Wholsome ​Fine Dining Experience At The Basil Leaf

Situated in the Golden Plateau Hotel, right on the Porvorim Highway, is the recently opened fine dine restaurant Basil Leaf. Honestly speaking when I attended the launch of the place, I couldn’t make much of it. There were a lot of guests back then and I had reached quite late, also I tried only Thai Chicken Curry and Rice during the launch which was good, but I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out when dining on a normal regular day. So when I headed to The Basil Leaf for a lunch with my family, I had no expectations at all, but at the onset, I have to say that I was taken by a complete surprise. The overall experience turned out to be so good that it has already become a favorite neighborhood restaurant for my entire family who looks forward to going back there soon.

Another thing that added a feather to the cap was the fact that as a blogger I wasn’t given any specially curated or pre-selected menu. I was free to choose my order, and this was because the restaurant management wanted me to try, experience and provide with feedback like a regular guest. This helped me understand two things about the place very well, first, it showed their confidence in their preparations and secondly, they were open to constructive feedback and suggestions to improve.

Coming to food, I ordered the following dishes

Pan Fried Chilly Fish– An absolute must have!

Chilly Fish
Chilly Fish

Chicken Pahadi Kebab– Very highly recommended, especially for those who are trying North Indian

Chicken Pahadi Kebab
Chicken Pahadi Kebab

Garlic Pepper Prawns– A very decent preparation yet again

Pepper Garlic Prawns
Pepper Garlic Prawns

Pan Fried Tamarind Fish– Something very different and unique, must be given a shot

Tamarind Fish
Tamarind Fish

Chilly Paneer– This was ok, nothing exceptional, but not bad either.

Chilly Paneer
Chilly Paneer

For the main course, we settled for Dal Makhani, which could have been better, Hyderabadi Dum Biryani, which was great, Chicken Noodles and Chicken in Oyster Sauce, both of which were really well prepared. We ended the meal on a sweet note with some Hot Gulab Jamuns.

Hyderabadi Dum Biryani
Hyderabadi Dum Biryani
Main Course
Main Course
Gulab Jamun
Gulab Jamun

P.S.- They have something called as Cafreal Biryani, which is chef’s own twist to create a fusion with Mughlai and Goan flavors, although I did not try it, but it sounded interesting and I will surely try it soon. Just keep in mind that if you are ordering in, you will have to call the restaurant and especially ask for this one, as it is not part of the regular menu.

To sum it up, I had a great experience enjoying my food at The Basil Leaf and you definitely should give it a try.

Address 

H 818/3, NH66 Behind Delfino’s, Near teen Building Bustop, Porvorim Bardez Goa

Phone Numbers

+91 9158083333
00 08322417733

Cuisines

North Indian, Goan, Continental, Chinese, Seafood

Average Cost 

₹700 for two people

Bikes, Good Food, Great View and More At Enfield Garage Cafe!

In one word if I have to describe this place, it would be AWESOME! Enfield Bikes, Good Food, and A Great View, what more can you ask for, still if you want more, Enfield Garage Cafe organizes regular events to keep you amused. The Sunday Stories especially is a very popular weekly event that happens at Garage Cafe.

Overlooking the Baga creek, this cafe is a part of the Enfield showroom and this makes it even more interesting. They have indeed a huge space which looks very inviting to spend long hours chilling there. In fact, I could simply carry my laptop, breathe in the fresh air, enjoy scrumptious meal and drinks and keep looking with drooling eyes towards the numerous Enfield bikes parked there.

Well, the food here is straight up basic, something that probably everyone can enjoy. Nothing fancy, but super delicious! 
We tried the following:


Spinach and Mushroom Crepes– super-thin crepes with a creamy filling of spinach and mushrooms- I really liked it

Buffalo Mozzarella and Pesto Pizza– this is definitely a must try, my sonny boy enjoyed it the most

Beef Stew– I thoroughly enjoyed dipping the bread on this flavourful stew with such tender pieces of beef. The meat was really very good. Simple recipe, great taste

Pan Seared Prawns– Have to be my favorite from the afternoon, subtle flavors but delicious

Pricing

I found the place moderately priced and given the fact the portion sizes are quite good, I think it is affordable. The average cost for two people would be Rs 1200/-.

Final Word

I thoroughly enjoyed my lunch at this beautiful cafe and loved everything about it. Do let me know about your experience if you have already visited or will visit now after reading my blog 🙂

Address 

House # 560, Villa Rodrigues, Arpora-Baga Creek Road, Arpora, Bardez, Goa

Have You Been To Cuebebar Smokehouse Yet? If Not, You Must!

There is food, then there is food made with a lot of love, there are restaurants, and then there are dreams, this place Cuebebar Smokehouse Goa falls in the latter category because it isn’t just a restaurant but a dream that a young boy of 23 all has seen and pursued, it reflects his passion along with that of his friend. Arjun and his friend Bunty are the two boys behind this amazing place. Arjun who worked with Marriott in Texas before coming back to India is the main chef while his friend Bunty takes up the charge for the bar and shakes up some amazing cocktails.

It is one of Goa’s first smokehouse and grills and no place can satiate your cravings for great burgers, and sandwiches than this one. All meats are smoked for a minimum of 6-10 hours and thus the flavors are to swear by. In fact, they are so particular about smoking techniques, that they made their own smoker from an old tank.

