The Homecominghttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/the-homecoming-2/

The Homecoming

This new resto-lounge offers comfort and relaxation,along with a wide pan-Asian menu

This new resto-lounge offers comfort and relaxation,along with a wide pan-Asian menu

Wagaya means “at home” or “welcome to our home” in Japanese,a theme that is consistent at the new resto-lounge in Kalyani Nagar. At first glance,the rooftop lounge seems to spell posh,with its understated white and dark wood decor. A wooden gazebo shelters a squarish bar that sits like an island in the middle of the roof top. Couches and tables for patrons form a ring around the bar,which is clearly the Wagaya’s centerpiece.

On further exploration though,it becomes clear that unlike other restaurants that focus on looks,Wagaya places a premium on comfort. The couches are neither too hard nor too plush,and their height and relative position to the tables are just right,so it isn’t a struggle to reach for your drink.

The Wagaya team clearly wants to walk the line between a lounge and a restaurant. So while a mix of House and Lounge music plays in the background and keeps the place lively,it’s not too loud to distract one from conversation. The place is well-lit,working just as well for groups of friends or casual business meetings. Patrons vary from young couples to groups of working executives relaxing after a hard day’s work.

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The restaurant’s menu is framed around South East Asian cuisine with influences from Thailand,Indonesia,Singapore and other places. Fittingly,even some of the drinks have been modified to include an Asian touch,such as the Basil martini. Barely a fortnight old,the place has already picked its signature items — the Chicken satay with sweet peanut sauce and the vegetarian tempuras in starters,and the Khao Suey and Nasi Goreng rice in mains. But even apart from these specialties,the menu offers a lot to discover. Dessert items such as the honey flutes with mango ice cream and the Lemongrass cheesecake combine both Asian concepts as well as regular Western ideas.

On one side of the restaurant sits a sushi bar,which the owner says will be functional soon,while preparations are being made to install four televisions to screen matches such as the IPL series. While the resto-lounge is still clearly work-in-progress,patrons already seem to have taken a shine to it,marking a promising start for this new venue.