Remember my recent post about The Little Door launching in Pune? To those of you who missed it- it was a glamorous chaos. I think I had 2 types of starters served to me cold, oily and bitter. And a whole lot of sangrias (I don’t drink. I was sloshed by the end of it. NEVER, EVER AGAIN) I cut them some slack this time since it was the launch, and things are not expected to be perfect. So when I got an invitation to try out the food, I was a little skeptical (had heard 2 friends giving it a low rating) yet curious. What did I think of it by the end of the night? Read on ;)
(This is all that I remember from the launch)
The Little Door has replaced Trois in Kalyani Nagar. If the lanes and roads of the area confuse you (I’ve understood the lanes in Bandra, but there’s no way I am ever getting a hang of what’s going on in Kalyani Nagar) there might be a high possibility of you missing out on TLD, and that’s only because it is situated at the corner, and is a plain building with a huge Shiv Sena board covering a major part of it’s outer wall. The “little blue door” in the white wall doesn’t seem to stand out in the dark. But if you keep a close look-out, you are most likely to spot a bunch of valet parking guys standing in a huddle near the entrance to TLD. So if in case you are a little directionally challenged, just keep a look out for valet parkers at the building in the corner of the lane.
That sounds pretty dull to be something that is a big rage in Mumbai, isn’t it? Hold onto your horses…things are about to get fabulous!
There is nothing little about The Little Door. A quiet dining area with white stone walls, quirky (suspended?) tables against a glass wall, couches carved in stone for those coming in with large groups, a bar at the end of the outer seating area…2 floors of indoor seating with al fresco decor and a beautiful, relaxing rooftop seating arrangement that is covered by a dense green canopy – there’s ample amount of space to suit your mood. I personally prefer the corner table on the terrace seating :) Oh how much I’d love to replace my wine with coffee and spend a day there…*sigh*
The ambiance will make you want to stay, especially if you have the DJ playing some fun hits from the 90s- the nostalgic trip while you sip on your cocktail will have you drifting into your comfort zone (by the end of it, my friend and I wanted to take a little nap) Quirky interior decoration accents add on to the rustic, Mediterranean charm. Since TLD has luckily opened up in a quiet neighborhood, it’s not hard to imagine a sea coast somewhere down a hillside near you…especially when you’re 2-3 cocktails down (I fortunately/unfortunately need only half a drink to do the job.) Full marks to the ambiance. Full marks.
The Sangrias were a big hit at the launch, and they’ve remained consistent (and extremely strong) 3 weeks down the line. Their Signature Sangrias include Melony White, Blushy Pink and Healthy Red. The Melony White was my favorite since I prefer white wine, and this was lighter, refreshing, more fruity and sweet compared to the red and pink preparations. Their Signature Cocktails include the Red Velvet, Podka and Happy Coco. No guesses as to which one I called for. Yes, the Red Velvet, duh. Gorgeous drink, but the flavor of the watermelon was a little too strong towards the end. The Podka on the other hand is a sweet, refreshing drink , thanks to Kokum. I’m not a great fan of that flavour, but if I could drink more, this would have been my next choice after the Melony White.
When it comes to food, I honestly wasn’t prepared to be blown out of my mind. I stepped in with a small appetite, and one look at the menu had me change my mind. Here’s a quick recap of the dinner-
Herbed chips topped with four cheese sauce, dressed with feta, scallions, tomatoes, bellpeppers, jalapeños, olives &feta. This is served with Mediterranean salsa. If you love your cheese, you’ve been served some cheesy heaven here! And it’s a little impossible to stop after one bite. The warm gooey cheese with the crispy nachos is a super hit. A definite recommendation.
This platter consists of grilled chicken sausages tossed with garlic, chillies & red wine sauce, fried chicken strips stuffed with cheese & herbs, pita parcels of shaved chicken, za’tar spice, garlic sauce, potato hash & pickled salad; accompanied by onion rings and some marinated shrimp stuffed with jalapeño, wrapped with cheese & bacon. I don’t see any reason for you to avoid this dish. If you’re going with a group, ORDER THIS! If it’s a couple of tiny eaters, you could share this and it could suffice as the main course. My personal favorite was the shrimp wrapped in bacon. Nomnom!
A creamy mushroom & sun-dried tomato risotto, flavored with champagne & saffron: drool guaranteed. Creamy, buttery warmth of authentic Mediterranean flavors leave a wonderful aftertaste that will have you craving for more. True story.
Gambas A La Parilla
Grilled shrimps mixed with an orange chilli sauce, served with butter parsley rice & leafy salad- light, buttery, a little tangy, creamy and OHMYGODSODELISH! Please, please, please do not miss out on this? And I like the fact that they serve such healthy looking prawns. Why would ANYONE want to ignore this? (except for maybe if you have a food allergy?)
Pollo Con Salsa Al Pepe
Chicken breast rolled with mushrooms, grilled & served in mushroom pepper sauce, accompanied by creamy potato mash & leafy salad. If I hadn’t stuffed myself with any of the starters, I would have probably gobbled up 3 of this GORGEOUS preparation. I can see myself going back to TLD for this particular beauty already…
Chocolate and Rum, enough said. Though I had expected the chocolate to be a little bitter and dark- it was a little too creamy for my liking. But it already seems to have found loyalists, so I guess you could give it a try and let me know what you think about it :)
I won’t be surprised if this turns out to be one of the top dining destinations in the city soon (provided they keep up the good work) I’m glad to say that my opinion has definitely changed since the night of its launch here in Pune. It’s been 3 weeks and the place seems to have found a few regulars already. Do they plan on making this a young, fun, casual place the way it is in Mumbai? You’ll find out soon enough :)
The Little Door,Pune
A definite hit.
Let me know what you think of it :) Tweet to me @SwimPhony. Or you could connect on Zomato (Pea Tea) and/or Instagram- @spicycalamari
Happy eating folks!