While Fusion Food is becoming a rage in India ,Pune is leading from the front . Last 2-3 years saw International influences and ingredients mixed with Indian Flavors and is becoming a big draw for food lovers. Restaurateurs are going back to the roots and coming up with fresh experiments. Although there are culinary borrowings from other cultures the primary inspiration is Indian Food .However the local Pune food or the food popular in Pune is still finding it hard to make it to menu of many fusion food restaurants. There are only a handful of restaurants which have been experimenting on the local food and Poona Canteen House at Baner Biz Bay is one of them. Of course it serves dishes from all over also.
The Décor is in the form a modern canteen of sorts with the same kind of basic furniture added with a lot of colours. The place has a Puneri vibe . The first item on their list which is starter – Kanda Lasoon –Cheese Toast gives you a sense of what’s coming. This is followed by Puneri Nachos, Bakarwadi Chaat , Cheese Burst Wada Pav,Tandoori Thecha Brocolli , Home style Thalipeeth Bytes with Cheese Sause and Hummus, Mushroom Chilli, Paneer Schezwan Fry , Cheese Masala Papad, Chicken Wings, Rawa Fired Surmai , Loaded Khari , Keema Pav Sliders , Veg and Non Veg South African Tikka, Basil Pesto Tikka, Sheekh Kabab, Tandoori Momos, Mutton Sukha , Malwani Fish Fingers , Raju Omlette and Butter Garlic Prawns . But what is more interesting is the US returned Alu Wadi , Shev Bhaji Bunny Bombs which is spicy shev and Maharashtrian curry stuffed in mini pav and Andhra Chicken Chilly Fry .
The Menu also has canteen favorites like Maggi, Bun Maska , Burger , Kathi Rolls and Bun Omlette . Tandoori Waldorf Salad and Desi Greek Salad make up for the Salad section . Then there are a couple of pizzas but the Exotic Carribean Veggies Pizza is worth trying out. The Fauji Style Chicken Curry with Roti in the mains is good , followed by Paneer Chettinad , Cottage Cheese Lasagne , Kala Mutton Shepard’s Pie and others. But then in the mains you will find Varan Bhat and Masale Bhat Peri Peri . Now this is where the experimentation and the risk is. People in Pune are bound to compare these fusion dishes like Masale Bhat , Alu Wadi and others with the original ones. Therefore the Fusion product has to be as good as the original one or even better. The folks with whom I went to this place did compare the Masale Bhat with its original taste . This dish is especially served during Maharashtrian weddings and is a kind of flagship dish along with Shrikhand –Puri. But the Masale Bhat infused with Peri Peri becomes even more spicy . I did like it , I thought it was an interesting experiment . All these dishes carry the risk of comparison, but I feel food is not to be debated but enjoyed !
( the photos have been provided by the restaurant on our request )