In this restaurant named after the fact that you ‘walk’ right in and ‘roll’ back out? Or could it be the fact that the work cooking and the various rolls listed on the menu can just stir fry your senses? Whatever the reason Alwyn Mascarenhas, Asheen Lobo and Joe Dias (AAJ) has conceptualized a dream in which you would want to spend more time that you bargained for. Start with the venue – lush greenery, lapping water of the Nerul creek, and the stillness of the chirp or buzz of the birds and bees. Enter into a warm cozy place steeped in history…an underground spring where legends abound, and a décor warm and elegant with cushioned cane chairs, a bar well stocked with Joe’s trendiest mixes and an open kitchen where the chef’s silently go about stir frying your senses. No pun on the word, the sheer beauty…even at night the mystical glow of the Candolim church way out in the distance will create its very own magic. The Dream continues…it starts with the menu.
Order your drink as you browse into the variety of authentic as well as popular preparations. The waiter places a complimentary ‘Amuse Bouche’ in front of you. A platter consisting of leaves, fried peanuts, onions, bird’s eye chillies, crispy onions, tamarind juice, shaved coconut and lime…not to forget the crunch feel of raw onions. The starters…would rate Honey-glazed Pot Roast Pork Ribs (Thai) with its ginger plum sauce as first on the list. It is closely followed by the Thai Garlic-Peppered Prawns – deep fried prawns tossed in garlic, black pepper and colourful bell peppers. The other popular favourites are the Vietnamese Summer Roll (crunchy juliennes of cucumber, carrots, silken tofu and glass noodles served with noac cham sauce). Perhaps the Beef or Pork Satay Indonesian style…. For mains one has a choice of curries or stir fry. A gung-horecommendation would be the Redang Curry with beef (Malaysian).
The Northern Thailand Khao Sol served here is quite a taste tickler. Popular favourites like the Sumatra Fish Curry and the Ceylon Spicy Red curry also feature on the menu as are the popular Bamee Goreng (Indonesian), and the Char Kway Tiao from Malaysia – the hawker stall favourite flat noodles with seafood. Menu balance is perfect, preparations tasty and well presented with right service standards. The Stewed Peach with coconut sticky rice (the flavour of anise and cinnamon is a delight to the preparation.
The fried ice cream with its caramel another recommendation although they could perhaps tome down the overpowering crumbling of fresh breadcrumbs and increase the cornflake quotient. This place is a vegetarian’s delight as AAJ confirms that all curries can be tossed with exotic vegetables too. Again on the minus perhaps attention to small details like the monsoon weather which can play havoc with the crispy wheat noodles in the Thai Khao Soi tends to make them soggy. But try as one might it is very difficult to fault their dream. Allwyn, Asheen and Joe (AAJ) have got their act together…hope this dream run continues for the years to come.
Sinquerim, Candolim, Goa