Last week, I took ye folks on a stroll among some of Pune’s oldest bakeries which brought home the idea that old is indeed gold. However, with the dawn of a new week, we’re going to move to some of the newer bakeries that form a grand part of Pune’s ‘Bakery Storm’. Reminisces of the old bakeries are available here. And without further ado, let’s get this party tarted….
The first bakery on the list is called Merwans.
The Merwans bakery was established in 1978. The bakery originated in the city of Mumbai where there’s literally a shop in every area of the city but the outlet pictured here is the bakery’s second shop in Pune. The decor of the bakery is very effective in drawing customers. I mean, you’re just walking/driving down the street and a blast of neon and multi-tier cakes just hits you as though it’s a spotlight from heaven:)
The bakery has a huge variety of cakes and savoury snacks. They also take custom orders and are available for catering services. The bakery has some very interesting cakes as can be seen in the menu….
I love how the cakes have different categories and the best one here is the one called ‘Purple Rain’ which is a part of the Rich Premium Cakes. The cake is actually a deep purple and decorated with golden sugar-balls which really makes it very aesthetic:) The bakery also makes pretty tasty chocolate pastries.
The decor of this bakery is very unique.
The mascot of the bakery is a baker with a thin moustache named Bob and according to the pictures on this wall, the baker likes to role play various characters in world history with a punny twist. ‘Edmund Chillary’, for instance, the inventor of frozen donuts:)
The bakery’s speciality, however is the ‘Mawa Cake’.
A Mawa cake is a tiny plain cupcake sweetened with ‘Mawa’ or ‘Khoya’ which is a chief ingredient in a lot of Indian sweets so the cake is basically a fusion between an Indian sweet and cake. Merwans sells the one of the best mawa cakes in Pune and I can guarantee that cause I’ve had these cake from every bakery that I’ve visited as it’s my dad’s favourite cake and Merwan’s definitely does it incredibly well.
The second bakery on the list is the newest and the most happening bakery in Pune. Let’s head to the Fantasy Bakery and Patisserie.
The Fantasy Bakery was started in 2016 by a home baker named Nehaa Ahmed and today, the bakery has five outlets in Pune and is growing steadily. It’s amazing how a simple venture can soon take over a city.
I love the trendy and colourful presentation of the bakery. They specialise in all sorts of birthday cakes, biscuits, tarts, pies, donuts and even certain savoury snacks and food. The bakery is especially popular with the younger crowd as it caters to the new trends in bakery goods and the popular items that matches every youngster’s taste. Besides, the bakery’s symbol is a Unicorn….What’s not to love?:))
The bakery has a beautiful decor and is a very cosy place to enjoy a pastry or even have a nice cup of coffee. I love the wallpaper with the blue door in the sitting area and the ‘Unicorn Wall’ is simply fantastic. Another fun aspect of the bakery is that they believe in spreading the art of baking and they do this by conducting baking and cookery classes on weekends. The classes are taken by the founder, Chef Nehaa herself and one class enables a novice to become a good baker. I’ve attended one of the baking classes recently and it’s really amazing and very simply taught. Apart from baking, there’s also classes for Italian and Thai cooking which are bound to be as good.
My favourites from Fantasy bakery are their Macarons. They also have amazing chocolate mousse and since it’s Christmas time, they also give some complimentary chocolates.
Quite Fantastic, innit:)
Up third, we’ve got the Imperial Bakery….
The Imperial Bakery, estd. 1955, is, observably one of the most popular bakeries in the city. And yes, I know 1955 doesn’t sound very new but it’s one of the bakeries opened after the British Rule in India which sort of makes it a bakery for the new age of Independence….
Anyway….The bakery has a small shop located on a pretty narrow footpath but it’s location doesn’t stop the crowds from coming and often, it gets hard to see the shop from the road owing to the thronging masses. This picture is taken a few minutes away from the bakery’s closing time so one can only imagine the crowd that the bakery sees in its peak hours:)
The bakery sells cakes, biscuits and brownies with a whole range of flavours in the biscuit department. There’s plain butter biscuits, fruit biscuits, nut biscuits, biscuits with spices, biscuits with ginger, biscuits with seeds etc. etc. The same’s the case with the cakes. However, my favourite here are the brownies.
Unlike the cakes, the bakery has just one flavour of brownies i.e the choco-walnut brownies. They are chewy and rich and extremely sinful and the small size is very convenient in order to eat more brownies in a sitting. Hehe….No trust me, you can’t have just one.
The Imperial Bakery also has a family feud attached to it. The bakery was run by two brothers and they had a fight which led to one of the brothers breaking away and opening a brand new bakery of his own, namely the ‘New Standard Bakery’ which is right beside the Imperial Bakery. Almost like an open contest to see which one does better.
People say baking brings families closer but when it’s a bake-off, it’s war.
Welcome to the Game of Scones….
The last bakery on the list is the Kayani bakery.
The Kayani Bakery has a reputation of being THE most popular bakery in Pune. Now, I’ve lived in Pune for all of my eighteen years on this planet and I can tell you that entering this bakery is a full blown task. People start queueing outside the bakery at seven in the morning and by the time the sun’s fully up, the queue extends down the length of the street. Most of the time, some of the bakery’s salespeople get out on the road and take the orders of the people standing in line while another group of salespeople works on packing the said orders and delivering them to the customers outside. And if you’re lucky enough to set foot into the bakery, you’ll have to act fast as there’s no time to think and there’s an entire population banking on you finishing your purchase. It’s almost as if the bakery is giving away free stuff which they most certainly are not….hehe:)
Jokes apart, the bakery excels in Pune’s famous Shrewsbury Biscuits.
Shrewbury Biscuits are to Pune what a short bread is to Scotland. It’s essentially a butter biscuit which is stamped in a specific mould for Shrewsbury before baking. The stamping is an essential part of it as that not only gives the biscuit its iconic embossing but also ensures that the biscuit turns out porous in the right proportion.
If one wants to escape the crowds at Kayani Bakery and still get the same taste, one must head to Khodayar Bakery which is a branch of the Kayani Bakery itself and sells the exact same stuff but with a saner crowd.
The only drawback of the Khodayar Bakery is the timing as it opens at five in the morning and closes by nine. Within these hours though, it’s very accessible and one can stock up on Shrewsbury and Gingernut biscuits without the risk of being run over:)
The white biscuits are the Shrewsbury Biscuits while the brown ones are Gingernut biscuits. That’s the same recipe as the Shrewsbury except it has a tinge of ginger and chocolate. I personally prefer the Shrewsbury over the Gingernut but everyone should try them both:)
And that concludes the Pune Baking Tour!
It was a fun trip to photograph and explore all the bakeries. I loved how the owners were so thrilled when I offered to photograph their shops which really hit home the idea that baking is love made edible.
And that is a wrap!
Until Next Time,