The restaurant Souza Lobo, Calangute was our pick from the Internet, it’s an old establishment; am not sure on the date of inception.
The next day, we ask the hotel staff at Le Meridien for a good restaurant to eat. And the first reply is what is the kind of cuisine we are looking for ? Goan food, we say and so Mum’s Kitchen in the capital city of Panjim turns up as a recommendation.
We head to Mum’s kitchen for lunch. Located on the Miramar beach road, not sure about the parking facility, as we had a cab and the driver dropped us here. There is no beach view for the restaurant, but the view is even better – a serene garden.
Inside the compound wall, a narrow walkway amidst a pond led to the front door of the restaurant.
Charming place, colourful and peaceful at the same time !! The turquoise tiled table and the contrasting bright orange napkins were looking picture perfect !!
The waiter was driven to indulge us and he suggested wines to start the meal and we opted for the white wine Fratelli Chardonnay.
They serve water also in long-stemmed glasses; needless to say the water tastes sweeter and as a result, we start sipping the water too instead of gulping it down.
Our kid wanted the Fish n Chips, was super good !! The waiter suggested a cucumber salad called Tavasache, delicious.
We tried the “Philomenache” Caldeen, a prawn curry with coconut gravy. It came with rice and we also ordered some Goan bread with the gravy dish. The prawn curry was good and the hot Goan bread with butter was heavenly.
The Goan bread is iconic, but when did the rice eating natives in Goa start making bread ? The Indian bread or roti was unleavened ie made without yeast or a raising agent and cooked on a flat tava.
From the chronicles of the 16th century Italian traveller Francesco Carletti on Goa in the book Goa Travels, edited by Manohar Shetty…… ” And they eat everything with rice cooked simply in water, though they do not lack wheat for making bread, which can always be found for sale by anyone who wants to buy it. But in hot countries rice pleases more and is more easily eaten than bread.”
It’s the Portuguese who first baked bread with fermented toddy in Goa and as we learnt from an interesting exhibit by Dr. Subodh Kerkar at the Museum of Goa, ” toddy was considered impure and blasphemous by the Hindus. A piece of bread thrown into a Hindu well was enough for ‘baptizing’ the entire family. ”
But several years down, the Goan bread has become a staple across all communities and much-loved, they come is an array of shapes.
No Goan meal is complete without the dessert Bebinca, with ice cream.
Here’s a restaurant we definitely want to come again to taste the other dishes on the menu !! Happy to have been here.
There are a few other restaurants in Panjim that were recommended by the hotel staff – Oak Barrel, Panjim and The Black Sheep Bistro, Panjim. Check them out too !!