We are a gourmand couple who love to discover new places and eat our hearts out. Follow us for a guilt trip along the food road.
It sometimes seems necessary to have some fusion every now and then. Better yet these changes may come in a varied format, depending on ones personal preferences too. And when we think about fusion, the one place that comes to our mind is Pot Pourri – World Cuisine Cafe. This iconic place situated at Inorbit, Vashi is known as quite a head turner.
Quite famous for their varied cuisine consisting of European, Italian, Mexican, Continental, and American, it is an all time favorite watering hole, this side of town.
We have been regular patrons ever since the beginning. And now with their twist of fusion food making it’s entry to their menu, will just make it another reason for our revisits.
With the ever so young evening ahead of us, we were quite in some anticipation to be tastefully surprised planned by the restaurant. Joined the head Chef Vinod Garde, who shuttled between our table and the kitchen to cook up a storm and tell it’s tale too.
The place quite bustling even on a Tuesday night, was lively with the not so typical decor and the upbeat music. Our Appetizers came right in time to start a wonderful food journey.
Who doesn’t love a well made bacon ? Especially when it’s used to enhance a simply perfect dish. The ‘Bacon Corn Chowder’ was a hearty soup which literally blew our minds in just a spoonful. This flavorful entree sure secured a special place in our hearts. Usually soups take the better part of your appetite. But this was not that heavy at-all, the veggie half of us were served the ‘Cream of Mushroom Soup’. Indeed creamy and with a distinct and prominent taste of fried garlic. What a great start to our meal.
Now, with our appetites activated and out taste buds tingled, we first ordered a long hauler for the night ‘Bourbon Sidecar’ a relishious combination of Bourbon Whiskey and Triple Sec. This just set the mood right.
Up next was a long list of entrees devised specially for us by the chief chef. First up was the ‘Aaloo Tuk’ a Sindhi specialty. Baby potatoes steamed and flattened with the skin and fried to perfection and topped with enough spices to give it the perfect balance of spice and sour.
The next one was the ‘Chicken Kaleji Skewers’ a well plated dish, but since we are not a fan of Kaleji, it’s better that we give this a pass.
Now for the next vegetarian dish, really a visual treat to the eye. One could just keep looking at it without disturbing the way it was plated. The ‘Pot Special Pani Puri’. A spicy Salsa mix stuffed in the puri which was topped with a swirl of sour cream. The puri sat on a bed of hummus. One could just have the puri just as it was but the Pani was something which couldn’t be avoided at all. Not the usual, but this one was a whole lot different being high on the tamarind pulp but with a rightful amount of sweetness. One couldn’t just stop but finish the pani even without the puris. This dish definitely deserved a 5 star.
Just as we devoured the ‘Pots Special Pani Puri’ the desi fusion to the new menu took a turn and headed south. Yes, the ‘Chicken 65’ a famous South Indian preparation was served with salad on side. Our palate just couldn’t stop relishing the tender and juicy chicken made in a typical way which most would approve. An immediate entry to our favorite list.
Followed by a similar dish in the South Indian genre was the ‘Paneer 65’ One would generally associate this as a Chinese starter but what came to us completely took us by a pleasant shock. A south Indian styled preparation with abundant curry leaves and tempered yet again with mustard. What we liked best about this dish was that it had the right mix of bell peppers, onions and gave a good competition to the typical chicken 65. This could well be called the Paneer Chettinad.
Next on our table was ‘Cheese Fingers with a spicy Tomato Sauce’. Strips of cheese dipped in batter and rolled on bread crumbs and fried to perfection. Not a very unusual or out of the box dish but what stole the cake was the spicy tomato sauce or we could call it a chutney as it was as Desi as a dip could get. Tempered with mustard seeds the flavour of the sweet and sour chutney took us to an altogether different level of gastronomical delight. A clean sweep.
By now we knew that the new menu was planned keeping in mind the various requests by regulars to get the desi twist to the otherwise popular menu.
With enough surprises that were periodically delivered till now we somehow had a feeling that the game had just started. Soon came the ‘Prawns Butter Garlic’ a southie twist to the regular one with a special addition of ‘Gun Powder’ (one we use with Dosa) this was enough for us to fall in love with the adorable prawns.
Our table was now running dry, so we ordered the next cocktail ‘Toy Soldier’ a concoction of Vodka, Gin & Fruit punch. Perfect to flush down the amazing food.
Now came the ‘Aaloo Vindaloo’. Highly spicy due to the onion and chilli paste, sour due to the malt vinegar. A typical Portuguese dish which was probably spiced to suit the Indian palate, not appreciated by all due to its high spice quotient. But some dishes are meant to be so, for people who have a taste for too much spike.
Things started getting a bit too serious now with the entry of ‘Buffalo Beef Fry’ distinctly fried in coconut oil garnished with fried coconut pieces, this was a typical beef eaters first love. Following this was the ‘Pepper Chicken.’ Like some delights are meant to keep you wanting more, this was exactly something which will be first on our list every visit. Well coated pieces of Chicken tossed in pepper and topped with stir fried Spinach and Garlic.
Next up was the ‘Crispy Cottage Cheese’ in a sweet chilly sauce, topped with Crispy basil. Interesting in way because the paneer was neither deep fried nor shallow fried. Only the side of the cubed paneer were crispy but the centers were still soft. Cheers to the chef on such a creation. On the whole a good looking and tasting dish.
The one and only dish in the entire evening that we din’t enjoy or which wasn’t up to the high standards set so far, the ‘Veg Tempura’. Tempura is nothing but a kind of batter made of corn starch and flour which is a Japanese kind of preparation. What came to us was a bowl of assorted veggies batter fried with a thousand island dip. The entire prep was a tad bit too oily, and we preferred to just give it a pass.
Now, again we were running low on fluids. So we called up the Barman to fix up something un-spirited. We were served the ‘Cranberry Lemon Cooler’ which seemed to work as an cleanser due to the addition of lemon.
It was time for the mains. We were served the ‘Beer Batter Fried Cottage Cheese’ A fried Cutlet made of mashed paneer and spices and served with assorted veggies. The Mashed potatoes tweaked with Jalapenos and a few marinated stir fried Broccoli totally stole the show.
Just as we relished the first main course, The ‘Pork Vindaloo’ was served, along with Soft buttered Pav, very similar to the Aaloo Vindaloo, but only with the spice complimenting the tender pieces of Pork. A great combination that we enjoyed.
Now came the ‘Chicken Peri Peri’ our favorite spice mix. With large breast pieces grilled to perfection with a honey glaze, served with mashed potatoes and sauteed veggies. This simply couldn’t get any better. It was devoured in seconds.
Now we were close to calling it a night but the chef had something from his personal favorites saved for the last. The ‘Feta Soya Roulade’ a healthier option somewhat resembling the Aaloo Vadi was served with Au gratin and salad. The distinct taste of soya feta cheese took it to a different level. We agreed in unison that this was best saved for the last.
It was incidentally also the World Chocolate Day when we visited Pot Pourri. So the Chef had reserved a separate section of the kitchen to create this bomb of an dessert with chocolates. The ‘Chocolate Tempura’ truly a surprise which we never anticipated as this was one of a kind creation. Served with Butterscotch Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream. We were dumbfounded by the amazing taste of Chocolates fried with cornstarch and flour batter.
There are good evenings and there are great evenings. Our visit to Pot Pourri was beyond what can be put in words. The twist to their new menu is really going to stir up a storm in ‘Vashi’ngton and beyond’. Our favorite place has now found it’s way to that part of our hearts where only a few could reach.
How soon are you visiting ?