Last time we had gone to Peshawri, the legendary eatery at ITC Sonar for the Restaurant Week India. This time we went to Pan Asian. Did you know about Restaurant Week of India? Considered as India’s one of the largest culinary events, it gives an opportunity to customers to dine at some of the best restaurants in the country at a nominal price of the normal a la carte rate over a set menu of signature dishes. This year into its 13th edition, it is making its debut in Pune too other than Mumbai, Bangalore, Calcutta, Delhi and Chennai. More details here
We had been to Pan Asian earlier once and that was before we started blogging and we didn’t have Tugga tagged along with us. This time it was different. The son was accompanied along and we went with the mind of the bloggers, I guess when you start blogging you move around as a blogger.
Normally Wednesday’s are as busy as one legged man in an ass kicking contest, so for a change we could manage time and had struck a deal with the young one that no video while dining and we will enjoy the dinner while conversing amongst us like adults. With two live open kitchens and a small Korean kitchen counter, where the celebrity chef Jerry Bernasol cooks up his special antics in Japanese cooking technique teppanyaki; yes…when at Pan Asian, catching a glimpse of this masterchef in act is a crackling affair.
We were attended by Soumen Dey, the restaurant manager and he was kind enough to take us through a round of the restaurant and one of the attraction, the largest wine cellar hosted in any 5 star in the city. With the temperature maintained at 14 – 15 degree centigrade, they host some of the best wines like Dom perignon by Moet et chandon – 2003 batch which is one of the best produced by Moet et chandon, Grand Vin de Chateau Latour which is priced at INR 86000 a bottle and has a combination of 4 grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit verdot and Cabernet Franc, there is Villa Maria from New Zealand and many more. Although in love with wine, this was not a part of the restaurant week of India deal.
While I was on a tour of the cellar, the entree were getting prepared. We had ordered Tempura and chicken Takrai, one of the signature dishes of this place. We also ordered traditional Indonesian chicken satay. While the tempuras needed more seasoning, the dip was too subtle for our palatte. Junior wiped clean the chicken satay and the chunky peanut dip and condiments were apt enhancers of the dish from whatever little we were allowed to taste. The menu at Pan Asian underwent an overhaul in 2014 under chef Pramod Sinha and his team of chefs from China, Japan and Thailand; so not sure the signature dish of Chicken Takrai was there before or not but must say this popular dish is a must try. Crunchy morsels of chicken with strong Kafir Lime flavour hits the right note of the taste symphony. The dish was very textural to say the least.
If you don’t try Sushi in a pan Asian restaurant, then you don’t deserve to be there (okay, personal opinion). We love Sushi and we love wasabi too; hence no second thoughts on ordering the Sushi Moriawaise (3 kinds being salmon, tuna and crab). And guess what? The junior to our surprise jumped at the name of crab sushi (which his father rarely enjoys if prepared otherwise and mother perhaps love the most) and devoured one within no time. The stinging explosion of the wasabi as it awakens all your senses and subsequently getting dulled by the sweet and tangy soy aftermath is perhaps one of those feelings which one gets while on a roller coaster ride.
In the mains, we ordered the classic stir fry chicken with garlic and spring onions (that’s the safest way to read out the name of the dish compared to the original Chinese name), shredded lamb in chili black bean sauce, kaeng masaman pla or simply masaman curry with fish and the signature prawn green curry. While the former two were Chinese delicacies and each holding its ground in both flavour and texture and the overall taste, the latter two were from South East Asia. Masaman curry is a traditional Muslim Malaysian curry flavoured with kafir lime, coconut milk and the tangy tamarind. This dish was not about the dazzle but the simplicity of a comfort food which most of us like after a day’s hard work. The prawn green curry couldn’t have been any less brilliant. A special mention needs to be given to the shredded lamb dish. Perhaps it was one of the best black bean sauce we have ever had. The nutty flavour of the black bean with slight heat from black pepper was a killer.
The little one gets most excited when there is a discussion about angry birds and ice cream. So when it came to ice cream, his almost sleepy eyes lit up (remember it was way past his bed time). While I ordered hot chocolate mud pie, the mother ordered warm toffee fondue. The ice cream was a combination of tender coconut ice cream with coconut jelly served in a tender coconut shell. The coconut jelly was rather delicate and each bite of this wobbly square along with the ice cream made the dessert nothing short of lush. We each had our desserts but both of us had to bargain with junior to get samples of the ice cream. In spite of all sharing lessons, he was somewhat reluctant to do the same with this particular dessert.
Overall, it was a pleasurable dining experience and the hospitality of the staff at Pan Asian was more than admirable. This preview dinner was on invitation from Ola Prime and Restaurant India Week. This event is being held from the 16th till the 25th of September at a nominal price of 900 plus taxes per person. So hurry and book yourself now!
#RestaurantWeek #RWI #OlaPrime
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