Janice Savina Rodrigues
The monsoons are playing truant with this year’s rainfall fluctuating from dry spells to heavy downpour. This is not the reason ‘we’re in a soup’, but it’s the dilemma of making the right choice that is eating us up. The choice I am referring to is the range of soups that make their way to your handheld menu at Wok and Roll.
If you’re lucky and it’s a rainy day, you can indulge in some soul stirring and core warming soups, albeit this does make your choice a little bit harder. With soups from across the Southeast Asian region, the restaurant has picked up favourites from each country and interpreted them in ways to compliment the monsoons.
We went there on a rather rainy afternoon, so the very affable co-partner, Asleen Lobo said we were in for a warm treat. And it indeed was one.
One after the other we were served with soup-bowls of delicious, wholesome goodness. Though we couldn’t have bowlfuls of the soup, we resorted to trying out smaller portions of the broth.
Our journey began from Vietnam, with the Canh chua or cá nau. This one has a distinct tang to its seafood base ingredients of fish, prawn and squid. The sourness is lent by the tamarind simmered with pineapple and tomatoes that are dunked into the soup. An addition I found a little amiss was the ladyfingers that were also in the bowl; but that could just be me, as I prefer my okras in the traditional ‘bhaji’ form rather than in the squishy form of a soup.
The Indonesian meatball soup – Bakso – was next in line. The term bakso ideally refers to the meatballs and not the soup; here made from beef surimi. To be frank the very fine broth itself was much laden with flavour than the meatball itself. A word of advice, have the meatball and the broth together, this will complement the flavours of each other.
The next in our bowl was again a Vietnamese offering of Pho Noodle Soup. Here the broth is super thin almost water-like consistency, but the rice noodles called bánh pho; herbs and chunks of meat gave it all the flavour, and the warmth needed on a cool rainy day. This was followed by a little of the Japanese miso soup, with its stock called ‘dashi’ – a kind of clear broth with a distinct flavour. Here there were chicken and mushrooms that added the content factors.
The idiom ‘save the best for the last’ was so well tuned for this particular soup soujorn. The Laksa made my day! The curry like consistency of the broth was delectable. Laksa is a Malaysian, spicy noodle soup that has the wholesome goodness of all things nice. The rich coconut milk broth is spicy, creamy with a slight tang. This is over loaded with noodles, sea food and a boiled egg. This could very soon become my favourite comfort food!
The chefs here boast the fact that everything is made in-house, from the noodles to the sauces. They surely put their heart into the art of making good food. So if you’re heading up north, make a detour to Candolim-Sinquerim and indulge in some wholesome goodness. Every soup here is indeed a meal in a bowl.