Monthly Food Critique: Goa Tacos
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Chef and founder of Goa Taco, Duvaldi Marneweck, moved from South Africa to London just after graduating high school to pursue cooking as a career. He worked in Michelin Star restaurants before completing his chef’s training at a culinary institution in Australia. After 10 years of working in highly renowned restaurants, he decided to bring Mexican-Indian fusion food to New York in the form of the paratha taco.
A paratha is a delicious flatbread traditionally served as breakfast or a tea-time snack, filled with mashed, spiced potatoes, paneer, or vegetables. At Goa Taco, they are folded in half and served as a taco shell. Parathas are made by using a similar technique as if it were a puff pastry through a process called lamination. As the chef rolls out the dough, they add a coating of ghee or oil and then fold the dough on top of itself repeatedly. This gives the fried pastry a flaky, layered texture.
These highly reviewed paratha tacos come with a multitude of toppings and fillings ranging from five-spice confit duck with spicy pickled cucumbers, thin slices of radish, sweet soy, and sesame, ahi tuna with grilled pineapple, fennel, herbs, and aioli, and a Mediterranean-Mexican fusion lamb shoulder with tzatziki and eggplant salsa. They also offer some amazing options for those who are vegetarian, including a chamomile beetroot salad with kale, quinoa, and burrata cheese, a paneer paratha taco with pesto, fried garbanzo beans, and pickled tomatillo, and a spiced honey roasted squash paratha taco with kale, cheese, pepita, and salsa verde. For those with allergies, Goa Taco offers the option to make quinoa and kale bowls out of any of their tacos. They also offer vegan options upon request.
In terms of sweets, Goa Taco serves ice cream nachos complete with cinnamon corn chips, mango cheese, and strawberry salsa— a dessert that will leave tasters wanting more, a chocolate hazelnut mascarpone churro, and dulce de leche paratha.
In their order portions, one paratha taco is equivalent to two street tacos. The pork belly taco with pickled red cabbage and chipotle mayo did not disappoint in its flavor. Their pork belly is slow-roasted, causing it to fall apart as you bite into it and the sweet, but not too sweet pickled cabbage gives a much-needed contrast to the richness of the paratha. The chipotle mayo is made in house and compliments the rest of the flavors perfectly. The taco also came with a bonus chicharrón as a garnish which was exceedingly delicious and crispy.
For the chicken chorizo taco, it’s served with a brussel sprout slaw and fontina cheese. The chicken chorizo was not as spicy as anticipated, but it still took the taste buds straight to Flavortown.
Overall, Goa Taco is a must visit establishment. They marry flavors together in a way that has other taco restaurants quaking.