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!
Chicken Pahadi Kebab– Very highly recommended, especially for those who are trying North Indian
Garlic Pepper Prawns– A very decent preparation yet again
Pan Fried Tamarind Fish– Something very different and unique, must be given a shot
Chilly Paneer– This was ok, nothing exceptional, but not bad either.
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.
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.
H 818/3, NH66 Behind Delfino’s, Near teen Building Bustop, Porvorim Bardez 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.
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.
Well, Sundays are actually meant to be spent in a leisurely manner and whoever came up with the idea of brunch was a really wise man.
Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch eaten usually during the late morning to early afternoon, generally served from 10 am up to 2 pm, and regularly has some form of alcoholic drink which mostly includes champagne or a cocktail. The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch. Brunch originated in the late 19th century in England and became popular in the United States in the 1930s. From there on the trend started catching up with the rest of the world and each country twisted and turned around with their ideas of brunch. Sunday brunches started becoming extremely popular because of the leisurely feeling attached with a Sunday. Usually, people party late nights on a Saturday and a Sunday Brunch seemed just like a perfect meal. Slowly restaurants started picking up the idea and the brunches became even more popular. One the timings made a lot of sense to late risers, plus Sunday could be a no-cook day and it also gave an opportunity for the entire family or even friends to head out together and enjoy a relaxed meal.
My Sunday Brunch
Ok now after the brief history and increasing popularity details about the Sunday Brunch lets bring the focus back to the fact that why am I writing about a Sunday Brunch. Of course, because I recently enjoyed a great Sunday Brunch that I would want to share with all of you. Life Beach Lounge recently got launched in Goa and this happened to be their first Sunday Brunch and so I had to attend it anyhow. All thanks to my PR friend Sinead, I got the opportunity to review the Sunday Brunch and we a handful of foodies headed straight to Life Beach Resort in Morjim.
Even though you head out for a food review, you cannot ignore the effect that the ambiance of the place creates on you. Right from the entrance, the place is a picturesque beauty. The pathway that leads to the main seating area in itself is an Instagram friendly point and yes we did stop there to click some pictures first.
As you walk in, the first look of the place mesmerizes you completely. The classy seating, the lounge area, the lavish bar and then the blue sky above, the beach and the sea view that you can’t take your eyes off. I mean I could just sit there and do nothing for hours. Lucky are those who can call such a place their workplace. I could actually urge the management to hire me and allow me to work from such a quaint and beautiful place and ahhh life would then be more a bliss!
Anyway, I won’t say much, just see the pictures and you will know exactly what I mean.
The Food and Drinks
The Sunday Brunch comprises of a specially curated menu that offers the best of Asian food possible. From Japanese Sushi to Thai Salads, Oriental Soups To Pizzas, there is more and enough for everyone to choose items as per their taste buds. Since we were a group of 6 people, we went on to try everything on the menu and there were following dishes that we tried
Som Tam, Fresh Ice Berg Salad, Japanese Beef Salad and Chicken Glass Noodles Salad
Gazpacho Soup and Hot & Sour Soup
Margarita, Peri-Peri and Pepperoni
Fusion Uramaki Roll, Veg Tempura Uramaki Roll, Prawn Tempura Uramaki Roll, Salmon Uramaki Roll and Spicy Tuna Roll
Thai Red Curry-Chicken with Steamed Jasmine Rice
Panna Cotta, Fruit Salad & Brownie
Champagne Cocktail and Rose Wine
Overall the food was very well done, my recommendations and favorites from all segments would include, The Japanese Beef Salad, The Som Tam Salad, The Chicken Glass Noodles Salad, The Gazpacho Soup, The Spicy Tuna Uramaki Roll, The Prawn Tempura Uramaki Roll, Margarita Pizza, Red Thai Curry with Rice and The Panna Cotta. And trust me on this, order minimum of two portions of the Panna Cotta, It was so so delicious that one would not be able to satiate the craving.
So be it the ambiance, the music, the drinks or the food, this place is a perfect hangout place to chill and relax with your family and friends. Go with leisure in mind and don’t look at the watch, I am sure you will enjoy more that way. Sit back, relax, enjoy the food, drinks, music, get some sun and sand, dip in the sea and come back home fully charged up to tackle the new week and to kick off the Monday blues. For me spending this Sunday afternoon with my friends, enjoying amazing food and drinks by the beach was just the kind of relaxation I dig. Kudos to the entire team at LIFE especially the chefs to pull out such a lovely menu and the ever smiling and hospitable staff.
Sunday Brunch Details
The Silver Brunch that includes all of the above mentioned items(except the spicy tuna roll) come priced at Rs 1800 ++
Other sushi variety can be ordered at an additional price of Rs 1000 and drinks also come in two packages priced at Rs 1200 and Rs 1800 respectively.
Follow them on Instagram and Facebook to get regular updates about their events @life.beach.goa