Arthur's Theme: Let’s Go Out For A Meal Tonight Darling?

He likes fish, she prefers the bird. Here’s how they navigate European cuisine

Kalyani Sardesai

It's a lazy Sunday afternoon when we walk in for a late-ish lunch in what is slated to be Pune's best European/Continental Restaurant: Arthurs Theme. Done up in shades of cream, beige, blue offset with wood, the decor looks just what it is supposed to be: a relaxed European country home with plenty of nuances, and yup, tiles. A likeness of Caliber-the legendary King Arthur's sword—after whom the restaurant is named—stands out at the entrance, as does the white cross carved out of the space between blue tiles.

The restaurant was thus named given the Biblical king's towering status and his association with the pure and fine things in life. First impressions: the restaurant is quietly classy, and yet home-y. Nice.

Arthur’s Theme is strategically located in lane no. 6, Koregaon Park, arguably one of the city's toniest addresses. What's unique here is the range of dishes suitable for vivid palates—precisely why it’s our choice for this date night—husband and I—because granny pitched in to take care of baby for an evening. Apart from each other, we love different things—especially when it comes to food. Why Arthur’s Theme? From Pune's expat and foreign crowd that throngs the place for an authentic taste of duck or steak to spicy and tangy options for the unapologetically desi crowd that loves its masalas, there is a little something for everyone.

From the starting line

For the starters, we agree, for once, it has to be Queen Marchell--broiled mushroom stuffed with cottage cheese. He loves cheese, I’m a fungi-aficionado. For the mandatory nod to good health, the Greek salad is perfect: fresh and light with the distinct salt of the Feta cheese and the tang of olives. Since the husband is not done with the cheese, we partake of Constanine, a thin fillet of chicken rolled in ham and cheese, crumbed and fried. Crispy on the outside, cheesy on the inside: sounds like an ad jingle right?! Nah, war cry.

Because we want soup. The husband chooses Guy of Warwick—a seafood soup with a dash of wine. I want to stick to my all-time favourite Minestrone, eschewing the Captain's suggestion of Lady Ewen, a velvety Broccoli soup. There is just something so comforting and gratifyingly old-world about a thick soup full of beans and pasta, isn't it? "European cuisine lays a lot of accent on fresh meats, just the right touch of herbs, crisp veggies and the perfect accompaniment, be it mashed potatoes/fries and bread," says owner Navtej Sawhney. There’s vegetarian, duck, chicken, fish, prawn, turkey, lamb and carabeef tenderloin. And red or white wine to go with it. And their popular thin-crust pizzas.

The main course

The husband, being told by the spoilsport doc to lay off the steaks, does a fine compromise with Martin, which is a dish of grilled lobster marinated in red chilies and spices and steamed veggies on the side and a dash of white sauce. My carnivorous instincts and BMI are fine, so it'sKing William III for me, a chicken steak in brown sauce served with herbed rice. Mild, creamy, nuanced—just the way I like it. The piece de resistance, though, has to be the bread basket, featuring loaves of warm, decadently soft bread. Now, the bread basket is like a love nest—and we are partners in polishing off the fresh bakes with a dash of butter.

Sweet endings

Our taste buds are singing, and it’s time for dessert. He gets Tiramisu, the classic Italian coffee pudding. I pick their signature blueberry cheesecake with a dollop of crème. Okay, we share our desserts. And that, my dear friends, is how we stay in love!


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