All this world’s a plate

March 31, 2016

This post is a part of the What’s On My Plate series

Picture: Fernando Monte da Silva

A gorgeous foie gras that melts in one's mouth

 

 

One day, late in January, I received a cryptic little message from a friend. For the sake of (not so effective) anonymity, let’s call him Mr NObody. In his text, I just received a few, almost dark and cautionary words of what seemed to be an invitation to dinner. “Keep yourself free on March 7,” it said. Yes, in my mind it seemed like one of those, ‘won’t you walk down this dark alley with me’, type of invitations. But he’s an adventurous sort and so I went along with it. The days rapidly trickled down, and the aforementioned date was almost upon us, when I received a confirmation as to what the venue of choice was: Koi. For those who are not in the know, Koi is where fine dining and Asian cuisine meet, in a very chic setting. It’s like trying to chat up udon noodles in a black cocktail dress by a martini bar. OK, that sounds a little strange, but I assume that you get the gist of what I’m trying to put forth here.

 

Upon our arrival, our gracious host went on to explain that we were the guinea pigs (I love that role) for the latest concept that has been put forth by the team at Koi; comprising the ever-so-lovely Shefali Gandhi Singh and (though not as lovely, but certainly effusive) Aziz Lalani. This concept is none other than that of a supper theatre, a notion that has all but evaded Goa for far too long. As we ambled across to the eight-seater teppanyaki counter housed in the restaurant’s outdoor space, we were briefed further, and enlightened about the fact that the experimental menu that had been crafted for our evening there included a cocktail with every course, which infused one ingredient from every dish it accompanied.

 

 

Picture: Fernando Monte da Silva

A bowl of piping-hot Japanese Miso soup

 

 

The beauty of any sit down meal is always the level of interaction between all parties at the table. When seated at the teppanyaki counter, things go up a notch, because the chefs cooking right in front of you only adds to the already heightened levels of drama.

 

The first thing that made its way to us from across the pass was a conventional ‘Japanese Miso Soup’. I am, personally, a huge fan of miso, so for me the evening was already off to a great start. I think that on a cooler evening, this would be even better, as a flavourful miso always has that ‘warming you from within’ vibe which hits the spot when it’s chilly. In this given case, the radiating warmth of the teppanyaki counter was combated by the chilled ‘Sparkling Cosmopolitan’. The common factor, you ask? The omnipresence of wine in the dishes, I respond.

 

 

Picture: Fernando Monte da Silva

The Smoky Raw Mango Margarita, which has a chilli burnt into the drink itself

 

 

The next course was salad, and a rapid holiday to Thailand to boot. The ‘Larbgai’, which contains minced chicken, Birdseye chillies and thoroughly browned rice, packs a punch that tickles the back of your throat, and absolutely requires the Pan Asian Mojito that is paired with it, as the common ingredients of mint and basil act as relieving coolers to the salad’s spice.

 

In what may well have been my favourite course of the evening, I was handed an absolutely gorgeous ‘Duck Foie Gras’. Yes, I know what you’re thinking; foie gras on an Asian menu is sacrilege. I was, to be fair, pretty sceptical myself; but I think back to my father’s advice when he said, “You can dance any style to any kind of music, as long as you know how to stick to the beat.” In similar vein, as long as your chefs are staying true to the flavour of the core ingredient, your dish will be great. Koi delivered once more, and I find myself longing for some more, just thinking about it.

 

The pairings which aimed to amaze, and nailed their brief included the ‘Salmon Nigiri’ served with a ‘Wasabi Bloody Mary’, the ‘Shaking Beef’ with its partner – the ‘Nutmeg Sangria’, the ‘Five Spice Tiger Prawns’ served with a ‘Smoky Raw Mango Margarita’ (my second favourite course of the evening), and an assorted plate for the main course, which contained ‘Smokey Dry Chilli Chicken’, ‘Red Snapper in Thai Herb Sauce’, ‘Schezwan Vegetable Fried Rice’ and ‘Udon Noodles’ which was paired with a ‘Botanical Gin’.

 

 

Picture: Fernando Monte da Silva

The sauce for the crêpe, in the process of being flambéed

 

 

The evening ended with a spectacular course of ‘Crêpe Suzette Mandari’, with a side of a scoop of litchi ice cream. Partnering this was an extremely indulgent Chocolate Martini, doused with Sambuca, carrying its strong tones of aniseed. Crêpe Suzette is one of my favourite desserts, enough said.

 

This entire tale sounds like a dinner that was intimate in nature, and the regular reader may question how it is of interest to him/her. Long story short, we were the guinea pigs for your benefit (and ours too, *burp*); the supper theatre concept passes muster, and how. The entirely customisable concept can be availed of by anyone who calls in within a 4-hour window of dinner service, with a number ranging from 2-8 people. So if all of the above sounded interesting to you, I would suggest that you pick up your phone, and get your table booked now.

 

 

Fernando's Findings

#1
Koi is intriguing even on a regular day, especially as there aren't too many Asian-themed restaurants in Goa, whose focus is on a more up-market experience.

#2
The Supper Theatre is an experience in itself, but bear in mind that the management needs time in order to customise orders. As such, it cannot be done on a whim. Numbers range from 2-8 people.

#3
The average cost of a Supper Theatre dinner will vary on the basis of the fact that every meal is made in accordance with the diners' preferences in mind.

 

 

How to get there

The address

MDR 10, Gauravaddo, Arpora, Calangute, Goa 403515

The directions

 

 

 

Food is a huge part of any culture and for me, chancing upon a good meal is synonymous with having a great day. The What’s On My Plate series of posts is where I discuss food, great places to eat, and anything gastronomically moving. This could be anything from a great place to eat, to an obscure kind of food, to an origin story. After all, there is no love like the love of eating.

 

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#1 

 

The views here are completely my own, and may not reflect those of any other members of the human population, which is why it is 'my blog'.

 

 

 

#2

 

I will always do my best to not be offensive, but sometimes, just sometimes, there are things that annoy me. So if I'm writing about one of them (and if anyone involved is reading this), I apologise for any hurt sentiments in advance.

 

 

 

#3

 

Try not to be overly sensitive and take offense to things like beef, bikinis, sex scenes in movies, Donald Trump's inability to be an effective president and so on. The world is happier with unicorns in it.

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© 2015 by Fernando Monte da Silva