Sunday, April 15, 2012

Viva Goa, San Francisco

I truly believe (or believed, I should say) that the Indian restaurants in the United States do not make full justice to the Indian food.  Most of the restaurants serve just Americanized version of North or South Indian staples. India is blessed with 28 diverse states where each state has its own identity in language, culture and food. I always get fascinated how a home cook from each state can produce a totally different recipe using the same ingredients. But in spite of all this food diversity, Indian food is summarized as Samosa, Naan & Chicken Tikka Masala.

So it was a pleasant surprise to spot "Viva Goa" in San Francisco. I was dying to try it out. I came to know that their daily buffet is the usual Indian buffet however the Goan specialities are served for the dinner. We couldn't wait to try it out.

Our server was a very pleasant person. They opened up this restaurant 2 years back. I was so happy to see the typical Goan specialities like Xacuti, Ambotik,  Caffreal, Vindaloo, Sorpotel, Pomfret rechardo, Goenchi Sungatn. and for dessert, they even had Bebinca. Each "Goan" item was marked with a coconut tree next to it.

Our group ordered Goenchi Sungatn, Xacuti, Butter Chicken (of course, ABCDs needed it!!), and Goan Chicken. The the food was excellent. I was happy to see how they tried to present the "Goan" delicacies. I welcome this change. Good job, Viva Goa!

Goenchi Sungatn (Frankly this word is difficult to write in English as there are some nasal tones involved while saying it) was a fantastic starter with onion, garlic with spices. It had a touch of sweetness too.Xacuti (say Shakuti) was delicious. It was prepared using their authentic coconut based masala. Goan Chicken too had coconut based spices however it tasted totally different than Xacuti. Butter Chicken was really splendid. Over all, I gave this dinner "5 stars". It was a wonderful experience.

As AAA books says, Goa is to Indians what Hawaii is to Americans. With its pristine beaches, coconut trees and abundance of fresh seafood, Goa is a favorite tourist destination for many. Goan food can be distinctly categorized as Goan Hindu and Goan Christian with Portuguese influence. Viva Goa represents Goan food with the Portuguese influence. I love Goa and I loved "Viva Goa".

Viva Goa
2420 Lombard St
San Francisco, CA 94123

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