It’s been a long time since I posted here. Apologies for lack of activity, I have been city-hoping since the wedding season started. If you’ve been following me on Twitter/Snapchat/Instagram you’d know how THAT is going…
I did a series of short reviews for places I visited back in Jaipur and Pushkar. It would have been unfair to keep those experiences all to myself :) For those of you who missed out on the Instagram posts, here’s a quick summary-
Psst- the links will direct you to my Instagram profile where you can read a mini-review.
Coming to an unknown city for the first time and staying at a place like this made me feel at home, and that is probably the reason I enjoyed my stay at the Pink City so much.
The property is located in a housing colony a little away from the city ( @uber_Jaipur was a blessing) , and has budget accommodation available for all kinds of travelers. I was sharing the room with 3 other female travelers (350 bucks a night, bunk beds and all that jazz)The rooms have attached bathrooms and are all well maintained.
Ramesh, the care-taker, is super helpful and takes great care of everyone at Le Pension. He will make you coffee/tea/food at any given point of the day, he will ensure your room is clean, he will take care of your belongings and treat you like family. A little off the hook, he does make the place warm & approachable.
Le Pension feels like a home more than a hostel :)
SPICE COURT, JAIPUR
I am a sucker for pretty lights. And white paint. This place has both, so you can imagine my excitement when I walked in. Add to that ample seating space that allows you to have a decent conversation without the fear of having the next table hear you. I think the ambiance here is quite a winner.
This could definitely be improved. The service was too slow. This looks like a place frequented by tourists, the staff could be more friendly and open with suggestions.
I requested them to send across a medium spicy prep of the famous Lal Maas & I couldn’t breathe/talk much till I had some sugar in my mouth by the end of the meal. And it’s not their fault. Lal Maas is supposed to be a super hot dish that is not meant for those who can’t tolerate spice. I of course was feeling adventurous. And no one comes to Jaipur & leaves without tasting some Lal Maas….
Jokes apart, I’d really suggest you try some of the LAL MAAS. Its a culinary adventure of sorts ?
They have attempted to make a sprawling space look like a quirky little cafe somewhere down by the beach…unfortunately that doesn’t work for them. Don’t get me wrong, the decor is fabulous. Only if they had stuck to one theme…you’re left confused by the end of it. It’s almost like a fine-dining cafe that serves desserts.
The warm cinnamon cake is great for a chilly night. Though the cream cheese icing was disappointing. It was too sweet, with sugar granules in each bite.
The cookies and muffins are GREAT, something that would remind you of grandma’s cooking. The tiramisu is a tad bit too creamy, but pretty good. The tiramisu can easily be shared between 2.
The service could definitely do with some improvement.
Seeing the enthusiasm with which people were recommending Lakshmi Mishtan Bhandaar, I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, the place did not live up to the hype.
Let’s not talk about the ambiance since this isn’t really about that. You walk through the sweet shop to get to the restaurant at the back, wait a bit to get a table, place your order, eat & leave.
The food is average, but what stands out is the size of the serving. MINUSCULE servings that are not enough for one person at the cost I’ pay for a dish for 2…The service was annoyingly slow, and it was painful trying to get the attention of the staff.
Tip- if you do decide to check this out, and wish to try out a fresh fruit juice, ask them to send it across without any sugar. I literally had pineapple flavoured sugar syrup.
The place is simple with no extra frills, and that’s probably why there weren’t too many people around. Which was perfect, because it meant eating at ease without having to bother about the waiter forgetting about you or your order, and spending as much time as you wanted to at the table.
We ordered kachoris, chat, aloo tikkis, butter milk, chole bhature, dosa and malpua. The food was a little better than average, with impressive quantities being served within 20min of placing the order.
Tip- stick to the north Indian preps, their south Indian game isn’t too strong. The chole bhature and chaats are pretty good. If you don’t have much of an appetite you can share between 2.
What a great place to enjoy a lazy meal with the folks! I walked in on a weekday to find the place packed, so I had to wait a bit before I got a table outside (the indoor seating is formal, quiet and a little stuffy. This space is dominated by families while the outer area has what looks like the younger, fun crowd)
The basic ambiance will remind you of dhabas you’d find on highways. The service is good, but could definitely be better (I had to keep looking out for the staff to refill my glass of water)
The food is GORGEOUS. Butter Chicken and Handi Chicken prepared in true north Indian style- I had planned on eating 1 tandoori roti, I ended up with 2 roomali rotis and 2 tandoori rotis.
I’d recommend this place if you’re looking for a quiet, relaxed dinner with family/friends at a place that allows you to eat at your own pace, serves delicious food and is affordable.
