It feels like New York City in Panjim

Black Sheep Bistro

by Ananda Krishna

Squid Prawns Plancha

It feels like New York City in Panjim

Do you wish you could be transported to other places and times ona gastronomical quest? Well, there is kind of teleportation happening right in the heart of Panjim. It happens to be shepherded (no pun intented) in an old, beautiful Portuguese villa, the perfect setting from which to enter another world.

As the swishing glass door closes, reflecting the fading myriad sounds and sights of the Goan capital, you feel like you’ve gone through aportal of time and space.Crossing all the way across the Atlantic to dine in New York!

Welcome to Black Sheep Bistro, the hip new joint that offers world-class ambience and contemporary fusion cuisine.

Prahlad and Sabreen Sukhtankar opened BSB just a few months back and the black sheep is gaining quite a reputation.“We’re not too fond of ‘authentic’ and prefer not to follow any rules, but would rather amalgamate what’s inspired us around the world with unusual twists that we think better suit the Indian palate.”

The Cinnamon Whisky Sour, a selection from BSB’s handcrafted beverages is an example of the synthesis. Instead of just serving a regular Whisky Sour, Prahlad adds a touch of home-made cinnamon sugar and a sour mix to take the experience to a different level.

Mankurad Cheesecake is yet another sweet twist from the traditional approach. It’s made from cheese mousse, naankhatai crumbs, strawberry coulis, lemon, basil and the one and only Mankurad mangoes.

The overriding theme of this culinary journey is tapas – inspired from the beloved Spanish tradition of small, intricately prepared dishes. The great thing about tapas is that you can have a lot of them in a single sitting, titillating your taste buds with a wide variety.

Robiola

Robiola

With a host of so many exciting things to pick from, after a hearty swig from my Cinnamon Whisky Sour, I first tasted the Squid-PrawnsPlancha. It was served along with salad, garlic, chilli and garlic mayo. The whole dish came together beautifully, particularly the balance between squids and garlic mayo. The texture was tender yet firm, keeping the juicy prawns and squid delectable, bite after bite.

TheRobiola is one beautifully exotic looking dish that tastes just as fantastic. It’s got cheese, roasted bell peppers, zucchini, seasonal greens and home-made citrus marmalade! The zing from this marmalade isrefreshing and it blends in like long lost friends with the cheese rolled inside.

Another yummy dish from this particular part of the menu is the Spiced Fish Salad. It’s got Kingfish, Barracuda, turnips, mung (lentil) sprouts, Kerala spice “tadka” and seasonal greens.The “tadka” or “chowk” element was a welcome Indian twist to the fusion at play.

Sabreen-and-Prahlad

Sabreen and Prahlad

 

Looking around, while waiting for the next dish of pomfret, I realize that BSB has a unique charm, a way of making its guests feel cozy. It’s a lovely experience to be embraced by the décor in such a subtle manner.

Details like the Italian stool by the bar, the black leather, reclaimed pieces of furniture, the granite slabs, the wine cellar, the cold steel and the photographs framing the walls … all blend into each other as effortlessly as BSB’s world class fusion cuisine. Plus there’s a number of other whimsical, unexpected touches, like the screen in the men’s washroom playing video clips from “Back to the Future.”

It isn’t just all luck. BSB, was born almost after two decades of experience by Sabreen and Prahlad in hotel management, food preparation, wine tasting and mastering a host of other skills that makes a successful restaurateur.

Prahlad and Sabreen graduated from Les Roches, one of the world’s best hospitality schools in Switzerland.Prahlad also happens to hold a degree from the prestigious International Sommelier Guild and a member of the Leading Hotels of the World.

Pomfret

Les Roches was also wherePrahlad and Sabreen happened to meet each other for the first time before tying the knot.

The couple roamed the planet for a while, with stints in Hawaii, Vancouver, Singapore, North America and Europe – working with some of the leading luxury hotel chains in the world, includingthe Four Seasons. They finally came back to India to run their own restaurant.

Alas, my pomfret is here! More than just catering to your palate, the pan seared fish fillet is also a display of presentational prowess.It has just the right texture, allowing one to appreciate the flavor and the freshness of the dish.

BSB is currently hosting the ongoing “Summer Project”, an experiment bringingtogether design, art and food. “The Summer Project Menu” is a four-course summer menu with samples of exotic and rare wines.

I am on the last note of my meal and Sabreen, who is on a sugarless diet at the moment, is eyeing my chocolate lava cake. Prahlad,meanwhile, is talking to me and looking askew to make sure that the health vow they’ve taken is still intact.This is her favourite dessert and it’s making her weak in the knees.

I suppose that’s not an uncommon reaction to the wonders of Black Sheep Bistro.

Address: The Black Sheep Bistro,

Swami Vivekanand Rd, Panjim

Phone:0832 222 2901

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