At a time when regional cuisines hadn’t acquired the cachet they now flaunt, Bernardo’s opened in an uncelebrated corner of Chittaranjan Park about a decade ago. A Goan restaurant in a Bengali-dominated neighbourhood, run literally by a mom {ex-UNICEF} and a pop {ex-Philips}, with nothing more than exceptional cooking skills and a passion for Goan cuisine at their command, didn’t seem like the best business plan.

Crescentia Scolt Fernandes {Cres to friends} and her husband Chris may not be trained chefs, nor are they business honchos with deep pockets, but their passion for good food and the joy they derive from serving guests have made their loyalists resolutely move with them each time they switch to a new address {now also DLF Phase IV}.

260716_BernardosGoanFood-SpaceLet me give you a peek into the Cres and Chris model. We all know sorpotel – diced pork and liver cooked in Goan vinegar and spice mixes – is a delicacy that has become the benchmark for separating a Goan restaurant that is proud of its roots, from a tourist trap on the beach. At Bernardo’s, you’ll get it just the way they like to have it in Goa. The sorpotel is not sold on the same day as it is made. It is made to sit for a day or two before it is served so that fermentation kicks in and the dish tastes better.

Likewise, the Goan sausages {chourico} are actually hand-made by Cres and Chris at their home in neighbouring Farrukh Nagar. Their freshness comes through in the Arroz {the Goan pulao} at Bernardo’s or the masaledar {sorry for being a no-hoper North Indian!} chourico with pao. I have had chourico in some of the best Goan restaurants, but there’s something about the sausages served at Bernardo’s that makes them tender, juicy and flavourful.

My favourite at Bernardo’s is the Recheado, which comes loaded with the goodness of red chillies and whole spices ground in Goan vinegar. Have your prawns, or your mackerel, smeared with it, and you’ll be asking for more and more. It had a magical effect on my 13-year-old son, who normally talks at the rate of one to a dozen- he dramatically emerged out of his vow of silence and declared, “This is good. Can I have more?” And with these immortal words, he lapsed into yet another spell of meditative silence.

So, here’s my list of must-haves at Bernardo’s:

260716_BernardosGoanFood-PrawnStart with the Recheado of course, tickle your appetite with Pao Com Chourico, pork Vindalho or sorpotel, Prawn Caril {the classic Goan curry} with steamed Goan unpolished rice, and the hot and sour Fish Ambotik, redolent of kokum or the prawn Samarchi Kodi made with roasted coconut, raw mango and freshly ground spices.

If you’re vegetarian, Bernardo’s may not be your kind of place, though I have heard good things about the Okra Temperade {coconut milk-based mild yellow curry} and Goan Brinjal Masala. But you must, as compensation, ask your non-vegetarian friends to get you your share of Bebinca from Bernardo’s.

I am hard-pressed to find a word to describe the pleasure.

Where: A-237, DLF Supermart-I, DLF Phase-IV, Gurgaon

Nearest Metro Station: Huda City Centre

Contact: 0124 6518323, +91 9811571379

Price: INR 1,800 for two {approx.}

Timings: 12.30pm – 11pm

 Click here to see the original post on Indian Restaurant Spy.

Photos source: Bernardo’s via Facebook