Ideally, this would be the perfect comfort zone I’d be looking at – pretty lights on a rooftop terrace that overlooks the city, an ambiance dominated by plants, ethnic decor, soft music, and some delicious food. BUT. All this goes to waste when you find out how RACIST this place is. If you’re an Indian, be prepared to hear a “No” when you ask for a reservation or try walking in. If you are lucky, you might get a table on the second floor of the terrace restaurant, hidden from the eyes of the foreigners..and waiters. We were lucky enough to get a table with all the “regulars”, but we couldn’t help noticing the preferential treatment given to the ‘firangs’ Which we then pointed out to the waiters, taunting them every now and then. For the sake of humanity, I hope they were embarrassed.
Be prepared to have your patience tested if you wish to visit Peacock.
As far as the food is concerned, it’s excellent. But that’ all that I am going to say about a place that does not allow me to walk in because you know, I belong to the same country the owner is from. Talk about strange.
I heard about @zostel from a friend, and decided to check it out. It seemed like a good deal with free wifi & bunk beds at 300 rupees a night. My first reaction when I stepped in? “Oh My God I don’t think I want to see Pushkar, I want to stay here!!!” Anurag from Zostel quickly checked us in, showed us around the property & told us a little about Pushkar & the things one should do there.
Since it is a backpacker’s haven, you’d see a lot of travelers lazing around on the couches in the terraces and recreational areas. You are free to change the music, carry the speakers to your rooms, play board games, organize group activities, read a book or simply laze around near the swimming pool. They also have a pet Labrador pup that is too adorable to be true. Someone please give him a tight little hug from me *sigh*Excellent place, excellent people, excellent service. They also organize trips to nearby tourist spots, in case you do not have any plans or are traveling alone. LOVED the warm vibes :) The place is neat, clean and organized. We had a comfortable stay, & I know what to opt for the next time I’m in any town with a Zostel.
Cafe Nirvana was the first restaurant we walked into in Pushkar. A sprawling terrace that’s converted into a cafe, Cafe Nirvana had us looking around in amazement the moment we stepped in. Neon paintings and doodles on the walls, some excellent psy music, a great view of the ghats and the Pushkar lake in the distance & the market down below…this place has all that you need to sit back, relax & soak in the vibes of the small village that is Pushkar.
We don’t remember talking much…we sat there looking around, watching the sunset while sipping on our cold coffees and pineapple juice …. And the FOOD was pure LOVE! We ordered a cold coffee and pineapple juice that arrived within 15min and had us stunned because of the size of the glass. One sip and I don’t think we spoke anything till our drinks were over. We ordered a pizza made of 4 different types of cheese- 350 bucks for 8 slices of pizza that melts in your mouth? I think that’s quite a deal.
We loved the food so much that we came back the next day for some hummus & pita bread. Folks, you have not lived Pushkar if you have not had the hummus & pita bread at Cafe Nirvana.
Tucked away in a quiet corner of the busy Pushkar market, Funky Monkey Cafe is something that every traveler to Pushkar must try out. It’s not too difficult to find, thanks to the hoardings on the street. It’s a humble cafe with 5 tables taking up the entire space on the road. But don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the cafe! The menu has a wide range of options available…at EXTREMELY AFFORDABLE PRICES! 150 bucks for a combo meal that is fit for a king, yeah why not!!?! And the food is absolutely delicious. We ordered a banana pancake (100 bucks) a cheese omelette that was served with 3 slices of toast & costed somewhere around 120 bucks, a banana coconut milkshake, strawberry coconut milkshake and a chocolate coconut milkshake. MIND WAS BLOWN. I’d highly recommend a large glass of their shakes, the guy there whips up a storm! The service is fantastic, and will make you fill like home. Great food, great service, healthy food- there’s nothing more that you need here. I’d highly recommend this.
Sunset Cafe is probably on everyone’s list since it finds a mention in almost all tourist guides around Pushkar. And unlike most recommended places for tourists, this one fails to live up to the hype. I honestly wasn’t impressed because of the following reasons-
1. The approach road is a small, dark by-lane near the Pushkar market. As a woman traveler, I found it to be a little unsafe. Being followed by men on two wheelers shouting out lewd comments while I frantically try to look around for help isn’t my idea of a perfect vacation.
2. The food is average. We ordered a pasta and a pizza from the extensive menu (the menu has some good options!) 350 bucks for a pizza that is as good as the one we make at home is nothing too special in my opinion.
I’d honestly not make such a big deal about Sunset Cafe. It’s pretty average.
DO NOT MISS OUT ON THE ONION KACHORIS HERE.
I am not even a kachori or fried food fan and I ended up ordering 2 of the onion kachoris. And even took them back to Pune with me.
Other than that, their dal bhaati churma was pretty impressive. So was their khair sangri.
What to avoid- the matka kulfi (it’s Vadilal icecream that’s heavy on flavour, low on taste) and the paneer tikka. The panner tikkas were basically grilled cubes of paneer coated with masala on the outside, with the insides being plain, raw paneer. HUGE disappointment.
The girls made this a trip worth remembering. I’m going to be living with these memories forever. Thank you girls :)
Also a huge thanks to followers on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter who were generous with their suggestions :) And for all those who missed out on the updates-
Instagram – Dumbbellsanddrama