Home > Gastronomique > Bernardo’s – A Goan Salvation

Bernardo’s – A Goan Salvation

 

I lived in Mumbai for 8 years and never visited Goa. It was a cardinal sin. I repented it everyday. And it looked like God had forgiven me for it – sort of. All those Ave Maria’s had not gone waste after all. I should thank Bernardo’s for restoring my faith.
Bernardo’s was a legend I was too late in discovering. Not my fault entirely. From what I could gather, they had been pretty itinerate- moving from India Habitat Centre to CR Park to Galleria to their current abode at DLF Super mart-I, Gurgaon; for no fault of theirs I am sure. Along the way they have gathered a huge fan following which trail Bernado’s with great gusto in Facebook and Twitter.

I had espied the yellow bill board of Bernardo’s many times before but had not ventured in, suspecting it to be grossly upmarket. Last Friday evening, reassured after a glance at the restaurant menu in foodiebay, I finally made across the Super mart atrium, climbed a flight of stairs and entered this warm, cosy, reposeful den. There were potted palms outside the glass facade. Tiny, festive neon bulbs crept up a side wall and hung along the staircase balustrade like languid vine, maroon cushions sat snugly on comfortable cane chairs. Flickering candles kept on the table in tiny holders set the shadows quivering. Orange walls decorated with black ‘n white family photographs interspersed with framed musical scores along with transparent, engraved, old world tableware rendered the restaurant an air of antiquity. A twisted cross hung atop the back wall while  Jesus gazed benevolently at patrons. Bésame Mucho and mellow soul music played like a tranquil sea breeze fostering instant camaraderie. Clean, laminated paper mats printed with entries from guest book set against a backdrop of surf sprayed beaches and coconut palms rested on chequered table cloth.  A small stack of books kept company on the cash counter. The setting was intimate, the canvas small yet infinitely interesting, nostalgic and relaxing.

We were shown to a corner table and provided with four wooden planks held together with a nailed strip of leather which was the menu (reminded me of 10 commandments handed down to Moses). Intriguing names with tantalizing descriptions; the painted, idiosyncratic menu featured prawn, fish, chicken and pork – I turned each tablet and drooled before settling for Prawn Recheado as starters and Caril De Peixe and Vindalho De Porco for main course which were served with either white rice or Pao.

Prawn Recheado – crunchy, juicy, succulent prawns with a vermillion streak of Goan spice was astounding. The Vindalho De Porco was pungent and aromatic; generous portions of pork with the right amount of fat, marinated in vinegar and cooked in a dense spice mix went superbly with Pao. Caril De Peixe, traditional Goan fish curry, had lumps of Surmai (King fish) in a yellow gravy of coconut milk, kokum (tamarind) and onion which brought back memories of Malvan restaurants I used to frequent in Mumbai.

The lady of the house was charming and always at hand to answer our queries. The waiters were prompt and courteous. Bernardo’s, unassuming and simple, avoided all razzmatazz and concentrated fiendishly on quality food. It was no wonder that customers thronged this sanctum sanctorum of fine Goan cuisine from near and far – not because it was cheap, but because it was authentic and good value for money. As you can see, I too have become a fan of the place – it made me feel that the struggle up the food chain was well worth the effort. By the way, the place is not an absolute no go for vegetarians, the restaurant has one starter and four vegetarian dishes – more of an after thought in all probability.

Bernardo’s
B 229 – Super Mart 1,
DLF Phase 4,Gurgaon
122009
Contact:0124 6518323, 9811571379

Number of covers: ~ 25

Bernardo’s website: Click Here
Bernardo’s on Facebook: Click Here
Bernardo’s on Twitter: Click Here

Bernardo’s menu from Foodiebay: Click Here
(Note: Menu is going to be revised from April 2010 onwards. New items are also expected on the menu)

 

Food Economics
Prawn Recheado (8 Pieces) – Rs.310.00 (must try)
Caril De Peixe (4 Pieces) – Rs.245.00
Vindalho De Proco (many pieces) – Rs.230.00
(must try)

Rating
Very very good
Must visit for every self respecting carnivore

 

Below are a few more gushing reviews of Bernardo’s
http://yesterday1cemore.blogspot.com/2006/11/susegaad-bernardos.html
http://shivamvij.com/2006/11/08/bernardos/
http://chefatlarge.in/posts/bernardos-supermart-i-gurgaon.html/2

Photo courtesy: V P vinod

Revisited Bernardo’s
Had Pork Sorpotel (not really my cup of tea), veg croquettes (6 pieces, very nice), veg temperado (okra in coconut based gravy – mild, went well with rice) and carrot cake (superb). Amazing grace!

Sorpotel – Rs.240.00, Veg Croquettes – Rs.105.00, Veg Temperado – Rs. 115.00, Carrot Cake – Rs.40.00

 

Categories: Gastronomique
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