One of the places that has been around in Pune since almost a decade now, the Carnival has recently been renovated and has a very impressive new look now. Individual huts – gone, low tables with floor seating – gone, the singular level of restaurant space – gone! Each and everything about the restaurant has been changed, excepting the name, which is a good call, I’d say.
I went there on a weekday with few friends to catch up with them over few drinks. The first look of the place itself left my jaw dropped and I could not believe that it was the same place that I used to visit as a teenager to enjoy the Middle Eastern concept of hookah, which was fairly new back then. They have built another level on top of the one that already existed. The place has an open rooftop and hookah is served only on the upper level. Apart from hookah, they also have an amazing collection of spirits and liquors, which you can choose from.
We decided to get a table on the top floor. The place was fairly packed in spite of it being a Tuesday night. We called for a hookah with Kiwi Pan Rasna flavour, some whiskey with ice and water, and a dish of Chicken Nachos to go along with it. The service was prompt and the waiters were proactive so as to ensure that we were having nice time. The hookah was well made, with a tiny aftertaste of kiwi, and there was no limit to the amount of times you could ask for a coal change. The nachos were extremley well presented; the tortilla chips were neatly laid out on a layer of delicious creamy chicken and cheese. What was disappointing was that the chicken was a little too creamy, making the nachos soggy when were half way through the dish. After that, it felt more like we were having pasta. Now that’s definitely not how you’d like your nachos to be! I’d suggest placing the chicken on top of the nachos, instead of vice versa. Also, the chicken could be a little less creamy so that it does not take the crisp away from the nachos.
Apart from that, the music was quite good, they had a screen that was showcasing the IPL matches, and the overall ambiance was quite appealing. The place is not exactly cheap but they don’t have tax! No tax means you know the exact amount you are going to pay and that always gives a happy feeling. So yes, another definite reason it gains brownie points. Overall, I loved the place and would definitely want to visit again.
Pic courtesy: Carnival Resto Bar