Rs 2500 for two
12:30pm – 3pm
7pm – 11pm
Closed on Monday
Review and recommendations
One of the country’s most innovative restaurants is tucked away in Benaulim in South Goa. The brains behind Cavatina, Chef Avinash Martins has been ranked as one of India’s top 30 chefs by Culinary Culture Co. in 2022. Cavatina first started out in 2012 with continental and western fare, the mainstay of Martins’ culinary background. The effect of the pandemic on international supply chains forced him to look hard and deep into sourcing new ingredients locally. Despite his Goan heritage, Martins never thought to experiment with Goan cuisines at his restaurant. Thankfully he did, and this adventure has earned him accolade after accolade as he educates Indians and the world about the depth and breadth of Goan cuisine.
Celebrities from within India and around the world covet a table at this small restaurant decorated with various relics of Goan culture – old clay pots Goans cooked in, garrafões used to store feni and a vintage Lambretta parked at the bar. Chef Martins’ creativity also makes its way on to the walls of the restaurant through his artwork.
At Cavatina, Martins translates seasonal produce in breath-taking new ways for diners. It’s not just Saraswat and Catholic cuisines he experiments with but also the foods of the Velip, Gawd and Kumbi tribes indigenous to Goa. Greek spanokopita is reincarnated with red amaranth (the staple Goan tambdi bhaji) and cashew butter; prawn hooman, a Saraswat Hindu prawn curry is served with a teffla-foam and prawns normally fried in rice flour at Goan households are instead crumbed in puffed rice with caper berries. He finds toranja, a tropical Goan citrus fruit in season and tosses it with dried bombil, coriander, mint, tamarind, jaggery, cucumber and onions. He takes Goan sur – reduced coconut sap extract and coconut jaggery to make a cheesecake. He takes moggen, a type of local musk melon, compresses some of it, makes a liqueur out of the rest and serves it with citrus melted brie, lacquered walnuts, and spiced honey. Goans will recognize familiar building blocks of their food – amsol, turmeric leaves, choriz, cashews, port, pumpkin reimagined with new techniques and pairings on their plates. In addition to working at the Oberoi chain for many years, Martins also trained with Thomas Keller, Georges Blanc, and Gary Danko. And boy does it show!
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