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APRIL RAIN

Pune is slowly developing as the next food-hub. We have a large repertoire of eateries that include local hawker stalls, small road-side shops, cafes, bakeries and fine dining restaurants.

People are always asking, which is the best restaurant you’ve eaten at in Pune. I think it’s pertinent to categorize whether one is looking at a casual lunch, a brunch, a wild party, or maybe just a quiet time on your own…you know, it really depends on the mood.

 

 I haven’t tried many multi-cuisine restaurants recently. Previous experiences to the multi-cuisine eateries taught me how it’s easier to be the jack of all trades and master of none. I was a little hesitant to try out April Rain for the simple reason that driving 17kms to taste multi-cuisine preparations….Not very reassuring. After 2 days of reading up on reviews and asking around for opinions, I decided to give this a try. 

 

April Rain is a multi-cuisine restaurant in Aundh, and is a preferred venue for enjoying a meal with family and friends. It is also known to be a popular spot in the area for corporate parties.

 

 

Décor

April Rain is located in a commercial complex right next to Starbucks at Aundh. With a huge basement parking space (valet available) this two-storey restaurant boasts of a spacious seating arrangement and smart interiors: neatly laid out tables and chairs, dim lighting, soothing music and a wine rack just before the wooden staircase displaying a collection of wines and scotches. The chandelier on the roof gives a vintage feel to the otherwise modern interiors. (We were told the chandelier was only for show- it had been 2 years since they had used it since it tends to make the place bright and gawdy)Since it was evening, the place was crowded with families and large groups of office goers.

 

 

 

Food

Presentation can make all the difference to the dining experience. It’s a pity some of the restaurants concentrate so much on the presentation that they forget about the taste of the food. April Rain gets full marks for finding the perfect balance.

 

Menu:

 

Cheese Oregano Sticks

Martini Pav Bhaji

Malwani Kurao Jatra

Fruit Punch

Sangria

Thai Green Curry (chicken) with Steamed Rice

Chicken Steak in Red Wine Sauce

Mousse- Independence Day Special

Pan Shots

 

 

 

Cheese Oregano Sticks


A dense, salty white mozzarella cheese stick with an outer layer of fried filo.  Super crispy, no sign of oil and absolutely drool worthy when dipped in the chili sauce.  Obviously couldn’t stop at one. BUT! Once they cool down they tend to get a little hard…finish them off when they are hot…the melting cheese will have you drooling for more. Definitely recommended.

 

Martini Pav Bhaji



 

 

I had to ask the waiter to repeat the name of the dish since I thought I had heard it wrong. Martini and Pav Bhaji? What did I miss here? The bhaji came in a martini glass with a large slice of garlic bread dunked into it. Full marks for the presentation. Quirky, and obviously a brilliant idea. No need to dirty your hands ( Chef Milind told us how this works great for the corporate parties since this is so convenient yet stylish to eat) Taste? It’s your regular preparation that you might find elsewhere, but the experience of having it out of a martini glass is what makes it exciting.

 

Malwani Kurao Jatra



 

This one was my favorite starter for the evening. The description is enough to get you drooling. Fried fish topped with a mix of crayfish and prawns- there’s no way a sea-food lover can refuse this. I absolutely loved how the preparation tasted fresh, especially with the typical sea-food smell and taste missing. Definitely recommended to all those who love sea-food.

 

 

Fruit Punch


This was the first time the word PUNCH made sense. An expected sugar rush coupled with a fruity punch…probably the only place I’ve had this (non-alcoholic) drink that’s made me realize the relevance of the name. Tends to get a little too filling, but absolutely recommended for those with large appetites. Or maybe you could share it between two of you. Whatever works for you, as long as you do try it out.

 

Sangria


Quite a pleaser, but maybe the quantity of apple pieces in the drink can be reduced. After a certain point you need to scoop up the apples with the spoon- it would be a lot more convenient to reduce the fruit. But other than that, ladies, do try it out. You’ll also like it if you prefer red wine which isn’t too dry. I also noticed other tables ordering the drink- it definitely looks like a best-seller.

 

 

Thai Green Curry (chicken) with Steamed Rice


I can’t mention this one without drooling. I am a big fan of South Indian cuisine…so if you serve me something that is coconut based, there’s a 90% chance that I might like it. While ordering this I had imagined a coconut-based green curry with boneless chicken pieces served to me on top of steamed rice. What I got was exactly the same thing. And there they had a happy customer J There’s ONE suggestion though- the quantity of rice is perfect for one person, but the curry can be had by 2 (maybe even 3) The dish looks a little imbalanced because of this. Other than that, this is definitely recommended. 11/10.

 

Chicken Steak in Red Wine Sauce


Easy to cut, easy to bite into and easy to chew- the perfect minced chicken steak served in a red wine sauce, accompanied with mashed potatoes and boiled vegetables. Buttery, smooth, rich goodness that makes you go mmmmm…Perfect quantity for one person. Highly recommended.

 

 

 

Mousse- Independence Day Special and Pan Shots


They served us a tri-color mousse in small shot glasses. A great initiative J It was a little too sweet for my liking. This was followed by a dark green concoction made out of pan leaves. Quite a refreshing end to the lovely meal.

 

 

In a nutshell-

This is a nice place to relax with your friends and family at the end of a long day. Conversation over good food are rarely forgotten. This place boasts of a loyal customer base, and I can see why.It’s a little too far for me, but I wouldn’t mind stopping there for a meal again. The service is excellent, the waiters are helpful and recommend dishes according to your tastes. Chef Milind is a jolly man who loves interacting with his guests. There is a certain level of comfort that is created by the April Rain team when you enter their restaurant. Overall an enjoyable experience, especially if you are dining with a large group and have a big appetite since there is a lot of good stuff to try out here. Value for money guaranteed.

 

 

 

Décor- 3/5

Food- 4/5

Service- 4/5

 

 

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