Food Tasting @ Toss N Stir – Baner , Pune

While Chinese food is our all-time favorite when it comes to comfort food – Toss n Stir has been doing a splendid job all these years dishing out some really amazing dishes with consistent quality, quantity & taste. The team headed by the energetic duo of Deepak & Sapan have evolved a long way to where they stand today & whenever Deepak calls me up for tasting – this is one of the tastings I never wish to miss cause I am quite sure there are many elements of surprise waiting up with each dish. This tasting session was no different & the team has worked exceptionally well to come up quite a few new flavors.

From what we had,

Chicken & Veg Wasabi Dumpling – Wasabi lovers beware! This is your hit for that extra bit of Adrenalin rush. With generous use of wasabi as a main component rather than an accompaniment – it is a very bold step by the chef to introduce something spectacular to all those wasaddicts. Although on a personal level, I would still prefer to be leniency while using this potent item because a major concern with balance of flavors still remains an intact problem with the dish. However for all those who love dumplings & those who don’t mind that extra pungent kick – this is your dope !

Tom Yum Soup – The vegetarian versions screams all standard Thai flavors & the balance has been very delicate when it comes to using the thai herbs or additional condiments like the vinegar which forms the major sour body of the soup. TnS has done a splendid job by re-creating their own version here which can definitely be your savior for those chilled winter/rainy evenings.

Teriyaki Potatoes – Deep fried, thick cut slivers of potato doused in sweet teriyaki sauce. The texture was the key highlight for me – neither too crispy nor soggy. Although a tad bit more glaze would do more justice to this masterpiece.

T & S Special Hot Wings – Crispy, deep fried & tossed in some nice hot sauce, the wings were beautifully cooked all through & the flavors of the sauce really picked up the pace with every single bit. But when I look for hot word in the menu – I would definitely expect a lip burn but the way they have maintained the spice level, I would say that everyone with general palate for hotness would enjoy this dish to the maximum. My only feedback to the chef would be to be a little lenient on the crispiness since wings by default have their own wonderful texture when cooked properly & that tad extra bit of flour dampens the wing experience by a little notch.

Daddy WU’s chicken – Beautifully cooked chicken chunks in a sweet & sour sauce – no frill dish – period.

Wasabi Chicken – Deep fried chicken katsu stuffed with much more milder version of wasabi stuffing served with mint mayo dip. The chicken was cooked beautifully tender & I would love to pair this with a much lighter sauce – something like a sweet chilly / honey lime chilly sauce.

Sriracha Rice & Noodles – While rice did a very decent job – for me it was a very standard fare since the sriracha effect was not that evident. However noodles on the other hand did some real good justice to the use of sriracha.

Honey Ginger Chicken – The flavors of both honey & ginger went a bit overboard in this dish. And on a personal level I would definitely look for more balance of flavors here. What I had during the tasting would make someone who loves sweet sauce based chicken dishes go for a kill but for majority of us who are not used to sweet flavors dominating meat dishes – this dish definitely would need some amount of balancing when it comes to working flavors out.

Fragrant Chicken & Mushroom Stir Fry – This was the star dish of the evening for me – everything went perfectly well. The chickens, mushrooms, soy & the five spice rub – everything amalgamated so well that I definitely would not have any more qualms about this stir fry.

A few things that I really liked about the tasting,
1.) T & S is hard working team & they have really worked their way off the books to bring some amazing new flavors in to the dishes.
2.) Each & every dish out there had their own unique set of flavors & textures to experience for.

A few things I would really love to see from team T & S
1.) Work with more seasonal ingredients to get the best out of them – given they have a fantastic team in the kitchen I can just imagine how good the experience can be if they start incorporating more seasonal ingredients in to their menu.
2.) Work with a few more techniques other than just stir frying & grilling – braising , flash frying , confit just to name a few. I say this cause I am sure they have a tremendous potential to work their way through the flavor profile.

Just to add – an average meal for two would set you back by appx 800 for a combination of soup , starter , rice/noodles, main course & a cold drink – for the quality & quantity of food – the pricing is pretty good   Overall an amazing tasting session – thanks to super food by team T n S & amazing company where we all had a jolly good evening over some amazing food.

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