Ambiance

The place has a very raw, rustic and garage like feel with some super awesome bikes adding the funk to the whole atmosphere. I loved the use of raw wood at certain places, especially the plank which has the bar menu printed on it caught my eyes. And you just cannot miss posing with the bikes, I am sure it is gonna be one of the most instagrammable restaurants of Goa, in the times to come.

Food


Coming to the food, because of their sheer love and hospitable nature, they served us some homemade chips and you can’t avoid binging on them. I teamed it up with an amazing cocktail called Ice Age, while I waited for my food to be served.

The smoked beetroot salad was simply amazing, healthy, nutritious and very very tasty. The goat cheese and the use of orange vinaigrette gave it an extra punch that I loved.

Orange Brined Chicken served on a bed of creamy mashed potatoes was typically my kind of food and I know I will be going back for it soon.

The Cuebebar style beef burger is a must have. Period. The smoked beef will melt in your mouth and the burst of flavors with caramelized onions is something you would definitely not want to miss.

The Cuebebar slider platter is also something you can’t miss. The pulled pork slider is something that makes my mouth water even when I write about it now. It’s definitely worth all the attention. The tender meat smoked perfectly and oh yes the onions, yum yum!

Service

The service was very quick and I did not have to wait too long to gorge on the scrumptious food.

Pricing

I found the prices very pocket-friendly given the fact they are almost like American portions and one portion is more than sufficient for an individual person. Average cost for 2 people would be Rs 500-600

Final Word

This place surely deserves to be on your list and apart from amazing food, they keep doing regular events to keep their clients entertained. So it’s my belief that you would love spending an evening enjoying great food and drinks at Cuebebar and it might become one of those places where you would go again and again. At least I can say I found a happy place which serves my kind of food 🙂

Address 

Behind SORO Village Pub, Assagaon – Badem road.

Important Information

Open only for dinners, 6 PM- 11:30 PM and closed on Tuesdays

To Experience Scrumptious Bohra Cuisine, Dig Into ‘Thaal’, Goa

The word Thaal is iconic with the Bohra Cuisine and hence full points to Rumama Roowala for naming her restaurant ‘Thaal’.

Little Bit Of History

Bohra Muslims, who are said to have migrated originally from Yemen to Gujarat, are firm believers in the maxim: “The family that eats together, stays together.” The entire Bohra family dines out of one platter called the thaal and it typically accommodates 4-8 people. Each dish is placed in the centre of the thaal and every member pulls his or her share. Bohras have a no-wastage policy. Not a single grain of rice is left on the plate when it is taken away.

To promote this thought and keep the tradition alive, Rumana came up with the idea of ‘Thaal’ as she too believes in community eating and bonding over food.

Location and Ambiance

Thaal which is located right opposite the Coco Beach on the Reis Magos Fort Road has both indoor and outdoor seating options. The indoor option with its low floor seating is where the traditional thaal is served. For savoring a thaal, you need to be in a group of minimum 3-4 people, otherwise, you could sit in the outside area and enjoy the smaller versions of thaal called thalis.

We chose a lazy Friday afternoon for our lunch at Thaal. Since we were just two people, me and my son, we opted for thaalis and sat down in the outer seating area that oversees the coco beach. It was a bright, beautiful and breezy afternoon, perfect to enjoy a great meal. The view was great too, I anyway am the happiest around the sea.

Food

Coming to food, we ordered two thalis for ourselves, one can choose between the starters, but the main course changes on a daily basis. But we were lucky and got to savor two different main course dishes as well. As per Bohra tradition, the meal usually begins by tasting salt which acts as a palette cleanser, it is then followed by a dessert, they consider it auspicious. So keeping with the tradition, I started by eating my dessert first, the Kalamra, which is basically sweetened curd and rice with lots of dry fruits in it. It was quite nice, after this I came to the Channa Batata, a salad with chickpeas and potatoes tossed in nice tangy tamarind chutney and the best part was some fried onions on the top, they enhanced the overall taste so much.

My starter included the Bohra Chicken Cutlets, these were simply amazing, crispy coating on the outside and almost melt in the mouth soft on the inside. Subtle flavors and a perfect texture, these definitely are worth trying.

My son’s thaali had Keema Pao as a starter and that too was excellently prepared. The Keema was delicious and the Paos soft and buttery, it made for a perfect combination.

For the main course, while I got to try Daal Gosht with Rice, my son had Gosht Biryani and both these dishes were mind-blowing. Especially the Daal Gosht is one dish that you definitely should not miss. The mutton pieces in both the dishes were extremely juicy and tender and that speaks for the quality of food. The biryani was Kacche Gosht Ki Biryani, which means that everything is cooked together and that’s one of the prime reason for getting out the best flavors. All meat is marinated overnight and slow cooked for about 4-5 hours and this explains its tenderness perfectly.

To finish my meal, Sheer Khurma, the dessert made with sweetened milk, dates, vermicelli, and loads of dry fruits was just perfect.

So I highly recommend it to both my Goan readers and friends and my readers from across the country and globe that when in Goa, this place should definitely be on your list.

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