Ten-Second Takeaway

Recipes that come from the Fernandes’ family kitchen, Bernardo’s serves up yummy Goan food in Gurgaon, loaded with secret masalas and heaps of authenticity.

Chow Down

The Prawn Rechaedo, Chicken Xacuti, Assado de Porco

Sip On

Some tender coconut water goes well with the fiery Goan khaana

Meet The Fernandes Family

When you make the trip to Bernardo’s, expect interesting stories as a precursor to your food. The couple that started this eatery more than a decade ago, Chrys and Cres Fernandes, have moved to half a dozen different locations between Delhi and Gurgaon and still serve the same people who visited them from day 1!

The walls are plastered with memories and family pictures. Don’t overlook the slightly discreet donation box that says St. Bernard’s Animal Welfare Trust. The Fernandes’ don’t run this restaurant just for pleasure and profit, but also for the 35 {++} dogs they house at their farm an hour from the city. What started as a love for strays has now become a quasi vocation. Every time you eat at Bernardo’s, you aren’t just enjoying beach fare in land-locked Gurgaon, you’re also helping feed, medicate, neuter and care for dozens of hapless dogs {and a bull, who thinks he’s a dog!}.

Beach, Please!

All you have to do is knock to be let in to the restaurant, the interiors of which are reminiscent of a beach shack albeit cooled with air conditioning. With limited seating {about 20 covers} it can be difficult to get a table, especially on weekends.

Reaching For The Recheado

We started with the much revered Prawn Recheado – large, juicy prawns, butterflied and filled with the rich, piquant Recheado masala, a secret recipe, and for those of you who’re interested, they now sell the masala by the kilo as well. The masala is the key to a large part of the cuisine, essentially a potent paste made of Kashmiri red chillies and Toddy vinegar; Bernardo’s makes it hot and packed with flavour. We liked it so much we had the Pixie Recheado as well, which was fish stuffed with masala and fried. Choose mackerel and you’ll be transported to a quaint shack by the beach, with the sound of waves crashing!

We’ve had their entire menu thrice over but for the mains, we still suggest the classics. Caril De Camarao – the red hot prawn curry with Goan red rice. Kick the hot & sour quotient up a notch with Ambotik, a fish curry we weren’t expecting to be this rich! For pork lovers, there’s plenty to choose from. Leave Vindaloo aside and quell the fire in your mouth with the Assado de Porco or the Pork Roast – perfectly cooked slices of pork that come with caramelized onions and soft potatoes that are flavoured with spices used to make this dish; pao goes well with this one.

There are a couple of safer options as well {we mean chicken}. Don’t miss the Galinha Cafreal, or chicken cooked in a green masala, very much like a chutney chicken, but less spicy and less tangy too! Finish with a slice of homemade Bebinca and you’re likely to fall in love with the place as much as we did. There’s not a lot for vegetarians, though.

Where: A-236, Super Mart 1, DLF Phase 4, Gurgaon

Nearest Metro Station: HUDA City Centre

Contact: 0124 651 8323

Price: INR 1, 000 for two {approx.}

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