Despite being an enthusiastic host, Mr. Mrunal Nagpal has managed to capture Asian Food in a very different manner at this small, quaint place right below Farzi Cafe in Kalyani Nagar called Noodle Canteen. Starting the blog with big thanks to Surya Sharma (Foodiepreneur) for extending the invitation to a place that serves one of my favourite cuisines!
Mr. Mrunal travels a lot (we talked about Vietnam & Thailand for almost an hour) and picks up on the local food and serves some items that you wouldn’t have even thought of. Wait, have you heard of Caramel and Chicken together? On the same plate? No right? This guy managed to wow us with this and a lot more.
P.S. – Talk to Mrunal about his travels and food inspiration. He has awesome stories to tell everyone.
A small but interesting tasting menu (Things that were served to us):
1. Buddha’s Delight
2. Spinach & Corn Dimsums
3. Veg Khao Suey
4. Chicken Satay
5. Caramel Pepper Chicken
6. Drunken Red
7. Tom Yum Soup
8. Chocolate Wontons
9. In-house Ice Teas
Buddha’s Delight was literally extended to all the non-vegetarians on the table as well. This ‘delightful’ and unique vegetarian dish is a meal consisting of cabbage, broccoli, shitake mushrooms, bokchoy in oyster sauce and the topping of burnt garlic. A very healthy Chinese & Buddhist dish that is served mostly during festive occasions defined created a festive on my palettes! The textures and flavours of each and every vegetable was perfect and it’s a great dish to bring everyone together to the table! The Spinach and Corn Dimsums were served piping hot and were definitely magical cheesy parcels with the freshness of spinach and juiciness of the corn and that perfect peanut sauce! The Veg Khao Suey was no else! Bursting with the authentic flavours, it was delectable. The Curry with the burnt garlic noodles was one of the best in this city. It’s a definite try! BTW, the noodles are made in-house and so are the sauces.
Heading to the non-veg options…don’t worry you non-vegetarian people…they were pretty damn good as well. The Chicken Satay had perfectly cooked chicken and was succulent and reminded me of the time when I had almost a plate full of it in Malaysia & Thailand. The Caramel Pepper Chicken was something that I had my eyes on. I generally don’t like protein to be used with a sweet flavour combination and this one blew me away! This Vietnamese dish has crispiness, spiciness and the sweetness in every chicken strip. The balance of the entire dish made it downright delicious!
The Drunken Red is basically Basa fish sprinkled with Brandy. With the fish cooked really good and topped with chopped spring onions, it’s a definite fish lover’s next order. Looked pretty with that red-orange colour, you could easily order for some rice and hog it! The Tom Yum Soup was the perfect end to the savoury dishes. Despite having a runny nose and crying my ass off coz of the spiciness, I just could not let go of this yummy soup. Interestingly, it falls under the category of Cutting Soup in their menu with the inspiration of Cutting Chai (like Chai and Cigarette) and is served in a mug! The seasoning of the broth, protein and the distinct flavours of all the ingredients in that soup makes this a perfect soup to have during the evenings in Pune.
Ending this fantastic review with the Chocolate Wontons. Crunchy, deep-fried, chocolate shaving -filled wonton shells with the salted caramel drizzles, this one is for the mighty sweet tooth lovers and not to be missed by the others too!
And a special mention – The In-House Ice Teas. So their ice-teas are prepared in-house and I guess on a weekly basis the flavours keep changing. We tried the Peppermint Ice Tea which proved to be perfect on that hot afternoon tasting day!