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Breakfast with a side of history, The Caravela Cafe

‘ And the idea of just wandering off to a cafe with a notebook and writing and seeing where that takes me for awhile is just bliss.’
- J. K. Rowling

… and we are certain she would love Caravela Café.
The Caravel is one of the mighty water vessels that brought the Portuguese to Goa, and the influence of the Portuguese can be seen everywhere in Goan culture today. Located a hop, skip and jump away from the Mandovi River, The Caravela Café gets its name from the Caravel that is said to have docked there. The derivation of the name seems quite obvious, especially with the nautical nuances placed around the tiny little café, in fact, there is even a painting of the ship!

The beauty of Caravela Café is in its vintage charm, simplicity and hominess. Though quite small in size, the cafe is very cozy and you just want to snuggle in with a book sipping on a hot cuppa. The café also, quite proudly, displays its love for coffee with a number of quirky
one-liner posters hung on their walls. 


Food 

Breakfast

All Day Caravela Breakfast 
The all-day breakfast is a steal for Rs. 350 & a delight to just see. In fact, we saw so many walk-ins opt for this, we knew we had to get our hands on it! 
The all-day breakfast comprises of : 
* A two-egg preparation that can be fried or scrambled 
* Two juicy frankfurters
* Ham
* Crisped Bacon
* Sweet Baked Beans
* Crispy Hash Browns
* Tangy braised Tomato
* A glass of Juice
* Tea / Coffee
* Toast with Butter and Jam 
Just the breakfast is enough to fill you up! 


Snacks

Prawn Rissois
Prawn Rissois ( pronounced as Rissoee ) is delicious Portuguese influenced snack. This snack is made by filling rissoles (croquette/pastry rolled in breadcrumbs) with a slightly cheesy / White sauce prawn filling that melts in your mouth. Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside... **sighs** if only we could get the Caravela Rissois in Mumbai! 

Beef Croquettes 
Mildly spiced minced beef was tucked into bite-sized crispy croquettes.

The snacks were our two absolute must-haves here! The only thing we regret is ordering a tasting portion like fools. 


Pizza

Pepperoni & Cheese 
For us, Pepperoni and Cheese is always the first pick and Caravel didn’t disappoint. The meaty circles were engulfed in cheese and we loved each bite.

Chicken, roasted vegetables & Feta Cheese 
Soft chunks of chicken mixed with a number of roasted vegetables gave you quite a few textures and colours. What we found quite interesting was the addition of salty Feta along with the mozzarella. 


Beverages

They have a large array of coffees and we really could pick out a favourite. Make sure you order for their Coffee menu and try out a few brews. 

If you like any of them, you can even buy a pack of coffee to relish at home.


Dessert 

Serradurra 
‘Serradura’ translates to ‘ sawdust’ in Portuguese, so imagine the astonishment on our faces when the owner asks us to try the sawdust pudding. Of course, the pudding isn’t really made of sawdust but the crushed Marie biscuits did give that effect. Now the pudding is in a mix of layers consisting made from cream, biscuit crumble, condensed milk and some secret ingredients shhhhh. The primary texture is soft & friable, and did we mention its absolutely delicious! 

During our visit, they were also working on a few additions to their menu, such as sorpotel,
and we got to try it out too.

The owner of The Caravela Café, Carlos, was a jolly man with a big smile. He was very warm and mingled with the guests to make sure everyone was satisfied with their visit. He told us, “ The building we stand is a heritage property built over 200 years ago. The wood used on the building is from the ships that sailed across the seas and set dock in the Mandovi. I want people to come here, relax with some good homely food and admire the beauty and history this lane alone has to offer.
We too are creating history. 
I began selling coffee & olive oil because my regulars & quite a few tourists requested I do so. Though neither is my own brand, I am just happy to see my patrons happy.” 

The Caravela also have places to stay! Cozy homes and delicious food?
Looks like we have stumbled upon a winner!

Psst… don’t forget to wish them a happy birthday on the 26th of February!

( The food in most images above are tasting portions served to us for the purpose of the review )


To see our rating of The Caravela Cafe on Zomato: www.zomato.com/EverythingOnAPlate

Fresh from the Bay to the Quay, Ferry Wharf

' Ruling a large kingdom is like cooking a small fish, handle gently and never overdo it, ' 
- Lao-tse

It was over ten years ago that we had taken a brief trip to meet up with a friend in Mangalore. Along with some gorgeous beaches, we also got a chance to try out a lot of local food. It was then our love affair with the Mangalorean cuisine, primarily the ghee roast began. Of course, all one-sided love stories become an obsession and so did ours! We were like hunters on the prowl to locate every place in Mumbai that serves an authentic Ghee Roast, sadly there weren’t many.


As soon took a step into Ferry Wharf, we came across a large banner with the specials
on which was written ‘ Prawn Ghee Roast ’ and immediately for us,
our expectations from the restaurant hit the roof!

Ferry wharf has popped up on the popular reclamation food joint belt neat Lilavati Hospital ( Behind Manik Vidya Mandir ) . their Ambience is dominated with shades & tints of blue & wood with a few pops of colour to break the monotony. Oars and a variety of showpieces drawing parallels to fishing or sailing were spread across the outlet to give its patrons a bit of a ship-py vibe. 
One distinct thing that stood out to us was that the air-conditioned section that connects the restaurant to the kitchen had not a whiff of the odour seafood tends to give us… and we wondered…
is something fishy?


Food

The Sampling Platter
How many times do you land up staring blankly at the menu confused about what to order? Quite often many names pique our interested but we give up not knowing what to expect. To tackle this situation, Ferry Wharf presents all its patrons with a special sampling platter that showcases some of their specials to give you a teaser for what your taste buds are in for. On our platter, we got to try Mutton Curry, Chicken Sukkha, Prawns Sukkha, Chicken Curry, Prawn Curry and Prawn Ghassi.


Appetizers

Sol Kadi
Though we normally end our meal with this delicious beverage, we were welcomed with a milk bottle filled with Sol Kadi. Do not underestimate the size of the bottle, the kadi is rich,
packed with flavour and quite filling. A must-have!

Surmai ( King Fish ) Tikka
Boneless nuggets of Surmai doused in a spicy chilli marinade and cooked in the tandoor. The meat was so soft that each nugget easily parted with a light jab of the fork. What we loved the most is how moist each piece was. The tikka was served with a beetroot-tamarind chutney as well as a mint chutney, quite an interesting sweet, sour & pungent combination.

Dips and Sauces
After gobbling away our tikkas, we wanted to know more about the dips served. We found out that they have quite a range that changes according to season or availability of fresh. To name a few they had mayonnaise, tamarind chutney, mint chutney, beetroot dip, chilli sauce;
most of which are made in-house.

Chicken Sukkha
Coconut calls the shots in this dish as grated fresh coconut, generously tempered using ghee, dominates its flavour. Like the name suggests, the dish is dry with a moist spicy-coconut masala. It’s a perfect appetizer and also goes well with curd/sol kadi rice. 

Prawns Ghee Roast
Our love had finally arrived. We ordered a semi-dry ghee roast to enjoy the flavours without any starch or carbohydrates on the table. We wanted to give this dish our undivided attention. The ghee roast was absolutely perfect! Fiery red, doused with ghee, the flavour of ghee roasted spices, a kick of chilli and a tinge of tang… uff… if only our drool could talk. Another must-have!


Mains

Butter Garlic Crab
A semi-dry masala made from butter and coarsely chopped garlic hid a bright red crab under it. The Masala had pungent notes of garlic with the delicious salty – umami flavours of butter. The sweet meat of the crab blended perfectly with the masala it was tossed in. Now we all know that eating crab is a messy affair, but this is one messy meal we recommend you try! Though most use a crab cracker to break the shell, we found it very easy to just bite into it.

Prawn Ghassi
This dish overlaps Goan & Mangalorean flavours. Though we did get the rich flavour of coconut,
we missed the hints of tamarind.

Surmai Curry
A large slice of the Kingfish was dunked in a spicy, tangy curry. The fish had absorbed
the flavours of the curry and was absolutely fresh! 

Neer Dosa
An ideal south Indian curry, for us, is always accompanied by a Neer Dosa. Of course, most prefer rice, but we have a strong affinity for rice water crepe. The Neer dosa at the Ferry wharf had a light fluff and a delicate texture. The beauty of the neer dosa is that it never overpowers a curry but absorbs its flavours retaining its subtle taste of rice.
The only thing that we disliked about the dosa was the crisp at the end.

We also wanted to try out their stuffed pomfrets but we were too stuffed ourselves!

Much to our surprise, our adjoining table had two vegetarian bloggers were singing praises of the vegetarian food! We will definitely try out some from the vegetarian side on our next visit.


The Kitchen

Like we mentioned earlier, there was absolutely no fish odour despite the kitchen being right behind us! The doors opened time and again, with a number of tasty seafood dishes but there was not one stray pong. So we asked the owner Mr. Prashant Rai if we could take a look at the kitchen, to which he gladly agreed. Preparing ourselves for some heavy aromas, we took a deep breath and followed him to the heart of his restaurant and…nothing !!! There was absolutely no irritating smell! All we could smell was the masalas being sautéed. The Kitchen was absolutely spic and span,
kudos to the staff. We are very impressed!

Overall we had a wonderful time with the ever smiling staff and the delicacies
that came out of their kitchen. See you soon beloved Ghee Roast!


To see our rating of Ferry Wharf on Zomato : www.zomato.com/EverythingOnAPlate 

Big Discounts for your Long Weekend Travel Plans in 2018


With a whopping 16 Long Weekends this year, 2018 promises to be among the most trip-friendly ones this decade. For us here at ‘Everything on a Plate’ (EOAP) – this means that we have 16 fantastic opportunities to explore new cuisines & dishes in some of the most happening places around the world. This, in addition to the usual weekends, means that 
2018 is going to be one big food-travel party. 

Reaching out to our trip planning hats, we’ve already begun putting together the plans to visit some of the hottest destinations, in India & beyond. So yay, we’ve got the perfect excuse to try out all the yummy dishes that the chefs there can lay out for us. Motivating us further is the
Biggest Travel Sale of the Year that’s kicked off today. 
Huge Savings on Flight Bookings, with up to INR 3000 on Domestic Flights & up to a whopping INR 20000 on International Trips means that our wallets are going to be extremely grateful. 

We’re also getting Massive Discounts of up to INR 5000 on Hotel Bookings
and ‘Flat 10%’ rebates on Bus Tickets. 

All this, by using a single Coupon Code 

across all bookings to grab these fantastic benefits. Plus, there are Assured Shopping Vouchers, worth ₹ 8000 from some of the biggest partner brands up for grabs. And if that still isn’t enough, everyone who makes a booking stands a chance to win Europe Trips,
Honda Activa Scooters from Droom & Jabong Shopping Vouchers. 

Time then, to fire up the App Store and download the ‘EaseMyTrip’ app, now! 

For Andriod: https://goo.gl/cR4q8g


We’ve already done that and stolen a lead on you’ll.
So hurry, and make the most of the Biggest Travel Sale of the Year! 

Books your tickets TODAY : https://www.easemytrip.com/biggest-travel-sale-offer.html

For the Love of Art, Good Food & Tranquility - Artjuna, Goa



" Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one."
- Astrid Alauda

It was a warm afternoon in Goa. The sun shone bright and a beautiful breeze teased our hair… it was certainly not a day to sit indoors. But swimming through a crowd of party animals on the sandy beach, searching for a shack to settle on was not how we wanted to spend the beautiful day.
Much to our luck, we had a review at the lovely, al fresco Café Artjuna in Monteiro Vaddo, Anjuna.
Tucked in the bylanes of Anjuna, quite close to the Anjuna Flea Market, Artjuna is nothing but
a breath of fresh air and a seraphic abode amidst nature.

Ambience


Keeping a lovely piece of history intact, the owner Moshe, bought an old Portuguese house and gave it his own little spin by adding pops of colour and a bounty of nature. Artjuna houses a café, a lifestyle boutique, a yoga and meditation centre, a play area for children, lush greenery and much, much more all developed over the last five years by Moshe & his wife, Anastasia.
Artjuna brings a sense of calm the moment you walk in with the surroundings filled only
with the calls of birds, light laughter, and the zephyr. 
What we love the most is how the beautiful rays of the sun glistened like diamonds through the netting that keeps dry leaves and fallen fruit away from the tables. They have a special dinner menu everyday & we can only imagine
how gorgeous the night sky must look from here !

Food

Before we came for the review, we were told the restaurant is primarily vegetarian with a blink and miss of options in non-vegetarian. For all those of you who know us, know that we are very fond of meat, so we a bit blue. But our mood was elevated as soon as we walked through the Artjuna gates and a peek into the colourful menu brought a smile to our face.

The menu offers an extensive range of salads, breakfasts, eggs, sandwiches, platters, meals, desserts, fresh juices & other beverages (to name a few options), each made with fresh, organic, high quality produce.  Most of the dishes on the menu concretize Moshe's strong belief of a healthy lifestyle, each packed with flavour. To ensure they get the quality and taste as per their standards,
they make most of their sauces, dips, etc in-house.

From the vast menu, we had -

All Day Breakfast

Healthy breakfast
As soon as we saw the spread, we knew we would be filled to the brim! The Healthy breakfast consisted of …


Fruit Salad
A vibrant bowl of fresh seasonal fruits. We got a bowlful of grapes, strawberries,
pomegranate arils, sapodilla, papaya and apple.

Granola
The granola is made in-house with beautiful golden oats, nuts & more.

Egg
The breakfast offers one egg preparation. You can choose if you want your eggs to be fried, scrambled, poached or as an omelette. Incase you want to add another egg to the spread you can also choose from more options such as Green Omelette, Spicy veggie omelette, Cheese omelette…
or just tell them what your heart desires.

Brown Bread, Butter & Jam.

Two Condiments
Another choice for you to make from Hummus, Avocado, Tahini or Labane.

Beverage
With all the food on the table, you definitely need something to wash it down with. You can choose a glass of Tea, Coffee or a fresh juice ( Papaya, Watermelon, Pineapple). We chose to go for the healthiest option, a fresh Pineapple juice and loved every bit of it.

Scrumptious, healthy and completely filling…. We couldn’t think of a better way to start the day !


For the small appetite

Mezzet Plate
The word ‘meze’ means ‘taste’ and/or ‘snack’ & a Mezze platter is often served at the beginning of multi-course meals in Turkey, Israel, Greece, Lebanon - spanning cultures across the Middle East and beyond. You can think of it as an array of amuse-bouches you can pick from the menu. The Artjuna Mezzet Plate tilts more towards Mediterranean flavours, and consists of …

Tahini
The base of the tahini is toasted, ground, hulled, white sesame seeds.

Baba Ganoush
An eggplant dip with a creamy texture  ( owing to its content of tahini ).

Olive Pate
An Olive Tapenade made from pureed black olives missed with Olive oil to form a paste.

Hummus
The chickpea dip that is most well-known and quite fancied.

Feta Cheese
One of our favourite varieties of cheese. Salty, crumbly, sour and absolutely delicious!

Greek Kalamata olives
The Kalamata olives have a very fleshy texture with a pit in the centre and lovely rich
deep purple / brown colour.

Mixed Pickled Vegetable 
we got a mix of pickled Cabbage, Cauliflower & Carrot.

Roasted Aubergine 
A helping of roasted aubergine that somewhat reminded us of Maghmour or an Indian baingan bharta without being largely spiced.

Pita Bread
The perfect accompaniment for all the condiments on the platter. We stuffed our Pita pockets with combinations of the condiments and loved every bit of it !

What the platter provides you is an array of textures & flavours that will be a treat for your palate. You can keep the platter with you until the end of the meal and team some of the condiments
with the meals you order… that’s what we did!


Sandwiches

Artjuna Toast
Melted Mozzarella & yellow cheese provide a drool-worthy coat over the Anjuna toast. Between the bread lies a mix of Olives, onion, homemade tomato sauce & pesto. You must have this hot
to enjoy the delicious Cheesiness of the toast.


For more appetite

Shakshuka
We were too full to budge, so we decided to skip to a coffee and dessert, but with everyone raving about this dish we decided to try a bite-sized portion only to curse our appetite! With its origins in Tunisia, Shakshuka is a dish made by dousing poached eggs in a rich tomato sauce that is spiced with a mix of paprika, garlic, cumin, black pepper, served in a pan with warm bread.
Despite just having a taster, we have to say this is a must-have.

Coffee Delights

Moshe has imported Coffee machines from Italy that travelled to Israel and then found a home with him in Goa ! The massive, shiny, vertical espresso machine, Electra, is a work of art and makes some great coffee using Arabica beans from Chikmagalur ( remember our review of The Serai ?).

Café Latte
Served in a tall glass, the layers of the Coffee definitely gives you an Instagram worthy shot. The Coffee Frappe is a blend of milk and espresso served with a tiny biscuit on the side.

Pomegranate Lemongrass Eskimo
A perfect summery slush/drink to beat the heat. The flavours of pomegranate & lemon grass are refreshing and its delicious flavours make you want to keep sipping on it… a welcome brain freeze.  

Dessert
Almost all the desserts at Artjuna are made in-house.



Cheese Cake
A simple dense, baked cheesecake with a crumbly biscuit bottom.

Homemade Sorbet
This was the PERFECT end to our meal. A tangy, cold, melt in the mouth strawberry sorbet
that we just couldn’t get enough of.

A little birdie told thus that they have a special home cooked meal every Friday !


Activities
Apart from a delectable food, Artjuna has several activities you can do during your visit.

With plenty of cozy nooks to settle into, their library is a wonderful indulgence. The rule of the library is simple, to check out a book, leave another one in its place; thus, giving the library a fascinating collection of books from around the world.



The café also has a play area for kids ( and crazy adults like us who want to let their inner child loose). They have a sand pit filled with toys, a slide and even a tall wooden bridge!

Behind the café, they have a tranquil space made for yoga, meditation, Pilates, martial arts and a variety of workshops that you can join as you please. On some evenings, Artjuna even hosts movie screenings for it patrons! To know about their upcoming activities, workshops and movie screenings you can check their bulletin board for updates


Lifestyle Boutique

Moshe & Anastasia had always wanted to set up a workshop to display and sell their unique handcrafted leather bags, belts, pouches, clothes, jewellery, accessories, home decor and more. With a successful start, they also began promoting the work of their numerous artist friends in Goa and today showcase the work of some international artist as well.

With quite a few customers dropping by on a regular basis, the decided they wanted to provide them with a space to sit down, relax, maybe even grab a bite; and thus, was born the Artjuna Café!

The lifestyle boutique has such an amazing collection to choose from that we spent hours going through every element & trying to keep ourselves from buying everything. In the end, we walked out with some accessories and a beautiful postcard to remember the lovely day.

We also learnt that they had an online store : https://www.etsy.com/shop/artjuna

“ Artjuna for me represents health and art ”, said Moshe. “I earlier had a restaurant in Baga on a beautiful property, with a Chef from Israel, right by the beach. It did well, but I wasn’t satisfied. So, I decided to move on and I honed my talent of making leather products. Along with my wife Anastasia, who was brought up in Goa, I started the Lifestyle store and then the Café. I did not open the café for a profit, nor do I really bother about the competition. I wanted to introduce my customers to a healthy lifestyle. People have this misconception about healthy food, they consider it bland or tasteless, but it doesn’t have to be so. Though the food at Artjuna I want to change the mindset of the people and motivate them to live a healthier lifestyle. We even have yoga workshops, MMA, pilates and more taught by people form all around the world in our space. The quality of food is another thing I do not compromise on. Infact, for coffee, I have a special and unique machine that I have flown in all the way from Israel !
Being a primarily vegetarian set up with maybe a few non-vegetarian dishes in Goa certainly seems strange to many, but I want to make sure the quality of everything I serve in the café is something I can vouch for. My parents hail from Istanbul, Turkey and I am an Israeli. We have so many amazing meat dishes we can serve, and of course, I do get tempted quite often, but I refrain from doing so. Also, my staff is a mix of all religions, Hindus, Muslims, Catholics etc and I do not want to offend anyone by serving a meat they are not comfortable with. But none of our patrons, most regulars, seem to mind the absence of meat and love our food !
We are considering another place in Asangaon, which will be bigger than this. There we shall also keep facilities for people to stay and relax in, a healthy retreat if you may. With Goa getting more and more crowded by the day, this will certainly be something people would love. Just like Artjuna, the place in my mind will be filled with activities for adults and children alike.”

