Go Panda churns out one gourmet meal after another in an unpretentious ambiance and friendly tone, writes GITA HARI.
Imagine the scenario: you are a diehard Pan Asian food lover and a gourmet at that. But you are in a hurry which means the option is to have your meal on the go. And compromising on good taste is not your style… what do you do?
In such a situation, the funky Asian quick service restaurant (QSR) Go Panda located in Lokhandwala, Andheri, promises to come to your rescue. Sachet, Yash and Nikhil. the partner trio, have pooled in their precious individual skills and expertise for Go Panda. “We thought this is the right time to launch something like Go Panda and our vision is to be the best Pan Asian cuisine quick service restaurant. We aim at providing our customers a smart, easy-to-follow menu, consistent quality, quick delivery and seeing every customer smile,” enthuses Yash, the youngest partner among them.
The charming eatery with high tables, quirky graffiti sporting a friendly panda, looks inviting enough to venture into a gastronomic tour. The open kitchen allows you a glimpse of the chefs rustling up your orders. It features a sit-out area with 4 community tables to accommodate 20 guests comfortably. One wall even has the Patron of the Month’s name scribbled on it (one who has placed the maximum orders) – an interesting marketing gimmick I say.
Panda Delights come with funky starters like Asian Taco – an Asian Mexican fusion of veg/ chicken/ fish with spicy teriyaki sauce in a hard shell; taken in by its odd-sounding name, we called for Phathimlai (potato/ chicken) to discover it is more like Kung Pao potato with its perfect tangy undertones coming from honey, garlic and schezwan sauce.
Among soups, Thai soup Tom Kha is their specialty and was truly coconuty creamy and delicious. Wonton (Chinese dumpling with bok choy), Khim Chi (Korean style clear soup) and Man Chow (soy based noodle soup) are the rest on offer and equally good.
Signature Meals are a clear winner – dig into Malaysian Korma with Rice/Malaysian Roti with your choice of Veg/Chicken/Lamb that is a traditional recipe of dry slow-cooked curry with a trinity of spices, chillies and garlic Or try Thai Jungle Curry with coconut rice – a spicy coconut based brown curry which lays its claims from the forest areas of Chian Mai.
If it is just snacky takeaways you prefer then the funky sandwich here is Khi chi grilled Cheese Sandwich which is a Korean-American fusion lending a hint of spicy-sour chomp. Sloppy Joe is again an American-Asian fusion in a long bread topped with melted cheese trickling over veggies in bbq sauce.
Pot Meals are a total sell-out at Go Panda – piping hot rice and gravies make for a filling meal. Chilli Oyster Pot Rice-Chicken is layered with flavours in a tangy sauce. Burmese Curry with Coconut Rice again almost tastes delicious like Khau Suey minus the accompaniments. Fishetarians will love Fish in Mustard Sauce with rice – pan-fried basa cooked in pungent Asian mustard sauce. Not to forget the modest yet yummy dessert of Chocolate Mousse with sea salt caramel drizzle.
Loosely rolled, starters (very tasty) could do with finer tuning as in controlling grease. Signature and Pot Meals delight with their authenticity and for takeaways you can have the arty earthen pot as keepsakes. Go Panda churns out one gourmet meal after another in an unpretentious ambiance and friendly tone.
Deep fry potato fingers. Drain them on kitchen tissues to remove excess oil. Heat a pan with sauce, garlic. Remove from flame and now toss in the fingers with a dribble of honey. Serve hot with spring onions on the side.
Sloppy Joe Sandwich
l White or whole-wheat bread
l 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
l 1 cup finely chopped carrot, spring onion, cabbage
l Alternately kheema (chicken or lamb mince)
l Chinese BBQ sauce as per taste
l Oil for cooking
Heat oil in a pan and add vegetables or kheema. Add BBQ sauce and sauté for a minute. Spread this mixture on a bread and top it with a generous amount of grated cheese. Cover it with another slice of bread and grill it till the cheese melts. Serve hot with French fries and tomato sauce.
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