Malaka Spice – Pune Calling !!

Pune is a wonderful city. I have the fondest memories of vacationing here as a child with my family and their friends during my school days. I remember a time when the city was silent and slept through the afternoon. A time when burgers from the ever popular ‘Jaws’ was such a treat , when you patiently sat on a tree stump of a stool and waited while daddy paid for your larger than life burger. The jostling at Kayani Bakery, because no trip to Pune is a complete trip without bringing back some delicacies from the land of biscuits!

In recent years I have frequently travelled to Pune and a lot has changed. There is an influx of new restaurants, cafes and bars. So much to choose from and so much to explore.  Those of you who know me well, knows my heart lies in Pune. In the recent past I’ve made more trips to this particular city than any other place and I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve never blogged about any of the places before and I think it’s time I start a new phase on the blog and write more about Pune’s culinary adventures.
 

My last trip to Pune was a bit of a blur. We had so much to do and so little time. After a long and busy day a quick bite out turned into a comfortably cosy dinner and I’m not complaining 🙂

 

When I first started hanging out in Pune, one of the first few places I was introduced to was Malaka Spice.  K and I have eaten many meals there over the years but it’s been a while since the last one so we decided to head there for old times’ sake.

Ice Tea
Fire cracker prawns which as the menu stated was fresh prawns marinated in a spicy Thai paste with coriander and deep fried to look like fire crackers and taste bang bang! I loved this spring roll inspired prawns specially the spicy coriander almost chutney like paste inside the prawns. The crispy noodles in the end were a nice touch making it really look like a fire cracker. I quite like creative dishes especially when they taste phenomenal. The sauce accompanying it was a cold tomato like salsa with a slight spicy zing which complimented the prawns. This was definitely my dish of the day and I’d happily eat another plate.
Firecracker Prawns
We thought we’d be adventurous and opt for a different type of momo and decided on duck filled momos. A slightly odd choice but we thought why not try something different and I’m sure that’s the first and last time we’ll decide that because it really did taste different. Hard to explain but I think it’s safe to say the combo doesn’t work or rather didn’t work for us, also because we’re not die hard duck fans. I find it very dry.
Duck Momos

The rice of which I can’t remember the name, I think it might have been a  vegetarian Nasi Gorang,  had a very strong after taste of fennel which I found over bearing but K seemed to like it.

Nasi Gorang Rice
The steamed Basa fish in basil chilli sauce was another favourite. Most people will probably find it too bland but we enjoyed this light dish with soft subtle flavours and a distinct taste of lemon grass. This is how I like my fish I’m not a great fish curry or fried fish fan I usually like it pan seared or grilled but this seemed to work well. It was cooked perfectly and melted in your mouth.
Steamed Basa Fish in Basil Chilli Sauce
The mutton with pok choy and chilli was well cooked and tender. I wasn’t wowed by what we ordered but could appreciate the dish all the same. I particularly like that there wasn’t this heavy sauce but more of a flavourful mutton broth along with the meat,pak choy and bell peppers. The vegetables add a much needed crunchy texture and made it a little different from just mutton and gravy.
Mutton with Pok Choy and Chilli

I skipped dessert but K decided on a chocolate sin mousse. It was definitely sinfully good as he described the first bite with a heartfelt ‘wow’ and proceeded to polish off the entire thing by himself! I just got a small bite and could appreciate it despite my firmly asserted non chocolate fan status. Creamy smooth mousse with an abundance of chocolate and a slight alcohol kick is what makes this a chocolate lover’s delight and a great end to an enjoyable meal.

Chocolate Sin Mousse
Despite ordering starters, mains and a dessert I feel there is still so much more of this menu that needs exploring. A slightly extravagant meal because I think we over ordered (as usual!) but it won’t be the last. My next Pune trip I’ll have to squeeze in a meal at Malaka. If not for trying the rest of the menu then at least for that brilliant firecracker prawn dish!