Two Sticks – A Savior For Those Lazy Times
There are certain days of your week when you just do not want to engage in cooking & cleaning post a strenuous work day. A place like “Two Sticks” is an absolute savior for souls like us primarily for two reasons – one they provide comfort, no fuss food & two it does not hurt your wallet too much. Two Sticks focuses mainly on the Pan-Asian side of the cuisine & before I go into the details of my experience I should say that my first experience there was quite a good one. I could not catch hold of the owner hence I do not have much information about who run’s the show & how the backstage is really set.
The Look & Feel
Two Sticks is located on a by road just behind all the hustle bustle of Balewadi High Street. First & foremost you have more than enough parking out there so you need not worry about where will you park your machine as you relish that wonderful meal. While this place looks pretty small from the exterior standpoint, it is reasonably spacious inside with standard seating fare of tables & chairs. The interior is classy at its best, blending all that Pan-Asian vibe into its dining area in a very elegant manner. I personally love places who invest a little bit more into lighting, it really sets the mood for me & I am sold up on ambiance factor the moment I see pleasant ambient lighting. Two Sticks just has that right use of filament lamps which sets the whole rustic warm mood. Perfect ambiance for those dinner dates where you can’t say no to loved one’s, your palate & your wallet 😉
Our Food Experience
Pan-Asian for me is the most comforting soul food on any given day. There are not too many places where things can go wrong if you stick to standard items. Two Sticks strikes the right balance of bringing in some legacy items as well as some off beat contenders to your plate. The menu is short & simple which in turn is a huge boon to people like me who get confused with too many things on the list. Having said that, for the kind of class they have exhibited in their food & ambiance I would love to see a little more detailed menu to spare my embarrassment of calling the wait staff every single time to understand what are the contents for certain dishes. Like any other Pan-Asian meal, I set out for standard three course meal of soups, appetizers & mains.
Large Bowl Of Malaysian Laksa Soup – Apparently this was not as large as I expected, just enough for one is what I can best recommend for. The soup was primarily coconut milk based. The flavors were very well balanced in terms of bringing out the laksa experience. There were good chunks of soft juicy chicken & a small handful of noodles that blended nicely in the coconutty broth. The spiciness was very apt & my wife who had a sore throat that evening appreciated the soup to provide better relief(temporary) more than those antibiotics she had been chugging on ! I would have definitely loved some veggies for that extra bit of texture in the soup.
Hot & Sour Chicken Soup – This was ordered after we ordered mains, mainly because we were very impressed with their Laksa Soup. The joy did not last too long for us since this was probably one of the most underrated experience of our evening. Too much use of corn flour slurry made the soup too thick to be enjoyed like a soup. The balance of hot & sour flavors was totally off the course for me. I do believe this may be an one off experience since the quality of laksa has definitely set some high benchmarks for these folks in my books !
Three Pepper Spicy Chicken Wings– An absolute hit for us ! This was probably the biggest, juiciest & most well cooked set of wings that I have ever laid my hands on till date. Crispy on the outside, soft & juicy on the inside, doused in an aptly spicy sauce with loads of onions & bell peppers. I honestly missed a good craft beer along with this wonderful set of wings. On a personal note, the word spicy prepares my brain for a different level of spiciness but this was just borderline spicy for my palate.
Chicken & Lemon Zest Dim sums – First of all I am really happy to see smaller portions of dim sums( you can go for a set of 4 or 8 dim sums) on the menu since it saves you the guilt of killing your appetite for mains. As attractive as the name may sound, my dim sum experience was another setback for the evening. The stuffing & the outer coating had no homogeneity. As I took a bite, a huge chunk of filling just dropped dead on to my plate. Though the name says lemon zest, I could hardly decipher any lemon zest flavor in my servings. The dim sums were served with kikkoman sweet soy, sweet chilly & spring onion-pepper dressing, I had a hard time juggling the separated filling & the outer layer. They should definitely re-work on all that steamy goodness given the talent they have exhibited on other dishes!
Peking Chicken Rice– Fluffy rice tossed with thick gravy made with generous amounts of juicy chicken chunks & veggies. The final dish was served wrapped up in a super soft & thin egg omelette. The taste was phenomenal & the quantity was huge, in fact I would say more than sufficient for two people with a good appetite. The only setback for me was tiny crunchy bits of MSG/Ajinomoto that I got with occasional bites that killed the pleasure of a good dish in an instant second.
My Overall Experience
“Two Sticks” is a brand new place & honestly they serve very good food barring a few problems here & there. The service was very efficient & I would be a bit more happy if the wait staff can assist me better with in-house recommendations. Overall, price for this meal which was shared amongst the three of us for dinner & an extra takeaway for lunch next day set us back by approximately Rs.1000. I did go overboard with the main course otherwise a meal for two can happily be wrapped under Rs.800 & even Rs.500 if you are the kind with a smaller appetite ( which we are not!:P ). The ambiance, the overall taste, quantity of food & the quality along with good service puts this place on value for money list in my books. I would however wait for a few more visits to aggregate my experience before I push recommendations under the name of “Two Sticks” but if I were you, I would not hesitate to visit this place and give it a try!
Address: 1, Avenue Daffodils, Ground Floor, New D.P.Road,Sai Chowk, Balewadi, Pune, Maharashtra 411045
Contact Number: 084088 01110