Sunday, May 18, 2008


There was a time, when family outings, coupled with a lunch were considered sacrosanct. Weekdays were considered ‘working days,’, while Sundays were holidays.
The family would then pile into the Sedan, and everyone would venture into the countryside for a breath of fresh air, and then pamper their taste buds in a family restaurant.

But with most restaurants, focusing on ‘specialty’ cuisine, where does the family go? Especially when Papa wants to have his ‘fish curry rice’, Mama wants a figure retaining grill, Bertha wants Chinese, while Michael wants Pasta.

Nestled in Siridao, right off the Bambolim highway, Anthony Vales, the proprietor of ‘Mi Casa’ has found the solution. A family run restaurant and Bar, which states ‘where cooking and baking is an art.’

A fresh and arty restaurant, in shades of lemon and purple, with straight backed chairs and patchwork designed cushions, it is a place where children can run around, and designed lawns where the maid can roll out the pram to make Susie stop crying.

The menu, besides having an extensive wine and spirit list….Papa is sure to be happy about that, it has a wide varied selection. Starters like Tempting devils, a unique preparation of minced chicken rolled in bacon served with a tangy lemon sauce; and Jal Toori, crumbed Cottage cheese and vegetable fingers, served with mayonnaise sauce. The price range - between Rs 75/- to Rs 125/-.

The soups are reasonably priced at Rs 50/-. Tomato Shorba, Caldo Verde…a good choice. If one wants to nibble on a Salad, there is an ample choice from a Chicken Hawaiin to a Tuna Salad.

Then we have a long list of delicacies from Continental, Chinese, Indian, Grills, Tandoori, Vegetarian - the rates start from Rs 100/- onwards. All rates are inclusive of tax.

One thing that the restaurant can proudly campaign about, is its wide variety of Vegetarian food, for those on a Vegetarian diet. I superstitiously counted the number of dishes listed under ‘Vegetarian’. There were definitely more than fifteen preparations.

I would specifically recommend the Goan Fish curry/rice and the Prawn Newburg, that is, if one wants to be more adventurous. The Chinese, as Anthony puts it, is ‘Indi-Chin-Chin.’ So don’t look for the Schezwan and Cantonese delicacies…more like a simple American Chop-Suey, to keep the kids happy.

One day of the week, the feet tapping tempo increases…’Saturday Night Fever’. There is music for dancing. A trio perched on the piano platform, sets the mood for the evening.

The word ‘Mi Casa’ in Spanish means ‘my house’. The portions are ample, the atmosphere inviting. Anthony believes in his motto…’it’s not only food that we wish to serve- it is the ‘art’ of doing so. We are passionate about what we do.’

The restaurant is open from 7.00 am (yes they do have a breakfast menu) to 11.30 pm at night. I am given to understand that Saturday Nights have a late closing.

Like any new venture, they have the traditional hic cups, while the warmth and the food is good, the service needs a little bolstering.

Sitting in that airy restaurant, while the sun played havoc with the temperature outdoors, the soothing soft piped music played in the background……the words of the singer, played its refrain. ‘And its no sacrifice, no sacrifice, no sacrifice at all.’

Yes, that is a fact. Driving there specifically to have a good picnic lunch with the family, or stopping for a snack, in transit from North to South Goa, especially at the rates offered…… no sacrifice at all.

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