In an exclusive interaction with Restaurant India, Antonio, Owner, Blue Bird, chats how he came up with the idea of serving different cuisines under one roof and fresh vegetables grown in his own garden.
Fast-forward a decade ago, Antonio & Janet got a place of their own, in a quiet spot off south of the Chapora River. Given its diminutive size, they converted it into a restaurant and guest house, embellished by scattered plants and trees, giving a feeling of discovery into a secret garden in a tropical rainforest, and along with their background in private cheffing, the place easily fits as a fine dine family atmosphere restaurant.
The restaurant is a quaint little place and is open throughout the day for service of breakfast, lunch and dinner. It serves traditional Goan food as well as continental cuisine. There is a breakfast bar, vegetarian menu, and provision for bar and music. Serving fresh seafood and vegetables grown in their own garden, Blue Bird offers a family atmosphere and a relaxing, open air ambience.
You offer a mix of Goan, Continental, Seafood and desserts. How challenging is it to serve different cuisines under one umbrella?
It’s not at all challenging for us as we see customer satisfaction first. In fact, it’s good as a customer comes to us either to celebrate or they are hungry, somebody likes Goan, somebody likes Continental and others go for fusion, that’s why our focus is to serve a mix of all cuisines.
There are lots of restaurants in Vagator. Why should a prospective diner choose yours?
We have a wide range of dishes both for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. We are specialised in Goan food. And everyone who comes to Goa loves to try Goan food and for that we are one of the best options as we don’t believe in doing business, we believe that the person should get the best taste of Goa and moreover, we work for customers’ satisfaction.
Tell us about Blue Bird’s journey. How and why did you open Blue Bird restaurant?
I started my restaurant with a small set up in 1982. And then it was renewed to a proper restaurant in 1986. Since I operate at a tourist spot, I have a guest house also. The idea came up to give tourists something different at Goa so I planned to cook food for them and serve people with my different ideas and techniques.
What is your secret to keeping customers coming in?
People are coming from far away and I don’t believe in making only business, my motive is to make them happy and serve them in a way that they must take something memorable from Goa. So, with my different cooking styles and techniques, I keep my customers coming in.
What is your signature dish?
The prawns which we prepare by the combination of crushed pepper and brandy is our signature dish. A person can have it as a starter or as the main course depending upon their preference.
Who do you see as your competitor in the market?
We don’t take it that way, we just believe in serving our customers the best way we can, and this is our overall concern. We try to represent Goa through our taste and service.
What are some of the challenges of being a restaurant owner?
There are a lot of challenges to being a restaurant owner like finding the correct raw products which are fresh, authentic and easily available. Also, the availability of right manpower is also a challenge for us.
Are you present in cities other than Vagator? What is your expansion plan?
We are one of the leading casual dining restaurants of Vagator. No, we are not planning to expand as I am happy with what I have and I believe in giving the best from where I am.
Which is the best season for business as Goa is among the top tourist destinations?
The best season for the business is in the month of December and January as that is the time when people mostly come to celebrate Christmas and New Year and the weather also remains cool and pleasant in Goa.