An all-day restaurant, cafe and bar that is building on its legacy from Mumbai and Pune, Terttulia is the newest addition to Goa’s iconic eateries with a cornucopia of experiences to offer.
By: Usman Riaz
Posted on: April 25, 2023
LF Says: ★★★.5
Following on the success and legacy of its namesakes in Mumbai and Pune, Terttulia is taking forward its motto of ‘Eat.Drink.Love.' and bringing it to Goa, a coastal city-state and party haven of India that thrives on these very three things.
One fine Saturday in March, I got the chance to unwind my week at Terttulia, the newest addition to Goa’s long list of restaurants. A stone’s throw away from both, the Mandovi River and the Miramar Beach - two of the most visited places in the Goan capital, Terttulia lies sprawled in the middle of bustling Panjim. Spread over 6,500 square feet and able to seat up to 120 visitors at once, the restaurant is designed as an all-day eatery, which, as it claims “blends the soul of a restaurant, cafe and bar into one eclectic combo.”
A space at one with its surroundings
Right upon entering Terttulia, it is immediately apparent how well the space blends with its surroundings. Located on one of the most well-known boulevards in Panjim, the Dayanand Bandodkar Marg, Terttulia is shaded by the majestic trees and palms that line the avenue. It is painted in a pastel green that complements its tropical flora, bamboo facades and canopies, and sculpted concrete outdoor seating most elegantly.
As Isabella, the manager at Terttulia, showed me around, I realized that there is a lot more to Tertullia than meets the eye at first. The outdoor seating, shaded by a bamboo canopy, is an open space where a breeze, either from the sea or the river, is perpetually blowing, making for a tropical paradise during the day. The light electronic music is on point - courtesy of Imrun Sethi, co-founder at Tertullia, who, as Isabella tells me, is a music fanatic and used to be a Deejay.
Indoors, as well, Terttulia features several corners. A mini-cafe, which is still in the works, serves freshly brewed coffee, pastries, and baked goodies. Another area doubles as a relaxed seating and workspace. What grabbed my attention was the bar, the mothership of this Goan bistro, brilliantly clad in grey marble and pastel green glass-metal facade. It is designed as an indoor-outdoor space, halved exactly in the middle, and lined with high-chairs and traditional Goan balcãos on both sides. The balcãos, an architectural feature found in old Portuguese buildings, perfectly capture the susegad spirit of Goa. At night, the outdoor space takes a completely different avatar with Deejays and visiting bands playing their sets throughout the week.
...the bar, the mothership of this Goan bistro, [is] brilliantly clad in grey marble and pastel green glass-metal facade. It is designed as an indoor-outdoor space, halved exactly in the middle, and lined with high-chairs and traditional Goan balcãos on both sides.
Terttulia, named after the Catalan word meaning ‘a pleasant conversation between friends’, is created to keep alive the spirit of community. Not only is it a chilled-out space for tourists in the party capital, but also a space that resident Goans can come to call their own. To keep the community that they aim to create continually engaged throughout the week, Terttulia is also experimenting with engaging workshops and party games, shares Isabella.
A contemporary kitchen with a Goan twist
A review of Terttulia would not be complete without talking about its culinary experience, which accounts for two-thirds of its Eat. Drink. Love. philosophy. With Chef Sanjib Das holding the fort in the kitchen, and the service team and Isabella most gracious with their recommendations, you can rest assured of being served the best. The menu is deliberately limited and doesn’t overwhelm; a more ‘one of each’ approach instead of ‘everything, everywhere, all at once’, and features a number of contemporary takes on traditional Goan dishes. It also features an all-day breakfast - a must for Goa where it is never too late for breakfast.
Terttulia Goa's Karari Roti.
For my meal, an early supper of sorts, I was welcomed with the Karari Roti, the crispy sibling of the Rumali Roti of North India and one of Terttulia’s prized bar foods. The Karari Roti, coated with spicy butter and served with classic tzatziki and hummus dips, set the bar of expectations high. Small plates of Baby Beet n’ Poached Pear, served with honey ricotta and rocket salad, and Bouillabaisse and Goan Poi raised the bar even higher. The Bouillabaisse and Goan Poi, a confluence of the classic French fish soup made with fresh local catch and served with a local variety of bread was a highlight. Despite its light taste and texture, its memory is still etched sharply in my mind.
The main course consisted of Lamb Ragout 2.0 and Burrata Ravioli. The lamb, slow-cooked to a tender bite in a heady sauce, was served with perfectly al dente buttered spaghetti. The ravioli was cooked to a succulent bite and immersed in a rich beurre blanc pesto sauce, served alongside their signature cocktails; the Lemon Sky - a twist on the classic Gin & Tonic, a fiery Smoked Picante - a tequila-based concoction spiced with red jalapeños and lime, and their Signature White Sangria - a refreshing punch with tropical fruits. The meal came to an end with Terttulia’s speciality Tiramisu, which, I was pleased to report, passed all the checkboxes with its robust espresso and sharp cocoa taste.
Terttulia Goa's Bouillabaisse & Goan Poi.
Terttulia: Good things to come
As the restaurant has only recently opened earlier this year, I am confident that Terttulia will continue to gain popularity, and we will be hearing much more about it in the coming months. With a cornucopia of experiences to offer, I am curious to see how Terttulia finds its space in this traveller’s paradise. Will it continue to offer something for everyone? Or will it evolve into a niche of its own? One thing, however, is sure, that they, like many in Goa, will find their tribe.
LF Says: ★★★.5
Coordinates: Dayanand Bandodkar Marg, opposite Times of India, Miramar, Panaji, Goa, India