Dancing its way through the upcoming area of Pune, Baner, Cabaret is slowly but is surely making its mark. With the logo showcasing an octopus, the meaning is quite simple yet makes you go Ah! The octopus’s tentacles are strong, flexible and expendable and Cabaret is just that. Flexible with the customizations (in foods & drinks), strong as a brand (Cabaret is owned by the same guy who owns the successful Cafe Peter Doughnuts) and expendable in all areas (food, liquor, service, hospitality, games & more).
This was my first tasting post my Leh-Ladakh trip and I did this tasting with a clean slate in mind. All thanks to Anu Banerji for this tasting.
Moving on, the minute you step into this place you can see the cabaret sofas, high iron chairs and tables, dart games and a get a feel of a luxurious lounge. So they have split into three different areas- The Bar Zone, The Cafe Zone & the Restaurant Zone and they also have a small room that can be booked for private parties and you can have your own karaoke inside without disturbing anyone because sound proof walls! Perfect. If the look and feel of the place are so versatile, what would the food be like? Before you read the review, I’ll give you the answer – Versatile!
The following dishes and drinks were served to us:
1. Cucumber & Mint Cooler
2. Chocolate Mao
3. Tequila Sunrise
4. Veg Kimbap
5. Japanese Potato Cake
6. Japanese Fish Cake
7. Veg. Arrabiata Pasta
8. Veg Nasi Goreng
9. Stir Fried Japanese Noodles
10. Mongolian Chicken Ramen
11. Fried Ice- Cream with chocolate sauce
With the Cucumber & Mint cooler making its refreshing start, the Chocolate Mao made its chocolatey entrance and the Tequila Sunrise left me wanting for more with the citrusy and sweet ingredients & also making it a perfect cocktail for those who love tequila as their poison!
On the food front, it was good just like the drinks!Tthe Japanese Potato Cake were panko -coated and deep fried and it also used as a side dish with many non-vegetarian dishes. The potato is indeed versatile in almost every country across the globe. Anyway, these Potato Cakes originated from French croquette and are actually deep fried mashed potatoes. Hot and crispy, these potato cakes have many variations and the ones served to us nailed the description. I loved the crispiness of the crust and then the hotness of the potatoes along with the dipping sauce just made it a perfect start. And if the veg variation was good, the fish one was much better. Give the reason that seafood is a major protein in Japanese cuisine, this one had to be good. The fresh fish in the Fish Cakes is first mashed into a paste, some seasoning is added & once it’s formed, it’s cooked. The fish was cooked brilliantly and the crunchiness from the panko breadcrumbs made this dish swim its way to my heart!
The Veg. Nasi Goreng is basically Indonesian fried rice with a mix of spicy, savoury and sweet flavours. Although it’s served with a topping of an egg, the veg option was devoid of it. But the depth of the flavour made up for many omissions! Packed with green beans, crunch carrots & Chinese leaf and fragrant Asian flavours, this one of the best Nasi Gorengs in the city! A definite, definite try! The Stir Fried Japanese Noodles is a definite treat for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Loaded with vegetables ranging from broccoli (my favourite) to capsicum, red cabbage, carrots & shallots/scallion, these noodles makes for a popular, saucy, fast and a classic Japanese dish choice. Oh wait, did I forget the dish that literally makes my life, day, night, morning, evenings? The Korean Sushi a.k.a. Kimbap…although served veg here, I loved it and it matched by Sushi sweatshirt too! Now, remember guys, the Korean Sushi and Japanese Sushi are different. DO NOT CONFUSE THEM! The kimbap(s) were cute, bite-sized and stuffed with rice and vegetables with the nutty and savoury flavour, it definitely did take me to my happy sushi dreams. I guess I had a plate full of those. That’s a good verdict, eh! The next dish is typically served with beef but here chicken was the served protein. With the juiciness of the chicken, a sweet and tangy sauce and tossed ramen noodles, a lovely combination was presented. The right amount of flavours, saltiness and fragrance, made it a well-balanced dish.
Entering the desserts arena, the first one served was the Fried Ice- Cream with chocolate sauce. The fried ice-cream did remind me of the Wasabi Ice-Cream that I had at the Japanese Pop-up at The Bar & Eatery. With its crispy shell and a bit of chocolate drizzling, the refreshing ice cream too and the coating giving that crunchiness made it a fun dessert! But the next dessert is a very popular one in Korea and looks like a fish! Any guesses? It’s the Bungeoppang. This fish shaped pastry is sweetened with red bean paste. But be careful, either you’ll like the taste or you won’t. No middle grounds. But if anything, click Instagrammable pictures with this dessert and boats about your knowledge of the basic Korean dessert!
Wait, there’s more about this place! So they’re first place in Pune to have online darts. I did lose in all the 3 rounds but its great fun and worth it! Also, these guys are planning to convert the upper floor into a co-working space where alcohol will also be served! Isn’t that cool? That could be the first for Pune! Let’s see if this happens coz you might just find me there!