‘Kalyan Bhel’, once a roadside shack or what we colloquially call a “tapri” has now branched into a franchise operating at as many as four different locations across Pune; but the very first outlet, situated on the canal connecting Prabhat Road to Law College Road, still remains the original trademark or ‘Canal Bhel’, as it is popularly referred to.
From the moment it opens, you see customers flocking in hordes, eager to give their taste buds a treat. It has no frills and fancies, no chairs or tables, not even a rooftop, yet there may be very few places that make a more pleasant ‘hang out’ to spend an evening.
The menu is very reasonably priced and offers a wide assortment ranging from Bhel to Sev Puri to Ragda Puri.. you name it.. they have it! A personal favourite would be the ‘Pani Puri’. The little puffed blobs are handed over to you one at a time and as you pop each one into your mouth, you lose track of how many you’ve devoured, in no time! Even after you’ve relished a dozen, the tangy tamarind-sauce-and-potato filling will leave you asking for more! Don’t make the mistake of biting through it in pieces though, for the real flavour can only be savoured when consumed whole!
The quality of the food itself is matched only by the deftness of the quick and flawless service the staff provides. No matter how crowded the place may be, your order, however large or complicated, with all its ‘less spicy.. extra sweet.. more onion.. no aloo’ etc. specifications, will be handed over to you within minutes of you making your request.
All in all, a place worth visiting for its finger licking goodies.. Definitely has my ‘thumbs up!’