What if we told you that you could have the quintessential relaxed, warm and rustic Goan vibe, and couple that with some delectable European cuisine? The best of both worlds, eh! Welcome to Verandah — a restaurant and bar, that is also a pizzeria, a bakery, a gin joint and altogether, an otherworldly experience!
Tucked away in the hillside in Mandrem, this beautiful restaurant is Meghana and Matt’s labour of love. Meghana and Matt, who left behind their corporate lives to pursue their passion for food, have designed a culinary experience that will make for a memorable evening. The joint unfolds in several levels, a hand-written blackboard announcing its presence on the roadside.
At the first level is the bar and diner — under the open skies, shaded by some beautiful old trees. Lunch or dinner here is a deliciously lavish experience — not only in terms of the quality of the ingredients, but also the finesse of the taste. Dark polished surfaces, eclectic lamps custom made for the space, and a bunch of warm smiles will greet you from behind the bar area, to the backdrop of mellow contemporary jazz.
At the next level is their homegrown organic garden, from where they source most of their greens. Those not grown at the restaurant itself, are sourced locally from vendors in the area — a freshness that you can taste in the food that is on the offer.
Our brunch menu included some citrusy and light yet filling Toscana Salad and some beautifully runny smoked salmon benedict. The two types of bread that they come with are all freshly baked, and leave a lingering taste. We also hear great things about their pizzas (again with the base baked from scratch at the restaurant), as well as of their dinner menu — which also boasts of what is perhaps the only rotisserie in the area.
One of their newest additions is the gin joint at the upper level — a luxurious and warm speakeasy, that serves gin cocktails with a twist. Nithya, who manages the gin joint, adds a touch of her global eloquence to the drinks, the bitters and flavours often a result of her ongoing experiments with ingredients. A luxurious purple sofa flanks the outside, while the nostalgia of the old-world charm keeps the decor inside warm and venerable. Cushioned in this cocoon of pleasure, it’s easy to forget the din of the outside, and lose yourself in what is literally Meghana and Matt’s verandah!