Mumbai has a special fondness for Goa and all things Goan. Folks are always eager to hop on a plane to spend a couple of days lazing on the beach and dining at their shacks. While bumming by the beach might not be possible in Mumbai, sampling some of Goa's delightful cuisine just got a lot easier.
Celebrity Chef Floyd Cardoz's latest venture O Pedro is a beautiful ode to Goa and its beautiful cuisine. While the Goan cuisine is much loved, this marks the first restaurant to highlight the cuisine of the region and they're doing it with much flare.
We think it is one of the best new restaurants that has opened up in the city this year and these are 5 reasons you must visit!
1. Goan Happiness
From the minute you walk in till the time you leave, O Pedro makes you think you're at a sleepy little restaurant tucked away in some Goan by lane instead of the bustling corporate hub that is Bandra Kurla Complex. Wooden wicker chairs, dim lighting, jars of pickles lined up against the bar, traditional blue and white Portuguese tiles and the swinging Latin music playing are all reminders that is the place that wants you to relax, soak up their fun vibe and dive into those gorgeous plates of food. Not to mention the menu reads like a dream with popular crowd-pleasers like Fish Curry, Chicken Baffad Curry, Smoked Sorportel, Choriz Bacon Pulao and Chicken Cafreal among others.
2. Bar Nibbles To Gorge on
The menu is broken up into a quarter, half and large plates with the quarter plates acting as bar nibbles to help give your drink some company. Spiced channa, fried moong dal and other bite-sized snacks are what one usually thinks of but at O Pedro, they do things a little differently. The treats that help make happy hour a little happier are some creative choices like the mushroom pate, Portuguese style olives, the bean hummus or even the pickled charred peppers. The real hero, however, is their wood fire oven baked sourdough poees ( Goan Bread ) served with a selection of flavoured butter.
3. The Portuguese Are Coming
What is interesting is that the menu is not restricted to just Goan dishes but a lot of Portuguese ones since it has greatly influenced the cuisine as Goa was a Portuguese colony. Some have been tweaked and Chef Floyd has given it his own spin, like the famous Cataplana which is a rice-based dish with tomato and lots of fresh seafood served in a massive vessel called the Cataplana. Here it is served in a bowl minus the rice but still just as delicious. They have also got Portugal's favourite dessert, Pastel de Natas which is almost as good as the ones in Lisbon. You would be hard-pressed to find any sort of Portuguese dishes elsewhere in the city which makes the menu even more appealing.
4. Veggie Loving
Pork Vindalo, Beef chilli, Buttered Prawns and Fried Fish are some of the first things that come to mind when you think of food from Goa. Vegetarians tend to stay away as they are aware this isn't a vegetable-friendly cuisine. Sadly that is only because Catholic cooking is more spoken about. The truth is Goa is home to the Saraswat Brahamins and the vegetarian choice on this menu are plenty and very much Goan. The Saraswat Tondak Curry, Stuffed Charged Cabbage Foogath, Goan Rice Khichadi are some of their popular vegetarian dishes. There are a few Portuguese inspired ones as well like the Buffalo Milk Cheese which is a creamy rice dish studded with pea shoots and radish greens.
5. Bombay Canteen's Lil Bro
The truth is, this is the younger sibling to one of the city's most loved and adored restaurants. The Bombay Canteen, which focuses on highlighting Indian regional food with local seasonal ingredients has amassed such a loyal audience that you know its second avatar is going to be just as quirky, fun and delicious. If you love the Canteen, you are going to love O Pedro.
Currently, the restaurant is only operational for dinner from 5 pm onwards, it will start lunch service soon. It is operational Tuesday - Sunday and remains closed on Mondays.
Address - Unit 2, Ground Floor, Jet Airways- Godrej BKC Building, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East - 400051
A meal for two without alcohol is approx Rs 1600 ++
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.