Words by Kamalika Mukherjee
On a crisp evening, I walk past the doors of Hyatt Regency in Pune with not much gusto left. In my defense, I had a long day and was simply looking forward to a comforting meal. As I step in, the interiors of the hotel open into a modern space and a sharp right leads me to Zeta, their casual diner.
Fashioned after the European bistros, the restaurant is rustic enough to be passed off as a pizzeria but doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s an alfresco style space. The décor is rustic, with wooden flooring, high ceilings, exposed walls and coarse murals. The delicate filigree and hanging lights make for a cosy setting. However what was really impressive was the patio that is informal and leaves room for many meals throughout the year.
I decide to settle indoors and pick up the menu. The restaurant draws influence from European, Middle-eastern and Indian flavours. Chef de Cuisine, Rohit Chadha soon joins me at the table and is quick enough to take me through the menu, enquire about my preferences and round up an array of small plates, I didn’t realize would cozy up to me.
I begin with a Blood Orange Tea that soothes my temperamental mood and in no time, I find myself tucking into the mild Pune’s favourite BCG (filo baked brie on a bed of raw papaya relish and kale salad) and the raw papaya relish that cuts through the gooey cheese leaves me sated.
A very meaty Iranian lamb koobideh that rests on Soya Keema paratha follows suit, as I gingerly sip my tea. They say that the proof is in the pudding and sure enough, that lamb sure gave me a run for my money. Smoky and juicy in every way, it hits the right spot. The next dish is Kol mi no patio (prawn curry) with Multigrain Cheese Pav (bread) which is a Parsi speciality, albeit a tad bit spicy.
The main, Seabass Samke Harra comes with a Bhatti ka mushroom ragout and passionfruit coulis to top it off. The fish was cooked to perfection, skin on and I squeezed on some fresh lime – almost on instinct. Chef Chadha joins me at the table as I finish with Aunt Anna’s milk chocolate mousse that comes in all its Instagrammable glory. The dessert reminded me of s’mores in many ways than I could comprehend. The mini marshmallow croutons and the mousse made for a perfect ending considering the chilly weather outside.
Chef Chadha quips in: “The food at Zeta is unpretentious. It is simple yet flavourful. I want the food to either pleasantly surprise or shock my patrons. It’s like a revelation at the end of the movie but in this case right in the beginning at the table.” Somewhere I’d have to agree. Pleasantly surprised I was, with the sincere possibility of hanging onto that comfort of a warm meal hours after.
Address: Hyatt Regency Pune, Weikfield IT Park, Nagar Rd, Viman Nagar, Pune, Maharashtra
Phone: 080 46971725