Many Punekars may not even know there is a Doubletree by Hilton in Pune. Although, technically the restaurant is outside the Pune city limits, it is definitely part of the Pune Metro area.
The manufacturing industry corridor that starts in Bopodi has great historic significance for Pune. These industries have made a high contribution to Pune’s economic growth and people have spent their lifetimes building a career with them.
Since the IT boom, Hinjewadi, Magarpatta etc. are more in the limelight and new migrants to the city may not be aware of what lies beyond Wakdewadi. Well, now there is a perfect opportunity to plan an excursion to this area and experience the famous Hilton hospitality at the Doubletree Pune.
I visited Chinchwad earlier this year for a fabulous event at Tata Motors. This week, the 3 Spices restaurant was bustling with the lunch crowd. The atmosphere was redolent with food aromas, and my 2 hour drive had left me hungry and thirsty. I was looking forward to what the Chef had in store for me.
A bamboo steamer full of dimsums kicked off the meal. I liked the Teriyaki style dumpling sauce that came with it. Jalapeno Cheese Bombs were perfect bite sized treats, and you can easily put away a few of these. The tart and slightly spicy jalapeno paired well with the cheese, a universally favorite combination. The sauce served with it was pretty spicy.
Caesar salad was beautifully plated and had a few veggies in addition to just lettuce and croutons. The Thai Green Curry had a variety of vegetables. I am not very fond of the current trend of adding whole pieces of galangal or lemongrass which are pointy and stick in the throat. I generally add these as part of the curry paste so they are blended or pounded down in a mortar. But I observed the same thing at the Hyatt earlier this year. So maybe there is a reason chefs are doing it.
Mediterranean Salad was another pretty plate with grilled vegetables in an artistic arrangement. Pad Thai noodles were tangy, spicy and saucy. Adding vegetables or tofu will make this dish more hearty, in my opinion.
The Genovese Pesto Pasta had fresh basil flavors. I prefer al dente pasta which is hard to find in restaurants.
The desserts were just plain awesome. So much that I gave in to my gluttony and asked for a second helping of Tiramisu. The Chocolate Cake was moist and had nice dark chocolate flavors.
The Tiramisu was smooth and creamy and deliciously infused with coffee. The Cheesecake with Berry topping was excellent. It is very rare to sample a true New York style cheesecake and I learned this one was made with Philadelphia Cheese. Need I say more? Anyone who knows anything about what a real cheesecake is will be in dessert Nirvana just hearing about it.
Tarta, the pastry shop in the Doubletree Hilton is very popular in the area. Some of the cakes on display were a Rainbow Cake, an Oreo Red Velvet Cake, a traditional Red Velvet Cake and some assorted muffins. There were loaves of fresh bread and baguettes baked on the premises.
A nice coffee rounded off the whole meal. 3 Spices is also famous for its Indian cuisine, and I found many people enjoying Biryani around me. I did not try any Indian dishes this time, but they are on my list for my next visit.
I checked out a few of the rooms in the hotel, and their rooftop restaurant with pool. The rooftop restaurant will be open soon, weather permitting.
My lunch companion has recently experienced Doubletree hospitality in New York, LA etc. so was very eager to see what the Doubletree Pune was like. The rooms are luxurious and well maintained, and definitely more opulent than their American counterparts, I was told. There is a full service Aristo spa on the premises of the hotel too, making the Doubletree hotel a perfect short weekend getaway.
The rain showers in all the rooms and the Executive Lounge were my favorites and I look forward to giving them a test drive soon sometime in the near future.
The Chinchwad- Pradhikaran area has an excellent luxury hotel in the Doubletree by Hilton.