Restaurant Review: Level 12
Updated: Jul 31
Rooftop Resto Bar
Food: 3.75 | Service: 3.5 | Décor: 4.5
Level 12 is a rooftop resto lounge at hotel DoubleTree by Hilton at Chinchwad.
The first thing you will notice when you get to the 12th level or the rooftop is the continuous breeze throughout the space. The alfresco setting offers panoramic and unobstructed views of the area on all the sides. We recommend you choose a table by the terrace ledge from where you can enjoy the breeze as well as the view. If it gets chilly you can ask for blankets or shawls which the staff will happily provide. Right at the centre is a plunge pool with seating around it. On a lower level, where the water from the pool overflows, they have installed mashaals (flaming torches) which creates a beautiful ambience. Level 12 is the right place for a romantic date under the moonlit sky particularly during these breezy winter months.
Level 12 primarily serves North Indian cuisine. Apart from the usual suspects, the menu also features some interesting and rustic ingredients like baans (bamboo shoots), singhada (water chestnuts) and chilgoza (pine nuts) among others. The newly launched menu has emphasizes more on the starters, kebabs and appetizers which is perfect for the rooftop setting.
When I visited Level 12, I made sure I spend a good amount of time enjoying the ambience. And as I was with a few friends, we could taste a good variety of dishes on the menu. We were served a very interesting amuse-bouche called Mawa Tikki which a savory tikki made from khoya topped with a tangy tamarind chutney. We started our meal with a perfect appetizer - Waterless Golgappa. The crunchy puris were filled with dahi and chutneys, almost like a sev-puri but it had the typical flavours of the pani-puri without the spiced water. The Baans ke Kole aur Singhara Kebab were tikkis made from bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. The combination was unique, but the bamboo shoot taste completely overpowered the other ingredients which was a letdown. The instantly likable and addictive Corn & Cheese Kurkuri came next which was pastry rolls filled with a sweet corn and cheese stuffing. We followed this with the delightfully spicy Thecha Aloo. Potato barrels were stuffed with a mixture of peas and spicy thecha and fried till crisp golden brown. Meat lovers will be happy to see the variety of non vegetarian dishes on the menu, particularly lamb. We started with the incredible Lamb Chops which were grilled with a malt vinegar glaze and Indian spices. The lamb was succulent and grilled to perfection and the glaze of vinegar with spices (particularly star anise) was innovative and delicious. The Lamb Shikampuri Kebabs were next and though I liked the taste of the kebabs, I would have preferred a creamy hung curd stuffing than the cheddar cheese which was used. Last among the starters was the Prawns Sarson Masala which turned out to be the best dish we tasted that day. The massive tiger prawns were cooked just right with pickled chilies and Bengali spices in the fragrant mustard oil.
After that impressive lineup of starters, we decided keep it simple with the mains. The Paneer Lajawab was the regular chunky tomato gravy with kasuri methi and soft paneer balls, but tasty nevertheless. We also tried the creamy 12 Ki Dal which was a Dal Makhani (Black lentils slow cooked with spices and finished with butter and cream).
We ended our meal with two very familiar Indian desserts - Kulfi Falooda and Delhi Gajar Halwa. Though both the desserts were great, my personal favourite was the Gajar Halwa.
PLUS & MINUS
The alfresco, poolside setting and the beautiful ambience created makes Level 12 definitely one of the most romantic rooftop restaurants in the city. The North Indian food impresses and so does the hospitable and prompt service. Even though Level 12 has a continuous flow of customers (it was packed on a Monday evening!), the location of the hotel is a deterrent for people who live in the other suburbs of Pune.
Must Try Dishes: Thecha Aloo, Waterless Golgappas, Lamb Chops, Corn & Cheese Kurkuri, Prawns Sarson Masala, Paneer Lajawab, Delhi Gajar Halwa
Meal for Two: Rs. 3000
Address: C-32, MIDC, Tata Motors Road, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Maharashtra - 411019
Timings: 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Photo Courtesy: Level 12
This review was first published in Pune Times on 31 January 2020.