A bunch of women who’d recently travelled together decided to catch up for lunch. Then came the discussion about where we wanted to meet, making sure it was mid-point for all of us, served alcohol and had decent to good food. We narrowed it down to a few options and then came a doozy from one of the girls. She threw in the name of a newly opened restaurant that she’d read about and within minutes, we all decided that is where we shall go~
The place was Loco Otro, in Aundh.

I had no clues about the place, but what P had shared in the group. She mentioned the Chef owned another place called La Plaisir and that Loco Otro seemed to have an interesting menu. I am not one of those who read reviews, digs around to see what people have said or read the Menu ahead of time. Am happy trying out new places and firmly believe that food is very very personal. Keeping an open mind, was quite excited for lunch.

We reached the venue around 12.45 pm, only to find it packed, and that it was a fairly large space spread across 2 floors. Our table was on the top floor, near the bar counter. Skimmed through the menu, picked out TOm Collins [ Gin, lemon juice and soda] based drink, while the others chose Red Wine Sangria. We also ordered a mezze platter and a cheese board to satiate our initial hunger pangs.

The drink was very diluted, I couldn’t really taste anything outside of the lemon juice. As for the starters, both were good. The dips in the mezze were delicious, and the cheeses along with the fig jam on the cheese board were quite refreshing and had new flavours. Moving to the mains, I chose a Mushroom duxelles and cheese empanada, while others picked Charred cauliflower tacos, mini meatballs, meat-based empanada and port chops with mash & a side of house salad. Oh and for my 2nd drink, I decided to try the Bloody Mary, which was also sadly very diluted and devoid of any flavour. When I shared the feedback, they said that’s how they made it~

All their plates are small serve, tapas style and so there is enough for 1 person plus a tiny bite for someone else. For example, my plate of empanada had 3 pieces, while there were 2 tacos, and about 8-9 mini meatballs, 2 medium-sized pork chops with mash. The flavours were good, and portions were just enough to whet your appetite. Between plenty of laughter and chit-chat, we remembered desserts. Ordered 2 different desserts that we decided to share – one was lemon tart, which was out of the world yumm and the other was the coconut pannacotta served with a side of pineapple salsa with a good amount of heat in it. V & I devoured the lemon tart, while the other 3 enjoyed the pannacotta.

We must have been there for 2.5 hrs, sharing stories, the craziness of the week gone by and making future plans to meet. And of course, plenty of food talk happened…D’oh!

The total bill was 6k-ish, which was alright considering we were 5 of us…

My thoughts on the place:
Drinks – 3/0 – as mentioned my cocktails were both very diluted
Food – 8/10 – flavours were good, but the portion size on the mains is small for the price they charge
Ambience- 9/10 – the space has been done up beautifully, with plenty of space between tables and had a nice feel to it
Service – 7/10

As for my friends, they quite enjoyed the place, and the food, adding that they would definitely recommend the place to others~ The only element they felt lacking was the drinks.

Aquila, next to Kirloskar House,
Pune- 411007

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