A chat with fellow food enthusiasts in Pune about their favourite fine dining haunts led me to explore the rooftop lounge and restaurant, Pasha, at JW Marriott. An award-winning restaurant since its inception a decade ago; It ranks number one on TripAdvisor.
Ambience: We chose to take advantage of the pleasant weather and sit in the Alfresco lounge bar with a view of the city skyline. The indoor seating (table height) is more comfortable to dine so we moved indoors for dinner. The ambience in the two spaces is vastly different – changes from muted lighting and warm copper tones indoors to the breezy, minimalistic whites outdoors. We enjoyed both. That it is the go-to place for Pune fine diners to beat the ‘Monday Blues’ was evident at the rooftop lounge that was definitely giving a Friday night vibe with lively music and a full house.
Food: Executive Chef Anurag Narsingani told us the culinary credo at Pasha is – ‘no processed or refined ingredients.’ The only exception to this rule is the naan. The hearty North-West Frontier cuisine is quite rich so remember not to overstuff yourself with the delicious starters!
Good food is a given when dining in a popular restaurant so what was the x-factor for me in this experience. The dip served with the kebabs – Greek yogurt infused with saffron whipped to an airy consistency. It complimented the kakori kebabs and the Salmon Dill ka tikka perfectly.
The spice blend for Kakori kebabs was a little different from what I have tasted before but I have to say that I preferred the light handed use of spice blend in this one.
In the main course, the choor choor paratha, flavoured with green chillies and spices wants you to put aside the fancy cutlery and just dig right into the robust chinoti kunna gosht, Dilli ka butter chicken ( a must have for all us Punjabis, so sue us already!!), the bhuna saag and makhani dal Pasha.
Looking to lunch in style but don’t have the stomach for a rich, spice-laden meal? Head over to The Market, the Asian restaurant at Westin; we did just that for a girl’s day out and savoured every bit of the experience. Minimalistic ( as is the norm with most Asian restaurants), tasteful and spacious interiors full of natural light induce a serenity that is perfect to wind down after a flurry of activity, shopping in our case!
My top picks from the menu:
1. Dumplings – We asked for an assortment and squealed in delight as each lid was lifted to reveal the gorgeous morsels. We could not decide which one was our favourite.
2. Chef’s signature dish ‘Salmon On Fire’ – elicited continued gasps of pleasure from the way it was presented to the way it tasted. Fine fillets of salmon, hung over a pile of smoking coffee beans in a roasting spit made of lemongrass stalks. Ah the drama, the theatrics! We gave Chef Amit Dash an impromptu standing ovation much to his embarrassed delight!
3. Kafir Lime Litchi cooler – We asked for seconds, enough said!
4. Matcha Tia Maria and Japanese Cheesecake (chocolate)