23rd October, 2016 – A Very Eventful Sunday in Pune. On some blessed weekends, the city is thronged with events – a lot of them happening on a single day! You would want to curse the timing for having to choose one. And that’s precisely what I did when I had a Food Festival, A Flea Market and The Dessert Crawl to choose from. My Soul was clearly more sugar-inclined last sunday and I was bubbling with excitement when I chose to crawl for my Desserts.
This was a first one for me. I have read about Dessert Crawls in other cities and always wished to participate in one. A Dessert Crawl is an event wherein people move from one participating restaurant to the next where they are served lip smacking desserts. They give you a list, a map and send you off to finish this ‘time-bound’ game of dessert hogging.
The actual scenario is pretty different from the rosy picture painted on social media. This piece of writing is a friendly advice for those who want to participate in a similar Dessertilcious Adventure anytime in the future. And for those who have been-there-done-that, let’s connect over this experience.
Things No One Told You About A Dessert Crawl
- Spoilt For Choices? Not Really!
You will generally be served what THEY want to. Don’t expect options when you are visiting multiple outlets. You are lucky if they offer you a choice, but that’s usually not the rule.
- I’m Going To Be Eating 8 Full Desserts, Is This A Dream? Actually Yes!
Your Desserts are going to be bite-sized, literally! Mini -versions of the desserts that the restaurants usually provide, will be served on your plate.
- Less Stuffing, More Crawling.
Your feet are going to be more tired than your tongue. The snarling traffic and the walk between multiple outlets, is going to get tiresome. And I’m talking about some serious Appetite – Killing Tiredness!
- Value For Money?
You thought 600 bucks was such a steal for 8 desserts. Behold what lies ahead – hidden fuel costs and the cost of disappointment.
Hope you have a fun time scrolling through Lobster Pasta Lady’s crawling journey!
Time : 5.00 PM
We enter Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt and are greeted by a group of volunteers. They give us our Booklet – Maps, Stamp Chart and a Guide to all the places that we are supposed to sail through on a Sunday Evening.
Stop 1 : Menchies Frozen Yoghurt (5/5)
Absolutely No Regrets.
Undoubtedly the best service and the best option to kickstart the dessert –crawl. Surprisingly, all flavors were made available to us and no ceiling on the amount that you can load in your Fancy-Menchies cup. My expectations from the Dessert Crawl rocketed sky-high after this.
We tried the ‘Litchi Sorbet and Green Apple topped with blueberries and kiwi’ and Green Apple with caramel.
Stop 2: Street Meat (3/5)
Playing Safe With Waffles.
Another place where we were asked to choose between
- Bacon & Nutella
- Banana & Nutella
Played really safe here and stood by the ‘Banana with Nutella’. Was stunned by the sheer size – didn’t even qualify as a slice of a waffle, rather strips. Presentation & Service was stupendous, but the taste remained average. The banana was too warm and didn’t seem to accommodate the nutella on it. The flavors were literally hay-wire in this dish. Street Meat is one of my favorite joints and it breaks my heart to give it a rating of less than 4/5. (Damn you, Dessert Crawl!)
Stop 3: Forentte (4/5)
I was really looking forward to this one. The outlet took us by surprise TWICE! We enter drooling over these chocolicious desserts displayed in the glass case and we are greeted by a happy-staff who stamps our cards and hands over a ‘Micro-Sized” Goody Bag containing 3 different varieties of brownies. The bag has 3 small cubes! Moment One – That’s It?
We chose to eat these goodies on the go, while crawling to our next destination. That first bite, and I was floored by Forentte. I had just tasted the most gooey chocolate brownie of my life and there came Moment Two – I wish I Had More!
Stop 4: The Little Next Door (2/5)
Too Hard To Handle!
Ironically, the Main Door of the Little Next Door was closed for some reason when we reached. We were escorted inside through a back door (which was little, yeah). We were the first Dessert Crawlers to reach this Place, which was why the staff was pretty slow to react. It took them a good 15 minutes to get us our ‘profiteroles’. These are actually cream puffs or pastry balls with a filling inside. The covering was way too hard, indescribable hard. The filling was just like any other cream roll that we gorge on during breakfasts or tea. A major disappointment after braving the traffic and travelling all the way to Kalyani Nagar.
Stop 5 : Dezio (4/5)
Saving Grace of this Dessert Crawl.
We were served ‘Tiramisu’. Perfect flavors, a decent serving portion. This is what Dessert crawls should be like, right? A satisfying and a very contrasting experience in the Kalyani Nagar segment. A big YAY for Dezio!
Stop 6 : Crème de Fiesta (3/5)
A Messed Up Start.
We took a long time searching for this one, the address on our booklets had a misprint. I had no clue about this humble bakery in the by-lanes of Koregaon Park. They greeted us with a smile and yes, chocolate éclairs. Nothing outstanding about the taste, a good contender in the desserts for the evening though. The other stuff at the bakery really caught my attention – a lot of patties and puffs were on display at very reasonable pricing. We were even given discount coupons for future visits, surely going to drop by sometime.
Stop 7: Dario’s (2/5)
A Lemon Tart and a Caramel Tart were served to each of us. I quickly gobbled up the Lemon one to invest more time on the Caramel Tart. It looked heavenly and I mistook it for chocolate initially. You can see the pictures and blame me if I judged wrong. The first bite turned out to be my last. Very Unfortunate. The caramel was intolerably sweet. It brutally murdered my appetite for the entire evening. That level of sweetness can make anyone uncomfortable. The 2/5 is only for the Lemon Tart, which was decent, if not exceptional.
Stop 8 : Holy Smokes (2/5)
Not a Pleasant Surprise.
They served us Brownies which were again too sweet. They were decent in texture and taste, nothing extraordinary. However, I discovered this Hidden Den behind O-Hotel. Flocked with college-going crowd and quite busy for a weekend. Would love to try out the other options on their menu, the dessert was clearly not their forte!