When New York's famed Pollo Campero (pronounced Poyo Kampreu) comes to Pune, you know the city has fallen in love with fried chicken. And Pollo Campero lives by its tagline of tangy, juicy chicken. A quick-service restaurant, they follow the techniques of their more famous burger and fried chicken competitors. But they also manage to go several steps ahead in terms of taste.
Hot and Crispy Picante Chicken and Peruvian Grilled Chicken
On offer at Pollo Campero were three basic varieties of chicken -- the traditional Campero Fried Chicken, a Hot and Crispy Picante Chicken and the Peruvian Grilled Chicken. You can choose as many pieces of each as you want as well as the accompaniments of wraps, burgers, salads or rice.
Pollo Campero Restaurant
As there is only so much chicken that one can have, we chose to opt for the meals. We ordered three meals and settled down. Our first order came up pretty fast -- a wrap, a bowl of salad, a small fries and a virgin mojito.
Burger and fries. Pics/ Kulsum Ansari
We don't remember ordering a meal with a mojito or a wrap, so we wondered about it but didn't stop to ask. Hunger beckoned and we dug in. The salad was simple but fresh, salty, crunchy and tasty with loads of lettuce, sprinkled with croutons and topped with grated cheese.
The wrap had chunks of pink fried chicken and lettuce wrapped in a tortilla. We would have been happier if the tortilla was cooked better but the wrap was average as a whole. As we nibbled on the soggy fries with their uniquely strong carom seed-flavoured dip, the server came up and told us that this wasn't meant to be our order but he assured us that it was complimentary.
Soon, our Grilled Chicken Meal for 1 (Rs 149) arrived. It include a chunk of Peruvian Grilled Chicken, tortilla, fries, a soft drink and a dip. The Peruvian Grilled Chicken was fantastic -- the spice coating was perfect, the chicken was tangy and juicy to the very bone. The marinade had done wonders.
Next up, we were served our Picante Rice Meal (Rs 129) -- two generous pieces of crisp, well-spiced chicken with a portion of rice that could have been a pulao, a soft drink, a curry that tasted completely Indian and dips. It made for a very satisfying meal.
Finally, the Chicken Caesar Salad Combo (Rs 189) arrived. It was a chunk of grilled chicken, tortillas, a vegetarian salad with an Iced Tea or a soft drink. This time around, our salad arrived but they forget our piece of chicken. We reminded them and it arrived promptly with another smilingly "complimentary" Teekha Chicken Patakha (Rs 39). It included three pieces of skewered chicken thickly doused in spicy gravy. It didn't please our tastebuds. We preferred the Peruvian and the traditional chicken instead.
Stuffed, we chose to skip dessert. But we were given a "complimentary" Brownie Sundae (Rs 59). It included two tiny chunks of sizzling brownie with two scoops of vanilla ice-cream and chocolate sauce on the top. It was average at best. Clearly, Pollo Campero does justice to its Latin American origins and its internationally-known flavours.
At Lower ground floor, Phoenix Market City, Nagar Road.