Restaurant Review: Mazdana
Updated: Jul 31, 2020
Food: 3.75 | Service: 3 | Décor: 3.5
Mazdana is housed in an old colonial bungalow with a sprawling garden. The pathway which leads up to the restaurant is beautifully lit up with hanging paper lanterns. There are two seating sections, one in the bungalow and the other in the garden. The indoor section in the modified heritage bungalow is reminiscent of an 80’s style bar complete with wooden wall panels, a live bar by the seating, retro music and a dimly lit ambience. The seating is comfortable and the vibe is delightfully retro. The outdoor section is partially covered and decorated with hanging greens and lamps. This space is perfect for an evening with friends and for families with kids as they play old classic cartoons like Tom and Jerry and Pink Panther on the projector. The team also hosts regular pop-ups, flea-markets, sports screenings and live gigs at the restaurant.
The bar menu features heady cocktails and the unique beertails. We simply loved the Kaffir Lime Whiskey Sour and the Beer Rita which is a mix of beer and tequila. Mazdana serves mead, an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, by the homegrown Moonshine Meadery. We tried the signature Apple Cyder Mead and our top pick, the limited edition Christmas Apple Pie. It was an absolute delight to try the ice-cream and raspberry sodas by the iconic 19th century cold drink brand Ardeshirs.
The food menu is an interesting mix of old and new. Along with a variety of classic and fusion Indian dishes, they also serve Pan-Asian and Continental dishes. We started with cracking Mutton Kheema on Khari. I have always believed that everything tastes good with khari biscuits. The flavourful mutton kheema and the crispy khari biscuits from Husseny bakery, were a match made in heaven. The Dynamite Prawns came next and were equally good. Large prawns were crumb-fried and served with a spicy mayo sauce. On the other hand, the Kung Pao Paneer, though soft, lacked flavour. Among the Naanzas, a pizza with a naan base which is currently in trend, we tried the classic Margarita and Chicken Kheema. The naan base which was evidently smoked in a tandoor was crunchy. Both the toppings were delicious. These nanzas were perfect accompaniments to our cocktails and meads.
For mains, we decided to pick one dish from each section as recommended by our server. So we ordered Butter Chicken, Dal Khichadi, Vegetable Thai Green Curry and Smoked Mac & Cheese. The Butter Chicken was creamy and rightly smokey and we paired it with butter garlic naan. With the perfect consistency, a bowl of dal khichadi is always very comforting. The Dal Khichadi here was flavourful and hearty. The seemingly simple Mac & Cheese turned out to be the biggest surprise. The smoked cheese sauce made all the difference and elevated the taste.
The desserts menu has some childhood favorites and the homemade Trifle Pudding was a crowd pleaser. But I was happy with my personal favorite - Stuffed Bun Maska with PBJ (Peanut Butter Jam).
PLUS & MINUS
The staff is hospitable and courteous, but the service definitely needs improvement. The waiting time on dishes and the overall attentiveness of staff was inconsistent. Having said that, the fun vibe, the lively ambience and nostalgic and delicious food are its biggest plus.
Must Try Dishes: Meads, Beertails, Mutton Kheema on Khari, Dynamite Prawns, Naanza, Butter Chicken, Dal Khichadi, Thai Green Curry
Meal for Two: Rs. 1200
Address: 22, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, Agarkar Nagar, Pune 411001
Timings: 12:30 PM - 12:30 AM
Photo Courtesy: Mazdana
This review was first published in Pune Times on 20 March 2020.