The Kothrud area in Pune is happening and buzzing, and how :p
Usually the opening of a Starbucks outlet indicates the hipster quotient of a place and though this happened 2-3 years ago, the eateries were mostly the same. Barometer was a good “barometer” of changes to come. Pretty soon a whole bunch of other new restaurants opened up, serving craft beer as well as pork dishes – something completely unheard of in this part of Pune.
When a weekend plan for Level 5 Bistro and Bar was made last week, I wasn’t surprised, although I think was the only one who hadn’t been there previously. Given the non-stop rain hammering the city even in October, we agreed brunch was a better option than meeting up in the evening.
Level 5 Bistro and Bar
It’s located above the Kalinga Veg Restaurant. The decor is good and bright, and the place is well done up with a dessert counter right at the entrance. While the seating is comfortable, the tables in some areas could have been placed slightly further away from each other to have a more relaxed and free conversation.
First port of call was obviously the beer menu, and they had a Hefeweizen, Belgian Wit, Stout and a Lager, courtesy their Babylon brewery on the floor above. After a sampling, surprise surprise – I decided to go with the Lager! Yep, it was actually quite good. The Stout and Hefeweizen were fine but I’d suggest giving the Belgian Wit a miss. At least this sampler seemed watered down.
For the food, we decided to begin with Kerala Mutton Fry, followed by Galouti Kababs. Both were a hit and disappeared within no time, though the kababs could’ve been a bit less oily. For some reason, the Pork Belly wasn’t available so we decided to go with Pork Ribs instead – easily the highlight of the meal and a joy to consume. I’d rate it a notch below Flying Duck. We also had a portion of Buffalo Wings which was decent.
It is very interesting to see such places come up in the previously sleepy and “traditional” Erandwane/Kothrud area and I would say more, the merrier. The place is quite popular and fills up fast so best to book a table in advance to avoid having to wait. At ~ Rs.1,000 per head for 5 of us, I’d say it was worth it.
In terms of downers during this first visit,
– the service tends to be a bit slow at times and
– horror of horrors, they don’t accept American Express cards! :p
Level 5 Bistro and Bar
5th Flr, House of Nosh, CTS 1365,
Gulawani Maharaj Road, Swaroop Society,
Vakil Nagar, Erandwane, Pune 411004