Dal Bati  Churma

 Think vegetarian food and in all probability the first thought that pops into your mind is that of an udupi or a thali joint. Shakahari completely breaks that stereotype by offering authentic Asian vegetarian cuisine. Located at JW Marriott Pune, the restaurant recently introduced the concept of regional dishes that was kick started with a Rajasthani cuisine festival.

Maharaj Bhuralal Prajapati and Chef Pensiri Pattanachaeng

Elegant glossy wooden furniture, soft lighting, minimal fuss free center pieces all come together to bring out the earthy feel of the place. Cosy family meals can be enjoyed with complete privacy courtesy the wooden panels strategically placed to curtail exposure.

Sanghar aur Paneer ke Kofte

Interestingly the menu boasts of a wide selection of vegan wines and iced teas. There is a huge array of salads both Indian and pan Asian. Each dish was done so well that one doesn’t even miss the stark absence of non vegetarian fare. I bow my ladle to the two specialty chefs of Shakahari- the Asian Master Chef Pensiri and the Indian Maharaj Bhuralal.

Ker sangari

For starters methi makai tikki was moist with just the right hint of methi. Mirchi wada had a nice bite to it without the spice element being a sharp smack to the face. Laal mirch paneer tikka was soft melt in the mouth with its subtle mirchi aspect taking it to an all new gastronomic level. Moong dal wada was crunchy and crispy-just the way it should be.

Aaloo tilwale

Before eating at Shakahari, my tete-a-tete with Rajasthani cuisine had only been overly spicy and downright greasy fare. Shakahari was a welcome for my palate and senses. The real show stoppers were the main course dishes that were delicious, with just the right amount of flavourings.  Ker sangari was yummy. Ditto for the shahi govind gatta curry. Dal panchmella was spot on culinary finesse. Subzi Panchmella was creamy. The piece de resistance had got to be the Ram khichadi where the smooth bajra  offset the robust flavours of the remaining dishes.

Shahi govind gatta curry

This place was my dream come true with a dedicated dessert room. From rich Indian ghevar, chum chums and kheer ladoos to the tiny bite sized French pastries- it was sweet tooth paradise. Cheers to Shakahari which brings together the tradition of pure vegetarianism not just of our country but of pan Asia and follows it through with a separate dedicated kitchen, crockery and cutlery. There’s also a private dining room which accommodates up to 18 people and a special Chef’s Table if you are looking for exclusivity.

Sanaea Patel

Disclaimer – This review was done on an invitation from the establishment. Views expressed in the review is entirely ours and without any bias. Pictures of the dishes are not the standard portions, they are sample portions.

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