Just a few hours at Artjuna made us feel incredibly relaxed and rejuvenated. We simply didn’t want to leave, but alas, we had a flight to catch. Artjuna is a MUST VISIT on your Goa To-Do list
and we most certainly cannot wait to visit again!

If you are planning a trip to Goa, do not forget to drop by this gorgeous place…
you will certainly thank us later.

Seafood Thali for just Rs. 500 at Vivanta by Taj, Goa

A sleepless night, delayed flight, missed breakfast made us yearn for some much needed TLC. And the foodies that we are, the only TLC we find solace in is a hearty and tasty meal. 
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the Film Festival at Vivanta by Taj, we were invited to review
a cozy & quiet nook they call ‘ The Goan Stories’.

The Goan Stories

The restaurant gets its name from the varied elements used in the interiors that symbolize the culture & tradition of Goa. Two things stood out to us the most, first was the prominent Goan yellow
used subtly as mats and second was the use of the material Kunbi.

For those who don’t know, Kunbi is an incredibly important part of the Goan culture. Kunbi is derived from kun and bi meaning “people” and “seeds”, respectively. Combined, these terms mean  “those who germinate more seeds from one seed”.  It is a cotton saree, ideally chequered, with a very sturdy weave and a dobby border. The drape of the saree is shorter than the average one and it is worn by tying a dentil knot on ones shoulder. Team Taj searched high and low
for an authentic weave to use them at the restaurant as napkins.

Food 

Accompaniments 
Flavoured Butter
Goa is the honey to many travel bugs across the world. However, not all share the same love for masalas and spices that the goan or Indian cuisine has to offer. To give them a quick preview of what they are in for, they serve flavoured butters. Now these flavoured butters come
in three delicious and classic Goan flavours.

Cafreal - spicy coriander & green chilli
Xacuti - coconut, poppy and red chilli
Peri Peri - spicy African Bird's Eye Chilli 

Every bite of the butter gave us an introduction of the flavour’s to a Tee ! We felt like Veruca Salt from ‘ Charlie & the Chocolate Factory” describing the flavours as
"It's amazing! I can feel it running down my throat!"
Served with Katro Pao we couldn’t get enough of the delicious butter
and commended the team on it quite a few times ! 

Assorted Pickles
When we say pickle, what immediately comes to mind is lemon, raw mango or chilli. Taj took it one step further and decided to serve carrot, cauliflower & radish pickles ! Now the flavour of the pickles served isn’t a commercial or Taj’s own creation, but an authentic preparation from the interiors of Goa learnt by spending time with the locals understanding their techniques and flavours. To ensure that they serve a flavour true to the goan culture, team Taj did a special tasting with their Goan staff & the locals before presenting it to their patrons.
Every pickle is made in-house & served Al a minute.

Golden Thali 
A seafood thali isn’t what we would normally order, especially in a five star restaurant. However, Chef Sahil Desai described it with such love that we had try it out !

The thali consisted of - 
Vegetarian 
Vegetable Julienne ( carrot, capsicum, etc ) Salad


Chitki Mitki Sukhem 
Chitki Mitki is the common name of cluster beans ( gawar ) in Goa. On the thali is it served
as a dry preparation with sautéed onion and coconut.

