10 Reviews / 10 Ratings
Far From Perfection
It's no secret that I'm partial to Pan Asian cuisine. It's light, easy to digest and if done right, extremely flavourful.
Situated in Amanora Mall, Asia 7 is a "fine dining in a mall" concept.
Although Asia 7 is not new at all, and we were regulars, it felt like I was going there for the first time. About six months ago, we found the quality slipping. We stopped going as we were spoiled for choices within the same mall with not only similar cuisines but also different ones if need be.
Since it was Ganesh Chaturthi, I was vegetarian but my husband was not. We decided to do Chinese as the options are so many.
Today, after a long time, we decided to give Asia 7 another go.
First impressions: Largely Chinese in decor, it remained unchanged. The air conditioning was on full blast and at different points during the meal, I felt chilly and was shivering!
The liquor license was also one of the issues we remembered was the problem at most restaurants at Amanora and this time we were told that they were operating on a daily licence basis.
Cool tip: If you're entertaining, I think it would be prudent to call on the day of your visit to see if they are serving alcohol that day.
The BIG surprise was the menu itself. Completely revamped and very very inviting! It gives the diner an immediate sense of ease as there are pictures accompanying many of the dishes. Looked mouth watering and we couldn't wait to dig in.
To top that, the menu front page boasts of a new Head Chef! After the drop in food quality during our last visit, things looked promising already! The Sr. Sous Chef came up to our table and introduced himself to us. Very jolly man and seemed to take pride in the changes made. I was very excited when he suggested that he'd like to make me a special vegetarian rice as a main course which was off the menu. He got very excited and started animatedly describing what he would like to do. Somewhere lost in the accent, I thought I heard olives. I did a mental head shake as olives are just not a normal Pan Asian ingredient but I just went along.
The service was very hap hazard. While they are extremely courteous, I think they lack Management. They have a very amiable Manager but he doesn't seem to be managing very well. The service was all over the place. Always smiling but like headless chickens.
Our server took our drinks order as well as asked us if we'd like a starter.
I personally feel soup is very underestimated. A good hearty soup can be a great kick start to a meal and I prefer it to deep fried starters which again, in my opinion, do nothing but fill you up before the main course arrives. I think it's almost standard that we split a soup two ways while dining so that we have room enough for the main course.
I feel one can tell a lot about the chef's expertise by this humble dish and hot and sour being my favourite and a Chinese restaurant evergreen, we ordered the vegetarian version of that at Rs. 150/-
The soups came, piping hot ( desperately needed as my teeth had started to chatter due to the really cold air conditioning) and in the first bite one could tell that the chef had taken the hot part of the soup literally in more ways than one. It was extremely spicy as there were fresh green chillies cut very finely and put into the soup. They looked deceptively like french beans which one expects to find in a hot and sour soup. I left it instantly as I cannot eat chilly but my husband went through his as it was indeed flavourful.
We realized that no one had served us water or our drinks and had to ask for them. This was a good 30 minutes into us sitting down.
For the main course, I was waiting to see what the chef was creating but the Non-Veg Bento Box combination meal caught my husband's eyes. At Rs. 525/- plus taxes one gets a large portion of chicken noodles, two entrees ( chicken and fish) and 4 chicken dumplings. It is also inclusive of one Foster's beer. The menu said that the main courses changed everyday! Sounded like a fabulous deal! We did note though that the server never recommended or asked what we would like to eat.
When my rice came, I must say I was perplexed. Firstly, all I had asked was for fried rice with a twist. Never did I say I want gravy. It also looked very continental to me. It was a big portion of regular fried rice but had both green and black olives (!!) encased in steamed bok choi and in the centre of this rice was a white sauce which had bits of tomato and other veggies. The base was garlic. We tried it and I felt bad to send it back as it was the Chef's creation but it was so muddled and over powering in flavour that my palate literally rejected it. They were very gracious about it though and immediately asked if I'd like a regular fried rice. I nodded fervently.
While I waited for my rice, my husband's Bento Box combo showed up. First impression. WOW! Huge quantities and very appealing to the eyes. Today's specials were fish in garlic chilli sauce and wok tossed chicken with burnt ( in a good way) pepper and greens.
My husband wanted to try the fish first. It was impossible to scoop! It was basically boiled catfish in sauce. It had over cooked and was just disintegrating into the sauce. After using a spoon, he described it as watery and no taste.
The chicken however was very good in flavour but it had several very small sharp bones in it!
The noodles he said were flavourful and good in general.
Then came the dumplings. He put it in his mouth and it came apart but for the wrong reasons. The chicken mince was completely raw!!
We called the Manager who looked scared as hell because raw chicken can have horrific health implications! He told us not to eat the dumplings and that he'd get a new lot but continue with whatever was edible. Meanwhile I still waited for my rice.
Suddenly comes a server and serves us two sushi rolls as an amuse bouchée. We were very confused as these typically are served even before the starter. It's supposed to amuse ones palate! At this point no one was amused.
My rice finally arrived and it was very good.
Suddenly the Manager comes to my husband and says that he'd prefer to change his entire Bento Box. So, mid bite he stopped and the wait began. While he waited, he thought he'd try the amuse bouche. But it had just disappeared from the table! So, we didn't try that. Very strange.
15 minutes later, out comes his Bento Box and along with it, the Sr. Sous chef. He apologised profusely for the bones and raw chicken and explained that the fish had been so over cooked as catfish by nature didn't hold well.
