Sunday 17 December 2017

“O Pedro is a “Happy Place” - Amit Naik, Restaurant Manager

O Pedro, BKC    4.5/5
Address: Unit No. 2, Plot No. C-68, Jet Airways - Godrej BKC , Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra (E), Mumbai - 400 051
Specialty:  Goan and Portuguese cuisine
Type of Restaurant: All day bar and restaurant 
The details above are from the restaurant/their website and are subject to change at their discretion
Price Range: 2000/- for two, exclusive of Drinks and applicable taxes and charges. They levy a 10% service charge
The best way to describe this restaurant would be to call it a “happy place” While the décor takes you back in time, the food is a delightful combination of old Goan - Portuguese recipes and contemporary flourishes and flavor combinations. This restaurant appears to be a homecoming of sorts for Head Chef and Top Chef Masters winner, Floyd Cardoz. His childhood food memories, growing up in a Goan family, are more than evident in the food. After the success of The Bombay Canteen, he has indeed delivered a home run.
The arched ceilings, wicker chairs, blue and white azulejos tiles and a swinging playlist, create a charming old world feel, making it difficult to believe that you’re in the glass and concrete business district of BKC. The lights are timed to dim as the evening proceeds, taking the mood from an upbeat party to a cheerful dinner with friends and family.
Life’s Good, but its not perfect
O Pedro’s menu brings forth meals from the Catholic, Saraswat and Portuguese kitchens. The common element is the attention to detail, which makes every dish a delight. They have Tapas-style small plates, allowing you to try more, along with the larger plates and ‘thalis’ at lunchtime.
Contrary to popular perception of Goan – Portuguese food, vegetarians have plenty to choose from. They also have a separate all vegetarian menu.
If you are not a fan of high volumes and like to hear yourself think as you eat, you may want to avoid weekend dinner, or carry a pair of ear buds. The place tends to get jam-packed and rather loud. But with the food and drinks flowing, the conversations are bound to.
Starters or what they call quarter plates: Mornings in Goan homes are ushered in with the tinkling bell of the ‘poee-walla’s’ cycle. The poee is the Goan Sourdough; served with butters in 4 flavors. You can choose to have them individually or go for all 4. Vegetarian options are ‘balchao’ and black pepper cheese. The non-vegetarian options are the pork rosemary and chorizo. Much to our surprise, we preferred the veg ones. They are proud of their poee, and rightly so. The best we have eaten, outside of Goa.
Crispy Pork Chicharones Ambotik is pork crackling sprinkled with a Goan spicy sour masala mix. It’s a small portion and is the perfect bar snack.
Aunty Castro’s fish mousse is a contemporary twist on the very traditional Portuguese sardines in tomato and olive oil. Serving it in a sardine tin is a nice touch. The rich creamy texture gives it an almost foie gras like feel.
Entrees or what they call Half plates: The Red snapper Poke is a cured fish dish, akin to a ceviche, a tartare or a carpaccio. The traditional Hawaain Ahi poke is made with tuna. It is served in chilled coconut milk seasoned with raw mango bits and chilly. Served in a coconut shell, and topped with ‘kurmura’ or rice crispies for texture, this is a dish we’d go back for.
Veal Tongue Prosciutto is cured tongue served with a mustard aioli and potato sallies(matchsticks). The paper thin slices of veal tongue take us back to Italy. Although, prosciutto is Italian for ham. The dish is plated in layers and needs to be mixed , but once you do, it’ll be gone in a minute.
Mains or Full plates : The Feijoada is a traditional Portuguese/Brazilian stew made with black beans and beef or pork. It is served here with Goan pink beans and Duck done two ways. We preferred the crispy skin and perfectly pink duck breast to the slow cooked leg. Having said that, both work well with the stew.
Dessert: The Portuguese Doughnuts are perfectly fried little dough balls dusted with sugar and cinnamon comes with 3 sauces: salted caramel with Goan Jaggery, dark chocolate with hazelnut and lemon cream.  We could not get enough of the salted caramel and the lemon cream.
Replicating the Goan alcohol culture was hard without the classic local brews like ‘feni’. Not to be deterred, they have created their own brews by infusing vodka with cashew and rum with ‘kokum’ (a souring agent). Their Cashew-In-Spirit is an ode to Goan home brews, while Finding Funny plays on the traditional way of cutting the pungent smell of ‘feni’ with salt.
Their Coconut Cream ale (Pedro’s Naariyal Paani) is a craft
beer which is light and with just the slightest hint of coconut, is delightful. It feels like having beer in a coconut shell.
The welcome drink, the Meri tai, which is their take on Mai-tai is served in traditional tiny port wine glasses and leaves you wanting more.
They have Portuguese wines as well: red, white and bubbly. Served as glasses or whole bottles. Not to be missed. They also have house wines.
Service wise, they are eager to please, and attentive, even if the place is packed. 
Insider tips Do ask for assistance on what to order. The servers are eager to please and super helpful. Or just put your finger on something and order it. The odds are its good.
Value for money. My wallet and tummy, both can’t wait to go back.
What to wear Just about anything, from a Hawaiian shirt to an evening gown. Everyone’s too busy having a good time to notice.

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