Caravela Cafe and Bistro on 31st January Road has something to offer for the all-day dining experience
Danuska Da Gama I NT BUZZ
A number of Cafes and Bistros have been popping up in the city, on the by lanes of 31st January Road. One such cafe is Caravela Cafe and Bistro which has been running for about two years alongside its well established B&B with the same name.
With minimal colonial interior decor, the Cafe has recently introduced an all day menu where you can nibble in on some mouth watering Goan dishes like the Chicken Cafreal, Pork Balchao, Pork/Beef Chilly fry, Xacuti, Feijoada and Beef Roulade all served with pao (Goan Bread).
Quite cozy and comfortable, this is ideal if you also want to grab a quick snack. The quick snacks I am referring to here are the Goan ones like beef croquets and prawn ressois which were freshly made. They were in fact the highlight of the visit to Caravela – not just for its taste but also value for money priced at Rs50 (4 nos). Besides, there’s a range of sandwiches and pizzas too.
Carlos Noronha who runs the place tells us that the idea of setting up the Café came about so as to provide breakfast to guests who reside at the guest house. Slowly, with a few walk-in’s, he decided to draw up a menu that would be easy on the pocket, yet simple, authentic and not very elaborate.
The All Day Breakfast section has quite a choice from omelettes, eggs and cornflakes to a meal by itself – The English Breakfast in vegetarian and non vegetarian variants. If you are a tad to health conscious and get the heebie jeebies when it comes to unhealthy or junk food, Caravela offers you a choice of healthy soups and salads to choose from like Sopa de Pedra (mixed vegetables cooked in chicken broth), Caldo Verde (puree of potato and spinach) or Sopa de Legumes (puree of veggies with French beans). Choose from a bowl of Asian, Tuna or the house salad – the Caravela Salad – which has mixed veggies, shredded chicken, nachos and cheese with a lemon thyme dressing.
I visited Caravela with a friend on a humid afternoon. It was ideal for us as there weren’t many people at that hour of the day. So over our beef stew and soft and well made beef chilly fry we spoke at length. The quantity of the dishes was more than enough for the two, though it’s meant to be for just one person. We decided to also have a tuna salad and a roasted veggies and feta cheese pizza. The base was freshly baked in-house.
All that we tried was certainly good, but the only downer that day was that a few items that we wanted to try out like the Pork Balchao and Beef Roulade weren’t available. Open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. this is ideal for anyone who wants to have a wholesome meal or just some snacks.
Hang on there’s also the choice of 3 different single-estate artisan, freshly ground coffees – available as espresso or Americano, cappuccino, latte and some even as a cold brew, depending on the variety selected. The varieties of coffee available at the Café include Parama, Sattva and Aromatique. All these variants are available at the café in a bean to cup mode.
Carlos tells us what is unique about their Café is that they offer customers the coffee which is central to the whole experience as the dishes on the menu can be best enjoyed with a cup of good coffee.
It is certainly ideal for an all-day comfort food with a homely atmosphere in Panaji which is otherwise hustling and bustling.