Through buzzing streets and honking cars and narrow winding roads of Panjim, lies the village of Caranzalem surrounded with age-old trees and tall buildings bordered by the scenic view of the beach. And in the mayhem of this place, lies in the corner of Caranzalem a small but flavorful cafe called ‘Cafe Basil’.
Packed with flavour and hint of herbs this place has definitely mastered the art of cooking the best street food, gourmet style!
Humble Beginnings :
Started in 2013 at Miramar, Cafe Basil soon shifted residence to Tonca Caranzalem. But this shift didn’t deter their loyal customers. Cafe Basil has grown into a beautiful hub for gobsmacking food such as their signature burgers like the GMC burger or the Bubulae, or even their ice cream shakes such the ‘Choco Almond Shake’ or the ‘XXXtsy dessert’. Cafe Basil has left no stone unturned to mark itself as one of the best places to eat in Goa.
The place is small and is always packed with people. You might even have to wait to find yourself a seat in the cafe, but at the end of the day, it is totally worth it. The food is just an amazing burst of flavours infused with a touch of herbs and spices that makes their dishes an exotic one.
An interesting fact about Cafe Basil is how it came to be. Breaking from their family business of jewellery, the youngest of the Zaveri Brothers decided to pursue his dreams and become a chef. A few years later he opened up Cafe Basil alongside his brothers and put the café right at the top. The menu you see put up at the cafe is solely prepared by the youngest Zaveri brother.
Food for the stomach and a feast for the eyes
The café gives a very creative vibe along with sketches and pictures framed on the eye-catching green coloured wall. It gives one a feeling of home and a sense of freedom. It provides a comforting and creative space for everyone that comes to the cafe. All the walls of the cafe are surrounded by an artistic touch; right from the large framed Beatles poster to the framed collage of Bob Marley Cafe basil has made heads turn. You could enjoy a game of Jenga or a book to and if your an artist you could just draw. You can never be bored at the cafe. Near the entrance of the cafe, stands a large glass window etched with a reproduced interpretation of the “Starry Night” by Van Gogh.
Like Van Gogh, a “crazy” yet amazing impressionist, the owners of Café basil are no less. With absurd and curious names of dishes and amazing food inventions, Café Basil has managed to pull off a Van Gogh. The urge to create something new and impressive can be seen in all of the dishes.
Serve up the food already!
I was served with the “Bubulae” burger and it was a symphony in my mouth. Served on a plate of crisp fries and thickened dip, yet the Bubulae takes the spotlight. The dip had a slight taste of tang while the fries were seasoned with salt and other herbs. The burger was a huge patty of tender minced beef covered with grease and barbeque sauce that lied on a layer of lettuce, topped with a layer of gooey cheese closed off with moist buns. Each bite into the burger led to the unfolding a new flavour hidden in the burger and it just kept getting better. Through every bite, you can experience the slight hint of herbs roasted along with the patty.
The fries went perfectly with the burger and were perfect with proportion, they were not too thinly sliced and not too thick to be passed for wedges. Each bite was into the fries was filled with a burst of flavours consisting of various herbs along with a mix seasoned salt. To tie it all together was the in-house dip, which serves up a hint of tang that tingles your test buds.
To wash it all down I was served with a “Mojeeto”, but it failed to match up to the excellent taste of their other beverages or food products. Then again it wasn’t that bad either. The price of the food was surprisingly quite affordable so that everyone can afford a touch of gourmet. Approximately it can cost around INR.500/- for two people.
My take away:
Cafe Basil has definitely turned the tides and put its name on the map of Goa, marking itself as of the top 10 places to eat in Goa. The brothers Hans, Harsh, Sahil, and Nikil Zaveri definitely know how to create a great business and even greater food. Cafe Basil stands as a testament to their hard work and dedication to food and the idea behind it making it one of the best Burger corners in Goa. Even with food, that good the only drawback of the place would be the compact size of it. Though small, the place can serve up a storm and can take your palate by surprise.
In conclusion, Cafe Basil has definitely proved itself through the test of time and their flavours have always managed to surprise. Head over to Cafe Basil and divulge into the burgers of your dreams!