The invite for the Seafood Festival currently hosted by Barbeque Ville (Wakad) had me intrigued. My love for seafood is sublime, so much so that I readily drove to the alien streets and corners of Wakad (Yes, I have no clue about the geography of Pune beyond Baner) to satisfy my hankerings for fish.
The joy of gorging on luscious prawns and the mere thought of crab gets me salivating at odd hours. This was my first visit to Barbeque Ville and the place had me in a state of shock (read pleasantly surprised).
7.30 PM – And the place was bustling like a fish market (pun intended). There was a time when 7.30 PM was offered ‘Early Bird Discounts’ at popular Buffet places. But that seemed like a joke at Barbeque Ville! The place clearly wins in terms of its Management Skills. The staff is alert and delivers without any slack. A dose of entertainment is also administered with great intelligence and a lot of warmth. Servers clad in a Beach Themed attire (Read men in Hawaiian themed clothes, beach hats and floral prints) break into an impromptu dance routine at regular intervals. The crowd, dominated by families revelled each time they performed this gig. Clapping and Clicking of course, followed.
Talking about the grub, it has been ages since I last visited a full fledged ‘buffet place’ with no a-la-carte to choose from. Barbeque Nation had been my go-to destination for uninhibited hogging for ages, but it’s been months since I last paid them a visit. At Barbeque Ville, the food is not top notch by which I mean the dishes don’t leave a lasting impact on the palate. They are Good but not extraordinary.
However the ‘seafood festival’ definitely marks a sizeable difference for this place. 15 Plus varieties of seafood – read Bangda, Bombil, Prawns, Crabs, Surmai etc in a Buffet which costs you 675 AI (Dinner) is a dream.
Splurging never came at a better price. The deal is so attractive that it makes the meal here worth every penny spent. Here’s a more elaborate narration of my experience.
Indian Mackerel or Bangda is quite a popular species of fish. The preparation wasn’t the typical Maharashtrian versions that I have tried, neither was it stuffed. This was one pan fried (not oozing with oil), medium spiced and quite meaty.
The best kind of Bombay duck I have tasted in a long time. A delightful dish with an amazing rupture of flavors. The rawa (semolina) component couldn’t be more appropriate, does not take away anything from the flavors of the fish. One of the more liked dishes at the festival.
Too bad I don’t recall the variant that they used here. Small whole fishes deep fried and coated. The intense use of spices is to be noted here, kind of too sharp for my palate.
Classic calamari rings. Batter fried, crispy and absolutely delectable. I gulped down quite a few mocktails, thanks to this baby. I just couldn’t get enough of these.
Jalpari Seekh Kebab
A unique preparation and it was my maiden attempt at trying a fish seekh kebab. Yes finely minced Singhara ( Catfish) herbed and grilled. It took me two bites and some rolling eyeballs to confirm the fact that this was fish. Flawless preparation in terms of texture or flavor.
Prawns on the Grill
We found two options on the grill in prawns. The distinguishing factor was more the color (appearance) than the taste. Pretty average turnouts.
No seafood festival is complete without the good old basa. We had some fish tikkas off the grill. I faintly remember trying a variant rich on lemon zest and pepper. Quite flavorful.
Manglorean Fish Curry
A splendid fish curry. Richness of coconut milk and edginess of the tamarind works wonders. I would have loved it with some steamed rice on the side, The Seafood Pulao wasn’t the best accompaniment.
I had been looking out for the crabs since I stepped in. Finally found it stacked in the main course arena. The curry was finger licking good however, I was unable to find a lot of meat. The crab claws had very less to offer, even on being peeled off.
Apart from the array of seafood, we also have their regular buffet spread which includes starters and mains in vegetarian, chicken, lamb etc followed by a drool-worthy dessert spectacle – special mention to the Jalebi-Rabri.
I would go ahead and rate this ‘Seafood Festival’ a 4 on 5 primarily because its screams ‘Value For Money’ out loud. The blemishes on the food front are made up by their impeccable service and stupendous variety. All seafood lovers might want to check this one out.
Address – 257, Green Valley, Near Mankar Chowk, Kaspate Vasti, Wakad, Pune
Festival End Date – 3rd December 2017
Prior Reservation is Recommended
Disclaimer: This Review is based on a complimentary invite extended by Barbeque Ville. A huge shoutout to Hatim Lokhandwala from Crescent Media for being an extremely gracious host for the evening. The opinion expressed in the review is entirely my own and in no manner influenced by any party.