Located on East Street, George Restaurant should be a familiar name to people who have spent time in Pune, and will certainly be known to people who grew up here. They have been around since 1938 (as they proudly proclaim with a large sign outside) and if you've stayed in business for so long you're obviously doing things right, so we dropped in for dinner to find out.
Famed as one of the original "Irani" joints, the restaurant is aimed squarely at the middle class budget bracket and has decor to match. Formica topped tables in a brightly dining hall serve large numbers of families who come here. There were two largish groups waiting outside on a Friday night but since we were just two we were lucky to be seated promptly. They have 2 sections downstairs (one called "Garden" but it isn't really) and an airconditioned area upstairs.
We started with masala papads (Rs. 20) to help digest the beers we'd had at East Street Cafe before coming here, and then decided to order from the "Today's Special" board hanging in the corner. The quality of the mutton in the Mutton Chop Fry (Rs. 200) was admittedly good but they had taken the "crispy on the outside" to an extreme. It wasn't "crunchy" but rather somewhat gritty, kind of like eating lots of very small stones. Either the batter they used wasn't suitable or the chef has such a fire going in the kitchen that he's probably half the cause of global warming.
Next up was the Chello Murg - a slightly sweet leg of chicken covered in a mixture of yellow and white rice. I wasn't thrilled by the dish and looked forward instead to the Mutton Biryani. When it came I was surprised to find that it had the same mixture of yellow and white rice but this time with pieces of mutton. It certainly was not the "dum biryani" that I was expecting, and was a big let down considering it was a dish that had been recommended by a friend (who will now get a swift kick in the @#**&% the next time I see him).
We topped off the disappointing meal with paan from the famous paan stall just outside the restaurant. He has one called "Chocoloate Paan" which is so sweet that I feel like brushing my teeth just thinking about it.
As I said, if they've stayed in business since 1938 like they claim then they're obviously doing some things right, but what exactly that is I don't know. The place was full on a Friday night so perhaps we ordered the wrong dishes or went there with the wrong expectations. Either way, I'm not going back.
+91 20 2613 1626
12.00 PM to 11.00 PM
Indian, Continental, Chinese
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