Hey from EL The Cook!
Today we review Pune’s fine dine restaurant, Classé. With the restaurants intial roots in Ahmedabad, the culture has quickly spread to Pune.
Classé has a unique concept of serving their menu only in multiple courses of 10,15 and 21 courses (15 and 21 course dinners are served on prior appointment only). Smaller menus of 5 and 7 courses are offered for business lunch diners.
The catch is that their pure vegetarian!
Classé spectacularly puts up a massive variety of vegetarian fare. The food is presented almost immaculately on the plate and the fine-dine feel is comparable to a Michelin Starred restaurant.
We were served a palette cleanser consisting of Hummus, Baba Ganoush and Salsa accompanied by Lavash bread. The Baba Ganoush is brilliant and flavors are subtle. The Salsa and the Hummus are just average.
10 Course Menu – Classé Signature Menu
COURSE 1: MASALA MOJITO
A classic mojito, spruced up with blackberries, fresh mint leaves and chaat masala! Super refreshing!
COURSE 2: SMOKED PAPRIKA AND CHEESE SOUP
A standard combination of Spanish flavors incorporated into a soup. The soup wasn’t tasty though, the flavors are just blended and hardly balanced.
COURSE 3: COTTAGE CHEESE PINWHEEL
A sophisticated looking dish, with cottage cheese and mozzarella with minced cherry tomatoes. Great umami flavors, brilliant plating!
COURSE 4: ALOO BRAVAS
A chaat speciality wears a refined look! Brisk fried potato, topped with fine sev. Garnished with mint chutney and pomegranate, The street food matches with the fine-dine spirit!
COURSE 5: VEGETABLE ENVELOPE
European flavors enveloped in a sheet of thin pasta. Rich flavors of roasted vegetables and tangy berry emulsion shines through. The dish is balanced beautifully with a lemon caper sauce and cheese fondue sauce.
COURSE 6: SILKEN TOFU
A rich thai curry is served in a traditional thai bowl (which is edible!) The thai curry envelopes a silky tofu which is simply delicious. Accompanied by a fragrant jasmine rice, this dish is simply heaven!
COURSE 7-9 : Skipped! Because we were exceedingly full!
COURSE 10: ORANGE GULAB JAMUN CAKE
A wonderful take on making a traditional Indian sweet and incorporating it into a cake! The richness of the gulab jamun is balanced by the acidity of the orange! Wonderful pairing of flavors
15 Course Menu – Chef Tasting Menu
COURSE 1: POMME PUNCH
A tangy refreshing starting drink, a mix a raspberry syrup, pomegranate and pineapple!
COURSE 2: RONALTINI
Eggplant/ Brinjal stuffed with cheese and rolled in a crunchy lettuce leaf accompanied with a sour cream sauce. We loved the play with textures in this dish and the diverse flavors take the palette by storm!
COURSE 3: BEETROOT CITRON
A tangy beetroot soup with a touch of nutmeg! The soup is delicate and flavor is rich.
COURSE 4: ROOMALI SEEKH KEBAB
A toasted roomali roti stuffed with almonds and raisins is so appetizing! The roomali roti is crisped beautifully and compliments the flavor of the mint chutney well!
COURSE 5: TANDOORI CHEESE CRUMBLE
This was one of the tastiest dishes in the menu! The blend of cottage cheese and Parmesan is simply outstanding! The tandoori like cooking of the dish, makes this almost melt in the mouth and the flavors are close to unforgettable!
COURSE 6: BABY SPINACH AND RUCOLA SALAD
A fresh play on textures again, the caramelized walnuts, orange segments add a sweet tangy, roasty flavor. The earthy greens compliment the spicy rucola well! Super salad!
COURSE 7: CHAR-GRILLED COTTAGE CHEESE STEAK
We felt the flavors were a little overdone on this. The cottage cheese steak is deliciously soft and creamy, however the marinade of harrisa barbecue paste is very strong and overwhelming! The couscous does soften the string flavors but its not enough
COURSE 8: STONE WOK VEGETABLES
A Taiwanese vegetable broth is served in a crispy bowl accompanied with a fresh fried rice. The curry and rice compliment each other beautifully!
COURSE 9: SAFFRON CREPE
Another dish which we really loved. The soft creamy crepe is engulfed in a gorgeous looking saffron sauce! The crepe is stuffed with mozzarella which makes this dish simple irresistible!
COURSE 10: GOTI ORANGE SODA
A break from the food, a citrusy soda served with a berry syrup is just whats needed to refresh the palette!
COURSE 11 & 12: COTTAGE CHEESE AURANGZEBI AND SUBZ TOMATINA
A rich Hyderabadi paneer gravy with a Spanish inspired tomato stir fry is served for mains! The gravy is rich and incorporates various dry fruits such as figs and raisins. The tomato stir
COURSE 13: JAMAVAR BIRYANI
Basmati rice, is slow cooked in a clay pot giving rise to these beautiful spiced biryani which is simply spectacular! The fragrant rice really ups the tastebuds giving a great taste even after 12 courses!
COURSE 14: LA FORET NOIR
A rich chocolate mousse is enveloped in chocolate syrup! The description of the dish does say blackforest, however there are absolutely no elements of blackforest at all.
COURSE 15: TEA
To digest it all, a refreshing lemon tea is served!
Classé, serving up an expansive variety of vegetarian fine-dine morsels..
Some dishes are simply amazing whereas some need to be refined, but moreover the exhaustive menu does need to linked. The diner looses interest as there is sometimes too much of a gap during service.
Classé, does their execution well with most dishes well planned and flavors balanced. However as the meal progresses the link between each cuisine is disrupted sometimes by wild swings of rather strong flavors and then immediate transition to mild flavors.
Classé must be commended on its sheer volume of flavors served at the table, but explanation of these complex flavor mixes are not done to well by the staff.
Classé, overall scores high on the ranks because of its commitment to fresh produce and exceptional flavor on some of its courses!
EL The Cook definitely recommends a visit to Classé, on an empty stomach!