A charming garden bistro
Villa Blanche is a cozy bistro in a charming tree-lined avenue in Assagao. It is set in the enchanting tropical garden of a renovated Portuguese house. Named after the house's original owner, Ms. Blanche, the house is actually painted in blue (often misleading for the café’s first-time guests who expect the house to be white).
The ambiance here is homely, as is the food served, which epitomizes home-cooking at its finest. Sit at hand-crafted mosaic tables or in the colourful pillow and throw adorned lounge area. The bistro also house a little shop retailing fashion and lifestyle accessories.
"Eating in Villa Blanche is like a gastronomical time travel through the tastes of old fashioned Europe (some recipes have been handed down to me by my grandmother"), says Yogini, the creative force behind this charming cafe.
The fresh ingredients are sourced from local markets and speciality stores across Europe and the Middle East. Fresh garden herbs and organic salads are delivered to the kitchen everyday. A few specialty products such as Black Forest Ham from Germany, salmon and swiss cheese are imported from Europe. Organic produce is used as much as possible, for instance organic olive oil. Dried elder flowers are brought and the syrup is prepared here.
A lot of attention is given to ingredients and methods which delivers the unique tastes here.
The food at Villa Blanche may best be described as easy comfort food- home cooked food prepared with a lot attention to detail, as a mother would do. The menu features breakfast all day, a reduced lunch menu with assorted sandwiches (including a Bagel with Lox and Cream Cheese!), hot plates and a several specialties everyday featuring everything from freshly prepared quiche, pasta dishes, german meat balls, sumptuous beef lasagne, as well as seasonal house favourites like the salads. Villa Blanche is known for its salads since the customers know the effort that goes into cleaning the greens here. Special sauces are made for each salad.
New dishes for season 2016 include Asian prawns & rice noodle salad, Prawns in honey brandy orange sauce with Soba noodles, Zucchini spaghetti, Red snapper cooked in Sherry and mashed potatoes, Goan fish filet Sicilian way (cherry tomatoes, white wine, raisins, capers, cashews and mint), Pumpkin mango Thai curry with/without chicken, Beef steak and Beef goulash. Vegetarians can pick from new introductions such as Bavarian pretzel knoedel in Kiwi mushroom sauce and Organge flavoured organic quinoa salad amongst others. Blueberry cheesecake makes an entry into the dessets section. Drop in for a range of Hugo based cocktails with elderflower, mint leaf and lemon.
A regular German menu features pork sausages, beef stew and other dishes; the meat and related ingredients which are sourced from German butchers in India. The restaurant additionally features a newly introduced vegan menu - upto six dishes everyday. For a sweet treat, ask for the hand made ice cream (made with the imported Caprigiani machine), available in many flavours; alos vegan ice cream.
Villa Blanche was originally conceived as a place for tea and cakes, and it is easy to see why. Villa Blanche is known for cakes and desserts. The bakery features everything from all –time favourites such as German Cheesecake, Gluten-free Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake, Mango Yoghurt Cold Cheesecake, French Apple Tart, to speciality desserts like Old Viennese Chocolate Cake, Christmas Stollen cake and freshly baked handmade cookies. All of these prepared with love!
Villa Blanche opened in December 2006 initially as a place for great cakes, cookies and breakfast food. Over the course of the next two years, it slowly evolved into a bistro open for breakfast, brunch and dinner.
Yogini, the creative force behind this charming eatery, first settled in Goa in 2001. By 2003, she was a partner in the popular pizzeria in the Saturday Night Market.
After receiving many commendations from friends on her fabulous cakes, the idea of a cafe began to take shape. Soon thereafter, the Portuguese house where the bistro stands today was bought, and the Villa Blanche story was born.
For many years, Yogini managed Villa Blanche with her then business partner Marco. Since 2013, Yogini now manages Villa Blanche with her dedicated and well trained staff from Goa. These are neighbouring village girls who have been taught the nuances of working in a restaurant by Yogini herself - consideration of quality ingredients. They are back every year during the season.