True to it’s style of always bringing something fresh on the Pune food scenes, Carpe Diem – one of the top PR firms in the city collaborated with Phoenix Market City to organize a super fun Food Trail 1.0.
Apart from shopping, Phoenix Market City has always been a dining hub with not just plenty of food court options, but a large number of great restaurants as well. Whether it be fine dining, a casual meal or just hanging out at a bar – there’s so much to do and explore. My favourites here have to be Indigo Deli, 212 All day café & bar and Shizusan – these are places I keep coming back to.
So more about the Food Trail 1.0. This was to be a face-off between me and other top food bloggers of the city in search of the best blog and the best pictures. We were all to meet at Liberty Square at 11.30 am. True to my signature style, there I was, almost 45 minutes late. Since I had missed the brief already, Sannaya (of Carpe Diem fame) lost no time in handing me bowls full of chits to pick from.
The Plot: We had to make a blind date with a restaurant and a star ingredient. The participating restaurants included Copper Chimney, Indigo Delicatessen, Cuba Libre, 212 Café and Bar and Khiva. With much excitement, I picked up a chit that said 212 Café and Bar. I was ecstatic already – I love the place! And then came the time to pick a star ingredient. After 3 failed attempts (non-vegetarian picks), I finally managed to pick out milk. Yeah, milk. Wasn’t too happy about this, but well, a girl’s gotta eat.
So I strutted right into 212, husband in tow. The ambience of this place is ever so fresh and welcoming, with an indoor as well as alfresco seating.
On scanning the menu, the only thing that really did justice to ‘milk’ were the shakes. You give a girl the choice between a banana based shake & a chocolate one – no points for guessing which one I picked.
So there I was, staring at my gorgeous ‘All Things Chocolate’ shake. With brownie chunks, choco cigars, gems, kit-kat, chocolate ice-cream, nutella, liquid white chocolate, white & dark chocolate shavings – this was truly ‘all things chocolate’. Served up in a tall glass, and topped off with a maraschino cherry – I couldn’t wait to dig into this beauty. The thick, chilled richness of the shake combined with crunchy bits of kit-kat & gems was a great start!
Once I’d had my fill of ‘All Things Chocolate’ – it was time to pick out mains. The Two Mushroom Burger was a no-brainer for me, since it has always been my favourite thing at 212. Trust me, finding a good vegetarian burger ain’t an easy task. But I did it! So about this fab discovery of mine – you won’t find a conventional patty in this one. It’s a mix of creamy & garlicky button mushrooms with crumb fried crisp mushrooms. This combination of slurpy and crispy is like a trip to heaven. Top that up with a generous shaving of gruyere cheese and there you have it – a winner. You just have to eat it to believe how spectacular it is!
The husband decided to order a Pumpkin, Parmesan & Ricotta Tortellini. Fancy? I know; I did marry the man after all! For the uninitiated, tortellini is a kind of stuffed pasta. Shaped like a ring, it’s classically stuffed with either meat or cheese (ricotta & parmesan in this case). The perfectly shaped tortellini were swimming in a onion & cilantro cream sauce. The tortellini were pillowy soft, and the sauce subtly flavoured and creamy to boot. It sure made for a very enjoyable dish.
And now comes the best part – dessert. I’m a crazy ass dessert person and would skip a meal gladly if I could only feast on desserts. Given that my ingredient was milk, a cheesecake was the perfect choice. Also, I love cheesecakes – make it baked and you have my heart!
Our server recommended the Baked Peach Cheesecake and I gladly complied. And boy, I’m glad I did – it looked pretty as a picture. The baked cheesecake came stuffed with stewed peaches and topped with some more. With an oreo crust underneath and some piped cream anglaise atop, it was love at first sight. Not too light, not too heavy, not too subtle and neither too over-powering – this was the perfect baked cheesecake.
As expected, The Food Trail 1.0 made for a fun afternoon. The excitement was palpable – not just on the blogger’s faces, but the restaurant owners as well. Every once in a while, comes across an event that makes all the hard work we put into blogging worthwhile – and this sure was one of them. Kudos to Carpe Diem, Phoenix Market City and the participating restaurants for being such a sport and pulling off this event successfully.