Updated about 4hrs ago
Hospitaliano...that is the purpose at Little Italy. This family restaurant with its classical white pillars focus on providing a delightful Italian experience. Fresh simple Italian food complemented with a glass of wine served in a comfortable home like Italian candle light setting. Start with the Spinach Salsa, the creamy spinach sauce with the thin crispy toast. With a preparation like this one would wonder if the salsa originated here. Groovy taste! Or perhaps order the Funghi Alla Trapanese. It's the roasted mushrooms doing trapeze acrobats with garlic, lemon parsley and olive oil. Served with warm farmers bread. For the mains try the Lasagne Alla Gypsy. It's a caravan of layers of homemade pasta, béchamel sauce, tomato sauce, mozzarella, pecorino cheese, mushrooms and aubergine baked in the oven. Did you believe that only gypsies travelled in with bag and baggage? The Lasagne does too. Or go light with the Sicilia Pizza. The thick based pizza with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese mushrooms, garlic pickled onions, sundried tomatoes and fresh basil all marinated in chilly sauce. Spiced to perfection. End the meal with Tiramisu, the homemade classic sponge cake soaked in rum and coffee, with a vanilla cream custard, sprinkled with chocolate powder. Or get bombed with the Chocolate Bomb. Its muddy, its malted, its fantasy chocolate served with vanilla ice cream. In the by lanes of Calangute away from the madding crowd, you will be transported to Italy…correction a 'Little Italy'.
Updated this week
A ‘Persian ’ dining experience
Ever thought of taking a ride on the ‘flying’ culinary carpet? To indulge in those flights of fantasy there is a new cuisine in town….Anita and Sam Khoroshahi had spent a year researching the ‘authentic’ tastes of the famed cuisine of old Persia. The menu has a heady mix of home styled preparations ‘unique’ to the local taste buds.
In the bye lanes of Candolim, a courtyard with simple seating and tables draped with red tablecloths. Walk through the doorway…a Farsi saying on humanity adorns the wall. Three lamps light the entrance. Walk into a small room with ‘takht’ – Diwan seating with plenty of cushions..sit cross legged. A painting on the wall will show you dining as in the days of yore. You can opt for it….your experience is one not to be forgotten.
It is important to know how to order the food. Starts with the dough…emphasize the ‘gh’. It’s a pleasant curd styled drink flavored with gul mohamadi…a dry flower from Persia. Refreshing! Under the list of starters we have Kashka Badmjan (a roasted eggplant dip) adjusts to the local palate beautifully. The Masto Khiar – a dip with ingredients like Kakouti and gul…yes all sourced from Iran. Have them with a Taftoon (Naan Iranian style) or the latter is a great accompaniment with the kebabs as well as the Tahchin e Goosht. We are given to understand that a generous helping of the Masto Khiar induces happiness in ones being. So if you plan to combine the starters and the main course then order the Masto Khiar, Shirazi salad named after the city of Shiraz, and Kabab Soltani which has two styles of grilled meat…the Koobidah (minced meat on a skewer) and barg which means leaf (thin meat filet gently threaded on a skewer and grilled). Opt for the Kabab roli (stuffed with carrot and capsicum). This is a filet of chicken breast marinated with saffron and mayo and served with ‘Torshi’ an Iranian pickle. Succulent!
Plus and Minus
The preparations have a ‘unique’ flavor as most are seasoned with authentic herbs. Talk to the proprietors and ask them to show you the herbs…the zereshk (sourish dry fruit) used in pulao, the kakouti which the Iranians use for pizza-its an interesting study. They will also share the facts about dining Iranian style. The Khagineh (pancakes soaked in saffron syrup) is a great dessert…the others have to have ones taste buds developed for this style….especially the Sholezard which is an Iranian styled Phirni. Still in the process of building up the decor….Cafe Tehran leaves an indelible mark on your palate. It’s an experience that keeps you floating for a long time to come.
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