Janice Savina Rodrigues|Nt Buzz
If you’re in Panaji and you want to take your family, friends or that special someone out on a fine dining date, head to Vivanta by Taj Panaji’s restaurant Latitude. The buffet restaurant has some of the best food, and with a refurbished menu the hotel is not leaving any stone unturned to give the foodies in Goa a five star experience.
Situated within the atrium of the hotel, Latitude gives you the feel of an open air restaurant with no ceiling constricting you within, while at the same time the cosiness of an indoor restaurant. This is the place where the chefs take centre stage to create wonders in the culinary world. The food is remarkable. The menu features a fusion of cuisines inspired by regions from across the world and features a blend of delectable flavours combined perfectly by the expertise of the chefs.
Our afternoon started with the Curry mee – a soup of curry-like consistency, with coconut milk and basil. This Indo-Malay soup was filling with the bean sprouts, noodles, chicken and egg. This was followed by the crunchy yet juicy Mexican chicken strips marinated with spicy smoked sauce, which made for a rather healthy snack, something that the kids would enjoy. The kebab – Persian lamb koobideh – was a delectable treat with the marinated minced lamb complemented perfectly by the Iranian saffron dip.
The ghee roast chicken might sound a bit heavy on the tummy, but it is a delight from the Malabari shores. Typical to the Kerala cuisine this chicken is heavily spiced with curry leaves, roasted with ghee, and it is sumptuous. The Malai tandoori aloo stole my heart; young potato halves stuffed with dried fruits and creamy paneer and mildly spiced, were just heavenly to bite into. I could have those, two rounds over! This was followed by another paneer dish of peri peri spiced paneer skewers served with red onions. The peri peri infused itself beautifully into the milky cubes, making the paneer just melt in your mouth.
The salads were crunchy and delicious and the vegetables were thoroughly fresh, giving the right crunch to each bite. The Beetroot and goat cheese salad had lettuce and walnuts added, while the Jerk spiced chicken salad was served with the crispy parmesan wanton crackers which made it even more delicious. The main course consisted of the Kombdi che Kaalvan – a Malvani specialty curry (kaalvan means curry) is reminiscent of the Konkan flavours spiced with coconut, curry leaves, onions and star anise. On the other spectrum was the Baked parmesan polenta, the creamy polenta cooked with mushrooms, asparagus and blue cheese sauce made for a typical continental meal – simple in flavours, yet delicious.
The desserts were just irresistible. The old monk mousse was a thoughtfully made dessert with rum dark chocolate, cookie crumble and pastry cream, and the coconut rasmalai was delectably coconut flavoured and the chhenna was soft and held the goodness of the ras till it went into your mouth.
This is just a sneak into what the Latitude restaurant has to offer the foodie, from the pastas of Italy to the kebabs of the streets of Delhi or the Goan pork vindaloo, to the Mexican tacos to the continental grilled fish, one can savour the best in fine dining under one roof, and with prices that are in par with other standalone restaurants, it surely is not going to pinch your pockets!