Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pho for a Fee and More Fun at Smiley House, Pune

Exploring Pune on a two wheeler is always rewarding. Here an elegant old house, there a river and round every corner a new eatery to tickle the taste buds. So a couple of weekends back, we were cruising down Baner road when we found an as yet unexplored road turning to the right. Now, the road goes ever on and on, as Tolkien would say, but this one, as luck would have it, led us to an amazing culinary experience.

Almost parallel to the Mutha river, facing green kitchen gardens, sits a cute little restaurant serving Vietnamese Cuisine: Smiley House, Shop No. A-2 Sai Heritage, D.P Road.

My first experience with Vietnamese Cuisine was when I was a young girl in Pondicherry, somewhere in the Seventies. Well, it was more like French Cuisine served in a restaurant run by a Vietnamese lady. She was probably married to a Tamilian and had some very pretty daughters who were often to be seen on the elegant colonial balcony above the restaurant. They were fair and aloof. And I wonder what happened to them and how their mother came to be all the way here in Pondicherry. 

Well, while Smiley House may not offer you a taste of that French connection, the Vietnamese Black Coffee is sure to extract an Ooh la la of the froggiest.

Run by the ever smiling Hoa Be, it's a pleasant little place where you can sit back and watch the world go by while tasting exquisitely delicate fare.
The menu is reasonably priced considering how exotic the experience is.

While it seems a hot favourite with the Korean expat community, quite a few local youngsters are also to be found hanging out at this cosy eatery. The d├ęcor is cheerful and, as is usual these days, the walls are lined with handwritten testimonies and other cute things to read and smile about.

Considering how Indians are now travelling far and wide on business and for education, our tastes are getting to be more flexible. In fact, young Indians now look forwards to new cuisines with gusto.

Here's wishing Smiley House all the best and hoping to visit soon.