On the 10th of March Baraza Bars and Bites created quite a buzz in town with its grand launch and we werent any less excited about trying out this place especially as its the third launch by the owners of The Sassy Spoon. Our first blog was on The Sassy Spoon and we were quite impressed by the place! When Svetlana Savant from Carpe Diem extended an invite for the tasting at Baraza ,we grabbed the opportunity to know what Chef Irfan and the mixologist Pranav Mody had to offer. Baraza meaning a public meeting place and with the looks of it we are sure it will definitely live upto its name for the city of Pune.
AMBIANCE : We always jump to the idea of weekend getaways or look for places within the city where we can have laid back evenings along with interesting food and drinks with our group of friends. Baraza transported us to a different atmosphere, away from our everyday monotonous life. With a mix of Spanish & Portuguese decor, this place is exuberant with utmost care given to its vintage yet animated looking interiors and exteriors. With an enthralling corridor that connects the outdoor and indoor seating ,you are surely reminded of beaches and an island vacation. Boasting a capacity upto 224 seater space with vintage dim lights and with a great location away from the city at Ishanya Mall Yerwada , Baraza is here to give you an experience to remember.
DRINKS : Being a tasting event, and from having learnt from the other bloggers about the skills of Pranav Modi we were quite curious to know what he had in store for us. Baraza has a huge or rather we can say a humongous bar menu which will even be extended more in the future. We were asked about our preferences and suggested drinks according to our likes and dislikes. Having tried different kinds of drinks and not one to complain about instead only praises , Baraza is highly recommended if you want to try unconventional kinds of cocktails and mocktails! Here is our take on the various drinks we tried :
- Cilantro and Ginger Mojito : A mocktail with fresh ingredients giving you a strong taste of all the flavours.
- Mandarin and mint : A rum based cocktail, malta orange, mint and lime transports you immediately to sipping a cooler on the beach side and is a perfect drink for the summers.
- Cosmic bubble Martini : Candy floss with citrus flavors, this drink is drama and everything girly.
- Flavored Kingfisher : The kala Khatta might not be a favorite amongst the beer lovers as its more kala khatta and less beer , but the passionfruit kala khatta is definitely a win-win!
- Pink apple lemonade : Apple, mint, lemon, fizz another refreshing and good looking mocktail from the menu that makes you feel refreshed.
- Virgin Berry Frozen Khata Slush : All the kala khatta lovers, this drink gives you nostalgia of all the times we have had chuski at chowpatty.
- Double Trouble : Coffee liquer, Cream , Expresso shot and Vanilla Vodka giving you an instant hit this can surely be enjoyed by all the coffee lovers out there.
- Willy Wonka : Whiskey and Milk Chocolate martini is for all those with a sweet tooth, bursting with a chocolate flavour yet giving you the hit of whiskey.
- Paan Banarasi Wala : The highlight of the day, a combinational blend of paan and gulkand is definitely a try. #recommended
MENU : Being a bar, the menu of Baraza is curated accordingly that gives you the right dishes to choose from along with your drinks offering comfort as well as creativity in its preparation. Chef Irfan has managed to surprise us yet again with various dishes with Indian and Asian flavors.
- Pull Apart bread with Pesto , mozzarella and cheddar cheese: Who doesn’t like Fresh bread with fresh pesto and cheese? This is an appetizer you can nibble on with your drinks.
- Sabudana Wada Stuffed with Chicken and cheese : Who would have thought a combination of chicken and cheese with Sabudana would taste so good ! Definitely irresisitable and is highly recommended. #recommended
- American Corn tempura with chilli, spinach and sriracha mayo : Crunchy and fried, and reminds you of the your childhood , where you cared less about fried stuff and ate it with every meal !
- Rechado spiced prawns with prawn crackers : Rechado is a Goan preparation of prawns, this dish lives upto the concept of the restaurant and is towards the spicier side.
- Stir fried Crispy Fish, corn and a dollop of sour cream : If you are fond of fish, this mild flavored yet crunchy makes for a perfect combination with your beer.
- Chicken tacos : Soft tacos , juicy with a satisfying amount of chicken stuffing.
- Stir fried pepper lamb in a crispy noodle basket : A lamb when not cooked properly can go wrong in its softness and its textures. This beautiful looking dish was a little of a disappointment due to the chewiness of the lamb which was rectified by the chef later.
- Rawa Panniyaram with Kerala Chutney, ghee and curry leaf tadka : The Chef never disappoints when it comes to the coastal flavors ! These appe with the kerala chutney were delicious and very soft.
- Mushroom done two ways topped with cheese : Sliders have always been a favorite, they are filling and delicious at the same time, this one does not disappoint!
- Tawa seared fish tikka with raw mango chutney : We have always preferred sea food in non vegetarian dishes and Baraza has a beautiful spread of sea food dishes with a combination of coastal flavors. This fish dish is subtle in flavors , yet very tempting. It was perfectly cooked and the mango chutney gave a tad bit of tanginess.
- Slow cooked “raan”, garlic and coriander : Flatbreads with indian toppings have become a trend in quite a few restaurants in the city. Having tried most of them, this one was a new version of the same with the naan being stuff with the ingredients. This was definitely the favorite dish from the evening! A dish that does not take too many efforts to be eaten with an add on of a lamb and garlic combination, this was just perfect. #recommended
- Ghee roast chicken : Cooked with utmost perfection, with delightful flavors in the curry, this dish screams out comfort and is brilliant. Paired with mini coriander and green chilli and naan, too bad that we were all too full from our previous dishes to completely get through this one.
We ordered almost all the dishes from the dessert menu. The boozy Brownie with homemade vanilla ice cream was a little too strong for my palate with its liquor and bitterness. Classic banoffee pie with baileys cream has a combination of toffee and banana but the baileys did not do too well for me. The Churros with chocolate sauce and snicker chunk ice cream made for great combination, the size of the churros is so fulfilling and the ice cream if soft and delicious. Flourless chocolate cake with basil pine ice cream and salted caramel is a beautiful looking dessert and the ice cream and chocolate bursts beautifully in your mouth. Nutella creme brulee with pistachio and almond biscotti was my pick for the day. Nutella is my idea of a dessert and this dessert was so satiating that I could not have my hands off it till I was done with it.
Our experience at Baraza was full of nostalgia, warmth and coziness. The interiors charmed us and the food made us happy. The drinks obviously being the biggest highlight of the evening are still on our mind and we cant stop raving about it. I would like to thank Chef Irfan for this amazing tasting experience and Shvetlana from Carpe Diem for inviting us !