Hotel Surya (Deccan Rendezvous), Apte Road – Great Food Experience

Hotel Surya (Deccan Rendezvous), Apte Road has been one of my favourite hotels in the area for a long time. This was the place to go for family functions and dinners due to their delicious food and beautiful ambiance. It was also the place to be if you wanted to do some celebrity spotting. Everytime you were there you are sure to encounter at least one or many celebs, Marathi actors, musicians etc. Being very centrally located, it’s is the perfect place to stay too if you’re in Pune for work. It has had a bit of an identity crisis in the recent years, though. It went from being the legendary Hotel Surya to Deccan Rendezvous and now back to Hotel Surya. Anyway, that has not taken anything away from the great service, ambiance as well as food.

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I was invited at their restaurant – Glass Window – for a food tasting as well as for their ongoing Seafood Festival. I had a great time meeting the amazing chefs, Chef Anand Rangari and Chef Brijesh, who very passionately and elaborately explained their philosophy behind the food and menu. They have a varied menu appealing to all taste buds and various cuisines but mindful to keep the authenticity, flavour, and soul of each dish intact. They use, for example, large thick cast iron kadhais for their curries and make their masalas from scratch from roasted whole spices in house.

APPETIZERS

The sheer number of appetizers was impressive and very well presented with a selection of veg and non-veg dishes.

Lamb Kakori Kebab – It was seriously delicate, smooth and finely minced lamb kebab with an amazing subtle whole spice flavour, smokiness from being grilled over charcoal and a hint of sweetness from khoa. The amazing soft and delicate ‘melt in the mouth’ texture was the highlight for me, coming from the highly specialized and intense mincing process which is done over and over until this consistency is achieved. 

Chicken Tikka Achari – A very juicy chicken kebab with the beautiful pickled flavour of garlic, turmeric etc with ‘just right’ heat and spice. Not the typical ‘red’ overpowering oily ‘achari’ flavour one has come to expect. It was a delicious and a very welcome surprise.

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Chicken Tikka Achari

Mozzarella Fingers – Pretty delicious crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, beautifully presented dish. Served with a Piquant Dip.

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Mozzarella Fingers

Stuffed Mushroom Caps – Very tasty and crispy mushrooms stuffed with cheese and mild spices. Excellent with the aioli dip.

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Stuffed Mushrooms Caps

Amritsari Paneer Tikka – An excellent soft and flavourful paneer dish with amazing spice and served with a fresh mint dip.

Bangda Fry – From their Seafood festival menu, this was one of my favourite appetizers. Bangda (Mackerel) was juicy, perfectly cooked with a crispy rawa skin, stuffed with spices and the right amount of heat. The marinade or masala was spot on, really delicious.

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Bangda Fry

SOUPS

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Asian Noodle Soup / Carrot Ginger Cheese Soup

The Asian Noodle Soup was heartwarming and delicious with the power to probably cure any flu in an instant. Hot, loaded with mushroom, kaffir lime, coriander, lemongrass and sprouts.

The Carrot Ginger and Cheese Soup was creamy, cheesy and thick. Perfect winter comfort food!

MAINS

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Mains

Rajasthani Laal Maas – Fiery red curry with juicy and perfectly cooked lamb, packed full of flavour of red chilly and spices accentuated with ghee! The curry wasn’t super spicy and it did not burn, but had the headiness of red chilly. The meat is cooked in the curry itself, not separately, with bone, imparting a meaty flavour.

Wanderdriveeat-Hotel-Surya-Deccan-Rendezvous-Rajasthani-Laal-Maas

Rajasthani Laal Maas

Dum Ke Mushrooms was an amazing vegetarian curry, with huge flavour of ginger and garlic with lots of mushrooms. Tasted amazing with rotis.

Veg Biryani – Considered a sheer abomination by many, this biryani, was nevertheless, a very flavourful affair. Warm whole spices, long basmati rice steaming out of a clay pot sealed with dough. It was really tasty, I can only imagine how good the chicken and mutton versions would be!

Pollo Saltimboca – A very classic Italian dish, it was a chicken breast rolled and cooked wonderfully with a thick and caramelized brown gravy on top. It was super flavourful and satisfying, especially with the creamy potatoes on the side. Beautifully presented and very heart warming dish.

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Pollo Saltimbocca

Spicy Cottage Cheese with Tamarind Chilli Glaze was a Chinese style dish. Tangy, spicy and hint of sweetness, very different and tasted great with the simple fried rice.

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Spicy Cottage Cheese Tamarind Chilli Glaze

Thai Green Curry – Very classic and delicious, creamy, light and aromatic, teeming with the flavours of lemongrass, kaffir lime and basil with mushroom and bell peppers. Tasted just great and soul satisfying with steamed rice.

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Thai Green Curry

DESSERT

Brownie with Chocolate sauce – It was a superb end to the meal. Soft, chocolaty and almost gooey brownie, brimming with walnuts topped with vanilla ice cream and swimming in a hot pool of intense chocolate sauce. Probably a fantasy of most dessertophiles. It was really good, one of the best brownies I’ve had this side of town.

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Brownie With Chocolate Sauce

BEVERAGES

We were served a multitude of drinks. The refreshing and tasty mocktails were – Blue Ocean, Cherry Kiss, Sherley Temple with the Flamingo being my favourite. The cocktails were Caprioska, Fruit Daiquiri, Watermelon Basil and Martini and the Manhattan, whiskey based cocktail, being my favourite. The cocktails were nice and potent.

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Mocktails / Cocktails

VERDICT

Hotel Surya (Deccan Rendezvous) has still got it. It still definitely is one of the best places for food, drinks, parties and get togethers in the Deccan area. The consistency of quality, taste and service is pretty unbeatable. With reworked interiors and bar, Glass Window seems even more spacious and classy. It’s a great place to be. I could give it 5 stars, especially because I’ve been eating there for a long time and I’ve always been so happy with the food and service.

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