He then told us that he had strayed from the menu and tempura fried some basa instead which he then served with a thicker shezwan sauce. It was apparently an explosion of flavour. The chicken dumplings were excellent and cooked to perfection and so were the noodles and chicken.
Based on the first Bento Box and my rice, I doubt we'd go back but after the second attempt, I'm willing to give this place yet another try.
Every chef has a bad day. I'm willing to give this jolly humble one another chance.
Chefs table experience
Our first visit to the restaurant was truly a memorable one, thanks to the chefs table event organized by burrp! Memorable not in a good way though because we were all seated on one big table which was very uncomfortable. The host of the evening instead of interacting with the guests to lighten up the atmosphere was instead busy ordering repeats of dimsums for himself. As for the food, we ordered the veg menu which was alright. The best thing we liked on the menu was the cottage cheese stuffed mushroom and vegetable burnt garlic soup.
b! Review: Asia 7 @ Amanora Town Centre
If the mere mention of Pan-Asian has you salivating, Husein Upletawala says Asia 7 has a fiery feast that aims to please and doesnt disappoint.
Pan Asian and Oriental are extremely popular cuisines and restaurateurs in Pune are only getting bolder and more innovative with what they serve. Understandably, we were quite excited to find out what one of the fastest growing chains of Pan Asian cuisine in India is tossing up in the wok.
Asia 7 is the Pan-Asian offering of Lite Bite Foods, the company which owns brands such as Punjab Grill, Fresc Co, Pollo Campero and Zambar. Amanora Town Centre has Asia 7, Fresc Co and Zambar perched right next to each other, which with alfresco seating, candle-lit tables and distinctively rich and vibrant hues of each restaurant paints a rather stunning picture. Whats more, the three restaurants are divided by glass so you can see right through the end of the last restaurant.
The decor here is influenced by oriental design and colours a Buddha statue at the entrance, Chinese wooden carvings and lots of red and gold everywhere. The tables are well spaced and theres a show kitchen where the dishes are finished. So, if your dates a damp-squib, we like the idea of watching as the chef plates up your Sushi platter.
They havent got a liquor license as yet but pick one of their interesting mocktail combinations in the mean while. Even though its touted as a Pan-Asian restaurant, the menu at Asia 7 leans heavily towards Chinese due largely to popular demand. Yet, every table gets a bowl of Kimchi, which you must not miss. Its superbly spiced and served with a sprinkling of sesame seeds, which provides that extra crunch and nuttiness.
We started with a selction of dim sum and sushi, both of which the restaurant is gaining immense popularity for. The Spinach and Water Chestnut dim-sum (Rs 175) was a combination of sweet and crunchy corn and water chestnut played against the earthy flavour of the spinach, which balanced it out excellently. The Prawn Har Gow (Rs 275), though, is safely one of the best dim sums weve ever eaten. Steamed Tapioca encased diced Prawns, garlic, chives against the toasty flavour of Sesame oil was just a fantastic pairing. The Jiangnan Shaomai (Rs275) is a heady option with chicken, Shitake mushrooms and young ginger while the Steamed Chicken Dumpling (Rs 195) had a mildly spicy kick with chilli pepper and curry spice.
The California Ura Maki Rolls (Rs 295) and the Nigiri Sushi (Rs 375) were also both prepared with care. The Salmon and Crab meat sushi was fresh while the rice wasnt overcooked but slightly chewy and not too sticky.
Though delicious, we thought the dim sum and sushi are a tad overpriced.
If Sushis not your first choice, you could the appetisers from their fairly lengthy selection or skip straight to main-course with South East-Asian curries, Chinese stir-frys, rice and noodle options. We were very happy with the Prawns Khowsuey, a hearty Burmese coconut-based curry with steamed noodles with garlic, boiled eggs, peanuts, fried onions and coriander as accompaniments. Watching the attendant assemble your bowl almost feels like a holy ritual and the aroma of the herbs and spices will make you want to snatch the bowl right out his hands and slurp away merrily. They also have Quick Meals, where you can you can put together a quick selection of meat or vegetables with a sauce of your choice tossed with noodles or rice. You could also opt for the Korean classic - Bibimbap, which is chicken or vegetables and rice spiked with Korean chilli paste.
Asia 7 has a modest dessert selection. We tried the cheesecake (Rs 195) and the Chinese Date Rolls (Rs 175) cigar-shaped fried rolls stuffed with dates and served with vanilla ice-cream. Asia 7 does great version of the crunchy date roll adding vanilla ice-cream and a drizzle of honey to finish.
This outlet of Asia 7 is in a mall. Impatience is usually rife among hungry shoppers, especially around the weekends. Thankfully the staff here is quick, efficient and know their product well. While Asia 7 may not be the most inexpensive option around, it will not leave you disappointed. Its a great place to spend a quiet evening with family and friends over some lip-smacking Pan-Asian and Oriental cuisine.
(Meal for two: Rs 1400 plus taxes)
Fantastic Asian Food
Excellent food. The Thai Red curry was especially exceptional. So mouthwatering and flavorful, we wanted to lick our plates and the serving bowl clean. By far, the best red curry I have eaten.
The thread chicken was also excellent- thin, crisp strips of batter encasing succulent, juicy and well cooked chicken. Excellent Meal. The only negative was the shredded chicken with mushroom which unfortunately didnt have any flavor.
The menu was overcrowded with Chinese options- was looking forward to more thai and burmese dishes. Hope they have a policy of changing the menu often
This business has been shut.
However, you can browse through other restaurants on our site using the following link: