Goa Indian Farm Kitchen
Goa Indian Farm Kitchen is the latest addition to the burgeoning dining hub at Bayview and Sheppard, which has already seen great additions in 2018 like Parcheggio and Beauty BBQ open up this year. This new concept comes to us from restaurateur Hemant Bhagwani, who is no stranger to the Toronto dining scene — his other ventures include Indian Street Food Co., Amaya Express, and most recently Kolkata Club and healthy eating concept Good Karma at Fairview Mall.
It took Bhagwani three years to finally decide to open a restaurant in Bayview Village. “I didn’t know if an Indian restaurant would work here,” he says. “But I think I made a very good decision.”
The cuisine is based on the Portuguese and coastal Indian flavours that he encountered in Goa, India, a region that was colonized by the Portuguese for hundreds of years. To research the menu, Bhagwani made trips to Goa to learn from local cooks. He also made a visit to Lisbon and tried some restaurants that serve Indian food in Portugal. “I think it is my responsibility as an Indian chef today to take it to the next level,” explains Bhagwani.
The menu, which uses farm fresh ingredients from Ontario farmers, is divided up into four courses. Diners can order a la carte, or they can indulge in 3-course a tasting menu ($29 lunch, $49 dinner), which is, of course, the best way to experience as many flavours as possible. Splurge to add wine or whisky pairings ($18 lunch, $39 dinner) or to add an indulgent dessert course. With 48-hour’s notice, Goa Indian Farm Kitchen's menu can be made either vegan or gluten free.
Fans of Amaya may remember their popular ‘naanini’ (or naan panini). The sandwich has found a home on this menu, this time in the form of a pulled short ribs naan sandwich ($16) with vindaloo sauce, white cheddar and brassica.
The colourful roasted organic eggplant is drizzled with saffron yoghurt studded with bright pomegranate seeds and pine nuts ($12).
A compact grilled cheese sandwich stuffed with rich fromage le Napoleon and crème de truffle is served with a hearty tomato soup that has a spicy kick to it. ($16)
If you’re going to get just one thing from Goa Indian Farm Kitchen's menu, make sure its the chicken & chantrelle ($18). This elevated butter chicken is It’s at once sweet and tangy, spicy and smooth. The addition of roasted golden chanterelle mushrooms is a nice touch, adding a hint of umami and another layer of texture to the dish. Sop every last drop up with plenty of naan, you won’t regret it.
For dessert, try the rose jalebi served on a smear of verdant pistachio ($12). The crunchy jalebi is a nice contrast to the soft rabdi (a chilled dessert made from condensed milk).
By Karen Stevens
Published: December 26, 2018