-By Odette Mascarenhas
Nostalgic memories of the old-world charm, of the carefully selected Goan and Portuguese flavours - all this in Nostalgia. In a beautifully preserved old Goan house in the tranquil, slow-paced village of Raia, Margarida Tavora e Costa runs this boutique restaurant of traditional Goan Portuguese cuisine, started by her husband Chef Fernando da Costa. Authentically preserved, it boasts of their personal collection of artefacts - musical instruments, old kitchen utensils which were used in Goan kitchens, glass bharnees (jars)… Fernando was a chef par excellence and his passion for food still bears mute testimony in the choice of preparations listed on the menu. Take simple starters like the Rissois de Camarao (prawns), the Ox Tongue Salted, Kurkurit Goan Sausages, Mini Stuffed Squids - the spices for each dish differs in taste and preparation. For the mains, you have a choice of the masala stuffed in Goa's 'available in every home' fish - red, green or tamarind masala. If you want the flavour of the Goa of the pre-Portuguese era, try the Mackerel Uddamethi - the coarsely ground masala in the preparations works its own magic. The fare also has preparations that normally grace the Sunday-lunch dining table. The Beef Rolado, Pork Admas, Suckling Cabidela, Beef Crumb Chops - not very regularly found in other restaurants with the hallmark of authenticity. And vegetarians! Do not despair. Over 20 varieties of local spices are mixed to perfection to give you a taste of Goa - Alsandeachem Tonak, Khatkatem, Fugado, Bendeamchi Rosachi Kodi… The traditional desserts are also listed - Bolo Sans Rival, Alle Belle (coconut and jaggery encased in pancakes), the traditional Bebinca. End the repast with the touch of Portuguese Goa with an 'Obrigado' for a meal well done. Obrigado to Fernando's Nostalgia - it is "thank you" for recalling the past.
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