Cafe 1730 has been around in Pune for a few years now however somehow I never ended up there for a meal. So when I received an invite from The Punekar team for a foodie meet up, I wasted no time in grabbing the opportunity to finally try out the food at this restaurant.
Traffic was unexpectedly manageable that evening so I reached 45 mins early. I walked past a staff meeting to notice the nicely set table with printed menus for the evening. I was already excited to see 2 full A4 sized papers (which hopefully meant a lot of food) but wanted to quickly check the font size (large fonts = few dishes). Yes, I love my food that much 🙂
A quick glance through the menu and it was a selection of dishes from their regular offerings. I had heard quite a bit about Cafe 1730’s Goan food so was looking forward to it. Oh yes, and how could I forget ‘Buff Tongue’ which I had only discovered recently in an article about this restaurant. All that was left between me and the food was 30 mins!
Ambience & Decor: the restaurant is located on the 1st floor of the building and divided in 2 sections – main indoor restaurant/bar area with an al-fresco section on the side of the building. Decor is nothing to report about (I actually get put off by overuse of wood indoors). Dim lights and soft music continued to play through the evening.
Service: hosted events generally don’t have service problems and this one didn’t either. The staff was quite courteous, even when they didn’t know I was one of the invited guests, so full marks there.
Food: now I had high expectations from all I had heard about the place but unfortunately most dishes fell short of being good. Here’s a summary –
The Good – Buff dishes were really good with the right amount of flavours. Buff Chilly was well cooked with a generous amount of spices. Buff Tongue is not for the faint-hearted but I can tell you it was so much better than what I had in Hyderabad. Prawns Biryani deserves a special mention as not many restaurants in Pune get it right.
The Theek-Thaak – Tender Lemon Chicken had a bland flavour. Devils on Horseback aka Prawns wrapped in Bacon was pretty decent but I would have liked more Bacon on it. Golden Fried Prawns were soggy by the time they were brought to the table.
The Avoidable – All Goan dishes except the Prawns Biryani were a disaster. Pork used in Sorpotel was of inferior quality and vinegar seemed to be completely missing from the preparation. Fish Curry and Chicken Xacuti had their flavours held back with lower quantity of coconut apparently because too much coconut is not liked by the patrons of the restaurant. Shammi Kebab was under-cooked, lacked the right amount of spices and did not live up to it’s ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ reputation.
There were other dishes that were also served on our table however I did not try all of them. I did give detailed feedback for all the dishes to the captain who took it well and made sure the chef was informed.
Bang for the Buck: I was on a hosted table so didn’t pay anything. However, when I did look at the rates and compared it to the quality of food, I’m not really sure I would want to spend my money at this restaurant.