As a wise man once said, ‘Baking, is love made edible.’
The city of Pune is no novice to the said edible love owing to its treasury of bakeries and in this two-part blog, Imma take ya to some of the most iconic bakeries in the city and bake up a culinary storm.
Disclaimer: The blogger of this blog is not responsible for untimely pangs of hunger and sweet cravings.
Number 1: The City Bakery.
The City Bakery has been an essential part of Pune City for more than half a century. It is a family run bakery selling all kinds of breads, cakes, biscuits as well as savouries such as puffs, sandwiches and soup-sticks. The specialities here would be the salted butter biscuits and the chocolate pies. We were lucky to get the biscuits but the chocolate pie was sold out so I will have to go back for that:)
The interior of the bakery is very vintage and one can tell its been around for a long time by looking at the decor. I love the picture of the baby with puppies in the bottom right photo and the arrangement of the items in transparent showcases takes one back in time. The bakery has carried on its old-timers’ tradition and the shopkeepers still write their menus on a chalkboard, complete with a ‘thought for the day’.
Despite sticking to their old traditions, the bakery is still very popular in the modern, buzzing times. By the time they close shop, all the items are nearly sold out and the mornings see a very heavy footfall. Bakeries such as this one reiterate the saying ‘Old is Gold’:)
The shopkeeper in the bakery was very friendly and funny. He offers free tasting samples for biscuits and even posed for a picture!
The man who started this bakery more than 50 years ago was called Rusi Irani. He was succeeded by two sons, one of whom continued to run this bakery while the other started another sibling bakery not far from this one. The sibling bakery is the next one on this blog, namely, the Royal Bakery.
Before moving on, here’s the haul from city bakery, constituting soup sticks, salted butter biscuits and fruitcake.
Number 2: The Royal Bakery.
The Royal Bakery is the brother of the above City Bakery.
Isn’t this just straight out of a storybook? I mean, the green doors and the little peeking bakery is so vintage that it’s hard to believe that the picture is taken during the age of technology, hehe:)
The Royal Bakery is smaller than the City Bakery but it’s not as tiny as it looks. it’s much bigger on the inside, just like the TARDIS. In fact, the design of the door does look similar to Doctor Who’s blue box:)
The bakery also offers a sneak peek into their pantry as can be seen in the picture at the top of the collage. Photography isn’t allowed inside the pantry but the shopkeeper was kind enough to let me photograph the showcases with the eatables. I also got a picture of the bakery’s pet dog who had just woken up when I visited. The speciality here is a very iconic cake known as the ‘Glass Cake’ which is literally shaped like a tiny glass. It also specialises in milk bread which is a kind of a sweetened white bread and is very healthy. I got both those specialities right here with me:)))
The Royal Bakery is also very famous for its Christmas cake. One has to place an order for it and come to collect it at an exact given time and even a few minutes’ delay can lead one to lose their order to someone else owing to the insane demand. Christmas is a time of love and peace but when cake is involved, there’s no compromise and you need to get it by nook or crook. Everything’s fair in love and cake.
Number 3: Persian Bakery.
The curious thing about the Persian Bakery is that it is located down a lane which is exclusively occupied by shops selling picture frames and portraits.
The Persian Bakery has been around since 1921 and is one of the oldest bakeries in Pune. It sells everything from regular bread and tea cakes to fancy desserts such as tarts and pastries and even Danishes.
Their speciality is their puffs and take it from a local Pune dweller, this place has the BEST puffs in the city. They make them in four varieties, veg, chicken, cheese and jam and all three are absolutely delicious:) We got our breakfast from here this morning so I can guarantee that this blogger has experienced prime culinary delight.
This would be a good time to remember the disclaimer at the beginning of the blog:)
The bakery is currently run by a very kind man who was so thrilled when I asked to photograph the bakery. The Persian Bakery has recently opened a second shop in the city and I love how humble they are despite their popularity. This place has been running since the time the British ruled India and they’ve seen the city grow and change around them and yet they remain an iconic part of it which really shows how efficient their system is and how good their products really are to stand the test of time:)
Number 4: Naaz Bakery.
Another gem of the vintage Pune City, the Naaz Bakery began in 1938.
The bakery is located in one of the busiest areas of Pune and it’s close to one of the most iconic restaurants of the city namely The George Restaurant which was started in 1936 in the midst of the Brit Rule.
I’ll tell you lot about the George Restaurant another time so let’s go back to the Naaz Bakery.
The Bakery has an amazing variety of sweet and savoury alike. They take orders for birthday cakes and also have some iconic food items like cream rolls and jam rolls. Their speciality however is the samosa. It is a triangular, deep fried snack, filled with either chicken or mashed potato and veggies.
Blogging about the bakeries of the city really made my breakfast an amazing one this morning:) Generally, a samosa has a thicker fried shell and is slightly bigger but samosas like this is called a ‘patti samosa’ as its fried coating resembles a ‘patti’ or a cloth wrapping. Chicken samosa are generally made in this form and its usually lighter than a regular samosa.
The shopkeeper here was very friendly and actually gave me an empty frame to take pictures:)
Number 5: Husseny Bakery.
The Husseny Bakery is located in the Camp area of Pune and has been standing tall and pretty since 1932.
This was the best decorated bakery in all the ones that I visited and it has a lot of sweet eatables which makes it a great spot for those with sweet teeth:) It also sells good pizza bases and bread for wraps along with the usual bakery essentials.
Some of the iconic specialities here are the plain sugar donuts and a unique pastry called the Vanilla Triangle Pastry. I’m one of those people who prefers plain glazed or sugar-dusted donuts to the ones with icing so this bakery is right up my alley. Besides, vanilla cake is my favourite.
The decor of this bakery has many old newspaper cuttings from the 1930s, showcasing their inauguration and achievements, along with some minimalistic Christmas decor:)
I love the wall clock, it’s so stylish and the Indian flags below it are essentials in every shop in the country. The black and white newspaper cuttings really bring a sense of nostalgia of what life was like back in the day.
I say it like I’ve experienced centuries on the planet, hehe:) I came into existence in 2003 so the 1930s is like the ancient era for me:) It’s the time of my ancestors.
And that is a wrap!
In the next part, we’ll look at some of the newer and more recent bakeries of the city and what makes them so special and scrumptious:)
Until Next Time,