The minute you enter this casual yet chic Mexican restaurant in Viman Nagar, you are greeted with a loud, happy Hola that fills up the place with cheer and transports you to the land of Mexico. It was on a Sunday night that the team at Moi Palate was invited to bite into the Mesoamerican flavours of Mexican cuisine and boy were we excited!
A seating for a good 30-40 people on the outside and another 20-30 on the inside, this place boast of an al fresco dining experience. Decorated with buntings and soft yellow lights and walls bearing frames of Mexican food, Picantos makes up for an enjoyable evening out with friends.
We started with the Bloody Peru, ginger lemonade and ice tea as we settled down to play scrabble. While the bloody Peru was citric and flavoured with spicy guava (Peru), the ginger lemonade was a powerful concoction of ginger and lemonade. The ice tea was refreshing and was the right temperature to beat the summer heat.
For the entree, we ordered for nachos and quesadillas. We were famished and plumped for the nachos as soon as they were served. However, without the much needed cheese sauce, fried beans and pico de gallo, the nachos did not impress us much. We were hoping for better things to come and they did! The spicy chicken quesadillas that followed totally blew us away. Chunks of chicken stuffed in a corn tortilla and served with the salsa dip was a great pairing. The flavours were spot on and this dish easily became our firm favourite.
Mexican food is incomplete without tacos and we definitely couldn’t have given them a miss. The tacos were a confection of lettuce, beans , loads of cheddar and mozzarella. While we enjoyed every bite of the tacos, we thought they would have tasted twice as great if the lettuce was cut down on. Nonetheless, we lapped up the creamy cheesy tacos between us in no time.
The Bloody Peru and the ice tea was a winning combination with the nachos and the quesadilla and helped us wash down kilos of cheddar and Parmesan.
While we perused the menu for the mains, we were informed that the restaurant had won the Times Food Award for best Mexican Food in Pune. Thats not all. If you happen to leaf through the Femina , June edition , you would see the two lovely ladies , Uma and Shruti, talk about their entreprenuial journey. The two have managed to open up 3 outlets of picantos in Pune within a span of 1 year. That does boast of the popularity the restaurant enjoys and how the city has taken a liking for Mexican food.
For the mains, we ordered a spicy chicken burrito and a bowl of herbed mushrooms and bbq chicken.
A powerful combination of lemon cilantro rice with beans, lettuce, jalepenos and veggies drizzled with thousand island and cheese sauce treated our taste buds. The only difference between a burrito and a bowl is the corn tortilla that is stuffed with all these ingredients. We loved the bbq chicken and the herbed mushroom bowl. The cheddar, the cheese sauce and the mint injected a zing to our palate as the powerful flavours of the pico de gallo and salsa exploded in our mouth. However, be warned. Mexican food can really surprise you with a sudden heaviness. So it’s best to order smaller portions.
While we were stuffed with the loads of Mexican, we couldn’t resist biting into churros. Crunchy, sweet and dusted with cinnamon, the churros were elevated to a different level with the chocolate sauce. It was a perfect end to our gastronomical journey through Mexican cuisine.The churros had a candy store like effect on us- addictive and awesome.
As we left, we were already planning our next visit to the restaurant to treat ourselves to the flavours of Mexico.
Recommendation: If you are planning a casual evening out with friends that is not too heavy on your pocket, yet guarantees you a night of fun and authentic Mexican food, look no further than Picantos.
Overall experience: 3/5