Larder and Folk brings the best of sweet and savoury creations to delight one’s taste buds
A cute cozy little café located at Mala, Larder and Folk threw open its doors to the public in November last year with the aim of serving a variety of sandwiches, bowls, doughnuts, buns and pastries. The brainchild of Priyanka Sardessai, a trained chef from the Culinary Institute of America, who started cooking from her home when the world came to standstill in 2020. She began with trials during the first lockdown at home by setting up a kitchen in her home and began taking weekly orders with Siddarth Sumitran, her husband and business partner, a photographer, who takes care of all the packaging designs and logistics. Priyanka worked from home for a year having weekend specials and curating private events for people who requested her culinary expertise at luxury villas around Goa. She soon realised that she didn’t have the kitchen space and manpower to do larger events and began to look for a place before the second lockdown. The second lockdown threw a spanner in the works and Priyanka decided to stick to a takeaway model. They found a place they were looking for in Mala and set up a production kitchen to cater to private events. Initially Priyanka opened up her place with no seating and wanted to have a bakehouse concept where people would rush in to buy their bread early in the morning. She started off with a variety of sandwiches, bowls, basically everything with which she experimented with from home first. Then she put together a team of cooks, who have experience and have traveled, so they could contribute their offerings to the menu that Priyanka had curated. Later she got a few tables and stools and every day the café sees all the seats full. They have also registered themselves on food delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy and they get plenty of orders which ensure that they run out of stocks by afternoon, which Priyanka says is a great start for them. Instead of restricting themselves to a set menu, Priyanka and her team play around with a lot of culinary ideas. Whatever ingredients are available in the market for the day, they experiment with those, making it a fun time for her team and ensuring customer satisfaction at the same time.
Priyanka is hell bent on having the bakehouse concept which has yet to pick up in Goa. Apart from her café, Priyanka also puts together gift hampers with pantry essentials especially her in-house hot sauces and chilli oils. The menu is handwritten on a blackboard nailed on the wall which feature some of their specialties like sandwiches (Fried Chicken Sandwich, Roast Beef Dip, Banh Mi with pork/chicken/eggplant options); Bowls (Dan Dan Noodles, Sesame
spring noodles, both with pork/chicken/mushroom); Doughnuts (Braided, Milk Chocolate/Vanilla Bombolini, Tiramisu, Limon); Buns (Dark Chocolate, Salted White Chocolate); Pastries (Gooey Chocolate Tart, Banana Cream Pie) and Cookies. Having worked for the Red Rooster Harlem in New York, Priyanka loved the southern fare that they served, especially the fried chicken and incorporated it into her menu. The Banh Mi idea was from a trip to Vietnam and since the couple love sandwiches they put together their own specialties to feature on the menu. The pulled pork sandwich is Siddarth’s idea which he put together for himself but the entire team loved it so much that they put it on the menu. The Chocolate Hazelnut Babka was the first thing that Priyanka made at home and they offer mini babkas at the café which get sold out by mid afternoon. Apart from the coffees like espresso, Americano, latte, and cappuccino, the café serves a Ginger Soda and a Hibiscus Iced Tea which are refreshing drinks for a hot summer day. We tried the Vietnamese Banh Mi selecting the pork option. Juicy chunks of pork in crusty bread, pickles & paté with their in-house hot sauce made for a delicious and filling snack. The Sesame Green Noodles served with minced chicken and scallion-coriander sauce which was bursting with flavour, ensures one of a wholesome and tasty culinary experience. All their pastries were sold out and Priyanka served us her famous doughnuts, the Limon Doughnut and Milk Chocolate Bombolini. The Milk Chocolate Bombolini consisted of a pillowy soft doughnut bursting with rich and creamy chocolate, and dusted with sugar, while the Limon doughnut was filled with tangy cream and had lemon glaze and garnished with lemon zest. A perfect ending to a delicious meal; the doughnuts are a must try here. Larder and Folk is a must visit if you are a sandwich person and have a sweet tooth. The bonus is meeting the cheery Priyanka and the smiling Siddarth and will ensure that you enjoy their culinary delights they have to offer