As you know from my social media accounts, I’ve been trying out a LOT of restaurants in Goa lately. I’m really excited about the arrival of new flavours on Goan shores! Authentic food from around the world, cooked by people (entrepreneurs in their own restaurants, not companies) who actually grew up preparing, eating and cherishing these dishes back home – are not your average meals. Take Thaal, for example – a quiet restaurant serving an age-old feast, the pride of Gujarati-Muslim traders, has found its way to Reis Magos.
Not long after visiting Thaal, I happened to chance upon On The Go, the brainchild of Marco, a Peruvian national who loves to share his passion for food with the people of Goa. His little café on CHOGM Road, near Copperleaf in Porvorim, is a simple, earth-toned space that can accommodate around 15 people at a time.
The menu is quite affordable, and features curious culinary creations from Peru – and if you ask Marco what they are, he is quick to delve into the ingredients, details on how its cooked and significance of the dish back home, all with such emotion and gusto, that you’ll feel like packing your bags and heading to Peru on the double.
Most of the dishes I tried at On The Go in Goa were a first for me, and if you’re one to step out of your comfort zone every once in a while, I’m sure you’ll enjoy sampling what they have to offer. Starting with Causa, a potato sandwich-cake of sorts, having two layers of cold, mashed potatoes and a scrumptious filling of chicken tossed in mayo, onions and peppers sandwiched in between. Apparently, there are many versions of this bright, barely-spiced dish and it is undoubtedly Peru’s favourite comfort food.
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The empanada came next, a delicate baked pastry with minced meat and raisins inside. The lack of bold spices didn’t bother me since the empanadas are served with a wedge of lime, and I had to squirt in a couple of drops before taking the next bite, as per custom. It’s a great light snack, or fast food, if you will, that can literally be eaten ‘on-the-go.’
That, paired with one of their signature iced teas with flavouring made by them, using real fruits, makes for a great mid-day snack. I sipped on the Pomegranate Ice Tea (with a black tea base) and Passion Fruit Iced Tea (with a green tea base) and I’m happy to report that I’ve finally found a way to make drinking green tea bearable!
One thing you should not miss at On The Go are the sandwiches! Incredibly fresh and home-made with fine quality ingredients that can really fill you up! I didn’t take a picture of the sandwich because I thought, “okay, it’s a sandwich, how great can it be?” Turns out, it was amazing! I tried the Buttifara that was stuffed with home made country-style ham, rocket and lettuce leaves, onion relish and a touch of mustard. It is best eaten cold/at room temp, so please don’t ruin yours by microwaving or grilling it!
You’ll find a delightful spread of desserts in their display case –regulars like cheesecake and banoffie pie, intriguing ones like lemon and lavender drizzle cake alongside Peruvian favourites – namely Tocino Del Cielo (custard), Leche Asada (baked milk pudding), Arroz Zambito (dark rice pudding) and Alfajores (shortbread cookies). Every sweet treat here is made by Marco’s wife, who is a whiz in the kitchen and operates under the brand name ‘Mona’s Pantry.’
On Marco’s suggestion, I picked up the Suspiro Limeno or ‘sigh of Lima’ and OMG this condensed-milk based dessert with wine-spiked cream was incredibly sweeeeeet and so heavy that Mum and me, both dessert lovers, could only finish half of it between the two of us. We were told that Peruvians can eat double with no problems! Time to up my game, Peru!
Being more of a café than an eatery, this Pervuvian restaurant in Goa is a great, laid-back and affordable place to catch up with friends if you’re tired of the regular coffee shops.
Give it a try and let me know what you think! You may also like to check out another cafe I visited a while ago – Cafe Cotinga in Anjuna. I’ll catch you on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram real soon! Bubye!