My friend had celebrated his silver wedding anniversary at this restaurant and had wonderful things to say about it. Ever since, I have wanted to visit this restaurant but kept putting it off because it was at the other end of town. I was pleasantly surprised when I received an invite to the Chef’s table for the Chef’s Tasting Menu from their PR team. I could no longer put off that long drive to Aundh and I’m very glad I didn’t!
April Rain! A name that makes you wonder why a restaurant is named so. I asked Chef Milind Sovani about the same and he said he didn’t want run-of-the-mill restaurant names. He wanted to pique the curiosity of the crowd. I thought that made sense and he was right about the ‘curiosity’ bit because the name definitely had me wondering about it. Also, as he explained, showers in the sweltering heat of April are refreshing and that was what he was offering to the city through his carefully crafted menu. A menu with a refreshing new twist on food: visually aesthetic and pleasing to the palate.
As we sat talking to friends, the server recommended we try their non-alcoholic Basil Martini. It was a good recommendation! Very refreshing! They served us the amuse bouche, a Sol-Kadi Gol Gappa. Unlike the traditional way of eating gol gappa, the gol gappa is to be eaten and the shot of Sol-kadi drunk over it. I prefer the traditional way of eating gol gappas because then the flavors hit me all at once and I am not a big fan of Sol-kadi but I have to say, with all honesty, that it was the best Sol-kadi I had ever had. It was a 10/10 shot!
They served us a ‘Green Planet Soup of Broccoli and Asparagus’. Once again, Broccoli doesn’t figure in my list of favorites but I have to hand it to Chef Milind and his team. I took a complete 180 degree turn in regard to my mental apprehension at trying the soup. It was one of the creamiest, most delicious soups I have ever had, so give this one a try without batting an eyelid. You won’t be disappointed at all!
The starters – Oregano Cheese Sticks, Basil Chicken Tikka, Gilafi Seekh Kabab and Crispy Malwani Kurao Jatra – were all tastefully served on a well decorated platter. They were done to perfection! The Oregano Cheese Stick was served with a flavorsome tomato compote/salsa. I paid special attention to the Basil Tikka because restaurants do tend to serve overcooked tikkas. These were soft and succulent. Absolutely perfect!
For the mains, my friend requested for the Chicken Steak with Mushrooms and Red Wine Sauce while I ordered the Tandoor Grilled Chicken in Honey Makhani Sauce with Jeera Aloo Scoops and Chicken Dum Biryani. As they say, we first eat with our eyes and I was extremely pleased with the way the dishes were presented. They did not in any way fall short in flavor either. We finished the meal with Blue Berry Lemon Cheese Cake, Gajar Halwa and a variety of fresh fruits. The Blue Berry Lemon Cheese Cake was the regular kind but Gajar Halwa was the dessert that stole my heart. Not overly sweet, it felt perfect on the palate.
As I was talking to Chef Milind, he happened to mention they have an unlimited, ‘serve-at-the-table’, luncheon available from Monday to Friday. I also took a peek at their menu card. Among other things, wonderful dishes like Butterfly Prawns and Tenderloin steaks caught my eye. If you wish to have a relaxed meal in calming, pleasing interiors, April Rain is definitely the place to be!
Restaurant Rating: (out of 5)
Ambiance: 4.0 | Service: 4.5 | Food: 4.0 | Overall: 4.0
Liquor: Available | Wheelchair friendly: No | Credit Card: Accepted | Timings: 11.30am to 3.00 pm / 7.00pm to 11.30pm
Address: Centirole Mall, Ground floor, ITI Mall, Aundh, Pune 411007 | Tel: 8805310001 / 8805210001
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review, but readers need to consider this review keeping this fact in mind.