Terttulia, a vibrant eatery and bar, was recommended as one of the go to places in Pune by a friend, and I went to their Baner branch located on the buzzing Balewadi High street. The name Tertulia has Spanish origins and means an informal gathering of people. The place lived up to its name, in terms of the number of people!
The menu is a mix of breakfast dishes, soups, salads, sandwiches and pizzas and mains with cuisines ranging to Italian to Thai to Japanese. The Mushroom, Thyme and Parmesan soup was outstanding and brought much cheer to our disappointing dining experience in Pune that day. The Nacho bowl, the homemade cheddar and Jalapeno poppers, Chicken wings, Fish fingers with spicy garlic Aioli continued the good run. The flow was disrupted by the rather warm watermelon and feta salad with the lotus stem ‘not so crisps’ reeking of stale oil. We brought this up with the management; they took the dish away to come back with fresh crisps and the same salad, warmer! The Roast Chicken was done right, it was juicy with a flavoursome brown sauce; however the mash didn’t impress. The Spinach, Artichoke Panini was grilled right and was good, but the chef was rather stingy on the fillings.
The Japanese Ginger and Pear Martini was insipid with no discerning flavours of Ginger or Pear; it was spirit with sweet and sour. The Musk Melon Martini showed up well with fresh melon in the fore. If only they had used freshly squeezed lime juice for the drinks!
The outdoors, given Pune’s weather, are more preferred over the indoors in the nippy season. The indoor with the high ceiling, comfortable banquet seating or the high chair seating gives one the environment to converse against a backdrop of commercial music. The outside is louder and filled with millennials.
I can understand slow service as operations could get very busy but this was careless service. The indoors were empty and we could see servers around but their attitude was lackadaisical. Food took time but no one informed us despite us checking on it, water wasn’t replenished after requests, there was no apologies on the stale lotus stem or the warm salad, leave alone service recovery.
The food is good overall, a little bit of fine tuning will help. The service needs to be looked into on a war footing. I give it 4 on food, 5 on ambience, 3 on drinks, 2 on service and a 3.5 on the overall experience.
Ajit Balgi is a wine connoisseur and founder of The Happy High. Images from Terttulia's Facebook page.
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