You know what to expect with a name like ‘Cluck Tales’ – chicken served in a myriad of ways. Judging by the response to my Instagram and Facebook posts, a lot of you have already been here when it was under the reign of another chef for the last year and a half.
But there’s a flurry of change happening at Cluck Tales right now – the onboarding of chef Vasquito, a passionate guy who aspires to take the place to new heights with his well-thought-out plans, a menu upgrade and a lot of new introductions. His goal is to make it even more convenient for students and working professionals to stop by for an affordable meal.
Located in the building opposite Don Bosco’s, Panjim, Clucktales is hard to miss and there are signboards directing you up to the first floor. Once inside, the first thing you’ll see is a display of the decadent-looking desserts! The restaurant is quite bright and spacious with warm lighting and double heighted windows overlooking the street outside. I liked the mix of wooden panelling on the walls and bottle green furniture – it had a nice upscale barn feel going on. It gives you a homely feeling right away and is a welcome break from that so-modish industrial chic décor that’s the rage these days.
A half-heighted exposed brick wall lets you have a peek into the kitchen. I also checked out the mezzanine floor which is much larger and has a lot more tables for celebrating occasions that have a longer guest-list.
We had a very pleasant, smiling waitress cater to us, though a little absent-minded. Chef Vasquito came out and spent some time talking about the new menu he has planned for Cluck Tales and gave me an insight into how he cooks using lava stone.
Naturally, the menu is highly skewed toward chicken. Starters, a few vegetarian mains, Cluck Tales’ lava stone chicken with your choice of marinade, beverages and dessert sums it up! The chef plans to amp up the menu and they have mentioned the addition of beef, pork and fish items in the menu on their Facebook page recently. That may steer away from the name ‘Cluck Tales’ and reputation they’ve built so far, but let’s see how that goes.
Here’s what I tried:
Apple Pear Mint Cooler and Chocolate Milkshake
Since my first two choices of drinks weren’t available, I ordered the apple pear mint cooler and Chocolate milkshake. Both disappointed. Apart from the rich brown colour the milkshake had, there was no taste of chocolate whatsoever. The cooler was equally dismal.
Hummus and Pita
I doubt you’d have tried hummus and mushroom together – I haven’t seen it on menus anywhere so far. The dish was a twist on traditional Israeli hummus, yet still maintained its status as ‘health food.’ The mushroom added a nice savoury meaty texture and those caramelized onions added just the right amount of sweetness. Overall, a flavour-packed makeover for hummus and I wiped the plate clean with the pita!
Nothing much to cluck about… it was a decent burger. I just wish it had been a little more exciting. Some more caramelized onions or onion ring inside, cheese, bacon, maybe a fried egg… you know what I’m saying? Something to make it more than “just okay.”
Lava Stone Peri Peri Chicken
What sets Cluck Tales apart is their technique of ‘lava stone’ cooking where chicken is grilled and then roasted on lava stone which is essentially a pre-heated hot stone. It is a healthier form of cooking and creates a little bit of theatre, just like a live BBQ or tandoor would. I tried the Piri Piri chicken and while I loved the tasty outer bits, the inside seemed a little dry. Mashed potatoes and potato wedges were on point!
Chocolate Custard Éclair
Finally, FINALLY got to try some desserts. I sorely missed them at the last two places I tried out – Tio Tilly’s and Yaki Zushi. This was a soft choux pastry pumped full of thick, custard cream and covered in chocolate ganache. It had the most indulgent rich custard pastry cream inside without being overly sweet. Such a beauty!
Goa, the strudel of your dreams has finally arrived! Another winning treat right here! The pastry was gorgeous, flaky and each bite sent me to 7th heaven! There was generous cinnamon spiced apple pieces in every bite, and it came with some sweet English cream to seal the deal. I only wish it was a little bigger! Don’t miss out on this one for sure!
WHAT I LOVED
Desserts – duh! I’ve heard and read about people praising the dessert more than the food and they’re so right!
The lava-stone menu – Plenty of sauces and marinades to choose from so there’s something for everyone.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER
More variety – Crispy fried KFC-style chicken, chicken stroganoff, Thai grilled chicken, kebabs etc. Rather than veering off into new proteins altogether, I felt that more additions to their chicken-inspired menu would be the natural way to go.
The drinks need serious attention!
Address: 1st Floor, Edcon Incrocio, Opp Don Bosco School Main Gate, MG Road, Panjim, Goa 403001
Cost for 2: Rs. 700
Two more Panjim restaurants to be featured on the blog soon – Cafe Caravela and The Oak Barrel!
Oh, I’ve been thinking of doing area-wise posts on places I try out just like I did for Vasai, Mumbai. Think that’s a good idea? Comment below and let me know!