I had made concrete assumptions about the fact that Bangalore is THE place to be if you’re a foodie and love trying out new restaurants. However, the recent changes and pop-ups in the Pune food scene have been taking me by surprise with places such as Callow with their yummy Popsicle menu or Elephant and Co with their brilliant whiskey cocktails. But after my dinner today at the newly opened restaurant, Kargo, I’m positive that my judgment was wrong!
Located close to Nature’s Basket in Lane 5 of Koregaon Park, this place was easy to spot and provided us with a grand appeal at the very first glance of it. The five brightly lit letters, KARGO, spoke a language that was bold and reflected the idea that they were here to make a difference. And boy, they definitely look like they will! The place was huge and had two levels for seating. The lower level seemed preferable for families while the upper one had a more chill vibe with a bar next to the tables. Chef Meghna and the Manager, Manav, took great care of us throughout the meal and gave us some beautiful recommendations from the extensive menu, which covered cuisines from all over the world. The myriad of options made it tough to make the choices but I guess we did well for ourselves since we did not have any complaints about any of the dishes.
I started with a cocktail that was on the Specials Menu, the Cinnamonprioska. As the name suggested, it was a vodka-based cocktail with a dash of cinnamon. If you love cinnamon like I do, you will absolutely love this one! For food, we first got a portion of the Mixed Grilled Vegetables with Cottage Cheese, which essentially consisted of grilled paneer, capsicum, onion and tomatoes, served with their Homemade Paprika Sauce, and some potato wedges and salad on the side. What made this dish brilliant was the sauce! It had the perfect texture and flavours and tasted great with the grilled veggies. A must try for vegetarians, and the meat-lovers too!
Next, we picked the Naanza, a concept in which a naan replaces the pizza base and is topped with different toppings. The concept has been done before by other restaurants but we were told that this is one of their specials. We chose a Naanza, half of which was topped with Piquant Chicken, and the other half with Mushroom and Pokchoy. And of course, there was lots of cheese to go along with it! Both the combinations were as good as they looked and are absolutely recommended. We ordered a bowl of Mashed Potatoes to go along with our meal, which was really good too.
For some, the best part of a meal is the dessert! I’m generally not this person, but with this meal, it was hard to decide which the best part was! We were presented with two beautiful preparations, the Baked Caramel Cheesecake and their in-house Paan+Gulkandh flavoured ice cream. I haven’t explored cheesecake at all of the places in Pune, but from the ones I have, I’d say this one was the best! The texture was perfect, the taste made it to the right spots of my pallet and the combination of flavours was such that it literally gave me a food high!
Paan-flavoured ice-cream has been my new favourite thing since the time I tried it the Barbeque Nation brunch and at Coriander Kitchen in Conrad so I was super excited to try it. My best bet had been the one at Conrad till today, but this one was pretty much at par with it. Competition in the food world is great because the only people who benefit out of such battles, is us, foodies!
Overall, the place is lovely and I’d want to go back to try the other flavours of their in-house ice-creams, the Mixed Berry Lime and Dark Chocolate mixed with Espresso. The service was great and the staff was friendly. This Kargo is strong, it’ll take off your burdens, fuel your appetite and help you let loose and unwind after a long day. Go try, now!