There are same places in Pune which have that old-world magic about them. They are crowded and brimming with people, the ambiance will not always blow you away but once a service waiter places a cup of Irani Chai in front of you and you then realize this is what you’d come for. Also lest you forget that ‘Bava’ behind the counter who’ll give you such a scolding of your life if you ask for a recalculation of the bill, that you’ll regret the very moment of even approaching him. The shouting isn’t the only thing they do, as you wait for your table, know that you’ll have all the news of the world discussed and gossiped as he ponders over a newspaper and fills you in on his opinions. These are the gem of places that have stood the test of time and churn out from their kitchens delicious food consistently.
We’re talking about the legendary Irani Cafes of Pune. These typical Parsi-style cafes have had people grow abound them. Memories been established over a cup of tea and love affairs started. They hold a lot of history within those walls, but the best thing about them. They never cease to amaze and consistently dish out of great food.
Café Good Luck: To be able to tell the worth of Café GoodLuck will be to tell the auto driver to take you to GoodLuck Chowk. It has a street named after it’s won location. That’s how proudly it’s been serving the denizens of Pune. One of my friends had once commented “You’ve never been to Pune unless you’ve had the Bun Maska and Irani Chai at GoodLuck”. Now that’s some serious quotation to be attaching to an eatery.
The prices are reasonable and you’ll find scores of people chit-chatting over some great Irani Chai. The best of menu has to be the Bun Maska. The bread is extremely soft and with a filling of both butter and cream you have attained food heaven. Don’t forget to leave a bit of your manners behind and dip in a piece of the bun maska in the chai as you enjoy with company.
The Biryani can be quite good too. But the place works best during the breakfast and high tea timings even though open throughout the day. Desserts have to be a must have and the Bread Pudding and Fruit Funny (Funny names for a dish!!) are must haves.
Vohuman Café: Vohuman means “Good Mind”. This dingy Parsi place has stood the test of time and is located on the right between Jahangir Hospital and Courtyard Mariott. Life around Vohuman revolves around one fundamental thing and that’s the Egg. Egg Burji, Egg Boiled, Egg Omlette and lot more albumin preparations that will have you’re mouth running wet.
Vohuman serves the best Cheese Omlette in all of Pune. And when we say best, it literally means hands down best and no questions asked. The Double Cheese Omlette is an artery blocker and the Irani Chai, out of world. Ask for the toasted bread slices to be served alongside the Omlette and you’ll be served along with a dollop of butter that might leave in happiness before it all melts away and is soaked off by the bread.
The best part about the place apart from the food has to be the old man sitting at the desk. Ask a simple question of taking a parcel or not. He’ll give such a dismissive look that you’ll regret your entire moment for ever putting forward the question. We made the mistake of waiting around after the food on our tables had been completed. The waiting wasn’t for time-pass but that we actually couldn’t get up after such a satisfying and cheese heavy meal. And out comes a shout from behind the cashier “Uthav Unko, Table 5 ka hogayela hai” which had us jumping to our feet.
These ultimate legendary places are always welcoming. The best food in entire of Pune is reserved in these Irani Café joints, scattered all over Pune. It’s where people of all cultures, people of all sections of society are all equal. Influence doesn’t matter, everyone is treated the same and everyone is served on in ‘First Come, first serve’ basis.