The damp and drizzly Bangalore weather this time of the year calls for a shot of heat and spice to enliven things up and the Sussegado! Goa food festival at the Lido restaurant at Hyatt, Bangalore promises to do just that. Chef Edrige Vaz who is visiting from Park Hyatt, Goa has put together a seafood-centred Goan spread for a buffet every night until 28th July 2013. There is also a pared-down a la carte menu available at lunch, which is what we opted for. The chef took the onus of selecting the dishes for us and served us a lovely three-course-meal amidst billowing palm trees and some beach-style decor.
The menu had quite a few interesting options for Goan-themed cocktails and mocktails, of which we tried a green-apple flavoured coconut water drink that had just a hint of peach nectar. As promised, it was light and refreshing and not too sweet. Meanwhile, the long wait for the food to arrive had us eyeing the bread rolls at the table but we held on and were thus able to attack the appetizers with gusto.
The vegetarian appetizers, though beautifully plated were a bit disappointing – a cutlet and a croquette were served that didn’t really have us hankering for seconds. The Stuffed Mushrooms smothered in a peri peri masala, on the other hand, were succulent and perfectly cooked. They were a real treat and we were happy to have them repeated on the non-vegetarian snack platter too.
The non vegetarian appetizers fared far better. The Rawa Fried fish fillet was truly dynamite – the fish used was bhekti – the sort that you would find being fried up at tiny seaside shacks. The Chicken Cafreal, wrapped in a green masala of coriander and chillies and served on a skewer was deliciously tender and delightfully spiced as well.
The main course was served family style, along with bowls of white and brown Goan rice. The Tarkarachem Hoomand, mixed vegetables in a bright red coconutty curry with chillies and tamarind was just average. The pumkin dish had the sweetness of the pumpkin with bits of onions in thin coconut milk, a very homestyle preparation, topped with lots of fresh grated coconut.
The assertive nuttiness of the brown rice went well with the Prawns Balchao, although we imagine it would have tasted really good with some traditional pao buns as well. The masala was rich with darkly caramelized onions and chef told us that it gets its distinctive flavour from the toddy vinegar and dried shrimp. The Goan Fish Curry had typical Goan flavours, and the fish was deliciously soft and melted in the mouth.
The trio of desserts included Bebinca, a layered Goan pastry and a piece of Dodol – a sweetmeat that had been cooked using black jaggery. The kheer-like pudding that had lentils and sago cooked in coconut milk was a trifle under-cooked for our taste.
Overall, the festival is a must-try for seafood lovers, or for those who enjoy the earthy, coastal flavours of Goa. Vegetarians would do well to check out the buffet, which includes soups, salads and a few more vegetarian dishes. There is also a live counter that has tawa-fried fish or paneer in a choice of masalas.Address: Lido @ Hyatt, 1/1, Swami Vivekananda Road,
Accepts Cards: Yes