If you’re in Goa and drive down along the road from Calangute towards Siolim, just beyond the ground that hosts Arpora’s Saturday night market, you will come across a white washed wall that announces itself as Tito’s White House. Inside are a lot of small buildings that house everything from karate, yoga, and tai chi classes, a tattoo studio, a juice bar, a clothing store, to the popular Lila Café and a couple of restaurants.
This is typically the sort of place that is quite a popular destination for a lot of tourists to Goa, especially those from abroad and not really the place you would normally find locals frequenting. However Tito’s White House is worth visiting if you are adventurous in your food tastes and are looking for good Thai food, because Vikram and Radhika Khanna have recently opened the Lotus Blossom there. The Khannas bring with them years of experience in the business of Thai food.
The Lotus Blossom, a pure Thai bistro, has a casual al fresco style seating with wooden furniture and large cane basket like lamp shades on the ceiling which is very pleasant in the less warm months of the year. Their kitchen, manned by Chefs Surakit and Chamrat from Thailand, sits behind a lovely wall mural with lotus blossoms painted by Georg Wirsching.
My friend and I, both vegetarians and teetotallers, visited the Lotus Blossom for lunch. They serve a good variety of cocktails but we choose to quench our thirst with lime sodas and munched on the Roasted Thai Party Mix (Thai spiced peanuts) while waiting for our food to arrive.
We started our meal with Thai style Lettuce Wraps that came to the table with the lettuce leaves and little bowls of minced chillies, lime, galangal, onions, lemongrass, toasted coconut, peanuts, and a sauce so we could put together our own mini-wraps. The crunch of the lettuce and the peanuts, and flavours of the filling all together were pleasant and enjoyable.
Then came a platter of starters which Vikram Khanna put together for us so we could try out a few items on their menu. The platter had Por Pia (traditional Thai fried spring rolls with vegetables), Tofu Satay Skewers, Khao Pod (sweet corn fritters) and Stuffed Mushroom. I liked the crisp spring rolls the best, and corn fritters came a close second. I’m not a fan of either mushroom or Tofu so the other two were wasted on me.
Next came one of my personal favourites, Som Tam the iconic Thai raw papaya salad with peanuts and the Lotus Blossom version didn’t disappoint me at all. It was just the way I liked it, crunchy with a hint of sweetness and tang and peanuts on the top.
For soup, we tried out small portions of both the classic Thai soups – Tom Yum (vegetables in a spicy broth) and the milder Tom Kha (coconut milk based flavoured with lemongrass and galangal). Both were excellent.
Then came the main part of the meal – Kaeng Khiao Wan or the classic coconutty Thai Green Curry with vegetables served with rice and a side of Phat Phak Bai Kraphao (stir fried vegetables with chilli and basil), and they were perfectly to my taste.
And for dessert we had another iconic Thai summer time favourite, the Tub Tim Grob or Red Rubies dessert. This is a dish of red ruby coloured crisp water chestnuts coated potato or tapioca starch in sweetened coconut milk served with shaved ice. This was something I have not eaten before and I found it very pleasant, extremely light for a dessert with just the right amount of sweetness to it. Personally, I would have liked a little more of those “rubies” in my glass!
We quite liked the food at the Lotus Blossom and I would definitely recommend it for good Thai food, especially vegetarian, if you’re in the area.
Address : Calangute-Arpora-Siolim Road | Tito’s White House, Opposite Indian Oil Petrol Pump, Anjuna, Bardez 403509, India
Please note : The information in this post was current at the time of writing it, and may have changed since.
Disclaimer : This review was done on an invitation from Lotus Blossom. Due judgement has been applied and I have done my best to remain objective and unbiased while writing this review. This review is my personal opinion so please exercise your own discretion.