Cluck Tales is the new all-day dining restaurant owned by Edwin Menezes and Cedric Vaz, headed by the ever loving Chef Manjula De Cruz. Chef Manjula is hard to miss with her signature red framed spectacles, chef coat and her light heartedness.
On a rainy day, when your mood is already low because of the cloudy sky and gloomy weather, there is not a better place to be than in the midst of Chef Manjula’s kitchen. The succulent food and her warm hospitality is the best thing you could ask for at any time.
She was born and raised in Velim, in South Goa. She left to start off her career in Mumbai with the Taj Group of Hotels before moving to the United Kingdom. After spending almost a quarter of a century in the UK she decided to move back home to Goa.
Manjula joined Cluck Tales as the head chef. With her expertise and love for the kitchen along with her embracing nature, she seems like the best person to take this place forward.
The moment you enter the restaurant, the aroma of herbs and spices getting cooked up in the kitchen and the sight of the freshly made desserts gets the tummy growling and the mouth salivating.
As the name suggests, the key offering at Cluck tales is the chicken chunks cooked to perfection, but it is the method of how they cook their chicken which has caught the eyes of many. They use lava stones, which offers a great medium of cooking the chicken.
The lava stone allows the heat to penetrate the food better, requires minimum oil for cooking and absorbs the unhealthy soot. This helps the meat become healthier and more succulent. The stones are mainly imported from Malaysia.
Cluck Tales offers a variety of freshly baked bread, which includes Foccacia, Ciabatta, Baguettes and more. The bread is served with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. The bread when sold is wrapped in paper to preserve the freshness which plastic otherwise takes away. Cluck tales does not compromise on their food; the portions they serve are quite decent. I recommend that you start off with some Chicken Chowder, Goan inspired mini chicken chop, Ciabatta toasts with red pepper hummus or some Chicken Empanadas.
For the main course one can order either a meal which comes with a side, a dip and an aerated drink or just the chicken. I personally suggest you try the whole meal. The chicken is freshly marinated for 30 hours before being put onto the stone. The choice of marinade is up to you. Flavours like Fresh Herb Palm Vinegar, Balsamic & Scallion, Moroccan Harissa, Lahsooni Chicken, Pineapple & Coriander or the Chefs special are available to taste. It’s worth noting that the chef’s special changes every day and sometimes even twice a day!
There are a variety of sides you could choose from. Some of which are the Apple Slaw, Buttered Corn, Baked Vegetables and Spiced Crushed Potato. Not forgetting the popular dips. The 3 favorites being the Jalapeno Jam, Guacamole and the Smoked Garlic Aioli.
The Burgers and Gyros are hugely popular too. The dough is flavored with Cocoa and dark Soy sauce to give it a distinct look and flavor, something you usually wouldn’t find elsewhere.
A kids meal is also available for the kiddies or the small eaters.
Desserts are the most important part of any meal and Chef Manjula surely knows the trick to get her customers coming back for more. The desserts are to die for. The Pasteis de Nata, a Portuguese style egg-custard tart is a must try for everyone. The origin of this delicious sweet treat Pastéis de Nata dates back to the 18th century when it was created by monks at a monastery in Lisbon, Portugal. Other desserts include Fresh Fruit Tartlets, Almond Mandorella, a deep rich Baked Chocolate Tart and Chocolate Custard Éclairs.
Chef Manjula strives for perfection which can be seen in the way the restaurant is running. Even the kitchen which can be seen from the restaurant floor is spotlessly clean.
The next time you’re in Panjim, do not forget to drop by and check out what Chef Manjula and her team has to offer you! A smile from her is just the start of it.