People’s Choice at Malaka Spice, Koregaon Park, Pune

How can one make friends without exquisite dishes! It is mainly through the table, (Palatable in this case) that one governs.

My first PEO Palatable meet and definitely an experience I’ll cherish for a lifetime. Palatable (read as Pal-at-table), a one-of-a-kind app, is the brainchild of Shantanu Ghosh and Amar Shirsat, who believe in fostering human relationships over food. “Food is something that always brings people closer”. Hence the idea of finding a ‘pal at the table’!

And what better Venue than Malaka Spice would it be to catch up with the big wigs and stalwarts of Food blogging and F&B industry.

 

I simply cannot fathom why it’s named “Malaka” Spice though, hence i did some checking and finally my curiosity was fed when a fellow foodie told me that Malaka is Cheeru’s brainchild and is derived from “Malacca” the capital city of Malaysia. As quirky as it gets you can vouch for the delicacies they offer. 

This being my first Palatable meet I was quite excited and in the excitement I found myself to be the first on the huge table, (a table of 30) that is actually even before the host could arrive.

Meeting like minded people is something I look forward to and believe me the folks I met here blew my mind, the connoisseurs under one roof for the week’s Palatable!tongue emoticon

After the introductions we were all set to try some unusual yet lip-smacking delicacies.

We are all aware that Malaka Spice has launched the summer menu a while back and this time it was our chance to sample most of it on the Weekly PEOple’s Choice Palatable meet.

We had the PEO deals as follows.

1) Unlimited Summer Menu with Mocktails – Rs 850/- All inclusive
2) Unlimited Summer Menu, Draught Beer, Sangria and select cocktails – Rs 1200/- All inclusive.

Most of us opted for the unlimited summer menu with mocktails and so did I.

We were served the following mocktails,

The Malaka Sling – this one had two variants. One with Strawberry slush, lime juice and an overpowering orange twist, Tad too sweet, not just for me but also for everyone else around.

The other one almost had the same ingredients but with a hint of watermelon, loved how the savory taste kicked in.

 

We also had the Malaka Iced tea which was again too sweet but I quite liked it.

 

And then it was time savor the specially crafted menu for the special lot by our very own and special host – Aniruddha Patil.

Here’s what we feasted on:

We started with Chilled and Hot watermelon soup – A blend of chilled watermelon balls and spicy chilly, quite an unusual mix. This was actually HOT! Too HOT to handle, at least to me, but I liked the zing it had. An actual summer delight, alternate warm and chilled dishes do add up to the appetite. (Read that somewhere and I totally agree)

 

 

The next Soup was Sinigang sa Miso: Me being a sea food lover, just couldn’t afford to miss this one. Its Filipino inspired Japanese soup with miso, bean sprouts and red snapper fish. Loved it!

 

 

Time for some salads,

Never did like salads much but ever since I tasted the caramelized pear salad at Krustys I developed a liking for them and to be honest the salads at Malaka spice did not disappoint at all.

The Napa Cabbage Warm Salad in Peanut Butter

Crunchy Thai vegetable salad with peanut dressing. Finely mixed and tasted really good.

 

The non veg salad was Prawns Mangorita

Prawns mixed with sweet watermelon and tangy green mango, and it tasted just fine. The prawns were bland but didn’t go haywire.

 

Moved on to some grills and Stir fries.

Grilled Fish in Mint sauce

Marinated red snapper fish fillet grilled and served with mint sauce. The sauce was sweet and the grilled fish melted as beautifully.

 

Again in the starters we had ‘Goya Champuru‘- Bitter gourd (Karela), Bottle Gourd (dudhi bhopla) and tofu tossed in teriyaki sauce – really an unusual combo, crunchy and delicious.

 

Tried the Pimento’n Valor beans Stir fry Bell pepper and veggies tossed in soy sauce, my verdict – Average.

 

Tiger Prawns with Carambola

I am a fan of Tiger prawns and this particular starter was bang on my taste buds. Fresh tiger prawns deliciously cooked in pineapple juice and star fruit. The best I have ever had. ‪#‎HighlyRecommended‬

 

Bak Kut Teh

Just a weird named dish which actually happens to be Mutton chops.tongue emoticon

It’s Bruneian spicy spare mutton ribs with Chinese crullers (Bread deep fried to perfection) tasted just fine.

Suggestions: The crullers need to be a bit less oily.

 

 

After all this I was literally full and the main course hadn’t even begun. So I gave it a shot, and boy I was delighted.

 

The Mains: Cambodian Jungle Curry, Cherish farm greens stir fry, Massaman Mutton Curry and Macau curried tiger prawns with bottleguard and fenugreek.

 

Cambodian Jungle Curry – Don’t really remember having this and if I tried it, it definitely is good.

 

Massaman Mutton Curry – Mutton cooked in fresh Thai Massaman paste and coconut milk. Perfectly cooked with succulent chunks of mutton, quite a Meaty affair! Also, that’s a personal favorite, recommended if you are a mutton lover like I am.

Macau Curried Tiger Prawns with Bottleguard and fenugreek was another prawn offering by Malaka Spice and was good. Too much prawns by now, eh? So I skipped it after a few bites.

 

Rice and Noodles

As mentioned earlier this was a specially crafted menu, had some more of it added in the main course.

Tried the Vietnam Mi Quang and I must say I tasted awesome.

 

Vietnamese chicken, shrimp and yellow rice-stick noodles accompanied with boiled eggs. The presentation was so beautiful that I actually didn’t intend to disfigure it, but the hunger stories couldn’t be penned if we don’t do that.

 

Sambal Rice – Something not suitable for my palate. Really spicy rice prepared in home-ground Sambal Paste. Only one morsel is what I had, if you cannot handle spice, this is NOT for you!

 

When it comes to Desserts, there are No Deserters!


Here’s what Malaka offered us,

Banana’n Coconut Roll – Soft caramelized banana and crunchy coconut rolled up in a heavenly dessert paired best with plain vanilla ice cream. I just loved this!

 

 

There was another dessert called the Vodka Lava which I didn’t try. But I overheard Swati Sengupta Mam asking “Where’s the Vodka in this? And pat came the reply from Sharadchandra Bagde Sir, “Its sprinkled”:P

That’s Experience you see.

grin emoticon

The Service: Food was served in good time and we were attended to promptly whenever we needed anything, I agree it was a hassle for the servers to serve a group of a good 30 PEOple!

The food, service, ambiance was all top-notch. There were rare occasions when the order took a bit of time to come through but nothing that would ruin our mood; we were all happy souls by now!

This was an evening to cherish with good food and great PEOple!

A big shout out to Team Malaka, Palatable, Aniruddha and the PEOple who attended the meet.

Here’s to good food and Great Friends, CHEERS!

A day spent with friends is always a day well spent!

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