Pune never fails to surprise us with its food and by the number of places that have sprung up in the city. Every new place is a revelation and that sets the tone for our gastronomical journey through the city. One such food journey that we undertook was to the quaint little restaurant of Makrana that is situated in the bylanes of Baner, Pune. This restaurant derives its name from the famous marble town of Rajasthan called Makrana.
Makrana prides itself in delicious Indian food. It recently opened its doors to Pune 3 months back and is more of pick up and delivery joint than a place where you can sit and have your meal. However, for those who would like to have their meals at the restaurant can be seated in the adjoining restaurant “Toss and Stir”.
Dimmed yellow lights, frames bearing quirky one liners on the wall, a few tables in the lower dining area and a low seating area with a lot more tables in the upper dining area, this place may not score very high on the ambience but definitely quite high on the food.
As we enter, we are seated on the upper deck and served a round of Chaas. This is a deliciously fresh opening to the evening. The flavours of the coriander and the chaat masala are spot on. We are absolutely blown away by the consistency and the mélange of flavours.
We start with the Ajwaini Jhinga for the entrees. The prawns are fresh and marinated in a tangy chaat masala that inject a zing to our palate and tickle our taste buds. We definitely love this dish and are already looking forward to finding out what the next dish has to offer.
From the vegetarian entrée, we are served the Achari Paneer that is slit from the middle, coated with a marinate and tandoored to ensure its packed with flavours. However, the dish lacks the much needed spices to qualify as a great dish and does not pack a punch.
The makrana kebab, a signature dish from the not so voluminous menu, offers us another chance to tickle our taste buds. It’s Perfectly smoked, tandoored and dusted with chaat masala. The meat melts in the mouth and, overall, it’s really delicious. In fact, we’d go as far as saying it’s one of the best makrana kebabs we’ve ever had.
The mutton gallouti kebab is mild yet impresses us with its decadent flavours. Minced lamb delicately flavoured with mild spices and tandoored to a reddish brown colour is uplifting and sets the mood for the main course.
The chicken tikka lababdar is heavy on spices and thick. We were looking for something less thicker and greasy to go with our breads. While we liked the use of spices in this dish but somewhere it failed to impress us and qualify as a great dish!
The amritsari Kulcha is stuffed with paneer and delicately slathered with butter. It makes up for a dish in itself.
We finally treat ourselves to the royal flavours of the Chicken biryani. The big flakes of rice flavoured with saffron, make the dish exquisite. The rice is cooked Al dente and we enjoy the hearty flavours on our palate.
Well this culinary extravaganza does not end here. We are presented with the lip smacking and savoury gulab jamuns that bowl us over by their massive size. We dig in with gusto and find it difficult to put the spoon down after one bite.
While the dishes are a little hit and miss, it’s a delicious fare and does not pretend to be anything. Makrana draws on familiar yet original flavours.
Service: We are looked after well and appreciate the number of times the waiter went up and down the staircase to serve us.
Recommendation: If you are looking for a small Indian food joint that is not too heavy on the pocket but ensures you royal flavours, then look no further than Makrana.
Must try: Makrana kebab, kebab gallouti, ajwaini jhinga and biryani
Ambience: not applicable as it is a delivery joint.
Overall rating : 3.5/5