Isn’t it rarely that we see a glimpse of honesty and expression in business? Especially when it comes to food, I think expression must be an integral part of the business. Few restaurants honour the integrity of the cuisine over saleability. In my opinion, Foodstory, located in Koregaon Park is an interesting blend of commercially safe dishes and authentic recipes from Hyderabad, which are complex to prepare and easy to relish.
Until my recent visit to Foodstory, Pune, having worked in Indian Hotel Kitchens before, I believed that all Indian kitchens work in the same way. We prepared four or five base gravies – brown, orange, white and green, half prepared the meats and veggies, fired up a combination when the order came in. A selected few of the Hyderabadi dishes in Foodstory though, are not just chicken tikka thrown in ready makhni gravy but prepared by cooking the meat with the stock to develop flavour slowly through the night on low heat, like they did in the old days.
Mr. Subhash, the owner of Foodstory is somewhat a puritan when it comes to cooking Indian food. He understands the relevance of uniqueness in flavouring every ingredient and insists that right flavours need patience. Honestly, I wouldn’t visit a Foodstory for its generic items, even though the Dal Makhani was yummy! I would visit this place for all those rare dishes that seldom appear on an Indian restaurant menu in Pune.
My Foodmantra for Foodstory is
- Don’t Miss Thy Kebabs; Non vegetarian or Paneer, either way, you’re in luck! The flavours of ghee, nuts and spices, unique textures achieved by stone cooking and dry fruit mixtures keep palate hooked.
- Venture out of your comfort zone and try the extraordinary. Who cares for all the orange makhnis when the selection includes fresh and robust tomato kut flavoured with kalonji (onion seeds), a homely, comforting Dalcha and earthy, aromatic methi murgh. It is a refreshing Indian menu.
- I didn’t get to taste the Hyderbadi Biryani, but after hearing so much about their Biryani, I expected the Avadhi Biryani to be far better than what it turned out to be. Honestly, I was a little disappointed, after everything I had heard about it, I thought that their biryani would be a revelation. The biryani was good but nothing wow about it.
- Thank God for new Indian desserts. I was beginning to fear that many Indian kitchen chefs have forgotten that desserts other than Kulfi and kheer exist. If you wish to sample a Hyderabadi Gile Firdaus or Khubani ka Meetha here’s #WhereToFindIt
- Pathar ka Ghosht – for the oh-so-awesome aroma of ghee and spices, along with that unique chewy texture of the meat that comes from cooking it evenly on stone.
- Chicken Kebabs flavoured with rose petals – Love at first sight, it is a beautiful looking dish. Other than its beauty the rose petals go surprisingly well with the supple leg of chicken.
- Tomato Kut – it may sound like a simple dish but the essence of umami packed in these cooked tomatoes pairs perfectly with kalonji and a garnish of boiled eggs.
- Dalcha – vegetarian or not, their dalcha cooked with courgettes and flavoured with curry leaves and kalonji is a revelation. It may even pull you out of the dal makhni fixation and make you experience a whole new world of delicious dals.
- Gile Firdaus and Khubani ka meeta, I can’t pick one of them because they are both so delicious and different from our regular favourites. The pulpy, jelly like apricots are syrupy, juicy and sinfully rich. The Gile firdaus on the other hand, in spite of being a milk based sweet, is light and somewhat tangy in way, it got a thicker and fuller texture with grated, cooked courgettes in it.
Service : Not Applicable
Value for Money: 4/5
That Thing About This Place: 3/5