-By Odette Mascarenhas
The silver grey tassels of the beaded antique chandeliers move to the whispers of the air-conditioned draft, the beautiful black and white mosaic on the floor shines in the subdued light, and the old black and white photographs on the wall have a different tale to tell. Would old favourites of the past be also served here? A small crescent of golden brown - a rissoise? A gentle touch of the fork and the mixture oozed out, a creamy mixture of prawns with that subtle flavouring of spices. Check the name on the menu - Prawn Pastelihos. Delectably delicious! Try the Grandmas Pan Fried Fresh Fenugreek Potato Cutlet, no wonder they are called appetizers….. Yuummm! Now besides the local favourites of Mushroom Xacutti, Pomfret Rechaido, Goan Prawn Curry, which are definitely recommended for the main course, the chefs have done some research on the stew which was commonly served in Portugal - the Cataplana. A Cataplana is a traditional Portuguese dish and it is also the name of the pan it is cooked in. It's been described as a flying saucer' or even 'a pillow'. It is a unique Algarve culinary device. Casa Sarita chefs have with a lot of research created the vessel: a two-part, domed pan made of hammered copper, and lined with tin. With a rounded bottom similar to that of a wok, the vessel is used on the stovetop as well as can be brought onto the table. The vessel then arrives on the table steaming hot. The choice can be of seafood or a lamb cataplana. This unique invention of the Portuguese has always been important in their diet. It will be yours too once you have tried it with crusty local bread - your spirits will definitely be upbeat at the Casa Sarita.
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