Very few places in Pune serve pork and even fewer serve the kind of pork preparations I like. So when I heard about Flying Duck and their famous Pork Chops, I was quick to add the restaurant to my wishlist. To be honest, my wishlist is quite long so Flying Duck actually went unnoticed until fate had other plans.
My colleague and I had decided to visit another restaurant in Aundh for dinner on a Wednesday evening. After a few drinks and building up an appetite, we headed towards the restaurant and were literally devastated when it wasn’t operational that evening. We had no backup plan, so just decided to down a few more beers and think of another restaurant we could visit. We didn’t want to travel too far so I started looking for nearby restaurants when Flying Duck popped out of my wishlist.
On my way to the place, I posted a note on a foodie group asking for recommendations. Pork Chops came highly recommended along with some of their meat preparations made with Bhut Jolokia sauce. Place was easy to find and upon reaching, I was pleasantly surprised to see no serving staff in the restaurant. It’s a rare sight to see the owners waiting tables all by themselves without any staff (even to serve water or clean the tables). Folks on the foodie group had introduced me to Alakesh and Minakshi – the owners so I quickly introduced myself to them.
I went by Alakesh’s suggestions and ordered the Pork Chops, Spicy Pork in Chef Special Sauce (Bhut Jolokia) and Duck with Rice and Legume Sauce. I was pre-warned that serving all dishes takes slightly more time than usual however our Pork Chops were served in about 15 mins which isn’t bad at all.
I can safely say that these Pork Chops are, hands down, the best I’ve ever had in Pune. I’ll be more than happy to admit it if someone proves me wrong but until then I maintain status quo. While the marination, spices and presentation were in perfect order, the meat quality was undeniably premium. Good pork is hard to find and once found, needs an artist to do justice. The other starer – Pork in Bhut Jolokia or Ghost Chilly was mildly spicy although I expected it to be fiery. It’s a good thing though, as not many can handle the heat of Ghost Chilly and last time I had it somewhere, I was literally in tears.
Now I’m not a big fan of Duck however I did order it on Alakesh’s suggestion. It felt like an anti-climax after the 2 sumptuous pork preparations. The meat was quite bland and the groundnuts used to make the sauce spoilt the taste for me even further. I will say this though – very few food items can elevate the experience after Pork so I’m going to keep a neutral view on the Duck and allow people to judge for themselves. However, if you don’t like groundnuts in your sauce, don’t order this one.
We couldn’t order other favourites like the Burmese Khow Suey, Asam Laksa or the Five Spice Jewel Rice as we were just 2 people and were quite full. Buff is going to be introduced soon so watch out for the news on their social media accounts. Alakesh even promised me to make Spare Ribs the next time I visit. They definitely need to have more than 1 dessert on the menu though.
Pricing is quite average and comparable to similar restaurants, except for the Duck that is steeply priced at ₹550+. Considering the small scale of operations, they have a fairly large choice of food available which is admirable.
During the 90 odd minutes I was at Flying Duck, I could sense Alakesh and Minakshi’s enthusiasm and passion for doing what they love. I love to visit such restaurants over the fancy, pretentious and run-of-the-mill restaurants Pune is crowded with. Do try Flying Duck this weekend and let me know about your experience!