By Kuheli Bhattacharya Rane
My friends from other states frequently ask me “How do you spend monsoons in Goa?” and I reply “Why? By having sizzlers of course!” Sizzlers are the classic ‘attention seeking ‘ dishes, they make an entry with all the pop, sizzle and crackle, with steam bellowing out in all directions, the smell of burnt cabbage and gravy on a hot metal and a plate piled high with choicest meats and vegetables.
Our search for authentic sizzlers took us to Kudos in Porvorim, a warm and cosy place by Savio and Shawn de Souza.
Ambience: This place has a complete glass front and you can’t help being lured in by the huge Asian styled lanterns, once inside wooden stairs lead up to interesting wall art and a Buddha fountain. The streaming water sounds, kind of simulate rain, even as monsoons in Goa have run dry in the last few days. Interestingly all the interior has been done by owners themselves. Another fun fact is that the place was named ‘Kudos’ after Charlie Sheen from ‘Two and a Half Men’.
Food: The place is known for its jalapeno margarita, and even though it looks benign it packs a punch. The blueberry lemonade is a cool accompaniment to the hot food. We started with a platter of bruschettas, the feta and basil which were like a slice of sun warmed Italy on a plate, the Goan inspired chorizo bruschettas which were too spicy and needed a mild element to them but if fuming ears is your thing then be sure to order these, the last was a Goan meets Italy version of prawns balchao with black olives, I am not sure if they were a match made in heaven but you can bet you haven’t tried that combination before.
Next came the pepperoni wrapped honey glazed prawns, a perfect balance between the ingredients made this sweet and salty prawns a winner.
Sizzler options at this place is mind boggling an option of chicken , lamb, beef, seafood or vegetarian sizzlers all in interesting sauces and steamed vegetables ,fried potato fritters and buttered rice.
We had the creamy pepper chicken steak, which came with a small bowl of creamy sauce on the side as well, which acts like a dipping sauce for all vegetables and fries. The cream sauce could have done with a bit more seasoning. A well proportioned meal and portions large enough for one, or to share if you have appetizers.
This place offers the famous wood fired pizzas, and just like in Rome where the wood fired ovens is fired only after seen in the evening, Kudos doesn’t serve the wood fired pizzas for lunch.
The vegetarian spinach and corn ravioli with tangy tomato sauce needed a sharp cheese to cut through all the tanginess, either in the ravioli stuffing or the sauce itself.
For desserts my advice would be, don’t stick to time and tested sizzling brownies. Try the pina coco which is a dessert take on the pinacolada. Grilled pineapples with Malibu cream sauce, flambed in brandy were a perfect tart meets sweet dessert. Opt for the flambed version as it chars the edges of pineapples bringing out their sweetness.
A must have is the dessert martinis here. A fun way to end the meal and great night cap by Shawn who is also a four time bartending champion. The choco coffee martini had espresso, baileys kahlua and chocolate ice cream; it’s exactly what one wants on the hot muggy monsoon nights, this one is a winner.
Kudos is open from lunch till late nights, making it a great option for late lunches when most other eateries have shut shop. They also have a larger touristy beachy Kudos in Baga which at the moment is closed but Shawn informs us that the vibe there is different and so is the food. Porvorim is a metaphorical link between the city life of Panaji and the more bohemian north beaches and so is the food in the restaurants here.
By Kuheli Bhattacharya Rane