We have an old saying on my planet, which roughly translates to ‘true strength of character can be measured by how much meat one can consume in a single sitting.’ This could explain my strong dislike (and mistrust) of vegetarians—at least partially. But the point is, I have grown extremely fond of the red meat found on Earth, particularly the pork and beef varieties, and have a special preference for restaurants that can do it justice.
Flying Duck is one such restaurant. Situated in Baner, Pune, it is fairly inconspicuous because of its size. A valuable lesson I have learnt from my experience here however is that the smallest restaurants often serve the best food. And Flying Duck serves pork that is good enough to make anyone strengthen their character considerably. The food incorporates flavours from the North East of India, specifically Assam, and was like nothing I’ve tasted before. The pork chops were soft and juicy and packed full of flavour. They were heavily laden with savoury spices, but managed to somehow not be pungent—quite a feat if you ask me. The skewered pork was firm and a tad chewy, but had a lovely smoky flavour. I also tried the pork with herbed rice.
Despite all the delicious pork, the one dish that really stood out for me was the meat stew. This evasive dish is not mentioned on the menu and is often unavailable, but if you do find yourself lucky enough to taste it, you will get a glimpse into what heaven feels like. Incredibly soft, tender beef enveloped in a fluffy pillow of coconut rice. Sigh. The nuttiness of the coconut is a beautiful contrast to the saltiness of the beef. Every bite will take your taste buds on a journey to a place that is both familiar and exotic. Food of this quality, coupled with the reasonable prices, sets this restaurant apart from the others. It is a must-visit for anyone who claims to love red meat. And food in general.