there. A combination of multiply spices and chilly infused preparation, a dish created to test your buds.

Honey Chilly Crispy Potato: Could have been better. The taste was good albeit the potatoes were a bit too crispy. Yet another regular fare on the menu.IMG_20151223_132654

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Spiced Chicken Caesar Salad: One of the best Caesar salads that I have ever had. Tender strips of chicken, lettuce and mayo in a bowl guarantees no less than a treat. Simply forced me for more helpingsIMG_20151223_135549

Insalata Caprese: Chefs special Tomato Mozzarella salad. Baked tomatoes topped with generous helping of grated mozzarella cheese, this one will be a sure hit among the veggies out there.IMG_20151223_135608

Garden Fresh Salad: A very healthy salad with bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchinis and broccoli, tossed in perfect portions of vinegar.IMG_20151223_135600

Greek Salad: Still not able to figure out what all exactly was there in the salad. Olives and Broccoli of course with generous helping of garlic croutons, will definitely take us to Athens.IMG_20151223_135620

Mix Seafood Salad: My favorite after the Caesar salad. The seafood salad had generous portions of fish and prawns, topped with sesame seeds and bell peppers.IMG_20151223_135555

Raw Mango Papaya Salad: I could just have a spoonful of the salad and could definitely get hints of raw mango, but not papaya. Prepared in macaroni in cheese (no, not mac ‘n’ cheese), yet another successful salad from the salad bar.IMG_20151223_135614

Main Course

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Penne with Creamy Pesto: The best main course of the day ? My vote is on this penne pasta cooked in delicious pesto sauce. The flavors of garlic,olives and Parmesan could easily be tasted from the pesto, which makes the pasta outstanding.IMG_20151223_151438

Grilled Fish: Pan seared fish fillets served with parsley. Perfectly grilled, yet could have been more spicy and flavorsome.IMG_20151223_151258

Goan Fish Curry & Steamed Rice: Nothing never goes wrong with Goa I guess. Perfectly spiced fish curry in traditional Goan preparation and paired with steam rice, there’s no turning back.IMG_20151223_151317

Paneer Makhani: When the makhani preparation was amazing, the paneer failed to rise up to the standards of the gravy. Hard and chewy, this dish would have been mind blowing otherwise.

Chicken Burnt Garlic Fried Rice: A pretty good fried rice that lived up to its name. Garlic infused fried rice was yet another treat, served with chicken cubes and eggs.IMG_20151223_151456

Mutton Roganjosh, Murgh Tawa Masala, Khusbudar Kofta, Dal Tadka, Assorted Indian breads, Pickles and Pappads were on the spread, thanks to Amazing starters, salads and main course, I couldn’t have much of each to review about.

Desserts

Aha. Who isn’t interested for some amazing desserts anytime.

Fresh Fruit Platter: We all know how much the freshest of fruits taste like, well I did that day. Amazingly presented fruit platter with almost all different fruits available on the market.IMG_20151223_151701

Gajar Halwa: Does this need an introduction and that too when the amazing carrot season is around the corner?IMG_20151223_151622

Moongdal Halwa: Well, I am never a fan when it comes to dal preparation of sweets. This one was an exception indeed. No hesitation for gulping down this pleasantly prepared dessert.IMG_20151223_151617

Gulab Jamun & Kala Jamun: Both were the standard fare. Nothing exceptional, but exquisite taste.

Shahi Tukde: Always enjoyed bread puddings. This one was no exception, yet exceptional. Perfectly baked slices of bread soaked in milk served with nuts and hints of spices.IMG_20151223_151640

Angoor Rabdi: Soft and spongy cottage cheese dumplings dunked in saffron flavored thickened milk and served with much love, Diwali was back.IMG_20151223_151652

SERVICE:

This was a mixed lot. Some staffs were exceptional whereas the majority others needs some better training. As promised by the management, they have already taken this into their action plan.

Magnum Opus, literally means the greatest work of an individual or a group. Well, I feel and hope that Magnum Opus will indeed be a Magnum Opus for Mr. Manoj Pandey and his confident team.

 

Keep Chugging, Keep Chowing.