Non – Vegetarian

Dried Prawn Kismoor
This dish took us quite by surprise! The smell of this dish tends to throw people off, however, we would have never guessed it was a Dried Prawn Kismoor
(Sukya Sungtachi Kismoor ) had we not tried it out.
Kismoor is a Goan delicacy that was made for a rainy day. Fishing is one of the most common occupations of Goa as fish is a very important part of the local staple diet. Due to the unpredictable rainfall and windy weather during the months of the monsoon, the fishermen cannot head to the sea to capture fresh fish. To avail of fish literally during a rainy day, the fisher folk stock fish in advance and leave it out to dry. This dried fish is then used over months
for a variety of preparations, one being Kismoor. 
To be absolutely honest, we hate dried prawn because of the smell it emits and the crunch of its soft shell, however, we licked our bowl of kismoor here clean ! The sun-dried, salted prawn with onion, coconut & coriander stole the attention of our tastebuds
and was easily one of our favourites on the thali.

Clams in Coconut 
Commonly known as Tisrya or Tisryo, clams are considered a delicacy in a number of cuisines. They are easy to eat but not very easy to clean ! The clam dish on our thali was a dry preparation made in a goan green masala with grated coconut. Hints of spice played peek-a-boo
and the half shelled clams were another absolute favourite of ours on our plate.

Crab Xec Xec
The beautiful red of the crab shell played hide and seek amidst the thick roasted paste of spices & coconut. The base of Xec Xec is a bit like that of Xacuti. The soft, sweet meat of the crab
blended brilliantly with the spicy thick Xec Xec masala. 

Prawn Curry
An absolute must for any sea food lover is the fish / prawn curry. The bright orange curry ( base of tomato, onion, coconut ) is just perfect to douse a serving of steamed rice with.

King Fish Fry
The first thing we had noticed on our plate was the big slice of King fish ( Surmai ) . It had a crispy rawa crust, was well marinated in local spices… oh, and did we mention...
we devoured it in seconds !

Red Goan Rice
We tried out this variety of rice for the first time. The rice gets its name from its red husk which leaves some light red streaks on the grain. The rice grains are thicker than our usual variety, somewhat similar to Kerala rice. On our thali, we got a serving of steamed red rice to accompany our curries. The flavour of the rice was somewhat nutty which did add to the taste of the curries we doused it with. This rice is known to go well with coconut based gravies and we certainly agree. Also, Red rice is said to have a high content
of vitamins & minerals which makes it quite a healthy option !

Sol Kadhi
Douse your rice with it or drink it whole, no meal is complete without a serving of the tangy Sol Kadhi. This tangy kokum-coconut kadhi is known to have digestive properties
was a perfect end to our mains on the thali.

Desserts 

Bebinca 
This soft, layered pudding is a traditional Goan-Portuguese dessert and one of our favourite Goan desserts. Made with flour, ghee, eggs and sugar, this sweet pudding gives out
varied notes of caramel, honey and more.

Dodol
The consistency of the Dodol is firm and jelly like, somewhat similar to ‘Halwa’. The Dodol gets most of its flavour from the palm sugar in it which also gives it
its dark colour and some smoky notes.

Now all the above is available for just Rs. 500* !!!
Isn’t that brilliant ? 
Chef Sahil Desai , Executive Chef, “ The main thought behind Goan Stories was to provide our patrons with a taste of our rich Goan Heritage. All the dishes on the menu are made in-house with good quality local produce and local recipes. We haven’t even compromised on the way it is prepared. We grind whole spices to make our own masala mixes and pastes.
Each recipe and vendor has been handpicked by visiting farms and villages to make sure we do not compromise on quality and flavour in any way. We do not believe in tweaking the flavours for any commercial reason but we believe our food must reflect our love of our land in all its glory. Many customers have the misconception that 5-stars cannot provide authentic Goan food and we are here to change that perception ”

Entertainment 
Every evening the restaurant is alive with live music by the Mario Brothers and more. Our visit was in the afternoon and though we love live bands & singing, we were very entertained
by the songs playing on their system.
The songs ranged from English to Hindi Classics all translated in Konkani ! Though we were quite amused at the jovial translated lyrics, nothing could beat our bursts of laugher when the lyrics ‘My bum is burning’ played on the speaker. You have to HEAR it to BELIEVE it ! We were so entertained by the playlist we caught hold of the genius behind the songs, Mr. Prathamesh, who very shyly gave us the name of the CD. ( Which we are currently hunting the markets for ) 

We would like thank Rohit, Chef Sahil, Marvin, Prathamesh & Jhalak for the wonderful time and we shall certainly be dropping by to try out more from their wonderful menu. Until then,
we shall try and master the Kismoor Recipe.

