Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Love affair with Lonavala.

Hello there,
                 Been on a little well deserved stay - cation. But that's when I figured out, that my mind never takes a break. I was out with the family one of these days in Lonavala, and we stopped at this beautiful place for lunch and lo - behold, my hands started to itch and I couldn't enjoy my meal without taking a few pictures of it. Well, that's the down side of loving blogging too much, and now even my family has made peace with my annoying habit of not letting people touch food unless I get a good picture of it.
                  Lonavala is a little hill station, around 85 km from Mumbai. It is one of the places I call my second home because me and my father, both have a certain connect with the scenic, peaceful locale and the all year round pleasant weather. Both Dad & I never need an excuse to jump into the car and drive away to Lonavala, especially because it is hardly an one hour drive, from where I live. Lonavala has been a part of my growing up and a lot of amazing memories that I will keep with me for life. Coming back to its tourism culture, it is the hottest destination for any Mumbai citizen who needs a break from the work stress and the heat.The variety of food that the place offers, both in terms of cuisine and budget is phenomenal. From gourmet food in five - starred hotels to simple, homely yet soul - satisfying meals at small sanatoriums. You name it, and you shall find it.

                  That certain day, we were out on a little jaunt when we decided to stop at The Kinara Village Dhaba (Yes, I found their website for you! ). It is located at the end of the Old Mumbai - Pune road. It has a similar setup to that of a Rajasthani Village. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to visit a lot of such set ups, but Kinara Dhaba by far, is one of the most well maintained and well  managed ones I have seen.
Wooden décor, with rural motifs and artifacts all around, you immediately feel relaxed, wanting to soak in this different kind of beauty. They have various seating arrangements with one of the most beautiful concepts of turning a wooden bed ( the one with the posts) into a charming, hand - painted dining table. The scattered seating - from cots, to benches made from old logs of wood make for a nice sight. The  concept is taken a notch further up with stationery hand - pulled rickshaws, earthen urns, pestle and mortar, old hand pumps strategically placed all around. There was a palmist who was predicted peoples futures,also they were offering camel rides to their guests.




                     Because I wasn't planning to cover anything, I obviously wasn't carrying my big - girl camera, and had to use my crappy phone. So please make do with the sub standard photography in this post. It was sweltering hot that day, and as a dhaba is supposed to be, this one is open - air too. Warm breeze was making life difficult. The seating is well sheltered and they have good fans, which provided relief. Also, they were well prepared and kept us supplied with jugs of iced water from time to time. The menu is a little on the higher side and they serve both Veg, non - veg and alcohol.. Approximately from INR 60/ 80 upto INR 320+ per dish, which is standard for decent/ good Dhabas on all the national highways. The staff is extremely courteous and not persistently annoying.





                     We started off with a masala papad. Because it was in the middle of the afternoon, we weren't really hungry. So we stuck to the usual basics of Paneer Makhanwala, Dum Aloo, Palak Daal, Naans and Rotis and Boondi Raita for accompaniment. To be very honest, I was blown away with the quality and quantity of food. We were 5 of us, and just one dish of each of the items I mentioned, was enough for us to have a stomach filling meal. The food is not too spicy or excessively oily. It displays cooking skills that usually come only from well experienced hands. A special mention to the Dum Aloo and the Palak Daal. Both mind blowing. The Palak Daal had this smoky undertone that took brilliantly with fresh palak (spinach) in it. The paneer was absolutely fresh and soft. The staff, like I mentioned earlier was super efficient. We did not need to ask for separate bowls for the daal, they served them in the bowls on their own. We did not have to keep asking for water refills. The staff was the perfect balance of attentive at the same time they gave us the privacy we wanted.



                       By the end of the meal, I was too full to move. But I simply had to parcel their speciality in desserts - Delhi wali Kesar Jalebi with Rabri. I had the most wonderful and calorific midnight snack that ;D .
So verditct,
Ambiance - 9/ 10 (No AC option)
Food - 9/ 10
Service - 10/ 10
Value for money - 10/ 10


After a very long time have I come across a place that I have loved so much. Now I know where I will be going for my next long weekend. Do drop in a comment if you have been here or to a similar place or if you would like to visit!



Until next time,
Cheers! :)


                       









7 comments:

  1. The other name of this famous destination of Maharashtra is Lonavala. It’s a small hill area of Pune region, Maharashtra. Lonavala is famous of impressive natural beauty spots, high hills and Mumbai to Pune highway road. Finest period to attain the town is monsoon season when the heavy clouds turns into big waterfalls from different areas of Lonavla. Tourist across the seas comes here to visit the amazing location and for many travelers who prefer to stay at resorts in Lonavala.

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  2. Yeas I have been to Kinara Village Dhaba . It was awesome and quite affordable as compared to other hotels and restaurants.Budget hotel Jaipur

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  3. Very beautiful pictures you have share about lonavala.
    luxury hotels in mumbai

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  4. Hello..Nice blog post. :) Lonavala is a scenic hill station offering picturesque views. Some of the popular places to visit in Lonavala are Pawna Lake, Karla Caves, Lonavala Lake and Duke’s Nose. Also for reasonable staying options, check out these budget hotels in Lonavala.

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  5. hello... very informative blog... pls suggest some good hotels as i am first-time visitor to lonavala. thanks

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  6. Beautiful Blog and Breathtaking Pictures! Lonavala is the best picnic spot, whenever one thinks of short vacation from Mumbai this is the best place that comes in mind. Thanks for sharing. EO Cabs

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