Restaurant Review: The Ugly Duckling, Baner, Pune

Restaurant Name: The Ugly Duckling – BBQ Backyard,  Opp. Mont Vert Finesse, Baner Pashan Link Road, Baner, Pune

Date of Visit: 3rd July 2016

‘The Ugly Ducking – BBQ Backyard’, a newbie on the block with something different to offer – SMOKED MEAT. Probably the only place in Pune exclusively serving smoked meat, adoption of American concept. Having recently visited America, I was really missing smoked meat, so happy to see it being on offer in the city. Lot of effort being put-in, right from the design and manufacture of a smoking chamber with options of induced as well as direct smoking of the meat.

Thanks to the owners for inviting #FoodProwl (http://www.foodprowl.com/) for a food tasting-cum-feedback session, with an intent to improve the smoked food being offered.

Smoked Pork, Duck and Chicken were the entities tried out. The chicken wings were perfectly smoked with consistently induced smoke-aroma and properly cooked. The Barbecue Sauce served along-side was really delicious and had very well balanced flavors, so good that we could not, literally, resist finger-licking the sauce reaming on the plate. Both Duck and Pork were also consistently smoked, just spot-on, but the cooking of meat lacked consistency to some extent. So attention and effort needs to be put-in to improve the same and to attain repeatability.

Other than the smoked meat,  Brine Soaked Chicken – Chicken A L Plancha, is a must have entity.

Mushroom A L Plancha, a veg preparation similar to Chicken A L Plancha was equally delicious and the Brine Soaked Mushrooms were really juicy. The lemon and olive based dressing used was equally mouth-watering as was Barbecue Sauce.

The mocktails served namely, Kim Frost, Dead Pool, Strawberry Mint Soda, Irish Cream Soda, Orange Ginger Spritzer, Cucumber Mojito, Cafe Frappe, Lemon Iced Tea were really good. The best amongst the lot were the Dead Pool and the Orange Ginger Spritzer. The Strawberry Mint Soda and Cucumber Mojito were a touch bland, for my personal comfort and others may enjoy it.

Coming to the dessert, irrespective of all the appetizing food served, the Frozen Hot Chocolate was the unanimous winner for the day. If you happen to be at this place, don’t miss their Frozen Hot Chocolate. The Red Velvet Hot Chocolate was excellently done as well, but I would personally recommend the Frozen Hot Chocolate over it.

Some other appetizers:

Overall a small yet good place to enjoy smoked delicacies !!! Portion sizes were decent too and should be a value-for-money place. I think, for the sake of completeness. one should be mentally prepared for slower service particular for smoked meat, solely because of requisite preparation time involved. But worth the wait 🙂

A must visit place !!!

And the #FoodProwl team.

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