Friday, 6 December 2013

Govinda's, Udaipur, India (Alissa and Don Eat Asia Day 12, Part 1)

One of the challenges in smaller cities and towns in India is finding decent espresso coffee, so knowing that Govinda's is so centrally located in Udaipur is comforting. When we came to Udaipur two years ago, Govinda's was a daily haunt for my parents and I as we drank our daily cappuccinos and watched the myriad tourists and locals as they went about their day on the way to City Palace Rd. This time was no different, and as we received our caffeine fix we were able to listen into to conversations by elderly British people who seemed to have seen The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and decided to become characters from the film, younger hippie Americans living up to their own cliches, dogs fighting on the street and adorable puppies being played with by local shop owners.

Govinda's does some interesting food too, and on my previous trip here I particularly enjoyed the Chocolate Chilli Cheese Pizza. We decided to have lunch there on our second day, ordering one of the pizzas and a bowl of the Pesto and Olive Pasta to share between us.

The Pesto and Olive Pasta was good by Indian standards, but of course did not compare to what we get back in Australia. Italian products can be very expensive in many parts of Asia, and as such the fresh qualitry standards of Australian Italian food cannot be matched; to try would make it outrageously expensive as I have found out cooking pesto in Singapore. The pasta spirals in this dish were slightly softer than al dente, but at least it was tasty with a nice cheesiness and basil flavour to the pesto sauce.

The Chocolate Chilli Cheese Pizza was better. What may seem like a strange combination actually works really well, and its odd to find such an adventurous cafe in what is a fairly small city by Indian standards. The saltiness and umami of the cheese works well with the fudgy sweetness of the chocolate, creating the kind of salty-sweet combination that Alissa loves. And just when the flavours dissipate on your palate, the chilli gives a nice kick in the end and goes wonderfully with a cup of coffee.

The Verdict: Good
If in town, I always stop by Govinda's for coffee as the quality here is reliable. The food here may not be amazing but if you're looking for something a little different in Udaipur Govinda's Chocolate Chilli Cheese Pizza is worth a try.


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