I associate vacations with leisure - be it a relaxing stay or soul-soothing food. There are many like me who settle for nothing but the best when it comes to food in the properties to stay. On my recent visit to Pune, I chose to stay at Double Tree By Hilton and an ambrosial dining experience ensued. I was delighted to find out multi-cuisine options under one roof. I was welcomed with a warm freshly-baked cookie from their in-house bakery 'Tarta', and it melted in my mouth with warmth and burst of flavours. It worked up my appetite for more.
After getting rid of travel tiredness with a hot cup of masala tea and filling club sandwiches in their all-day diner - 3 Spices, I took a tour of the hotel and was impressed with its contemporary interiors and sublime furnishings. Double Tree By Hilton is strategically located on the old Mumbai-Pune highway in the corporate hub of Pune - Chichwad. I could see many business visitors staying in the hotel.
After the much-needed rest, I headed to Level 12, a rooftop resto-bar, for dinner. The uber-luxe setting of the restaurant won me over. The 2-level restaurant has a large bar and cabanas in the top level and formal seating in the bottom level. The panoramic view of the city lights and some heady cocktails lifted up my mood instantly. But the best was yet to come. Yes, the food!
Level 12 provides Indian delicacies in their most elementary form. I started my meal with Cheese Corn Kurkure and, true to its name, it was cheesy and crispy. Mutton Pepper Fry had succulent meat flanked by full-of-flavour veggies. But Thecha Aloo - potato bites on a match stick was the best.
If you love Paneer Lababdar, wait till you try it here. Creamy ball-shaped paneer in a tangy gravy is something you'd never had before. This dish tops my recommendation list. I simply loved the Andhra dishes that were served to me next. Nellore Chepala Pulusu (Andhra Fish Curry) and Palakura Pappu (spinach-mixed dal) were super delicious. Mutton in Mutton Malli Masala was a bit too chewy for my palate but Andhra Chicken Curry was superb.
Breakfast next morning was from the buffet at 3 Spices. There was a wide variety of Indian, Asian and Continental food. My Eggs Benedict were great, so was the coffee. Croissant was a bit too dry but the tea cakes were mind-blowingly soft and spongy. I also tried south Indian poha and idli sambhar - and they were pretty good.
After a heavy breakfast and a rejuvenating spa session at Tattva Spa, I looked forward to my lunch at Miyuki - the hotel's Japanese restaurant. I absolutely loved Horenso Gomae (spinach and sesame salad). It was refreshing and had an interesting pungent taste. The Miso Shiro soup was also excellent with great flavours. Veg Ebi Tempura with avocado and cheese was the best cream cheese sushi I ever had. Prawn tempura was average, nothing special. Salmon Carpaccio looked and tasted amazing. It had just the right balance of flavours and salmon tasted quite fresh. The highlight of the lunch was live teppanyaki cooking session with the much-entertaining theatrics. The chef cooked veg Udon noodles served with spiced chicken and the combo was lip-smacking.
My gastronomic journey at Double Tree Hilton, Pune, coupled with warm hospitality and prompt services was memorable. I left with a full stomach and a fuller heart.
About Neha GroverLove for reading roused her writing instincts. Neha is guilty of having a deep-set fixation with anything caffeinated. When she is not pouring out her nest of thoughts onto the screen, you can see her reading while sipping on coffee.