Missing Goa.... Cafe Goa, Bandra


Bandra, the Catholic bastion of Mumbai, didn't have a good Goan joint for long.

Then Simply Goa opened at neighbouring Khar with some fairly good Goan fare which is reasonably priced. (I can't resist saying this, I reviewed it four and a half months before Rashmi Uday Singh did!)

Recently I heard about a place called Cafe Goa, which has opened where Trafalgar Chowk used to be near Mehboob Studio, Bandra.

Kainaz and I went there a few nights back to celebrate a good day.

I liked the ambience when I entered. The white walls with dark wood furniture gave it a classy feel.
We were seated in the inner section. That's where we found out that they were replicating the Goan experience well beyond just the Portugese furniture. It is pretty hot at Goa right now. As it was inside Cafe Goa! They apparently don't switch on the AC till there are customers. And when they do switch it on, the ACs didn't cool. Not what you would expect at a fairly expensive place.
I was quite hot under my collar and hoped that the food would take care of things. Well, like the curate's egg, it was good in parts.
Cafe Goa has an eclectic mix of Goan and continental dishes. I believe that the owners are from a mixed marriage and hence the combination.
We love Goan food and started with a Goan sausage chilly fry. The dish was very nice. Well fried, it had a nice bite and was quite juicy. It didn't have too many pieces of fat though and we missed that. It had fried potatoes in the shape of French Fries. While traditionally potatoes are cubed in Goan sausage fry. Interestingly the dish did not have the sharp, sour taste that Goan Sausage chilly fry has. This would make the sausages at Cafe Goa easier for the uninitiated. But for Goan sausage addicts like me... this wasn't the real Mc Coy. And brown bread with Goan sausages! How affected can one get? At least offer one the choice of regular, white pao.
We followed this with a pork sorpatel. I prefer sorpatel to vindaloo. Kainaz is a vindaloo woman but played along as she was treating me.
Frankly we were quite full when the sorpatel came.
Which was good as the dish was a disaster. Sorpatel is with a mix of pork cuts - regular pork meat, fat, liver, kidney ... a full organ dump. Here they just had pork meat and no other cuts. The meat was chewy and ancient. It didn't leave one with a good feel. And the curry was cloudy, starchy and dense... nothing like the ethereal, sharp curry of a good sorpatel. The dish was as ghastly as the picture below suggests.
You are better off heading to Candies (Rs 100, 2 USD with bread) or to Judes Cold Storage (Rs 60, 1 USD for a frozen sorpatel) the next time you want Sorpatel at Bandra.
I don't remember the prices at Cafe Goa. I think the dishes were close to Rs 200 (4 USD) but I wouldn't bet on it.
I don't see us going back there in a hurry.
I believe that the owners are new to the business and hopefully they will set things right soon.
Do let me know if things change.
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