There are several myths associated with dining at a five star property – first is definitely the price; secondly, the worry that it’s going to be too fancy and you’re going to feel out of place; thirdly, the worry that the food will be out of your understanding. I recently happened to dine at Vivanta by Taj in Panaji, and realised that the able team along with their Executive Sous Chef Karan Kohli has worked on bursting these myths, by giving you a fabulous dining restaurant – sans all the worries.
Yup! Dining at Taj just got affordable. The multi-cuisine restaurant Latitude – set inside Vivanta by Taj in the heart of Panaji city takes you on a culinary journey around the world. From rare Indian delicacies to exotic cuisines from all over the world with a local twist, you’re in for a surprise at Latitude. The menu is varied, but limited; which lets you pick from among the several delicacies, without getting confused about what to order. But the best thing is, they have something to suit every palate.
For example, their Persian Lamb Koobideh @ Rs 500/- – spiced lamb minced skewers served on flat bread and served with a saffron dip. The chefs at Vivanta by Taj has given their twist to these popular kabobs from Iran – which are usually grilled over hot coals and is served in fancy restaurants and clubs, as well as in the little shacks scattered in any given recreation park.
|Persian Lamb Koobideh|
They have tried to retain the originality of the dish by serving the koobideh with the Iranian flatbread and tomato and lemon wedges. It can easily be rolled into a wrap or devoured as a kebab, but either ways, it’s absolutely delicious. The mincemeat is as tender as it can get – probably ground thinner than usual and grilled to perfection. This is one of their signatures and definitely recommended.
Or how about some Indo-Malaysian soup? They have the Curry-Mee soup @ Rs 225/- which is loaded with bean sprouts and noodles, and served with boiled egg. It’s creamy and has a strong curry leaves flavour. They even have a few interesting salads to pick from if you’re the health conscious type.
|Mexican Chicken Strips|
If not, settle for some Mexican Chicken Strips @ Rs 400/-, served with fries and house made spicy smoked dip. The chicken tenders are soaked in yogurt for 36 hours, generously coated with corn chip before cooking them until tender. What I loved about the dish is, it’s crunchy on the outside and succulent on the inside; and when paired with the house dips - sour cream, chipotle sauce and spicy salsa, it’s yumm.
|Mexican Chicken Strips|
For the mains, we tried the Stringoli Pasta with Arrabbiata Sauce @ Rs 375/-. What fascinated me about this pasta was, it was freshly rolled and freshly blanched before preparation. The arrabbiata sauce – made from garlic, tomatoes, and dried red chili peppers cooked in olive oil, added the necessary spice suited for our Indian palate. Served with house made garlic bread, the pasta made for a great dish.
|Stringoli Pasta with Arrabbiata Sauce|
Another signature at Latitude is their Cheese Balchao Naan @ Rs 150/-. How we love our cheese garlic naan and how much more do we love our prawn balchao? The team at Vivanta by Taj has combined the two loves and stuffed the regular cheese naan with balchao masala to make this Goan version of the Indian favourite, and served it with homemade pickled onion.
|Cheese Balchao Naan|
The dessert menu at Vivanta by Taj is so impressive. I loved how they’ve given their own touch to the classics. For example the Coconut Rasmalai @ Rs 225/-. The Bengali claasic in this case is entirely made out of coconut milk. The spongy milk patty is soaked in coconut milk and served with thin slices of coconut. You could also try the Goan dessert platter or the homemade kulfi falooda.
We tried the Old Monk Mousse @ Rs 250/-. It looked so tempting and was equally delicious. The rum based mousse was served with cookie crumble and pastry cream (and plated so well). The mousse was light and creamy and went really well with the cookie crumble. Such a great end to a hearty meal. Do let me know your thoughts if you happen to dine at Latitude, Vivanta by Taj, Panaji.
|Old Monk Mousse|
Related post: Dinner at Cluck Tales, Panaji