Miniature Gingerbread Houses

It’s that time of year when cuddling a warm puppy and sipping a cup of Hot Chocolate seems like the perfect evening. So we decided to drop by Chef Nayantara’s home to cuddle with her adorable hound, Duchess, and gobble down some of the Christmas goodies
we were certain to find in her kitchen.

She was busy prepping to make adorable little ginger houses to be placed on mugs while sipping Hot Chocolate… are we lucky, or what ? We decided to give her a hand and took some pictures 
( along with the occasional tasting ) and we had a lot of fun !

Miniature Gingerbread Houses
by Chef Nayantara 

Ingredients 

For the Cookie Dough:
350g plain flour, sifted
2 rounded tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
175g chopped cold unsalted butter
175g light soft brown sugar
90g honey
1 large egg

For the Royal Icing:
2 egg whites
330g icing sugar
2 tsps lemon juice

For Decoration:
Sprinkles
M&M's or Gems
Royal Icing

Method
* For the cookie dough & Royal Icing do refer to Chef Nayantaras Halloween skeleton cookies recipe : https://nayantarapandit.wordpress.com/2016/10/18/skeleton-gingerbread-cookies/
* After you have you dough & Icing ready, simply refer to the template below
for the shape of your cutouts.
* Cut out all the pieces from some rolled out dough and bake. Make sure it’s not too thick
or else the house won’t fit on the lip of your mug.
* Remember to cut two pieces of each for each house. You can avoid the chimney,
since its relatively delicate work, but it does look super cute.
* Once baked and cooled, you can start assembling.

* Start by taking one of the front pieces, and lining one side edge with royal icing.. You may want to hold it in place for a few minutes till it actually stays on.


For extra support you may want to pipe on a thin line of royal icing along the sides of the pieces.

* Repeat this process with the other side pieces and even the back. You should be left
with houses missing a roof.

* For the roofs, you need to be a little more careful. 

* Be very gentle with the whole process, or else you may knock down the house. Pipe royal icing onto the roof and then very gently place the piece.

* Repeat the process on the other side. Make sure that you pipe a thick layer
of royal icing to help hold it in place.

* Leave the houses to bind well for a few hours to ensure
the royal icing has a chance to properly harden.
* Moving onto the decoration, we did different designs. Each super simple !
*The first one we did, also Chef Nayantaras absolute favourite - The sprinkle covered roof.

* Pipe a layer of royal icing all over the roof. 

* Next dip the icing covered side into a plate with sprinkles.

* Do the same thing on the other side and DONE! That’s literally it.

* You may want to add a few accents like a window or out line the door,
but the house looks cute just as is.

* The second one was a bit traditional, with only royal icing. 

* Chef Nayantara added some detailing to the front to make it look like snow had collected
at the edge of the roof along with a door and window.
 

* She even glued on the little chimney, which made it look even cuter.

* A quick trick you can use when decorating the front of the house is laying it flat.
It is much easier this way, but you need to be super careful.
* The third one we did was with Gems. It’s the easiest of the lot. Pipe small blobs
of icing onto the Gems and stick them onto the house.

* As for the taste… they tasted absolutely scrumptious but they looked so adorable hanging on our cup, we took quite a while to bite into the gingerbread.

If you try out this recipe, don’t forget to send us pictures on everythingonaplate@gmail.com 

Now this is just one of the delicious Christmas goodies that came out of Chef Nayantaras kitchen that day… For more delicious recipes you can check her blog : https://nayantarapandit.wordpress.com