Last Friday night I spent my evening being wined and dined at Assado, the newest restaurant from Chef Cyrus Todiwala, to celebrate World Goa Day 2014.
World Goa Day, founded in 2000 by Rene Barreto, is an annual event celebrated by Goans all over the world to commemorate the Indian Parliament’s acceptance of ‘Konkani’ as one of the official languages of India. It’s since been seen as a means of celebrating Goan culture, traditions, language, music and cuisine.
The evening was put together by Armando Gonsalves (Goa ForGiving), Rene Baretto (World Goa Day), Chef Cyrus Todiwala OBE (Assado & Café Spice Namaste), and promoted by Milton Rodrigues and Silvestre Machado, both to celebrate World Goa Day, and to showcase the work of Goan charity, Goa ForGiving.
Goa ForGiving, founded by Armando Gonsalves, is a charity aimed at helping bring aid to those less fortunate and to rehabilitate various sites in Goa. The work they do can range from restoration and clean-up projects, to workshops for children, and fundraisers/concerts. The impact they’ve had being truly commendable.
Now, if there are two things that all Goans love, it’s music and food. So naturally the evening involved some live traditional Goan music, as well as some delicious Goan inspired food, provided by Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala and the lovely staff at Assado in London.
Assado opened earlier this year, offering a menu that combines Portuguese, Goan and Brazilian cuisine – something Chef Todiwala’s (BBC Food Personality of the Year 2014) is passionate to share with the British public. Growing up in Mumbai, the Parsee chef has a great connection with neighbouring Goa, and has even spent 21 years working as the Executive Chef in the Taj Group of hotels in Goa. He even speaks the Goan language, Konkani!!! I was impressed.
I was just as impressed with Assado, swelling with Goan pride at being in a restaurant that actually involves Goan cuisine! (You don’t get many of those in the UK!)
The food for the evening was off their ‘Taste of Goa’ menu, specially created for the event and will be available till the 14th July… coinciding with the World Cup.
Like all good meals, it began with soup. A cute little cup of vegetable soup.
Then for my starter, I had the Apa De Porco Com Queijo – a delicious slow roasted pork, cheese, and spices… all wrapped in pastry. I could have eaten another, definitely my kind of starter!
For the main course, I had the Feijoada a la Goa – a spicy stew cooked with chorizo and kidney beans, and served with rice.
Lastly, for dessert I had the Pudim De Brazilia – a steamed cardamom-y caramel pudding, which tasted like a pudding version of Bolinhas – Goan biscuits/cookies made with semolina, coconut and cardamom.
Overall, it was such a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, with both Mr & Mrs Todiwala playing host in such a manner that you felt like you were dining in their own home!
Quote of the night from Mrs. Todiwala: ‘There is a Carvalho on this table, they must be served immediately!’