We Idliwale Barroom is here to unfold authentic South Indian flavours in the heart of Pune

Drawing inspiration from Bengaluru's pub culture, this newly opened establishment offers a distinct fusion of South Indian cuisine

We Idliwale Barroom is here to unfold authentic South Indian flavours in the heart of Pune

Being a South Indian food enthusiast, taking an early Monday morning trip to Pune for a lavish South Indian meal, paired with freshly-made cocktails and beer, was definitely worth it. While We Idliwale, with its ‘only-idlis menu’, has been a favourite for quite some time in Pune, it has successfully expanded to include an array of dishes that now features everything from a basic Andhra Chicken to fancy items like Podi Bacon and Coconut Negroni.

A tribute to Kerala-style celebrations, the menu pays homage to the vibrant toddy shops while mixing it up with Bangalore's pub culture. And If I may be candid, getting served dosas with beers was such an intriguing concept to me.

Expansive windows, stainless steel cutlery and banana saplings along with the Athangudi tiles mirror the heritage homes of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The bar adorned with vibrant Channapatna wooden beads and '80s rock music completes the South Indian vibe perfect for the grand meal you’re about to savour at the Barroom.

What We Tried
I have a statement to make that simply cannot be refuted unless you have been to We Idliwale Barroom: everything on their food menu is worth trying out! Their menu had my complete attention from the moment my eyes scanned it. I started my meal with the Podi Bacon and cut Chicken Sausages cured in malgapodi and then slow-cooked on the grill. Chef Abhishek Joshi—Founder and chef at We Idliwale Barroom—boasted about his personal favourite, the Nagarjuna-inspired Andhra Chilli Chicken, which even I swear by given its perfect ratio of spice to savoury. We Idliwale also flaunt plenty of vegetarian options including the likes of Yam Rawa Fry and Banana Beetroot Cutlets to name a few among a plethora of appetisers that were simply divine.

Moving to the main course, my first stop was their Shetty Lunch Home-inspired Idli Chicken, a choice driven purely out of curiosity. I also tried their Syrian Catholic Chicken Roast, a braised and charred leg piece with a coconut milk marinade. Irrespective of whether you choose their Pork Rib Vindaloo, Mutton Isten, or Karwar Prawns, and choose to pair it with idli, dose, appam, or classic parottas, you will not be disappointed. Vegetarians, on the other hand, ought to try their Drumstick Stew or Sweet Potato Majjige Huli, consisting of charcoal-grilled sweet potatoes in a yogurt curry. But the feast doesn't end here (kyunki picture abhi baaki hai mere doston!). If you are a biryani person, then you need to try their Doodh ki Biryani served with a side of Mirchi Pickle, Salan (which is essentially a side dish), and appalam; or the seafood biryani with Malabari spices and appalam, brought to you from the coasts of Kerala. I was so full by the end of this meal, but that did not stop me from devouring their Filter Coffee Eclair and Coconut Pound Cake. What an end to a fantastic meal!

What Worked
In a conversation with chef Abhishek, as I tried out their ingredient-driven cocktails, he said, “Our idea behind this cocktail menu was to keep it very simple, non-pretentious and non-gimmicky. Just balanced, well-rounded flavours using the ingredients we find in our kitchens”. While at it, I treated myself to a Raw Mango Picante featuring Jose Cuervo Silver Tequila, curd chilli-raw mango brine, and an amchur rim. After this, I moved on to the Coconut Negroni crafted with Greater Than Gin, where the gin is fat-washed with coconut oil and grilled pineapple Campari. And while we are on the topic of cocktails their Haldi Highball is a must-try, featuring a blend of Greater Than Gin and homemade turmeric liqueur topped with a cloud of lime air. Their signature cocktails have a taste of the South in every sip.

Since filter coffee has a special place in my heart, I would highly recommend their Cold Filter Coffee which, is made with coconut milk. Although I was tasting something so unique for the first time, it’s not an understatement when I say it was love at first sip!

Final Verdict
After such a fulfilling and wholesome meal with such carefully curated cocktails and a really fun conversation with Chef Abhishek about how my mother cannot know the way I crammed down their pork vindaloo, I am convinced that We Idliwale Barroom is the perfect place for you to have a comfy South Indian meal with flavours that will freshen your mind while giving you a hint of nostalgia.

Ananya Gandhi

Ananya Gandhi

Ananya grabs at every chance she gets to spend time with strangers listening to their stories, painting or reading some romantic-thriller novel almost everywhere. Her love for food encompasses everything from crispy fried chicken to a creamy cheesecake. And this combined passion for food and creativity, paired with a knack for social media enables her to make some fascinating content for her Instagram.

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