A modern Indian kitchen where the familiar is made to work with the unfamiliar to give the diner a taste of most comfortable conventions nestled in innovation.
We have been moaning about Indian cuisine being frozen in time and not evolving or pushing frontiers at all, Well Zora will change that thought for you, atleast in terms of the city of Pune!
As you walk into this surreal space, you notice how the interior elements are a mix of solid grandeur which is evident from the indoor area and a easy breezy outdoor section which is beautifully curated in earthy tones keeping it simple, near monochromatically white, reminiscing of a European cafe thanks to a certain plush vibe.
Well, there are no shocks when I say I much preferred the spatial outdoors in the gorgeous Pune weather because we not have this easy flowing airy vibe in Delhi’s burning summers!
The staff is extremely warm and forthcoming in terms of helping out with the order and making sure everything is served quick and efficiently.
Coming down to real business which is the food, Zora delights with food that may be a mix of the old & new but is made with a distinct focus on flavours and presentation.
Starting off with Spicy Okra Salad was the perfect choice because boy, this was a straight winner and obviously raised our expectations in the first bite!
Crispy fried okra tossed in spicy tangy vinegarette, these little crispies were addictive but deep fried so I forced myself to stop. Recommended.
As the spices settled onto our palate, we moved onto the Beetroot tikki which melts in the mouth before we even have a chance to understand the stupendous flavours. The creamy gravy atop lends the much contrasted texture and balance.
We moved onto the Prawn Balchao Theplas which explode like a bomb of spice richness paired against the soft textural pancake like theplas.
Some elements use not so usual pairings to coax surprise, taste, texture from it’s dishes.
Butter Chicken Lasagna with Masala Naan was the real winner for me with the quintessential butter chicken layered onto soft pasta, a wonderful fusion of the beloved dish executed with penache and richness.
The masala naan deserves a sonnet or two for just being super flavourful, so well seasoned, I am just salivating in its memory at the moment.
Dal Makhni faired equally well with just the right balance of spices and finished off with soft buttery goodness
Baby Potato Curry in Methi Masala is richness embodied in full flavours of creaminess and earthiness. Break some crispy lacha Parantha with this, and it’s the perfect little meal!
Reshmi Chicken Biryani was one of the most memorable dishes I have had this year! Excellent preparation of succulent tikka imparting richness to every grain of wholesome rice and abundantly sprinkled with sweet fried brown onions that elevated the whole dish into a magical culinary symphony.
We did lose all inhibitions at this point but couldn’t make any more room for dessert so we sadly skipped it. Leaving some things for another time.
Zora is serving up some cerebral shenanigans, some bestsellers, Sure!
Keeping the tone progressive, the food is exciting yet close to a certain homeliness
There is a mature equilibrium between what’s merely edgy and what’s truly tasty, so give these guys a shot if you already haven’t. Chances are you won’t be disappointed!