Pumpkin Tales surprises with foraged ingredients, a snazzy hot honey and oodles of flavour
Popular restaurant Pumpkin Tales in Alwarpet launches their new menu that boasts delicious offerings that include Sourdough Pizza, Potato Mess, Forest Mushroom Pasta and a Rhubarb tart
Brandy is all of four years old and is now moving on from sourdough breads to pizza bases. No ‘she’ is not the new sous chef at the Pumpkin Tales restaurant in Alwarpet. She is the robust starter dough who has been nurtured and mollycoddled by the team at the diner to help bake their famous sourdough breads that need to rest for four days before baking. In fact, she is the reason you will not discard the crust of your Neapolitan pizza from their new menu. That dough rests for up to a day to give us a delicious sourdough pizza base that can be paired with dips like chilli parmesan to seal the deal.
“This pandemic has taken me back to my core passion — slow cooking, small batches and artisanal ingredients,” says chef Chindi Varadarajulu who owns the restaurant along with partners Rajarajeswari and Bhuvaneshwari. The new additions to the menu have been tweaked and perfected for over a year now. “I meant to launch it early last year and then the pandemic happened. I have been experimenting since then — and now have enough recipes in my notebook to start a brand new restaurant!” says Chindi, who tells us how she visited Meghalaya in March and came back with foraged mushrooms that are now a flavourstrong ingredient in new dishes likes the Forest Mushroom Risotto and the Forest Mushroom Pasta. A wholesome, hearty tagliatelle dish, dusted with porcini, loaded with a variety of fungi — it qualifies as a comfort bowl and finds us scooping up the last drop of the mushroom velouté with relish.
Meanwhile, the Potato Mess is a chaat-like appetiser that has smashed baby potatoes that are double-cooked and sitting on a bed of hung curd, along with chimichurri and a new condiment that will definitely send your palate into a tizzy. Introducing, the Hot Honey! Chilli-infused honey, it adds that zing to a dish which you will truly comprehend when you try the Queen Bee. A pepperoni pizza, this one is generously drizzled with the special syrup and the juicy, cheesy pie is immediately addictive. We sip on an iced tea infused with kaffir lime leaves to pause and sigh over the play of flavours and refreshing taste notes.
Another favourite is the Sambal Bowl, and Chindi explains, “This has about 50 grams of sambal rice, a protein of your choice, veggies, heirloom beans from the Badaga tribes from Ooty, and a pickle that is special to Singapore. Mixed vegetable pickles that have been fermented with vinegar, ginger, turmeric root and galangal!” With their eye on seasonal produce, this month’s special is the Rhubarb tart. It has a sweet, sticky, jammy filling, topped with a crumble — a dollop of ice cream is a must pairing.
Meal for two at INR 1,000 +