In the first of our two-part series on Goan takeaways, here’s the over 60-year-old Soares Goan Food delivery service that brews its dishes with secret masalas, sourced meats and oodles of family love
Goa holds many charms for the average Mumbaikar. But between the sun, sand, and a stunning landscape lies the sumptuously spiced Goan cuisine that could make the strictest of weight watchers salivate. Adding a dash of sinful pleasure to our Monday luncheon was Soares Goan Food delivery service that by a serendipitous stroke had been discovered in our inboxes last week.
Chicken Xacuti was the crowd favourite. Food Pics/Datta Kumbhar
Without getting too carried away, we ordered Beef Tongue Roast (Rs 475 per kg), Stuffed Rechead Masala Bangda (Rs 70), a Beef Potato Chop (Rs 20), two Chicken Potato Chops (Rs 20) and a Chicken Xacuti (Rs 450 per kg). The Zinger Box (Rs 55), the last item on our list, is open to customisation and comprised a Potato Chop, two servings of Portuguese Fried Prawns and one Chicken Hotdog.
Beef and Chicken Potato Chops were okay while the Stuffed Bangda Fry was fresh and yum
As the delivery service is open to serving five to 100 persons, the gravy dishes were delivered per kg. Johnny Soares, a 45-year-old Goan Catholic along with his wife, Sherwina J Soares have been carrying forward the legacy of this 60-year-old service. They currently deliver to more than 100 parishes in the city. Affable and enthusiastic, Johnny is the perfect Goan to infuse the cuisine with his warmth, “My grandmother, who used to sell vinegar and meat from door to door, started it,” he tells us. Though Johnny has been the face of the service, it’s the women who have been helming the operations, as does his wife now.
Johnny Soares with his wife. “Goan Chicken Biryani has become popular since it’s not oily and tasty. Another change we’ve seen is that people want less fat in pork dishes, and so we have started using only lean pork,” he shares.
After ordering our food two days in advance (a prerequisite) the food arrived packed in a duffel bag. Plated, we tucked into the Beef Tongue preparation — a delicacy cooked in an oil-rich gravy with a riotous punch of spices. It’s an art to cook this tender meat, and we’ve had several run-ins with unpalatable versions. Much to our glee, this serving (a generous one) was perfect. The meat was well done and there were no trace of rawness. However, the sight of floating oil stopped us from resorting to a second helping.
The Bangda Fry stuffed with a spicy Rechead masala was spot on too. This fried Arabian Sea favourite was served fresh, and in minimal oil, and was wolfed down in record time. A perfect upper to counter the dull skies outside. Chicken Xacuti was a unanimous favourite as the bright red Kashmiri chilli and poppy seed delicacy burst with flavour when mixed with rice. The Zinger Box and the Beef/Chicken Potato Chops are best served piping hot. Not as flavourful and intense as the rest of the items, the enthusiasm was slightly tepid for hints of meat in most of the chops, including the hotdog, that left us in a lurch.
With inputs from Fiona Fernandez
At: Soares Building, RK Singh Marg, off Parsi Panchayat Road, near Meera Building, Andheri (E).
Log on to: www.goanfoodinmumbai.com
Minimum delivery order: Rs 600
Delivery: Borivali to Churchgate and CST to Mulund/Chembur, free of cost. This review was conducted anonymously.
Behind the stove
We marinate our food in a special Garam Masala that we have used for all these years; it costs roughly Rs 1,875 per kg. Dishes like Sorpotel are marinated in earthern pots for three days before delivery like the Portuguese did, decades ago. Chicken Rosad i.e. chicken cooked in coconut milk is another dish that involves a tedious process and hence, few people want to make this dish. Chicken Rosad is one of our most sought-after dishes.