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Breakfast binge @ Bistro

When the folks at Alila Diwa offer up their all-day-breakfast menu to public, it’s not an opportunity to miss. So off we went, to sample what sounded like a sumptuous offering. The hotel is spread over lush grounds, with pebbled pathways leading you to unexpected and pretty corners of the property, and Bistro literally turns up around the corner, beyond a calm blue pool, like a delightful discovery. Semi-open, set amidst a green patch, in the exclusive club wing called the Diwa Club at Alila Diwa in Majorda.

Dressed in cooling tones of wood and yellow, it is bright, cheery and screams lazy-breakfast. What’s better? It’s open all day long – whether you’re an early riser, want to eat breakfast for lunch, or you surface only past midday thanks to a night out – you can count on a sumptuous, lavish and delicious breakfast option at Bistro. It’s particularly exciting to have an option for breakfast in the South of Goa, with a sparse offering in this segment.

The menu itself is a packed, laden with goodies of all sorts – and quite simply a generous offering for something as simple as breakfast. Covering all bases, you’ll even find healthy options like fruits, nuts and seeds and vegetable and fruit juices Fruitology and Cereology – course 1 and 2 arrive in a food trolley that comes to you, rather than the other way around. Perhaps you’re still waking up, stretching your feet and wondering what you should begin with – the fruit and cereal spread is perfect for days like that. Bringing to you a selection of freshly cut fruit, chilled and crisp makes for a light beginning. You can further up the health quotient by choosing from an assortment of nuts and seeds to add to it. If cereal is your beginning of choice, there’s plenty of that too, with the option of warm or chilled milk and honey and fruit compotes.

I picked the classic ABC (apple, beetroot and carrot) juice to go with my fruit to kick things off on a healthy note. Freshly pressed, raw and with a burst of goodness, the flavours were balanced perfectly, delicately camouflaging the healthy tones with tasty ones instead. Also available are seasonal fruit juices or smoothies. Since it is a breakfast menu, it attracts the usual suspects– eggs cooked to order and assorted sides like pan-fried bacon, hash browns, sautéed mushrooms, seared spinach or roasted tomatoes. Carb-load with the day’s bakery selection of freshly baked croissants, Danish, and muffins go with it. These come served with homemade jams and fresh preserves.

Much as I love breakfast eggs, it was easy to move over from the beginning of the menu to the main parts – the Specialties and Local Favourites – that called out to me. Unusual twists on gourmet offerings are hard to come by, especially at breakfast, so we picked the Diwa Masala Benedict – a curious combination of a poached egg served over a knob of Indian-spiced masala stacked over an English muffin. The combination was exactly as warm and wonderful as it sounds. A perfectly soft egg, with the yolk slipping out with the slightest poke, melding with Indian flavours and a pillowy muffin with a crunch in every bite. Another savoury option sampled was the Indian spiced Crab Cake served with curry hollandaise, a classic paratha and tamarind chutney – a wholesome dish that made a perfect addition to our mains.

Should you prefer something sweet, berry pancakes served with whipped ricotta, rum and raisin waffles with whipped crème Chantilly and a banana and date French toast – with a centre made of tea-cake rather than plain old bread – are up for grabs.

The local favourites compiles handpicked Goan and Indian breakfasts, typically savoury, presented with panache. We sampled the Ros Omlette otherwise only ever eaten in a greasy plate off a dusty street-side cart. In a truly refreshing spin, it came plated delicately, a fluffy omlette with the classic chicken curry dolloped over it, served with a side of local pao. The Puri Bhaji was comforting, as it should be – deep-friend Indian bread, with spicy potatoes – it’s hard to go wrong with this one. Also available are dosas, idlis and a Goan frittata with local chorice, and egg bhurji served with paratha.

Just when I was making my peace with the fact that the meal was too large to be called breakfast anymore, I glanced over the menu to find a whole section Healthy Bites with egg white omlettes, masala chaas and homemade porridge amongst others. It goes without saying of course, that you can also have hot and cold beverages – tea and coffee – to finish it all off.

The breakfast offering at Bistro does that wonderful thing of combining traditional favourites with familiar, but unexpected flavours and presentation. To elevate something as basic as breakfast to a gourmet spread is a wonderful thing. Open all-day-long, the menu plays quite the bait to invite you over, to begin your day, any time of day really. Indulgent, satiating and comforting, if you want to breakfast like a champion, this menu is worth your time.

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