Danuska Da Gama I NT BUZZ
There’s no way you will skip this beautiful, bright, yellow Portuguese-styled façade Bar and Kitchen on the right side of the road en route Candolim – Sinquerim. Tio Tilly’s began operations about two months ago and the rave reviews and popularity it has been receiving is surely something to go by.
The cozy restaurant with white walls is quite rustic and modern with posters of motivational quotes and Game of Thrones. With tables of different sizes and uneven uniformity, and chandeliers of bulbs and ropes that have been made in house, this isn’t just another run-of-the-mill restaurant that pops up on the coastal belt during the season to make a quick buck.
The friendship between Tylden D’Souza (now you know why Tilly) and Adit Mittal has come a long way, and on this journey they dreamt, planned and have executed a unique restaurant in Goa. With a well executed minimalistic menu, Adit has extensively researched food and its nitty gritties while Tylden has utilised his strength of financial planning (credit to their MBA degree at GIM) to create Tio Tilly’s.
With an aim to offer not just food but give diners an experience to cherish and a reason to drop by again, their burgers, pizzas and pastas are the crowd pullers. We tried the crispy fish burger and were pleasantly surprised as it’s quite rare to get good fish these days, but it’s their research and scouting that has led them to source fish from one of Goa’s leading fish exporters, and likewise with other ingredients. The patty was crispy while the bun was fresh and spongy. Plated on a wooden board, accompanied with fries, sauce and a dip, the burger here was great; it was impossible for us to try out the other variants though I was told the crispy chicken burger was also great.
With a focus on quality, the young entrepreneurs have brought in chef Prateek who has worked at Uday Vilas, to create the menu they envisioned. The vermicelli crusted prawns with the chilli mayo dip is an interesting starter to try out. Packed with crunch, this is their take on batter fried prawns, or the Goan rawa coated prawns. Don’t miss out on their pizzas. The Chicken BBQ Twist pizza can give any other commercial pizza outlet in Goa stiff competition. It has a generous amount of chicken chunks on the base. The less said here the better for it bursts with flavours.
We also tried the Chicken Pot Rice. We didn’t do justice to this dish as we were full by now, trying out everything we possibly could while talking to Tylden and Adit. Back to the pot rice…a complete meal in itself, you need not worry about ordering any extra gravy, for it comes with an oriental gravy like consistency with vegetables and chicken. The interesting aspect here is the after taste of the basil which is thoroughly enjoyable. There’s also a secret ingredient here that takes the flavour up a notch. The flavour of each dish is what you should look out for…including the cheese in the sumai.
Hospitality is at its best here as the two young owners are right there – checking on their guests, speaking to the staff, and going back and forth in the kitchen, making sure that service and food are not compromised on at all.
While this is just the start, this place should be visited and watched out for. They will soon be starting a live continental kitchen at the entrance where one can curate one’s own version of a dish along with a pick up counter should one be in a hurry and want to grab fries and cheese. Tio Tilly’s is getting it all right at the start and while they know it’s just the beginning, don’t just wait and watch, head to Calangute!