Baan Tao, Hyatt Pune always gives me the feeling closer to home. It’s one of the best Asian restaurants in the city. The calm ambience always makes me feel so relaxed. I always love that giant waterfall wall and the sound of it. It’s very soothing and cooling.
Street food culture in Southeast Asia is very rich and abundant. There are night street food markets operating all night long serving smoky greasy, taste bud bursting flavors, colorful and new creative dishes everyday. When I think of Southeast Asian dishes, the bests are always on the streets.
When my foodie gang, Pune Foodiez was invited to Hyatt Asian Street Food Festival last Thursday, I was particularly excited. Baan Tao has introduced Street Food Festival for a couple of weeks now. It will be on every Thursday, and the festival is expected to run for 6 months.
First of all, I absolutely loved the setting Baan Tao has done for their street food festival. The restaurant spread the rainbows of dishes into different counters i.e. salad counter, grilled counter, soup counter, wok counter, dim sum counter, roasted chicken counter and dessert counter. The live-stations, the smoke, the steam, the aromas and the sounds of sizzle of the hot wok gave the feeling of being in the night street market. The menu at Baan Tao Street Food Festival is very impressive. There are wide variety of famous dishes from southeast Asian countries and far east Asian countries. The idea of putting all these cuisines together for people to experience in one night makes it certainly the bliss for food lovers.
The grills counter was at its best that night. Grilled tenderloin was tender and flavorful. Otak Otak, Grilled crab and fish meat wrapped in banana leaf, was very aromatic and delicate. Chicken Satay was alright, but the peanut dipping sauce should have been better. They also have crab and fish cake, grilled chicken and bacon wrapped prawns sat on the hot grills ready to be served hot.
Dim Sum at Baan Tao has always been one of the best in the city. The Chicken Dim Sum and Prawn Dim Sum were delicious. There were also Siu Mai, Pork Gyoza, Chicken Gyoza, Chicken and Prawn Dumpling that were quite good too. Vegetarian Dim Sum were also available.
At the soup counter, there were Pho and Khao Suey that night. I didn’t like the idea of having just vegetarian broth and curry as the base. I believe street food should be full and rich. I didn’t try Pho, but Khao Suey needed more aroma and a little punch in it.
At salad counter, I tried Yum Woon Sen, glass noodle salad, and Som Tum, papaya salad; both dishes were excellent. But again, I would love to have some meat in Yum Woon Sen. They also have Soba, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, and Raw Mango Salad on the menu. The salad counter only provides vegetarian option which I think should be changed.
I love the display of roasted chickens at Baan Tao Asian Street Food Festival. The chicken was beautiful roasted and stuffed with flavorful rice.
The wok counter offered varieties of stir fried dishes, only vegetarian option, from Nasi Goreng to Mee Goreng to delightful stir fried veggies in different kind of sauces.
At dessert counter, the colorful array of tropical fruits were cut diced and plated up. Sago Pudding and Turon, deep fried banana crepes with fruits were served. I didn’t like either of them. Using Sabudana instead of the delicate Sago balls kills the texture of the pudding, and the Turon failed to stand out.
The dessert counter definitely needed a lot of improvement.
For beverage, Thai Ice Tea was served. It was completely different from what I had in mind. Thai Ice Tea I know is rich orange in color and filled with grassy aroma which resembled the taste of bamboo leaves. What was served at Baan Tao was herbs infused tea.
My overall experience at Baan Tao, Hyatt Pune Asian Street Food Festival was wonderful. A few improvements in the menu are needed, but the ambience and the setting made me feel cozy and at home. I love Southeast Asian street food, and the restaurant had done quite a good job in bringing so many dishes together and creating such a wonderful experience for us. I will definite visit this place again and hoping there would be more new fantastic dishes to try. Asian Street Food Festival Dinner is on every Thursday. Cost: Rs. 999 + Taxes
Baan Tao, Hyatt Pune
Next to Pulse Mall, Nagar Road,
Kalyani Nagar, Pune, India 411006
Phone: +91 020 4141 1234
Tes (Tweet to me at @Testerfly)