Story Title: Restaurants and Bakeries

By Adila Shams
Word Count: 523

Kayani Bakery

Now that Pune is a large city, almost every type of food is available here. The most popular eating joints are not Marathi but South Indian places. Lets first look at some of the older restaurants in Pune: Vaishali on FC Road dates back to 1950 when it was known by the name Madras Cafe. It serves delicious South Indian snacks such as the vegetarian buger, idli-vada sambar, masala dosa. It is famous for its SPDP (Shev potato dahi puri).

Roopali, just down the road from Vaishali follows the legacy of serving Udipi food since the last 60 years. It is the best place for having a quick snack, tea, coffee. The Blue Nile on Bund Garden Road provides North Indian, Mughlai, Chinese cuisines. It is most popular for its Biryanis. Mutton Biryani, Mutton Korma and Roti are famous. Sweet dishes such as Caramel Custard and Ice cream Falooda are famous.

Mona Food on MG Road is an old restaurant well known for its Punjabi food, especially Chhola Bhatura. Marzorin, also on MG Road serves light food & snacks, sandwiches and shakes and is one of the oldest snack bars in town.

In addition, Pune has a large number of Fine Dining restaurants. These are restaurants which offer its customers the finest food, service and atmosphere. The Koregaon Park area is estimated to have 150 restaurants, out of which many are fine dining.

Arthur's Theme is a small but fine dining restaurant and dates way back to 1997. It located in Lane 6, Koregaon Park.

Vaishali Restaurant

It serves traditional European and dishes from countries like France, England, Italy and many more. Themed after the famous British Knights of the Round Table, see if you can find his sword. Olive Bistro is located inside the Poona Club on Bund Garden Road. It serves Mediterranean cuisine. Their delightfully classy, old-d├ęcor with an extensive Mediterranean menu has made it popular. The food is really good, and the prices are a bit high.

Mainland China now has restaurants on boat Club Road and next to JW Marriot, as well as in the malls. Fine Chinese cuisine of all types is their specialty. Malaka Spice, located in Lane # 5, Koregaon Park offers some of the best South East Asian food. Italian food for vegetarians can be found at Le Pizzeria, which has a branch in Koregaon Park and one on University Road. The best restaurant for sea food in Pune is supposed to be Mahesh Lunch Home, on Moledina Road.

Pune also houses a large number of bakeries. Let's take a peek at a few famous bakeries. Bread Story is located in Kalyani Nagar and famous for the quality of its desserts. The store has many branches across the city. ShoCkolaah is located in Bibvewadi-Kondhawa Road. It serves pure vegetarian bakery products. The cakes and pastries here are very nice and delicious. They serve cupcakes and mini-cupcakes with a nice topping. The bakery specializes in tailor-making your cake and delivering it right to your doorstep.

But by far the most famous Pune bakery is Kayani Bakery, makers of their famous Shrewsbury biscuits that travel all over the world.


Story Title: Pune's Luxury Hotels

By Sakshi Nadkarni
Word Count: 546

Westin Hotel

Ever since the year 2000, the hotel business in Pune has really expanded. With many software companies coming to Pune, a number of new luxury hotels, with up-market facilities, entered the city. Earlier, Pune's luxury hotels were limited to the Blue Diamond, Koregaon Park, Pride Hotel on University Road and Holiday Inn on Bund Garden Road.

The Blue Diamond was earlier owned by the Kirloskar group, but was then taken over by the world-famous Taj Group. Today it is called Vivanta by Taj. The Holiday Inn hotel property was taken over by the Sun n Sand and continues by the same name today.

One of the first of the newer hotels was Le Meridien, the five star hotel opposite Pune Station, near Sohrab Hall. For many years, Le Meridien was considered to be the place to get married, due to its banqueting facilities.

Today most of the big names of the hotel industry are present in Pune. While luxury hotels are spread all over the city, Ahmednagar Road (Nagar Road, for short) has a whole bunch of them. In fact, luxury hotels tend to come up in areas where there are a lot of offices & factories.

The Hyatt Regency group of hotels have two hotels in Pune, located on Nagar Road. One of them (the smaller one) earlier used to be the Ista Hotel. Just next door to the Hyatt Regency are two more hotels - the recently opened Novotel Hotel on one side and the Ibis Hotel on the other side.

A little further down the road is the ITC Four Points Sheraton Hotel. Radisson Blu is another luxury hotel located in Kharadi, just off the Nagar Road.

The Mariott group is another luxury hotel group with a large presence in the city. The flagship JW Marriot is located on Senapati Bapat Road. Then there is a Courtyard Marriot Hotel on Bund Garden Road, next to Jehangir Hospital, and another Courtyard Marriot Hotel in Hinjewadi. You will also find Doubletree by Hilton in Hinjewadi.

Vivanta by Taj is not the only luxury hotel in Koregaon Park. The O Hotel is relatively new and certainly luxurious. The Oakwood is another new hotel in the Koregaon Park area. But by far the largest hotel in this area is the Westin. Shaped like a ship, with its running lights all lit up at night, and with the river flowing at its feet, it can be very impressive to look at in the night. Just as the JW Marriot is a landmark on the Western side of the city, the Westin is a landmark on the Eastern side of the city.

Other smaller luxury hotels include the Holiday Inn, Sayaji Hotel, Central Park, Orchid Hotel etc. So, all this adds up to a lot of luxury hotel rooms! But, who stays in these rooms? Well, Pune's hotels are built more for business travellers than for tourists, simply because Pune does not get as many tourist visitors as say, Goa, or Hyderabad. However, with our strong manufacturing industries, software companies and educational establishments, we get many more business travellers. The city's proximity to Mumbai also generates a large number of business travellers.

All this amounts to the luxury hotel business seeing the possibility of further growth over the next decade.


