If you are one who likes to try out different kinds of cuisines, then Malaka Spice is the perfect restaurant for you. Located in the heart of Pune, this restaurant takes fine dining to an all new level. Malaka spice has three different kinds of seating arrangements. You can either choose to sit in the normal air conditioned dining hall, with fine interiors.
Or you can sit outside under a canopy amongst the trees as shown in the picture on the left.
The third type of seating tries to bring out the "street" feeling. With chairs laid out near a handcart bar and close enough to the open kitchen where you can smell the aromas of fish being grilled, this was the place that I chose to sit.
The first thing that impressed me about the restaurant was the tagline. South East Asian inspirations - it said. It didn't claim to be the authentic south east Asian restaurant like many others do and then leave patrons like me disappointed. The food though very south east Asian, was also made keeping the Indian customer in mind and so the fish wasn't fried in pork fat and the tanginess of the curries was a little subdued. But it tasted great none the less.
We settled for the buffet, like we always do. Buffets are great value for money. The buffet includes 5 starters each, both vegetarian and non vegetarian. We had prawn, chicken, lamb, fish and turkey! The starters were served on wooden sticks, which reminded me of China and Bangkok! After eating starters for the best part of two hours, this is how our plates looked!
We ordered cocktails to go with the food. I settled for a 'Knight in White Satin'. It is a mock tail with coconut juice as the base. I generally always go for a Pina Colada but the exotic name made me try this one. Priced at hundred bucks, the mocktails are a steal. The cocktails are slightly more expensive at 250 bucks a drink, but it is money well spent! And ya, that is my room mate, Vinay Kuruvilla. The other two drinks are Long Island Ice Tea and Pina Colada!
After the starters, followed tempura, which is a Japanese dish of seafood and meat, battered and crisply fried! Tempura was followed with a tangy soup, which went by the name of curry mee. Which was followed by Singaporean noodles. Honey fried noodles with vanilla ice cream was for dessert! Priced at 500, this is by far the best buffet I have been to in Pune.
Some other things about the restaurant:
~ On each table, they have this 'know your host' card, which has a caricature of your host for the night, followed by a small description about him. It is the first time that I have seen anything like this and I was impressed!
~ The owner of the restaurant is an art connoisseur and so there is an art gallery on the first floor of the restaurant. In fact, there are canvasses and pieces of art placed all over the restaurant. In the picture accompanying this post is yours truly standing next to the bar, trying his best to not look awkward!
~ Malaka Spice has a relationship manager, who comes to your table every now and then to enquire if all's well. I always thought that relationship managers should either be great looking women (you know what I mean) or very fluent speakers, if not both. The RM at Malaka Spice was a middle aged man who stammered. That was the only let down during the entire evening!
~ And ya, Malaka Spice has a small souvenir shop which houses tees and mugs and keychains and every other thing you would expect a souvenir shop to have, with Malaka Spice written on it! Not quite sure if anyone actually buys such stuff!
Final Verdict: Paisa vasool and a must visit in Pune!
Warning: The service is slightly slow, cause the assumption is that you have come there to absorb the atmosphere and all that jazz. The starters could never keep pace with us!
'Pose' Script: This is a picture of Deepak, my second room mate. The post looked kinda incomplete without him!
10 months ago