Want A Homestyle Goan Meal? This Thali Cafe In Panjim Is Beautiful
Bombil is a new dhaba-next-door, serving homestyle Goan food in Panjim. With the old-school vibe of the place coupled with the focus on thali lunches, ross omelette breakfasts and kaalchi kodi, it is a love letter to the simple joys of life.
What Makes It Awesome
What’s the best compliment for a place like Bombil? The fact that people say it’s like eating at home. A fish thali being compared to a mum-cooked meal, in itself is a matter of great pride and Bombil totally makes the cut. With its friendly, unpretentious approach, it’s also making eating at a neighbourhood dhaba cool again. It’s no wonder then, that a lot of local blokes, in-a-rush-office-goers, homesick students and curious tourists all throng this place for a simple plate of curry and rice.
The idea behind Bombil is to go back to the basics. Joseph aka Jo, the guy who runs the show here, tells us that he longed for home food in no-fuss setting; the kind of places where him and his dad would hop over for lepo and a pint of beer. Sadly though, these haunts were fast disappearing. So he decided to stop the search and create such a place himself. And thus, Bombil came into being. He tells us it’s also a way of remembering his late daddy who loved these hole-in-the-wall places where people stopped by for banter, Feni and fish.
Now for the food, the curries keep changing every day (prawns, squid or cafreal chicken) but a vegetarian and non-vegetarian thali are constants. For the meat eater, it was a delight to gorge on local fishes and not just kingfish that every other Goan place does. The thali comes with shrimp curry, fried fish, vegetables, and a home-style raw Alphonso pickle. In addition, their squid recheado was a star too; spicy, tangy and fresh. We ended the gluttony with a sweet pudding with mangoes, cream and crushed biscuit.
For now, they’re only doing breakfast (simple egg dishes, bhaji pao, mutton xacuti and chai), lunch and tea-time snacks (samosas, kaalchi kodi and the likes). A dinner menu though, is in the talks.
What Could Be Better
We had but one vegetarian option for lunch but hey, we din't go there expecting a lavish spread. So, if you're a veggie and not fussed, you'll enjoy the simple pudding, thali and masala soda. We sure did!
Their lunch thalis fly off the shelves, so if you don’t make it before 1, you might lose out. That said, Jo tells us they’re planning on opening their terrace space soon, so you’ll be able to eat samosas and chai while watching the world go by. Oh, and they’ll soon start serving local alcohol in the evenings. Cheers to that!