Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Luna Rocks

Well it is not only the full moon that ‘rocks’ my senses….a new type of Luna sighting has materialized in Goa….and a walk after that experience will have you doing the ‘moon walk’ like Michael Jackson.

Now remember we only check out a place after it has been recommended by a few people who have already dined there, and when our friend Marion Talyerkhan enthusiastically reported a L’Eden with a fine dining restaurant, we decided to find out more about this restaurant.

Come off season, Goa is starved for some good continental preparations, so here we were seated in an elegantly plush black and grey really gave one an ethereal feeling. And then we were met by Chef Francis de Souza…our very own Goan who through his vast experience abroad has worked on a multi-cuisine menu, but with a focus on continental food with a distinct French flavor.

Remember the French had always dominated the secrets of culinary art before other cuisines became popular…had Chef Francis captured the ‘art’ of that cuisine? We sat back expectantly.

So the ‘service’ started. Turkish Calalmari Salad (warm). As the name suggests the grilled calamari with lettuce curls, thin slices of eggplant, tomatoes and mushrooms with a light drizzling of garlic olive oil….yes there is a fusion of tastes…a perfect preparation for a hot summer day. Or even for a start of ‘formal’ client entertaining. A sort of a not heave…but warming up mellow effect.

As the mellow feeling was drifting through my veins, I take a peek at the items listed on the menu. Chicken Pistacho (stuffed chicken breasts served in lobster sauce), Prawn paprika (prawns wrapped in cabbage with paprika sauce), Baked Crab (sauteed crabmeat flavored in brandy sauce), a variety of meats available on the grill, the Pasta section, the Goan section, the Indian section and the Desserts.
Now after hearing the rave reviews about the Chicken Pistachio and the Prawn Paprika, I decided to go with the Crab and the Pork chops from the grill. ‘and by the way,’ I tell Chef Francis, ‘most Pastas are so heavily laden with sauces. I love to have a Carbonara but not swimming in a sauce.’

Well that was a test. What would the chef come up with? The dishes arrive. The Baked Crab…collorful in the orange shell, the Pork shop with chefs specially recommended mustard sauce, and the Pasta… sauced to perfection for me.

Now remember the story of Jack Sprat and his wife…that is the story of Joe and me. But on this occasion….the shell of the crab was hastily being emptied onto his plate, I give him a stern look, ‘its great,’ he states as he puts one measly spoon for tasting on my plate. The withering look was like water off a duc’ks back. I take a mouthful. The thin slivers of crabmeat cooked to perfection with the ‘spirit’ flavor…no wonder my better half had licked the shell clean…at least what was permissibly possible in that ‘classy’ place. And the Pork chops? Chef Francis had stated that he does the ‘cuts’ himself. Tender, succulent…not the type that leaves a stringy aftermath between ones teeth. The mustard flavored sauce….a perfect complement.

Now remember the ‘pasta’? My personal choice of ‘not too saucy.’ The flavor of the sauce coated every ‘penne’ to perfection…the cheese and the bacon… But what amazed me was the personal touch that Chef Francis gives to every preparation. As did the waiters dressed in smart grey and balck casuals. Unobstrusive and attention to detail.

Need I go on? He has handpicked old favorites….even the sandwich and burger section to take care of those who are not very adventurous. And the desserts…Crepes, chocolate mousse and his very own adaptation of a triffle which he has called the B&B. a rich custard sauce over sponge cake and banana and a thin coat of a chocolate film holding it together. Yes an old recipe given the ‘French’ touch. Don’t blame me if you walk out doing the Michael Jackson famous moon walk after such an experience.

For me it was short and simple…Luna Rocks.

Luna, L’Hotel Eden
La Oceana Colony
No 12 & 13, Dona Paula
Tel no: 0832 2452052