Malaka Spice | Vallonné Vineyards Nashik
Those of you who follow me on Instagram or know me personally definitely know that Malaka Spice is my favorite restaurant in Pune and that I've been going there for over a decade! Malaka Spice serves inspired South-East Asian cuisine with delicious dishes influenced by food from Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and Cambodia. Around 2 years ago, they opened a branch in Nashik and I finally managed to cross it off my wish list and went there last weekend!
The lake-facing restaurant is about a 40 minute drive from Nashik city center and is situated in Vallonné Vineyards, India’s first boutique winery that produces premium French-style wines. The property also houses a boutique hotel making it a perfect place for a vineyard stay and wine tourism.
The scenic location of the vineyard, overlooking the tranquil Mukhne Lake and Sahyadhri hills, make Malaka Spice the most scenic spot to dine in Nashik wine country. And what makes it all even better is the delicious food at Malaka and the refreshing wines by Vallonné.
Since I've been going to Malaka regularly since 2006, I know the menu in and out and ordered some of my classic favorites. I started with the Salt and Pepper prawns which are tossed with freshly crushed whole garlic, lime wedges and pepper, cooked in a wok over high heat till the succulent prawns absorb the flavors. Seafood lovers must try this!
Their Thai Mutton Chops are the most succulent mutton chops you can find in Pune. So I had to try them here too. Soaked in a peppery flavorful marinade grilled, this is heaven for every mutton lover.
Even though I'm a staunch non-vegetarian, I love many of the vegetarian dishes here too and went for Pumpkin chips which are tossed in a delicious batter and come with a topping of crispy basil, and is too good to miss! All the food went perfectly with Vallonné Chenin Blanc which is a refreshing white with a clean finish.
I also had the Prawns with Moringa leaves which consists of stir fried prawns tossed with fresh Moringa leaves, lemongrass, Thai chilly and garlic. Delicious and healthy since Moringa is a superfood and has lots of health benefits.
Last but definitely not the least, I had the Burmese Curry Noodles aka Khow Suey which is a noodles medley with rich creamy curry-on-the -side accompanied with fried garlic, onion flakes and a garnish platter.
The restaurant was packed to the brim with a constant waiting line from 2pm-5pm as it was a long weekend and the previous day was a dry day, yet the staff managed the rush at ease and finesse. Service was prompt and each dish arrived swiftly which shows how well the staff is trained. Here is me with the restaurant manager Firoz who was a great host and managed the place efficiently and explained to us how that day had three times the usual rush because of the republic day long weekend.
WINE TASTING & TOUR
The property has a cellar below where the winery is and in the tour, the guide explained the entire wine making process to us and made us try each variety produced by Vallonné. You can buy wine at subsidized rates here so make sure you are well stocked up!
To put it in a nutshell, Malaka Spice and Vallonné Vineyards are an absolute must visit if you are planning a trip to Nashik. Since it has a boutique hotel too, it's the perfect weekend getaway destination for Mumbai and Pune people! I loved the food, wine and place and am sure you will too!