Chef Cantando is the chilled-out beach facing restaurant that’s got itself a sweet spot on Anjuna beach for them epic sundowners and lovingly-made fusion food. And, on why it’s called Chef Cantando, it’s because chef Kenny often regales the guests with his renditions of Frank Sinatra.
Killer Beach Views & A Chef Who Sings: This Restaurant In Anjuna Is A Must-Visit
What Makes It Awesome
When we heard it was close to the ever-so-popular Lilliput, skepticism crept in. Is it going to be another club blasting mainstream music and overworking our liver with potent alcohol? The questions were put to rest when we stalked Chef Cantando on social media and saw some stunning shots of the beach and the bar. The photos, however, don’t quite do justice. The cafe looks prettier in person.
We adored the entry alleyway with its bougainvillea and flower baskets, standing stark against white walls. After you enter, you’re confronted with another significant question about where you want to park yourself for the evening. We, of course, wanted to see the sun go down and chose the tables with the sea view (you can walk down to the beach from here and they’ve got sunbeds). As the night progressed, we were tempted to move closer to the bar to feel the rustic vibe. You guys, feel free to pick your spot and let us know where to find you.
Now that we’re done gushing about the ambience, we can perhaps get to the food. We loved that they take pride in making every condiment from hummus to pesto to mayonnaise themselves (suck it, you packaged, preservative-loaded bottles). Our favourite was chef Kenny’s signature amuse bouche that’s essentially golgappas stuffed with avocado and shrimp. The jungli potatoes came a close second with nicely fried potatoes slathered in aioli and topped with salsa. Our other recommendations include Kenny’s signature chicken wings and sizzling rib bits (caramelised and smoky, these are done to perfection). Chef tells us that the Kashmiri pesto pasta, calamari and cottage cheese steaks are other loved dishes at the cafe.
To round up the visit, end with an authentic baked cheesecake.
What Could Be Better
While we thoroughly enjoyed chef Kenny’s jovial company, we realised that some more sound proofing from the shack music from the neighbours would be good. We’re assured that sound engineers have been engaged so we’re not going to be subjected to intermittent bursts of ‘baby doll’ from the Punjabi pop and Bollywood-loving beach shacks nearby. With that, we’re totally taking bae here for a dinner date.
We're also not sure we were floored by the cocktails. We might stick to beer or GnTs instead and direct our full attention on the yummy grub.
They’re open to taking bookings for private parties and in fact have a special chef’s special zone (think of it as a private-ish deck) from where you can get uninterrupted views of the sea. Here’s where you can be with your group in a cocoon, away from the other diners. On special occasions, you will also witness chef Kenny performing live music. Now can't say no to that, right?