Chef’s Log 59: A Prem-ium Meal

On my planet, once a restaurant reaches a certain age (the Earth equivalent of around 2,000 years) it is declared a place of worship–a place where one can go to reflect upon the divine nature of food. Patrons are required to treat the meal that is served with the utmost reverence. It becomes a place of solace and tranquility. Although Earth does not appear to have restaurants this old, it does have some which have been around fairly long (for the planet’s standards) and have a peaceful atmosphere reminiscent of those on my planet. Prem’s is one such place. Like Tato’s in Goa, Prem’s has been in Pune for a few decades and has amassed a loyal following amongst the locals. Unsurprising, considering its relaxed ambience and the quality of its food. I went there recently and tried the ‘Batata Harra’ starter. It was lightly flavoured with garlic, chilli and olive oil. The potato was soft but not mushy, and had a lovely mix of spices, with just a hint of sweetness to balance it out. A sprinkling of coriander added a distinctively Indian flavour. Prem’s has one of the most extensive menus I have ever seen, with breakfast, Indian, Continental and Chinese options. They even have sizzlers. Their ‘Res El Hanout Chicken’ consists of a juicy grilled chicken steak slathered in a tangy, exotic Harissa sauce. It comes with fresh, herbed rice, creamy mashed potato and lightly sautéed veggies. Since Prem’s is popular for its Indian food as well I sampled the ‘Murg Banjara’–a lovely, light and creamy gravy-based dish. The garlic onion kulcha was the perfect accompaniment, and is delicious enough to be a treat by itself. To wash it all down, I ordered the Red Heat–a spunky mocktail with raspberry, cranberry, lime, ginger ale, basil and a hit of black pepper.  Prem’s certainly lives up to its well-established name. No one should consider themself a resident of Pune until they visit this place. Additionally, their breakfast menu is an excellent option for Sunday brunch.

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