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Late night revelry in Goa and you know that there is some place you need to get over that throbbing hangover. Don’t hesitate ever to make way to Lila Café. A quaint little café, picturesquely situated on the banks of the Baga River, this café will simply wow you with it’s fresh breads, croissants, jams and omelets.

Facing The Baga River

The best part is the place is so laid back with that delicious smell of hot bakes bread wafting through the air, as you relax on one of those wicker chairs facing the Baga River to enjoy your breakfast. The white muslin drapes are easy on the eyes and the food delectable for it to be considered one of the best bakeries in North Goa.

Lila Cafe Menu

Lila Café is run by a German couple since the past many years and now have moved to a new location a few meters down from where they originally were. From the moment you take a seat, breathe and soak in the relaxing ambiance, to being handed the menu card which looks more like a tabloid, to being served the fresh juices and smoothies.

Bacon Omelette

It’s all an experience to have been enjoyed. Breakfast, Lunch or High Teas, Lila Café is the place to be. So this food extravaganza for any loved foodie and you sure are happy to walk out delighted. Don’t forget to finish off with a Apple Pie, some of the best we ever had, served with fresh whipped cream.

Rosti

Note: Closed during the monsoons from June to Sept. and on Tuesdays. They also do not accept Credit Cards.

German Bread

Contact Information:
Lila Café,
Near Baga-River,
Arpora-Baga, Bardez,
Goa,

Phone: +91 (0) 832 – 2914687 or Cliff @ 9822150533
Email: lilacafe@sify.com
Web: http://www.lilacafegoa.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lilacafegoa
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For a city where every resident, from all walks of life thrive on one dish and can have it for all breakfast, lunch and dinner, it is difficult to argue as to where do you get the best Dahibara Aloodum. Every resident has his/her own personal favorite. It might be the one in his street, the street where his/her crush lives, right outside the school/college they’re studying at or maybe 15 kms away so that he can make the ride simply to enjoy a dish of awesomeness.

Dahibara

Cuttack is one hell of a labyrinth for the people who aren’t accustomed to it’s lanes. If you are a newbie around and have pushed your car into one of those narrow lanes, chances are you would have already caused a roadblock with every one trying to cut through or giving you the hand signal to help you drive through the narrow roads. But the bonding of every Cuttackian has happened over a plate of Dahibara Aloodum. The love for it encompasses any other food item they would have ever had and they might just be born with the gene to already love it by default.

Spicy Aloodum

So what is it about this simple dish that has a 1000-year old city crazy about it and licking their fingers? The bara’s are soaked and left in Dahi so that all the marinating seeps into the bara’s making it a lot softer and flavorful. And add to it the Aloo Dum and Guguni piping hot with the garnishing of sev, pudina and coriander and you have got one hell of a dish licking your fingers.

Kanika Chaaka Dahibara

The numerous Dahibarawalas can be found in plenty of spots in the 52 streets, 53 lanes city. Driving to houses in cycles, setting up stalls under trees and parking their lot outside of popular places, it’d be hard not finding one every 100 metres away.

The most famous ones:

  1. Raghu Dahibara – In Bidanasi, this guy has been around for so long that people even travel from other cities all the way to have his yet. He doesn’t believe in the concept of spoons, so better be licking the spiciness off your fingers and then asking for a sweet peda to douse that spiciness off your tongue
  2. Kanika Chaaka Petrol Pump: Has since shifted base to a shop adjacent instead of opposite and you can follow the crowd to his stall
  3. Deula Sahi: One of the few places where the mitha Dahibara is as good as the savory one. Personal favorite and swear by the guguni
  4. Ishuwar and Other ones outside Barabati Stadium: Used to be good and still attract the crowds though have lost some of the sheen in my opinion

The Various Stalls Outside Barabati Stadium

So after having some of the lip-smacking Dahibara Aloodum in the city, don’t forget to ask to fill up on some of the dahi to drink up, that’s your mocktail alongside and a handful of sev to go about then after.