Story Title: Pune's Street Food

By Adila Shams
Word Count: 461

Puneri Vadapav

What is Marathi cuisine?
The word cuisine means 'a style of cooking'. Marathi (Maharashtrian) cuisine is the cuisine of the people originally from the state of Maharashtra in India. Marathi cuisine dates back to the period when Shivaji ruled. The manner in which people cooked Marathi cuisine years ago has not changed much and is still seen today.

Components of Marathi Cuisine
Finding the ingredients for a Marathi dish is not easy when you do not know the names. Wheat, jowar, rice, bajri, vegetables, lentils and fruits are major components of Maharashtrian diet. The cuisine has mild as well as spicy dishes. Peanut oil is the main cooking medium. Coconuts, fish and cashew nuts are also used in Marathi cuisine. A Maharashtrian lunch or dinner includes a Poli (chapati) along with one or more bhaaji (cooked vegetables ) and a chutney or a papad. This is followed by varan (non-spicy daal), aamti (spicy daal) or rassa with rice (bhaat).

A typical comfort dish is varan-bhaat: simply, daal and rice.

Popular Marathi Dishes
Rice-based dishes are quite important and chapatti and bread (in the form of pav) are also common in Marathi cuisine. Maharashtrian dishes range widely from yummy snacks such as Vada Pav to healthy Pohey (poha). Pitla, (made with basin) is eaten with Bhakri (a flat bread). Sabudana Khichdi, Sol Kadhi, Bharli Vangi (stuffed egg-plant). Aamti ( spicy dal), pandhera rassa (chicken in white rassa) and shrikhand are all the time famous dishes of Marathi cuisine. And we must not forget Bakarwadi, a light snack. Sweet dishes include puran poli (sweet, stuffed chapattis), shrikhand (sweet, yogurt like dish), modak (fried, sweet dumpling).

Marathi Cuisine in Pune
Pune can be considered as heaven for people who love Marathi cuisine. We can see both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. Food, in restaurants here, is usually offered in a thali which does not cost much and there is enough food to satisfy one's hunger. Dishes such as aloo chee bhajee, sitafal rabdi, bajree bhakrees, aammti, poli are served. Hotel Shreyas offers Modak as dessert.

Pune also has a large number of street-side vendors selling Maharashtrian snacks such as kande pohe and missal pav (spicy sprouted pulse curry with local buns).

Famous eateries in Pune
Marathi cuisine is best served in places such as Poona Boarding House, Asha Dining Hall, Shabree, Janaseva Bhojanalay, Hotel Shreyal, Maratha Kolhapur Darbar, Mystic Masala. These serve both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Srushti, Hotel Nagpur and Gopi Non-Veg are one of the best places for eating non-vegetarian Marathi dishes. 96 K Select Maratha Restaurant and Sujata Mastani provide the best desserts.

The cuisine of Maharashtra is memorable because of its variety and strong flavors. It is delicious and finger licking. If you haven't yet tried it, you're missing something!


Story Title: Pune's Sweet Shops

By Akshay Sharma
Word Count: 524

Chitale Bandhu, Pune

Since Pune is the cultural capital of Maharashtra, Marathi cuisine is prominent; but because of its cosmopolitan nature, food of all types is available in the city. People who have a sweet tooth also have a lot of options. Some of the sweet shops have been serving people for many years and have become major brands. These shops are:

Chitale Bandhu:
Chitale Bandhu Mithaiwale is one of the most popular brands of Pune. Though their outlets now serve all types of food items; snacks, pickles, packaged foods etc., their sweets are still the most famous of their products. Chitale Bandhu was established in 1950. The store was founded by Mr. Raghunath Rao (Bhausaheb) Chitale.

Their first shop was a small outlet on Bajirao Road. That outlet is still there but it has now become one of the biggest and largest selling shops in the city. The second shop was opened in Deccan Gymkhana. Apart from the sweets, another extremely popular product of this brand is the Bakarwadi, a traditional Marathi snack. Srikhand is another popular product of Chitale. Items like kaju katli and amba barfi are some of the other popular items on the menu.

Apart from these two shops, Chitale Bandhu has eleven franchise outlets across the city. An interesting aspect about Chitale Bandhu is the highly mechanised system of production that they have employed for making their products.

Kaka Halwai:
This is another famous name in Pune. Kaka Halwai is one of the oldest brands in the city. In 1892 Morappaseth Gadve (Jeyurkar) along with Dagduseth Halwai started selling mithai (sweets) in the Budhwar Peth area of the city. Some years later Morappaseth bought land and started his own shop called Kaka Halwai. In 1933, his sons bought a new shop. Another branch of Kaka Halwai was opened in 1952 at Deccan Gymkhana.

Kaka Halwai now manufactures more than 225 types of sweets and savouries. They have branches all across the city. The head office is located on Tilak Road. They have 9 sales outlets and 2 manufacturing outlets. Specialities include Sakhari Pedha and different types of barfi.

Karachi Sweet Mart:
This shop was established in 1948. The shop was founded by the Athwani family who were in the business of selling sweets in modern-day Pakistan but had to migrate to Pune due to partition. The first shop was in a small, rented room and mainly served pickles. Then they opened up three more branches at Sachapir Street, MG Road and Fatimanagar.

Apart from the wide variety of sweets, they are also famous for their namkeens. Now they have their outlets all across the city.

Bhavnagri Sweets:
It is one of the oldest sweet shops in Pune. The shop was established in 1901 and now they have many outlets across Pune. The shop was established by Mithundas Vithaldas Cursondas Parekh. They serve Bengali sweets and other varieties of sweets too. They also serve namkeens (salty snacks) and other items. They have branches and outlets across the city.

In the old city of Pune there are also many small shops serving sweets. But these old brand shave withstood the test of time.