Where Have These Indian-Inspired Cocktails Been All Our Lives?
Recently resuming operations after relocating to Ascott Kuala Lumpur, this modern Indian food haven is now located above Tujo bar and grill to cater to the central downtown crowd. With a fresh lick of paint, celebrity chef Sapna Anand's signature modern Goan delights still shine in a focused menu, complementing the other half of the menu, which feature the creative cocktails of mixologist Nikki Law.
These Indian-inspired cocktails incorporate spices, beverages, dishes and ingredients commonly found in the cuisine into the bar's stimulating offerings.
I mean, who ever thought of combining tequila, rasam, tabasco, pop rocks and more?
Yes, it may sound weird to take a South Indian staple such as rasam and turn it into an alcoholic flavour pop, but that's excatly what the bar has done. Having a flavour profile that resembles a bloody mary, the rasam shooters at Goa thankfully manages to recreate that rasam taste, although with a mix of spice that reacts surprisingly alright with the tequila, honey, lime juice, mint syrup, tabasco sauce, pop rocks and salt. For a fun start to the night at Goa, this will get the conversation going and your tastebuds eager for a follow up drink.
Spiked Mango Lassi
Another favourite of ours, who would have thought that adding vodka and herbal liqueur to mango lassi would make it taste even better? If you're wondering what the spicy sensation in your mouth is after taking a sip, it's the sneaky addition of chilli padi that's working its magic. With that little warning out of the way, the drink is thick with a satisfying mango taste, making for a very good tropical cocktail.
Ass Whuppin Chai Masala
Chai masala fans will be happy to know that their favourite beverage has received an alcoholic makeover here at Goa, one that sees the well-known tea infused with rum, hazelnut liqueur and vanilla syrup. While not a fan of chai masala in general, I could appreciate the warm, milky and slightly spicy side of the tea that helped to draw out the flavours of the rum. When paired together with black pepper papadum, the two create an interplay of flavours that works to the beverage's favour.
Papadum with Peanut & Moong Dhal Salsa
Goa recommends having their imported black pepper papadum with the aforementioned chai masala cocktail and as a bar snack it manages to hit it right off. The taste of the papadum itself is smoky with a gradual spicy yet pleasant build up. The dip served to complement these crispy treats on the other hand, helps to add fresh flavours to the mix, with peanuts, lentils, tomatoes and basil successfully turning an already delicious Indian treat into a better snack.
One of our favourites amongst the flight of cocktails we reviewed, Masala Mantra is fizzy and refreshing with a salty-sour punch that keeps you coming back for more. With gin as its base and lemon juice, ginger syrup, turmeric syrup, cayenne pepper and a dash of black pepper to round out the drink, this is one diverse cocktail that shines on its own or with food.
Surprisingly not very oily, these spiced eggplant fritters that came served with mint chutney was just the perfect order to pair with the bar's Masala Mantra cocktail. The mint sauce itself is refreshingly cool, giving these fried goodies a much needed green element.
Gin and lychee liqueur are the stars of the cocktail here despite the name, using kokum (a fruit from the mangosteen family), roasted cumin and lime as supporting ingredients to add depth to the beverage. The whole combination produces a rather sweet mixture and if that's right up your ally then you'll be pleased. However, the taste of cumin and lime is faint, while the taste of kokum gets lost among the dominant lychee flavour.
Goan Beef Cutlet
If you're looking for something hearty to munch on, go for the goan beef cutlets. A mix of potato, minced beef, and other spices, the dish comes served with a savoury spicy chilli tomato dip that enhances the spices of the beef cutlet that makes for a great overall snack to any drinking session.