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The first thing which comes to mind when mentioning Vietnamese cuisine is Phở. It is one simple dish which has an entire country’s food resting on its slender shoulders. When doing a trip through the landscape of Vietnam, from the North to the South, we had the opportunity to relish the history behind this simple dish and about the nation which is so crazy about it.

The First Impressions and Origins:-

The streets of Hanoi are lined from one end to the other with vendors selling Phở. The morning breakfast is incomplete without it and if you aren’t the early riser, you may as well miss the early bowl of fresh Phở. So whether pronouncing it fuh, fur, fuuhh, this is one dish which is going to leave you with a lasting impression on your Vietnam trip. And I sure had to practice and get my pronunciations right so as not to be be stopped on the street and be corrected by a local.

Hanoi Street Food

The origins of this humble dish are quite interesting. Some say that the French Officer’s lover was asked to prepare a pot-au-feu, the classic French beef stew and she couldn’t get her flavors right and use the local spices and ‘feu’ and behold the Vietnamese Dish was born.

Contrary to what I thought, Phở actually refers to the noodles and not the soup. The Northern Vietnam version i.e. Hanoi from where the dish originated usually uses the flat rice noodles and lot less ingredients than their counterparts in the South. The other necessary terms to know are the (beef) and (Chicken) so you know correctly if to order the phở bò (beef) or phở gà (chicken).

Pho Ga 1

Ingredients and Variations:-

When cruising through the streets of Hanoi, a lot of people drive their bikes right into the shops, ordering themselves a bowl and slurping it right on their bikes as they go about their day. The best way to judge Phở is by its broth. The broth should be clear and should pack a lot of flavor with the Cinnamon, Star Anise, Cloves, Cardamom and fennel, charred onions and ginger being the most essential spices. The rice noodles follow in the broth after that.

Next comes the meat. Usually in phở gà an entire chicken in used but for the phở bò the broth is usually done by simmering either the bones, oxtail or flank with the meat in the Phở when served, very minimal. When served Phở, you get a lot of herbs for garnishes on the side, but an insider secret don’t immediately go for the garnishes and actually sip the broth before messing with the dish. The herbs were usually some very interesting ones which we had not had before like the sawgrass, a quite prickly, subtly bitter and tangy at the same time. The others were the Cilantro, Culantro, Scallions, Basil, and Thai Chilies for that adding of extra spiciness and Bean Sprouts to round off that crunchiness to the Phở with a wedge of lime to provide the tangy taste. The other sauces to round off a bowl of Phở is with Hoisin, Sriracha or Vinegar which shall be provided.

Pho Ca (Fish Pho)

Is there a way to eat Phở?

There is no better way to eating Phở than being messy and it was a great learning experience. Armed with the chopsticks in one hand and soup spoon in the other, the best way is to sip the broth first as you work your way with the noodles with the chopsticks. I was told it’s actually polite to slurp as deliciously as you like with your mouth close to the bowl, so that all the aroma hits you right through.

Important Pointers:

  1. The first lesson from a local was to control the urge to splatter my Phở with the sauces and keep it a minimal and then dash it the flavors accordingly to the taste. Phở is best when sticking to its minimalistic flavors.
  2. The next best thing was I could actually slurp and lick the end of the bowl without anyone so much as giving me the stares. In fact it is considered polite to do that and compliments the chef.
  3. A Phở is nothing without its broth, its entire life and soul. So the best is to give the Phở its necessary due before messing with its basic flavors.

Fresh Pho

A dish so simple and a dish packing in it so much exquisiteness in flavor, it definitely holds true to have been redefining Vietnamese Cuisine. Unless you’ve done your research, probably the first dish out of your mouth when mentioning Vietnam would be Phở and yes it is so much worth when had first-hand. Phở has gone global and so has its humble origins. There are a lot more restaurants serving this spectacular dish with Phở 24, being most notable among them, but the best Phở is served by the family run establishments along the streets of Hanoi.

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