Malaka Spice is one of the most legendary names in Pune. Anyone mentions pan-Asian cuisine and Malaka is what you think of first, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 20 years. I was invited for an exclusive food tasting along with Food Prowl at their Baner branch.
Malaka Spice, Baner is a huge and beautiful space. Open and airy with indoor plants and bright colours. The Christmas tree and Rikshaw at the entrance adds a bit of a fun and festive vibe, ‘cos ’tis the season! They have a separate bar, “The Tap Room” for the craft beer enthusiasts which is a great place to hangout and chill. There is another more private room with a cosier setting complete with a wine rack and all. Very fancy, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Chicken Top Hats – Delicate and crispy, filled with flavourful chicken mince and garnished with crunchy bean sprouts. Tasted delicious topped with Malaka’s famous sambal sauce.
Thai Mutton Chops – Beautifully cooked tender chops which almost slipped off the bone. Amazing caramelized soy, onion and garlic based glaze. Incredible.
Salt and Pepper Prawns – Juicy, perfectly cooked prawns with heaps of Shichuan pepper and garlic. It was a pleasure to eat.
Pepper Fish with Garlic – Hits the brief. Crispy coating with soft fish loaded with pepper and garlic. It was a tad chewy though.
Green Papaya Salad – Tangy, subtle and fresh topped with the chillies and roasted peanuts.
Thai Chicken Thighs – Crispy chicken drumsticks. But they were overcooked and the Thai flavours did not sing through. This dish was a bit disappointing.
Malaka Curry Kapitan with Roti Canai – Brilliant authentic little Malay curry. Coconut milk based, spicy and rich, which was a pleasure to scoop up with the buttery and flaky Roti Canai. What a combination.
Labour Curry Chicken with Burnt Garlic Rice – Chicken curry was packed full of flavour. Very generous amount of vegetables and chicken too. The burnt garlic rice was one of the best I’ve ever had. Punch of flavour and loads of caramelized garlic, unlike most places where it is quite bland. The curry and rice together was a perfect match.
Chocolate Brownie with Ice Cream – A very non-Asian dessert to end the meal but I couldn’t be happier. The brownie was just fantastic. Light and not overly dense, mildly sweet and loaded with walnuts. Layers of flavors and textures and good old vanilla ice cream for company. Never had such an amazing brownie before.
I really don’t need to say that Malaka Spice is one of the best Pan Asian restaurants in Pune, most of you already know it. What I can tell you is that it lives up to it’s reputation, even after so many years. It’s a classic. The food, ambiance and service is impeccable. And now, you even have the Tap Room for all your merrymaking needs. I would like to thank both Malaka Spice and Food Prowl for inviting me to this food tasting.
Have you been to Malaka before? Have any interesting stories of your own? Any suggestions? Don’t forget to post it below in the comments along with your feedback about the blog. And don’t forget – Keep Wandering, Keep Driving and Keep Eating!