A place named and themed after a East Asian character Shizu and his travel diaries in Asia - Shizusan - Pune's first Asian Pop Bistro.
An oasis of pop East Asian cuisine right in the middle of Phoenix market city Pune, brought to us by Bellona Hospitality group. 212 cafe and bar right across the courtyard being its sister concern. However the place is very different than its jazzy cousin.
A warm oriental decor welcomes you in with soft hues of reds and green. Take your pick from their indoor section or balmy casual outdoor seating.
The menu itself is a travel diary which pulls you directly into the world Shizusan's Asian sojourn and his experiment with all their food. The whole place is set, designed and characterised around the tales of his culinary adventures mainly from Japan, China, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam and Thailand.
Chef Paul Kinny serves the best of South East Asian cuisine with his take and a welcome twist.
Special mention to The bistro’s menu which has a culinary innovative streak with gluten-free options like the Quinoa Maki Roll and other standouts for those who have special dietary needs.
I am a complete desi at heart and love my chindian and oriental food with a desi touch so when I was invited to sample the menu of Shizusan I was in two minds honestly. Not being sure whether I would love this experience I still wanted to explore this new place with a twist.
So here I was on my own voyage to sample the experience at Shizusan.
I was taken in by surprise as we had a huge menu to taste, no less than 30 dishes, all in a day's of hard work you see 😜😋😉.
Bracing my stomach I dived in the ocean of Shizusan's delicacies and I was genuinely floored by what I found.
I am glad I took this invite, the food served was impeccably presented and was delicious.
The food not being the masaledar Indian take on Asian cuisine was not bland either. I hate the smell of authentic Asian cuisine (mainly the sea food) whenever I am abroad. I was expecting that smell however I was pleasantly surprised as there were no such smell and the food was not completely authentic but with a twist on it. Applaud to the chef as he did a commendable job on this amazing amalgamation of tastes not making it overtly Indian. It does keep its own charm with a little twist enhancing the flavours with an appetising fragrance.
Let me show you some of my favorite Shizusan's adventures with food.
Master Shizu himself.
Started the journey with this colourful mocktail ( they are still in the process of procuring their license for alcohol). Their mocktails are really refreshing and get you in the mood right away. This one was called The General however it was anything but General.
I really loved the mixture of mango and lychee and some more fruit juices in there. I was floored for more. Must try.
Pepper Garlic Mushrooms tossed generously with Thai holy basil and Shaoxing wine. You just can't stop at one. They were yummy, soft flavourful and an alternative to pepper garlic prawns without losing on any of the taste quotient.
This was one of my favourites of the night. Must try.
Chilli Celery Cottage Cheese
Cooked with Sichuan peppers and red hot chillies. It was so bright, fiery, tender and an explosion of flavours on every bite.
I am ordering this again for sure.
Edamame, Petit Pois & Truffle oil
A lingering wasabi aroma is what greets you and fills your senses. Dig into its goodness. For the veg dim sum lovers. Japanese soul with French flavours, this one sure was an instant hit.
Malay style chicken Satay
The classic and it sure was with everyone as the peanut sauce disappeared within a couple of minutes. The satay was well marinated in galangal, lemongrass and bird's eye chilli. Another Must try.
Chicken soup Dumplings
These are the soupy dumplings, dumplings filled with broth of minced chicken and shitake mushroom.
Dumplings with a twist which are favorite amongst all.
There is a way to eat them which again is unique.
Make a small tear in the dumpling using your chopstick or folk. Let the hot soup ooze out on your soup spoon. Slurp the soup and let it engulf you in its comfort and then bite on the dumpling and enjoy the mix of flavours and textures which is quite enticing.
Thai Chicken wings with the drizzle of Sriracha was nice to your tastebuds.
Thai styled Lotus stem
Crispy lotus stems in an tangy sauce.
Absolutely drool worthy.
Another of my favorite dish. I couldn't stop munching on them.
The crispy shrimp with creamy sauce.
I myself am not a pork eater but my friends on the table couldn't stop oohing at this delight. They mentioned that the pork was tender, juicy and oozing with flavour.
Thai , Thai
This little one deserves all the applaud. Another round of mocktail to guzzle down all this amount of food.
Must try. A
Doesn't this look exceptionally good.
I liked this one.
There is a range of sushis and sashimis and Maki rolls. The classics as well as modern to take your pick from .
A delectable shrimp tempura centre topped with Sriracha mayo.
The baos over here are not your average classic steamed ones stuffed . These are like tacos filled with goodness of your choice of meat or veggies. Take your pick.
Some of them were exceptionally good on another thought most infact.
The 17 ingredients slaw leaves you guessing what all you are munching on.
Must try for the salad lovers.
Pad Thai noodles - I found them average but loved their stone bowls.
The Thai curries were a hit.
Perfectly balanced . The one on the top is a veg red Thai curry and one below is a chicken green Thai curry.
I am a fan of green Thai curry and this one just hit all the right spots with fiancé. Went so well with steamed rice.
Hot stone Rice. A classic rice dish which is transformed in front of you right at your table. The server mixes the rice using some sauce. The container used to serve is made from lava stone sourced from Japan which keeps it hot and the rice warm until you have finished it. Resulting in crispy morsels of rice in every bite.
It was nice and something innovative.
I enjoyed the experience but give me my steamed rice and Thai curry any day ;)
After this gamut of food and no more place in the over full stomach the desserts were served.
They looked really appetising.
However I will give the desserts a miss at Shizusan and stick to the favourites.
This is not a desserts place, strictly average.
Green tea sponge, coffee dust and creamy mascarpone a recipe from modern China. It was nice, creamy but lacked that coma inducing punch.
Look at the presentation though, I loved it.
Peanut butter pie.
As the name suggests, it was overtly peanutty, it was like snicker bar served as a pie. I am sure it will make the snicker bar fans happy. I love peanuts but I found this tad too over powering my senses.
This was the end of our first voyage with Shizusan and was I impressed?
Shizusan was indeed successful in working his magic on me.
The service was courteous, the favourites are good, mocktails refreshing.
Coming to the price factor.
Shizusan is on the expensive side with the quality of food and the expensive ingredients sourced to make this experience possible.
Do give this master a try and indulge yourself with its captivating tastes which are not yet present in the city otherwise.
I am thankful to Carpe Diem for the invitation to explore this place and experience it's delights.
A big thanks to Preksha who entertained us with the Shizu dolls and enlightened us with details of the place and the story behind it all. The chef himself explained all the dishes with details and how to devour them for utmost taste.
Thanks to Minoti, Pracey, Amrita and Shivangi (reading us the captivating tale of Shizusan and a free how to eat with chopsticks class).
I hope I covered it all, if you have any queries do ask away in the comments below.
Until next time.
Stay Happy and Cheerful.