OCT 06, 2015 – By Victor Sanches –
Goshala is a lacto-vegetarian restaurant located on Rua dos Pinheiros, near the corner of Rua Dr. Virgílio de Carvalho Pinto, in Pinheiros. With a slogan that promises “Natural Contemporary Cuisine”, Goshala combines gourmet vegetarian gastronomy with a strong Indian influence. Founded in 2012, the restaurant has a very unique ambience, and the menu offers a number of different vegan delicacies.
I first learned about Goshala last year from a vegetarian friend of mine who worked in the area. Even though it’s not a vegan restaurant, I’ve always been fascinated by Indian cuisine and had to stop by to check out the menu and try the vegan options.
I started eating much less Indian food once I stopped being an ovo-lacto, since it’s difficult to find dishes that don’t use any dairy products, especially the very popular ingredient Ghee, which is clarified butter. Anyway, despite the fact that a vast majority of Goshala’s dishes are lacto-vegetarian, the menu has a few options that make it very worthwhile for vegans too.
Goshala opened in April 2012 and has been under the management of the owner and chef, Andréa Finocchiaro. FYI, the word Goshala comes from Sanskrit and means “shelter for cows”. The entire restaurant is filled with references to Hindu culture and other decorative items, including pictures and arts and crafts. The restaurant is located in a quaint two-story former residence, and wood tables and furniture have been positioned throughout the premises. There are 3 colorful and well decorated main environments: the ground floor, back porch and a spacious 1st floor.
The restaurant’s gastronomic style is defined as “contemporary natural vegetarian”, with a strong Indian influence. And you know what that means: lots of color, spices and fragrant herbs, providing the dishes with that special touch I’ve come to know and love. For those of you who are used to going to very traditional Indian restaurants, I can tell you that Goshala has a much softer touch, having created a balance between India, Brazil and other countries. For vegetarians, the menu also has a lot of pasta and risotto options. Another difference that caught my attention, and made me really happy folks, is that they don’t use soy!
On to the dishes…
The restaurant has a daily special that includes juice and dessert, which is usually a vegetarian dish. There are several choices on the regular menu for vegans, and of course, I tried them all. So let’s get to it…
Among the appetizers, the only vegan choice on the menu is the seasoned pupunha heart of palm and leek samosas, served with a sweet and sour sauce that is out of this world. Smooth, crispy and stuffed! Wow, I could easily live on these…
The Koftas (vegetable and chickpea flour meatballs served with a sauce and spices, basmati rice, grilled vegetables in olive oil and fresh herbs). These meatballs are to die for…delicious!
The Commercial dish (seasoned cashew pulp burger served with grilled vegetables in herb olive oil, wholegrain rice and house-style carioca beans). This is an extremely flavorful burger with a soft texture that is somehow a little crispy at the same time…
The Cerrado Curry (curry with carrots, yam, okra, banana, baru nuts and spices served with basmati rice and fresh herbs), super-succulent and nicely seasoned…
Last but not least, and my personal favorite, the Cashew Stew (stew prepared with cashew cubes, pupunha heart of palm, cashew nuts, red onion, peppers, hijiki seaweed, tomato and coconut milk, served with a mix of white and black rice. Spectacular…without a doubt the restaurant’s best vegan delicacy. You have to try it!
The desserts all contain dairy, except for the Viraj Pear (pear cooked in apple and hibiscus sauce, served with a gingerbread and cashew nut farofa).
The restaurant doesn’t get too crowded during the week. It can fill-up on weekends, but I’ve never seen a line. I recommend that you tell your waiter if you’re a vegan so that he or she can tell you what your options are, so you don’t have to go hunting through the menu.
If you’re like me and have a soft spot for Indian food, Goshala is another great option for a vegan or vegetarian lunch in Pinheiros!
Open: every day.
Hours: Monday to Friday from 12:00pm to 3:00pm. Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30pm to 4:00pm.
Address: Rua dos Pinheiros, 267 – See map.
Menu: á la carte.
Prices: Samosas: R$17.00. Cashew Stew: R$36.00. Koftas: R$35.00. Commercial: R$36.00. Cerrado Curry: R$36.00. Viraj Pear: R$14.00.
Telephone: 11 3063-0367