When I was invited by Syrakko to try out their food and drinks, I really didn’t know what to expect. The name is quite unique and doesn’t really give away anything about the fine dine. Syrakko is located a floor below Sin Envy Pride and in the same building as Krustys and The Beer Cafe.
Syrakko is an out n out fine dine with neatly dressed staff waiting to dazzle you with their fine skills, extensive culinary knowledge and elegant manners. I was happy to see some known faces from other restaurants and bars in Pune who have recently joined this place. I was shown the food bloggers’ table, which is when I had the chance to soak up the ambiance of the restaurant.
The decor reminded me of the scene from The Matrix where the Merovingian is dining, albeit with a grey tone. Over use of grey throughout the decor including blinders, curtains and walls makes the place appear dull rather than chic. Combined with the fact that all the tables are placed in a single open area with no partitions or corners, you can actually see the entire restaurant and its dull decor without much effort. It can be an eye sore for some.
A 4 course meal was planned for us with plenty of options to choose from in each course. To start with, I ordered the Prawn & Garlic Chowder which was really creamy and hit the right notes. Even in a simple soup/chowder preparation, too much garlic can overpower the taste of all other ingredients however this was done perfectly. For starters, the Lamb Shammi Kebab and the interesting Murgh Thecha Kebab were ordered. I would’ve expected the Shammi Kebabs to melt in the mouth and release an aroma of all the spices its marinated in but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I liked the way the Murgh Thecha Kebab was served – mildly spiced tandoor cooked chicken chunks with dollops of thecha. Thecha is supposed to be really spicy, so this presentation style gives people a chance to enjoy their chicken by adjusting the spice levels. Surprisingly, the thecha was less spicier than your average chilly sauce which was quite disappointing. I’m not sure why the Prawn and Coconut Salad was part of the Starter menu. A friend who did order it, couldn’t go beyond couple of bites.
Mains were quite a heavy affair. Awadhi Lamb Korma had really well cooked lamb portions in a proper korma style curry. Lovers of non-spicy lamb preparations would love this one. Pork Vindaloo on the other hand was nothing like the original recipe. This one was much creamier and with no pork oil dripping from the meat – the way I like it. Maybe, they should call this dish something else as the name is misleading, otherwise the dish is fantastic! Everything was wrong with the Coastal Prawn Curry and yet another case of a misleading name. A prawn curry can never go along with a cold, mango based, curd rice – period. The raw mango paste used in the curd rice was too strong to go with anything else in the dish. Also, the curd rice was so cold that within minutes the prawn curry turned cold and could not be eaten. The palate cleanser served before the dessert was sweeter than most of the desserts which really didn’t make sense.
Desserts were a mixed bag. Espresso Phirni and Salted Chocolate Mousse deserved a second serving. Fresh Fruit Sorbet was too sweet for my liking while the Paan Pannacotta was quite okay.
Syrakko’s cocktails are definitely some of the best in Pune. The Espresso Martini was top notch and a quick customization by using Jack Daniels instead of Vodka, rocketed this cocktail sky high! Pawn Star with its fruity flavors is surprisingly refreshing, even though its pink in color :). However, with most cocktails priced >₹600, they don’t come cheap.
Syrakko has its heart in the right place however it over engineers the recipes, missing out on the basics. The best fine dines will always have a stream of repeat customers who keep coming back for that 1 dish and bring others with them. While some dishes were quite good, I can’t think of any dish that will take me back to Syrakko.
Disclaimer – I was invited by the restaurant for a tasting/review. All opinions are personal and in no way influenced by the restaurant.