Cafe by the day, restobar by the night: Pune’s Terttulia lands in Goa
After Pune and Mumbai, Terttulia reaches Goa to offer foodies an all-day European dining experience.
While Assagao might clinch the title of being the latest culinary hotspot, Goa’s capital Panjim continues to attract the crowds in droves–both local and tourists–to its legendary eateries.
Just as the old-world town Fontainhas houses the iconic Joseph Bar, the modern part of the city, Miramar, is steadily becoming the hub for everything fine and classic.
When word slipped around that Pune’s beloved European restobar Terttulia had opened its doors to guests in the heart of Panjim, I expected it to be soaked in vintage décor just as it had been in Pune and Mumbai, taking after period European cafes. But it’s Goan outlet has donned a new look.
Spread across 6,500 square feet, Terttulia Goa looks like a huge balcao or balcony under an overgrown bamboo canopy. Designed by Otherworlds Studio, the restaurant is built into a Goan villa. Lead architect of the project Arko Saha opened up some walls of the villa to add a floating island bar on the front of the restaurant–half in its alfresco area, and half inside in the air-conditioned dining area.
My very first question for Imrun Sethi, the brainchild behind Terttulia was ‘Why Terttulia?’
“Terttulia comes from Catalan and it means a conversation between friends drinking coffee or beer, and good food,” Sethi tells YS Life. True to its name, Terttulia serves the purpose of both a laid-back cafe during the day, and a hip-bar by night. Sethi, along with entrepreneurs Sunny Sara, Ritik Bhasin, and Ranbir Batra have come together to create a cosy all-day eatery cafe that can house 120 guests at a time.
The restaurant has been crafted with intricate attention to detail, with the entire space is woven in dual-tone texture. The ample seating options, lend itself to a cosy vibe—surrounded by lush greenery, I was immediately comfortable. The music and soft lighting makes sure that even first-timers feel relaxed and inviting, and be just themselves.
During my visit, I got the opportunity to interact with Arjun Madhavji, Terttulia Goa’s Head Chef, who has closely worked with brand chef Sanjib Das to recreate an original menu. The Goan outlet has retained 40% of Terttulia Pune’s menu, with the inspired by Goan culture and preferences.
In this outlet, the cocktail gets a facelift—with a complete revamp that suits the Goan palette and mood.
It is designed by mixologist Santosh Chaitri, and features flavourful gin cocktails, and interesting twists to the classic cocktails, all priced between Rs 375 and Rs 500. It also showcases mocktail options and coffee. Diners can also opt beverages from a curated selection of wines and beers.
The food menu opens to English-influence breakfast options ranging from eggs, sandwiches and berry bowls. Sethi, who was earlier a DJ, worked erratic hours and was always on the lookout for all-day breakfast places. “I always dreamt of creating a relaxed café where you could have breakfast and light drinks throughout the day, and which would transform into a sultry bar in the evening,” says Sethi.
While I was tempted to try the salmon and avo benny from the breakfast menu, I decided to save that for my morning visit to Terttulia. As I scanned through the menu, the server brought me Turmeric Tonic and a Lemon Sky. The turmeric-infused gin cocktail was topped with lime juice, ginger honey syrup and fresh sweet lime. The mild flavour of turmeric infused with ginger and lime was exactly the refreshment I needed to start my endeavours. Lemon Sky is Terttulia’s twist to the classic G&T and seemed best fit for lazy afternoons.
The menu falls into the realm of modern European cuisine, with flavours influenced from Italy, cooking techniques opted from France, and Spanish tapas-style plates. Overwhelmed with the options available, I asked Chef Arjun to get me his best dishes, unaware of the delectable journey to which I made myself privy.
In came the karari roti, the start to our meal which was a large crescent shaped crispy bread flavoured with Indian spices, butter and coriander, and with a side of creamy hummus. Said to be an invention of Delhi’s famous Pritam Da Dhaba, the karari roti makes for a perfect ‘chakna’.
To balance the spices of the roti, the chef brought a kale quinoa salad, and watermelon n’ feta to the table. While the latter looked more impressive, presented like a pastry (for days when you want a clean meal but wish to fool your eyes), to my surprise it was the quinoa salad that stole that show.
Topped with dates, walnuts, sun-dried cranberries and roasted chickpeas, the quinoa salad was crunchy and sweet at the same time.
Once I was done with the salads and the bar food, the chef presented a slice of Goa–Bouillabaisse ‘n goan poi. The French-inspired fish soup was loaded with clams, mussels, prawns, calamari and fish. The tangy broth served with a side of Goan bread felt like a hug in a bowl.
From vegetarian small plates, the chef’s specials were baby beet and poached pear and suman roasted cauliflower. The former was a dessert that arrived early. The pear was poached in white wine and vinegar, the baby beet was slowly cooked in cranberry, and they were served with a side of honey ricotta, rocket salad and topped with toasted seed mix, Chef Arjun apprised me with the recipe.
As simple as a roasted cauliflower may sound, its flavours were complex and the dish in itself was lip-smacking! The whole cauliflower was coated in a layer of crimson Middle-eastern sumac spice, roasted and served on a bed of hummus and confit garlic. The roasted cauliflower can be treated as a meal in itself. Diners looking for a milder option can opt for the charred broccoli.
I skipped the burgers, sandwiches and pizzas, to directly head to the mains. I opted for the baked chonak, and the lamb ragout 2.0. The juicy, crusted sea perch was served with a side of roasted baby potatoes piped with parmesan cheese, garlic tossed vegetables.
The meat–boneless lamb leg, was slow cooked in red wine and served with root vegetables, along with buttered spaghetti—a total winner in my books.
The chef insisted that I end my meal with their signature dessert–cinnamon sugar french toast and chocolate mousse. French toast for dessert might raise a few eyebrows, but what arrived at the table was mind-blowing. The french toast was fried in European churros style, and served with a generous portion of liquid cheesecake. The mousse, made using 75% dark belgian chocolate did not give me a sugar rush, like most desserts do and was the perfect end to a scrumptious meal!
Everything at Terttulia–from the bread to the pasta, crafted sauces and the cocktail syrups, are made in-house. This carries through in taste and delivers entirely when it comes to the flavour of the dishes and beverages.
Rooted in the mantra ‘Eat, drink, love,’ Terttulia is the perfect place to let go of your worries and enjoy the company of friends and family. The restaurant also organises art workshops every Wednesday where participants can learn a new art technique alongside indulging in some delicious cocktails and food.
Time: 12 PM to 12 AM (every day)
Cost for two: Rs 2,000 (approximately)
Edited by Akanksha Sarma