All About REAL Food

Another resto review.

On FC road, Pune, there is a section of the entire row, dedicated to food. There’s a Subway, there’s Venky’s as mentioned in my previous post there are some ubiquitous chaat shops also, some “chinese” noodle stalls, juice stalls, all that. In the middle of this, stands a slice of a restaurant, called Chaitanya which I was told by gaga corridor mates, serves the best parathas in Pune. Now, I’m from Delhi. I know food like I know my name. And my co-reviewer here is the Baadshah of Delhi’s famed Parathe Wali Gali. Skeptical as I was, we decided to test this place and see if Pune stands a chance. Plus, we were hungry!

It’s located right beside Subway, a tiny galli. Once you enter there, you’ll find a pasta shop (the review of which will be put up soon) and Chaitanya. Trust me, when I say “slice of a restaurant”, I REALLY mean it. A seating of not more than 25, there’s a stair leading up, but we’re not allowed to go up there. Uncomfortable chair, wobbly tables. Ambience does not get a big plus. The system there goes thus. One has to go on straight up ahead to order the parathas, sit back down in the joint and then order whatever accompanies your paratha.

Menu time. Now I read the menu with more concentration than I study for the exams, because let’s face it, menus are so much more interesting! Anyhoo, the menu itself isn’t that expansive. Veg parathas- lots of choice. Non-veg- only three. Accompaniments- modest.

We ordered a mutton paratha, a cheese and onion paratha, a mushroom masala (I’m very fond of mushrooms) and a rogan josh. For the side, we took a Patiala Lassi, which we were told would be sufficient for the two of us. Service is relatively quick I must add.

The mutton paratha arrived first. 4 quarters, stuffed with keema, onion, chilli, dhaniya and a kimchi salad lookalike on the side and enough butter to stop one’s heart in a flash. Served very hot (both garam and teekha), it was, to me, very good. The cheese and onion paratha turned up by then. It was big enough to slipcover Delhi and take bits of Haryana with it. Hunks of butter and their version of a coleslaw and fresh dahi with it. Take me seriously, it was really good. Kind of like a pizza paratha without the sauce. So next time you can’t decide which to have, paratha or pizza and you’re in Pune, have this one

The mutton in the rogan josh was tender and really good quality, the verdict passed by my co-reviewer read. He is uncompromising in standards of chicken and mutton, and a nod from him is like getting…I don’t know what…something really good I guess?!

The mushroom masala was plentiful. Usually what happens is that mushroom peas masala end up looking like peas masala with a stingy garnish of wafer thin slices of mushroom. Not this. Lots of both. Literally, live sup to the name.

A word about the Lassi. It’s a tall steel glass (the scale of tall being Khali sized) of huge width which came covered in foil, and with condensation all over the body. In trepidation we opened (obviously, it’s like asking for authentic masala dosa in the depths of rural Punjab) the foil. What greeted us was thick creamy sour and sweet curd, a light saffron colour and taste, with shards of almonds and apples. It was cold, chilled actually and was smooth to texture. It was a sigh (cry in reality) of relief after the very hot mutton paratha. truly, I’ve never felt so close to God.

All in all, Chaitanya is a must visit for students with limited pocket space and unlimited stomach space. The food is very filling and doesn’t cut holes in the pocket.

Go eat!


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