Gong, located at Balewadi High Street serves Modern Asian cuisine. The term ‘Modern Asian’ had me wondering, yet one look at the menu was enough to explain the tagline.
The place is elegant, the service is topnotch and the food is spectacular! No wonder then, Gong would rate amongst one of my finest dining experiences! I’m going to urge each one of my Asian food loving readers to definitely check out Gong.
They don’t just do sushi, dimsums and stir-fries like any other Asian place, but they do a lot of progressive dishes that you would be hard placed to find anywhere in Pune. Be it Sushi doughnuts, ravioli dumplings in gravy, stuffed buns or mock meat dishes, Gong is a pleasant surprise on the Pune food scene!
To begin with, we chose 2 of the Signature cocktails – THAI VACAY and SAKE SANGRIA. Thai Vacay (Rs 395) is a concoction of citrus vodka, coconut rum, lemongrass & Thai basil. The Sake Sangria (Rs 495) contains tequila, sake, passion puree, apple juice and lemongrass. Both these drinks were made with an unusual combination of ingredients and tasted great.
I usually do not enjoy SOM TAM SALAD (Rs 225), but I fell in love with the one at Gong. Made with green papaya, raw mango, fresh chili, palm sugar and lime juice; every bite of this is a burst of freshness!
The MUSHROOM CAPPUCCINO (Rs 245) is a smooth, toasty concoction served in a generous bowl. You can go on adding as many mushroom bits you want to this comforting broth. It’s the kind of preparation which will make you sigh on a cold evening. So, so good!
The CREAM CHEESE AVOCADO SUSHI (Rs 325) with asparagus, cucumber and mayo was melt-in-the-mouth creamy. All sushi lovers will surely dig this. Highly recommended.
They also serve very interesting SUSHI DOUGHNUTS (Rs 165). The one I tried had avocado, pickled cucumber and cream cheese. But the magic ingredient was the sprinkling of sesame seeds. This was my first experience of sushi in combination with sesame seeds and I must say; that one simple ingredient took the dish to a whole new level. Highly recommended.
This is the third place I had the EDAMAME & TRUFFLE DUMPLINGS (Rs 305) in the last few weeks and they remain a favourite.
But if you order just 1 serving of dumplings here, the ASIAN COTTAGE CHEESE RAVIOLI (Rs 275) wins hands down! It’s a fusion dish with Ravioli soaked in a curry with Thai flavors. A dish so spectacular, Gong should take a bow! You can’t miss ordering this at Gong. No way!
The CRISPY LOTUS STEM (Rs 305) comprised of thick, well cut pieces. The tempering of curry leaves added an interesting new dimension to the dish. I found the dish a tad too sweet for my liking.
After filling up on so many excellent appetisers, I only had space enough to try out one main course. The Burnt garlic Fried rice (Rs 285) was a staple dish and the Exotic Vegetables in a Chilli Basil sauce (Rs 355) was an aromatic preparation with fresh, crunchy veggies.
And then the bomb – The Chocolate Dome (Rs 280). The one dessert that you just cannot miss here! It’s basically a stack of brownie cubes, vanilla ice-cream and honey noodles perched underneath a chocolate dome. Hot chocolate is then poured onto the dome until it gives way and crumbles. So you get rich brownie, crunchy noodle, chilled vanilla icecream, chocolate bits as well as hot, gooey sauce in every bite! Simple ingredients, yet this dessert is downright delicious! Nom, nom moment..
Overall Verdict: Gong is an excellent place to dine in! Yes, it’s pricey. But the experience is totally worth it.
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*Disclaimer – This meal was hosted by the restaurant. A huge thank you to Shweta Chowgule and ELSOL for the same.