That’s how I reached my destination.

There are three things that always take me back to Goa- the beach, nightlife and most importantly FOOD. Goan cuisine has always been close to my heart with seafood being my top most priority.I suppose the wet, humid climate makes it ideal to eat this kind of food.

Lucky for me, I didn’t have to make that trip this time as Goa came to me. I was invited on Sunday night to relish some of Chef Martina Fernandes’s specialities at Itaca, The Chancery Pavilion in Bangalore. She is such a wonderful, down to earth chef who believes in cooking with love and treating her guests with the same notion in mind. It was really sweet of her to sit down with us while we enjoyed our meal.

Goans are such fun loving people who love to enjoy their food, drinks and music. While I sipped on my kokum syrup that had such a good feeling on my palate, I had live bailas playing in the background that seemed to keep everyone on their feet. Now that’s the whole Sossegado feeling!

There was a lavish, exhaustive buffet spread laid out for us and had a surprisingly good choice for the veggies too cause normally in Goa that’s not the case always. Whether you deny it or not, Goans love their meat!

Chef Martina had made all her traditional sweets back home as she believes that one should enjoy the whole festival with their guests rather than being behind the kitchen.

What I really loved was how the whole place was turned into this little shack giving you that whole Goan experience!

So here it begins, I just hope you don’t get lost on the way because there’s too much to handle. WARNING!

Live Counter

We started off with some tiny bites from the Live Counter. I’m usually not the egg sort of person but mind you, I was able to finish everything on that plate! The masala had such a lovely flavour and was not able to get the egg taste at all.

Quick Bites

Paneer Karwari
Vegetable Croquettes
Fish Cutlets
Gallina De Peri Peri

The starters on the whole was nothing really spectacular. I would have been more happy if I saw Fried Calamari on the menu.

Paneer Karwari was a bit too overdone and the whole texture and flavour got lost. The fish cutlets on the other hand reminded me of the one’s my grand mum makes at home. They were fried nicely and was very tasty although it doesn’t look that appetizing, give it a try!

Breaking Bread

Goans are known for their freshly baked homemade breads that come out from those ancient hot ovens and are easily accessible everywhere. I loved the Pois. They were yum and went really well with the Pork Sorpotel.

Soup For Two?

Usually, I try to skip this at a buffet as then I am not able to satisfy my taste buds with all the other mouth-watering dishes on the menu.

But this Crab soup was irresistible that I had to try it!

Crab soup

I absolutely loved the consistency of it! It was light, had bits of crab meat that were so flavoursome and it  was the best thing to have on a cold rainy night.

The Buffet has just begun…

Creamy Ranch with Potato and Fish
Chicken and Beetroot Salad

Seafood Salad

Lamb and Feta Salad
Roasted Chicken and Green Salad
Chicken Salami Platter

The Mini Chaat Station
Sprout Salad

Cabbage and Bell Pepper Salad
Paneer Tikka Chaat
Exotic Green Salad
Pickled Onion and Trio Pepper Salad
Cucumber- Low Calorie Dip
Tropical Fruit Salad
Pickled Onion and Trio Pepper Salad
Anti Pasti

The salads were fresh and looked lovely. I didn’t want to fill myself too much so I had a few with the Seafood Salad being my favourite. I loved the aromas from the khubeys and the jumbo prawns. It was well flavoured and my taste buds started to open up in full swing.

Calling All Veggies!

Bendi Sukhem
Goan Rice
Drumsticks Curry

Cabbage and Peas Foogath
Dal Ross

I decided to skip all the vegetarian delicacies as I had a strong craving for my meat!

Some lip-smacking pickles to go with all these gorgeous curries!

A lot of Indian cuisines serve these crispy, yummy chip-like items but with Prawn-Curry Rice, it’s the perfect combination!

Tendlianchi Bhaji
Choniacao Ross
Nistiach Caldeen

Meat Junkies

Mutton Xacuti

Chicken Vindaloo
Sungtanchi Kodi (Prawns)

So what can I say now?

The Mutton Xacuti was robust and richly flavoured with all the typical Goan spices. It was very clear that this was made straight from her heart. The mutton was tender and worked brilliantly.

The Prawn Curry had a lovely, smooth coconut gravy that blended so well with jumbo prawns.

The Pork Sorpotel was the winning dish for me. Bursting with flavours and that liver adds such a great touch to the entire dish.

Sweet Tooth

The first thing I looked at were the desserts and when I saw all the traditional Goan sweets, my jaw dropped. I deliberately ignored all the others and went straight for them.

Rice Kheer

Strawberry Delight
Portuguese Custard Tart

Alle Belle
Milk Cake

The Bebinca has always been my all time favourite and this was authentic. It consisted of beautiful layers and the coconut was so overpowering. Traditionally being 16 layers, its very complex process and takes hours of hard labour but totally worth eating at the end of it all.

The Dodol and Alle Belle although very similar in its ingredients, they have their own unique tastes.

The Portuguese Custard Tart was something very different and was gorgeous. the little bits of apple were absolutely delicious!

My Goan cravings were well satisfied and I was one happy gastronome!

With the Goan Masterchef!

The festival is on till the 24th of May 2015. If you’re a total Goan babe like me, I think you shouldn’t miss out on this one!

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