Restaurant Review: Kwality Restaurant, East Street, Pune


Banjara Kabab

Banjara Kabab

Dahi aur Palak ke kabab

Dahi aur Palak ke kabab

Mirchi ka Salan

Mirchi ka Salan

Bati chicken

Bati chicken

Kwality Restaurant on East Street has been in business ever since 1956 and quite popular with locals, especially those living in the eastern parts of the city, for their non-vegetarian dishes. Their logo always had me curious if it was managed by the same group that made Kwality ice-creams which I so loved as a child; a question I still have no answer to. I realized I had never been to this legendary place, although I have practically lived most of my life in this city and needed to give it a try as soon as possible. So while we were thinking of a place for a family lunch on a Sunday, we finally landed up here.

It was a rainy afternoon, and it didn’t really start too well with us here. Firstly, they told me we would have to wait for 15-20 minutes, fair enough on a Sunday afternoon. But then another lady came afterwards, and the host simply assumed that she was with me and gave her a table before us, without first checking, all this while I was standing right there! What is the point of noting down names and numbers? I certainly expect a renowned, established eatery to have better ways of managing crowds.

I had heard a lot about Kwality’s décor, and on any other day I would have really liked that lovely dome they have in the central seating area, the ethnic inspired wall-pieces and soothing décor. Unfortunately, on the day we went, the roof was leaking and we were greeted with a sight of waste-bins and buckets placed right at the entrance to collect the dripping rain-water. I understand that these issues could happen with such an old-establishment, but I really hope they fix it soon for it isn’t too pleasant for a diner.

The menu is mostly North Indian, and they are pretty famous for their non-vegetarian offerings. We ordered these, based on recommendations of the staff and they were mostly chef’s specials.

Murg Banjara Kabab: A spicy chicken tikka, well-cooked meat, but a tad bit oily.

Dahi aur Palak ke kabab: This one is listed as a Kwality special and I was quite excited to try it. But when it came to the table, this may sound rude, but frankly, I thought the portion was a joke. There were three tiny one-inch pieces of kababs, split into halves and served. There was a spinach and potato kind out outer shell and a little bit of hung yogurt stuffing. There was an interesting texture from the crisp coriander coat outside, but otherwise no distinct taste or flavor.

Bati Chicken: Had cubed chicken breast in a onion-based gravy. The gravy was slightly thin, but quite nice. The chicken pieces were a little unevenly cooked though.

Mirchi ka Salan: They say they serve the hyderabadi style salan, but it was nowhere close really. While the authentic one has a peanut, red-chilly and tamarind based gravy, Kwality’s version uses the generic tomato-onion gravy. Portion was quite measly again.

Rumali and tandoori rotis were both satisfactory.

Chur-chur Paratha: This was dish I liked the most on the menu that day. Crushed bits of a lovely, flaky paratha, and molten butter served on the side to smother the paratha with. Quite nice.

Service was a bit spotty right from the beginning to the end. Refils, changing cutlery, having enough plates on the table, everything needed several reminders.

Prices too, I felt were on the higher side considering the portions and quality of food.

Overall, not very impressed with this legendary place.

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