Anyone who wants a feel of Goenkarponn must visit Café Real, near Azad Maidan, in Panaji. It is an iconic eatery with a popular old-world ambience dating back to 1946 as a humble Goan eatery…Café Real has caught up with time with some touches of modernity but its menu continues to offer the same much-sought after fare by locals and tourists alike.
I must confess I discovered Café Real after I fell for its mushroom xacuti and fine puri. Hot, hot, hot and to die or live for! Everything else here is standard: The batatvada, Goan patti samosa (more flavourful than the fat Punjabi samosa), the advocate fraternity still comes here to feast on its justly famed bhaji-puri or bhaji-pau. Even the tiatr folk love their bhaji-pau (the crusty Goan bread undo is a hit) and old-timers will drop by for jeera paani to this day. Mirsangbhaji is a best-seller and notice how the chutney which comes along with the different snacks is also differently flavoured!
I must confess I fell in love with Café Real after I discovered its savoury plump mushroom xacuti with some of the finest puri in town, and Goan patti samosa (so different from fat Punjabi samosa). Café Real is for Goan vegetarian delights and yes, it is the flagship café which went on to launch the now widely recognized Real Group of Companies. Life has showered blessings on proprietor Gajanand Shirodkar for whom Café Real is a precious bit of nostalgia and family history, he can get very sentimental about the life and times of his eatery. Catch him for a conversation if you can! If you’re coming to Panaji, you haven’t lived if you haven’t called at Café Real for a bite.
— Tara Narayan, foodie writer