 

Magnum Opus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

A sweet start with Waffles Hut

The Waffles Hut Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Being in an IT firm, I’ve always wanted to free myself from everything happening around and start a restaurant somewhere! Well this is a long term goal which is definitely gonna take a long time. But hats off to Mr. Sujit, who’s working in a top IT Company and still started a franchise of Waffles Hut.

Located on the Ground Floor of the West Block in Amanora Mall is a compact space that houses Waffles Hut. Neither too huge nor too small, they have got a perfect place to eat some of the finest Waffles around.

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We were a group of foodies who were invited for tasting and were well received by the management. Mr. Tanmay, the owner of the Waffles Hut brand was present and briefed us about how the idea of starting the same left him sleepless. The session was taken over by Mr. Sujit and we were presented with an array of finger licking good waffles,pancakes and some shakes.

Here is how the waffles spread went….

Belgian Chocolate Spread: This one is clearly an all time favorite for all the waffle lovers. Pure chocolate delight. Thick, hot delicious Belgian chocolate topped on amazingly made waffles is indeed a must try option once you visit Waffles Hut.

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Banana Caramel with Oreo Crumbles: Caramelized banana and crumbled oreo biscuits on a layer of whipped cream. This one was yet another delight. It would have been better (it was already amazing) if the taste of banana hadn’t taken the center stage, instead, equal taste of banana and oreo is what I would prefer.

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Marshmallow with Maple Syrup: I like Marshmallows alright. But when they presented marshmallow waffles, I was actually wondering how we could have it and thought will just give it a bite for tasting’s sake and let it go. But no, this one was epic and it was simply one of the best waffles of the day!!

Dessert Snow: A unique waffle drenched in molten chocolate and topped with a scoop of ice cream. Now having tasted the other waffles, I prefer not having this one and the ice cream was damn cold (of course) to feel the taste of waffles.

Velvet crunch with Blueberry Crush: Clearly, this one is not a crowd puller. Molten chocolate topped with velvet textured whipped cream, did not get received any good in our table.

Nutella with Chocochips: What?? Did you say ChocoChip?? Well definitely I said chocochip, and I did say Nutella too. Can you imagine how good it was ?? Well if you can imagine, it was much better than that! Taste it, to believe it. Waffle topped with generous amount if semi melted Nutella stuffed with chocochips. Yumm

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Jelly Belly Delight: Welcome to the Fantasy park. Served with smooth textured whipped cream, and topped with gummy jellies, just like the name suggests, was a delight

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Apple Cinnamon with Maple Syrup: Whipped cream sandwiched between amazing waffles and generous portion of crisp cut apples topped with cinnamon powder, this one maybe a favorite for people who love cinnamon much and I ain’t on that list. IMG_20151212_144336

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Time for some shakes…

Mango Milkshake: One of the first milkshakes presented before us, it was a blend of amazing mango flavors and presented as an amazing thick shake.

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Butterscotch Milkshake: If anyone had given me a choice to choose the best from the day, I would undoubtedly go for this amazing shake made of rich butterscotch and served with much love. Shhhhh!!!

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Chocolate Shake: Pretty decent and pretty standard fare of the chocolate milkshake. A treat for all the coco lovers out there, but when there is Butterscotch milkshake on the menu, I would definitely skip this one.

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Pancakes too…

Dry Fruits with Syrup: Dry fruits on a pancake topped with syrup, how well does that sound?? It sounds good, looked amazing and tasted simply brilliant. Amazing innovation which gave amazing result.

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Chocolate Spread: You say you liked Belgian Chocolate ?? Well, then there is no reason you shouldn’t have this one. Amazing chocolate spread on a very soft pancake base. Totally yumm

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Butter & Maple Syrup: Butter and maple would indeed make a good combo. Rather a simpler version of pancake when compared to the other options, yet exquisite.

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Waffles Hut is not just a place for sweet tooth, they do have some interesting innovations around the corner with something like Spicy Mushroom Waffle. They are indeed trying out other toppings which can be added to the spicy section as well. They do offer Waffle Cakes, Crepes, Churros, Brownies and Juices as well.

So what’s there to think about? Grab a ride and hurry off to Waffles Hut and enjoy a guaranteed good meal !!

 

Keep Chowing