SAVIO’S KITCHEN CHEMISTRY

For Savio Fernandes, the aromas wafting out of his kitchen was the lure. The more it tickled his palate, the more he was drawn to it. 

Savio’s entry into the kitchen was sans any noise but the lip-smacking sounds made by the satiated to tell a different story.


A passionate traveller, he is a backpacker who loves the remote areas and its cuisine. 


The word Goa brings to mind sunny skies, the blue sea, tanned tourists and endless possibilities for food. 


There are those restaurants that every tourist visits. These are places that are well documented in the travel diaries of every tourist visiting Goa. 

Savio Fernandes goes to places off the tourist path. He winds his way through the little travelled lanes of Goa and explores eateries that serve cuisine popular with the local community. 


These are Savio’s favourite local eateries which are highly recommended by him. 


Star Bar


Tucked away in the by lanes of Ribandar in Old Goa, it is a quaint place that is hard to locate. You have to look hard at the map or keep asking around until you reach Star Bar. There are no signboards pointing to the place. 


The place is an open air set up with plastic tables and chairs . Nothing fancy. This place is known for the best seafood.


Starlight 

This restaurant is situated near Arpora, Baga. A simple  roadside eatery

with traditional old school ambience, they are known for their crab sukkah.

Kamlabai

Situated in the by lanes of Mapusa, Kamalbai is a place everyone must visit. The simplicity of its ambience is a lure. You have the option of an air-conditioned room. However, do sit with the local crowd to enjoy the awesome fish thali. 

Vinayak Family Restaurant

Vinayak Family Restaurant (Assagaon) is located in the interiors, not too far from Vagator and Anjuna. Since this eatery is not on a main road it is a little difficult to locate it. However, Google Maps can guide you to the eatery. 


The eatery is run by a husband-wife team. The menu is reasonably priced and vast. One should not miss their golden fried prawns which is a sellout.

Black Horse Mandrem Shack


One among the best shacks in North Goa, it is located near Ashvem beach. If your looking for a peaceful place on the beach then this is a shack you must head to. Their Goa sausage grilled sandwich is finger licking.

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THE HEADY MAGIC OF BALI

24 March, 2021 - by Anita Singh

Ubud Night Market. Ubud. The air is redolent with the scents of cooking. And backpackers. Rows of tiny warung or roadside kitchens dot the area, each cooking something exotic. 


The Balinese  are known for their hospitality and no other place can showcase it better than this market. Their beaming faces, shiny with sweat beckon you over.  The first warung we stop at has platters of ready- to - cook food in all hues and colours piled sky high. 


The 12 year old has his eyes trained on the satay skewers of unrecognisable meat, while I set mine on a small straw basket heaped with fragrant red rice. 


The displaced mallu in me is already wondering if there is prawn theeyal to go with it. Aiyyo this is Bali. "Nasi Goreng?' the old Balinese asks me pointing to the red rice. Well I've never had   Nasi Goreng made with red rice. She takes my dithering for acquiescence and heats up the wok. 


Nasi Goreng is nothing but fried rice yet calling it mere fried rice is tantamount to sacrilege. No Nasi Goreng tastes the same. Red nasi goreng was a first though. While the wok smoked, the grandma added a dollop of butter. Into it with lightening speed went slivers of young ginger, roughly chopped shallots and leek, diced chicken and shrimp and palm sugar. 


While it caramelised, kecap manis or Indonesian sweet soy sauce was poured into it and stirred. The simmering thick sauce was pushed to a side of the wok , more butter was added and two duck eggs were broken into it. The omelette was then cut into long strips with the back of the spatula and pushed aside. 


The sauce with the stir fried chicken and shrimp was brought back to the centre and a handful of red rice was thrown in. A bird eye chilli was slivered over the rice. All this in less than five minutes. 


A large plate was whipped out and the nasi goreng was placed smack bang in the middle with the egg strips on top. Around it went skewers of kambing or goat satay covered in a thick peanut sauce, crisply fried prawns, a chicken leg deep fried and glazed with butter and coconut sugar, prawn crackers and half a boiled marble duck egg with a generous spoonful of sambal.


The red rice takes the nasi goreng to an entirely new level. It imparts a nutty flavour that pairs beautifully with the fiery slivers of bird eye that assail your tastebuds every now and then. This grandma's warung ought to be on the food map. She's winged it like no other. And tofu. 


For the vegetarian husband. Balinese tofu can make even me turn vegetarian. Thick squares of silken tofu shallow fried and tossed in a sauce of tamarind purée, palm sugar, bruised lemongrass, crushed galangal, juice of pandanus leaves , bay leaves, whole pepper and sweet soy sauce. 


This East Java speciality cannot be simply eaten. It has to be devoured. This piece of heaven is served with a crisp salad of lettuce, cherry tomatoes and cucumbers.


And dessert. You can write an entire novel on it or sing paeans maybe. Magical mystical Bali. If not for the food, for the people definitely.

 
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