It’s that time of the year again, when the sun is shining bright and everyone just wants to beach bum in Goa! Am I right, or am I right? So what if you can’t make it to Goa because you’re stuck in your 2-by-2 cubicle? Café 1730 brings a little slice of Goa right to you, here in Pune! It’s time for the annual Café 1730 Goan festival! I already went for a little tasting, and here are the deets for you. You’re welcome.
In addition to their regular menu, they have added a three-page Goan menu consisting of all of your favourites. I started off with some Fish Cutlets – steamed fish, bell peppers and just a hint of Goan vinegar, served with an in-house mayo dip. A great option even for those who aren’t regular seafood eaters, since the fish is fresh with barely any smell. The rich mayo dip keeps it from getting too dry.
If you’re not into fish, you can try the Chicken Cutlets, which are made with a bit of cheese that makes them amazingly creamy. Next up on our table was the Mandli Fry, crispy fried golden anchovies served with a spicy salad. Tip: Add a dash of lemon to it, and don’t worry about removing the bone, you can eat it! The final starter, the Rawa Fried Fish, fried Indian Salmon marinated in Goan spices, was a personal favourite of mine.
‘Course we had a main course too…
That Lamb Xacuti though… I could lose myself just thinking about it. Tender, succulent pieces of mutton, made in Goan spices and coconut curry. I devoured mine with some Poi, Goan bread. The Xacuti can also be cooked with chicken or mushroom. You can have this with the Goan Sausage Pullao, cooked up with home-made Goan sausages that have been brought all the way from Goa itself. I was told the fat content in them is about 20% only, which I can believe, because they were delicious! Thank you sweet Goan lady for these!
I saved the best for last – the minute that Pork Vindaloo hit my palate, I was transported right to Goa! Soft pieces of pork from the underbelly, cooked in spicy curry, with cloves and Kashmiri chili for an added kick – yum! Ate mine with the fluffy Sanna – staple rice cakes with a coconut flavour to help balance out the spice. The Vindaloo can also be cooked with chicken or aubergine instead of the pork.
Told you I saved the best for last!
The Bebinca – a type of traditional Goan pudding made with flour and coconut milk, with a hint of nutmeg and cardamom. While most Bebincas turn out to be of a rubbery texture, Café 1730 serves one of the best I’ve had so far, soft, with a nice brown glaze on top.
All in all – a Goan paradise
Goan cuisine is not at all about fancy equipment or heavily spiced dishes that most restaurants nowadays make it to be. It’s all about earthen pots, slow cooking, and home-ground, fresh masalas. That is exactly what the Café 1730 Goan chef brings to the table – dishes redolent with the real flavours of Goa. Each dish is slightly modified to add the 1730 touch and to suit the Puneri palate. Cancel all your plans this Sunday to sit out in the sun in Café 1730’s beautiful al-fresco seating. Sip on the delicious cocktails (like the unique Melon Sangria we had), while the musician serenades you with Goan melodies, and let your taste buds transport you to Goa!
The Goan festival ends on the March 24, don’t miss out!