Saturday, January 28, 2012

EATING OUT IN PUNE - MOUTHWATERING SHREYAS MEMORIES


EATING OUT IN PUNE
MOUTHWATERING SHREYAS MEMORIES
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Two and a half years ago I wrote the foodie review (posted below) after a hearty meal at Shreyas Siddhi. I wish I could write this today. This afternoon we had a meal at Shreyas Siddhi and I was most disappointed to see that the standard of the food had really gone down. The food was quite tasteless and except for the Veg Pulao it was a pretty uninspiring, bland and lackluster meal. The Basundi was overly sweet and the fruit salad was ... well I better forget this most forgettable meal. Looks like they have become complacent and are taking their patrons for granted.

From now on, whenever I want to have a Maharashtrian Thali in Pune I am going to head to Durvankur on Tilak Road. 

Of course I will tell you all about it. Till then here is a post from my foodie archives - mouthwatering memories of a delicious lunch I relished in Shreyas Siddhi a few years ago... for old times sake ...


On the 30th of May 2010, a Sunday, we celebrated our 28th Wedding Anniversary, and celebrated it with a sumptuous family meal, as always, for the past few years, with a hearty delicious pure vegetarian Maharashtrian Thali at Shreyas Siddhi, the airconditioned swanky branch of the original Shreyas on Apte Road near Deccan Gymkhana in Pune.

If you are a true-blue Punekar, I am sure you know all about Shreyas and have savoured the delicious dining experience I am about to describe.

Nowadays, I prefer their branch called Shreyas Siddhi near Swar Gate on Satara Road not only due to its proximity to my home but mainly because of the excellent ambience which facilitates relaxed fulfilling family dining in cool comfort.  

One of my notable marital achievements is that I have managed to transform my darling wife into an avid [or should I say voracious] foodie. Now this is quite a remarkable feat considering that she hardly ever ate anything or never even noticed what she was eating when we first met…in fact earlier she used to eat to survive, now saying that she lives to eat maybe in extremis” but she certainly has developed a penchant for good food and relishes a tasty hearty meal.
  
Outside the restaurant, in the covered patio, hungry patrons wait patiently for their turn. Maybe they want to make you wait for your food and help build up an appetite and they believe in the adage that if you truly want to enjoy good food you must build up an appetite for it.

The moment you enter the cool confines of Shreyas Siddhi you are greeted by the glorious spectacle of devoted foodies enjoying their food with rapt attention and divine expressions of satiation.

You are guided to a table and you sit down. There is already a sparkling clean 
taat with vatis in front of you. There is no menu card and no need for you to waste your time and effort wondering what to order. The waiters will immediately start serving and filling up your plate. You go to Shreyas to eat their delectable and matchless thali, and if you so desire, you can have a sweet dish like Gulab Jam, Modak, Fruit Salad, Basundi, Aamras or Amrakhand to accompany.
 
The fare varies, and on our latest visit for lunch this Sunday, there was the inimitable ambrosial Aloo Chi Bhaji, excellent Matki Usal, Soothing Soul Kadhi, delicious Umti, zesty Batata Bhaji, Soft melt-in-the-mouth Surali Chya Wadya, Soft Chappaties, Puris, Veg Pulao, Rice with Waran and a liberal topping of pure ghee, Rich Masale Bhat, and the usual Koshimbir, Chutney, Papad, with cool refreshing taak (buttermilk) to wash down the meal.

My darling wife relished her mandatory steamed 
ukdi cha modak with pure ghee and my son polished off a lip smacking basundi - I tasted both - simply superb!

You can eat to your heart's content – 
“annapurna” as they say – as all the dishes, everything, is unlimited. And as a grand finale to the fulfilling meal they serve a very refreshing Vida (paan) to enhance the intoxicating sensation you will feel after relishing this magnificent meal.

Did I say “intoxication”?

Yes… intoxication…not the alcoholic kind, but non-alcoholic intoxication at its best. If you truly want to savor this delicious pure vegetarian cuisine, you must build up an appetite for it, and don’t make the mistake of ruining your experience by having a pre-meal appertif before you start off for the place. I think that’s true for all gourmet food, isn't it…?
 
I will not try and describe the delicious dishes. I cannot. Words fail me to recreate the pristine impeccable flavors, aromas, textures and tastes. It’s unmatched delectable top-quality authentic Puneri Maharashtrian cuisine at its best. It’s an “unlimited” meal and you can feast and satiate yourself to your heart’s content.
 
If you are in Pune, or the next time you visit Pune, have a delicious unforgettable meal at Shreyas. It is truly value for money authentic cuisine, a hundred and forty rupees for a thali (they give a discount for senior citizens too). Do have a meal at Shreyas. You will carry with you mouthwatering memories of the delightful feast for a long long time.

That was long ago. Any suggestions for a good vegetarian thali in Pune? 

VIKRAM KARVE 
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
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Email: vikramkarve@sify.com
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
  
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