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    With red accents and an all-vegetarian menu, Pakwan, a fine dining restaurant, opens in the city.

    The newest restaurant in the city is a nod to the lack of a standalone fine dining space for vegetarians. Tucked away on Kuppusamy Street in T Nagar, Pakwan opened three weeks ago with a multi-cuisine menu that includes Indian, Oriental and Italian. When I walk into the 110-cover eatery, I am greeted by interiors done up in hues of red and gold (“royal colours that promote energy”). Co-founder Anil Dangi tells me they have also tried to create a serene dining experience, by depicting mandalas on the walls.
    Begun along with his brother Sanjay Dangi—in partnership with city-based jeweller Hitesh Kothari and hoteliers Akshay Bafna and Nitesh Kothari—the three-year-old brand has outlets in Bengaluru, Ooty, Indore and Tumkur. “We wanted to start a chain that promoted a great ambience along with tasty food,” says Anil, adding that they plan to keep the menu current up updating it every month.
    As I take a seat, I hope the small plates are an indication of ‘healthy’ portions, but soon realise generosity is more their game. While the Oriental and Italian dishes cover the basics—with pastas, thin-crust pizzas and a variety of stir-fries—I find Indian dishes are their forte. A flavoursome tamatar dhaniya ka shorba is followed by a selection of starters, of which I enjoy seconds of the paneer dum anari and kuti lal mirch ka paneer tikka. Made with in-house marinades, the homemade paneer crumbles lightly on the tongue. Then head chef Raju—who comes with over 20 years experience at properties like the Taj Banjara— serves their signature, a sizzling biryani that comes smoking to the table, and has a delightfully nutty flavour. Dessert is a treat too, with their palak ka halwa and bestselling mirch ka halwa.

    Meal for two at Rs 1,200 approx. Details: 43370888

    —Surya Praphulla Kumar

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