Restaurant Review: 1st Story – Bar. Kitchen. Co-Work
Updated: Jul 31, 2020
Food: 3.75 | Service: 3.5 | Décor: 3.75
1st Story is a transitional restaurant located in Four Points Sheraton Hotel at Viman Nagar. This multi-cuisine restaurant transitions from a co-working space during the day to a lounge in the evening.
The different areas of the restaurant have been designed considering that it transitions between a co-working space and a lounge. The sections are divided by the bar which has a tall and well-lit display of the spirits on offer. The sprawling space is chic and contemporary with an eclectic mix of seating. The co-working section has a cozy café-like ambiance complete with a bookshelf and the area around the bar has a modern lounge-like vibe. The music in the afternoons is classic and low on the volume, but the in-house DJ turns it up a notch for the evenings.
The new-age menu has been curated by chef Krishnendu. It is elaborate and there are a lot of options to choose from. We asked our server for recommendations and their signature dishes and he happily obliged. We started with the crunchy Chettinadu Cheese Poppers which were served with a garlic aioli. The addition of Chettinadu spices was truly inspired and spruced up the regular cheese poppers. Continuing with the fusion theme, we tried all the four variants of the Local Tacos – Pindi Chhole, Fried Paneer in Makhani Sauce, Chettinadu Chicken and Chilli Tenderloin. These soft shell tacos are bite sized methi thalipeeths filled with the stuffing and topped with salsa and sour cream. The pindi chhole stuffing was spicy and delightfully tangy and the chilli tenderloin was crispy, sticky and cooked well. These were definitely our top picks of the lot. The Kaprow Gai Momos were served with a spicy chilli garlic sauce. The momos were a bit disappointing as we were expecting them to be light, thin and filled with the stuffing. But they were thick and stodgy. In the Kebabs section, we started with the currently in fashion, Khumbh Galouti kebabs which were delicious and rightly spiced. They were served with a date and tamarind chutney and on top of the fragrant and flaky shirmal roti. You cannot go wrong with the ever dependable Murg Malai kebabs which were grilled to perfection.
The portion size of the Big Plates is between the starters and the mains. The diverse selection of dishes and the flavor combinations in this section was impressive. We tried the quirky Chicken Sukka Waffle – Mangalorean chicken sukka served on a dosa waffle and topped with papad pieces and fried curry leaves. The chicken was perfectly cooked using the right spice and the spongy dosa waffle was the right accompaniment. Bombil is a very delicate fish and when cooked right, melts in your mouth. We tried the Bombil Fry, but sadly the rawa batter masked the flavor of the fish.
After an impressive round of starters, kebabs and big plates, we decided to try just one dish from the mains. Out obvious choice was the slow cooked Sticky Pork Belly served with stir-fried vegetables and fried rice. The pork belly was cooked well and the delicious sticky and sweet bbq sauce elevated the taste of the pork.
From the Desserts, our server recommended the signature Gulab Jamun Cheese Cake which was decent, but our favorite was the Motichoor Rabdi Parfait. Layers of crumbled motichoor ladoos and rabdi parfait were served beautifully in a tall wine glass. This dessert was everything a dessert should be - sweet, indulgent and well balanced.
PLUS & MINUS
Across the country, a lot of restaurants are adapting to the new trend where restaurants can casually shift between a café, bar, lounge and a co-working space. Jumping on the bandwagon, 1st Story is one of the first few restaurants which offer a transitional experience. The chic and contemporary ambience, comfortable seating and an elaborate menu is their USP. We realized during our meal, that the vegetarian options on the menu are limited and it would be great to see more innovative vegetarian dishes.
Must Try Dishes: Chettinadu Cheese Poppers, Pindi Chhole Tacos, Khumbh Galouti, Chicken Sukka Waffle, Murg Malai Kebabs, Motichoor Rabdi Parfait
Cost for Two: Rs. 1500
Address: 1st floor, Four Points By Sheraton Hotel, 5th Milestone, Ahmednagar Road, Viman Nagar, Pune - 411014
Contact: 020 67691080
Timings: 9 AM – 1 AM
Photo Courtesy: 1st Story
This review was first published in Pune Times on 6 September 2019.