The lockdown has withdrawn me from eating my favourite – burgers & pizzas, but not anymore. The craving for burgers is totally different and to fulfil my craving, I visited this wonderful burger café & restaurant in Calangute called NickyM’s Kitchen at Mr.Toff Toff’s Pub, serving a unique combination of burgers, sandwiches, salads and more. It’s the former Mr. Toff Toff bar, famous for the last 20 odd years as a quaint British style bar, with the weekly music, quiz and bingo nights, with a friendly owner. Nicky and Jui, the couple have now taken up this place, have retained the charm of the place, while adding a riot of colors to liven up the place. As fresh as the paint, the food is freshly made, under Nicky’s ongoing supervision.
Now, let me tell you, these are not the regular burgers that you’d find anywhere and thanks to Chef Nikhil who comes up with some fantastic & delectable innovations of food – hence I call it “burger place with a twist”. Excited to know more already? Let’s dive into my personal experience at NickyM’s Kitchen at Mr. Toff Toff’s Pub in Calangute.
About NickyM’s Kitchen
NickyM’s Kitchen is a small restaurant that has recently started off and has taken over Mr. Toff Toff’s Pub (as known previously). This flattering burger café is situated just along the way to the Calangute-Baga beach, and is very easy to find on Google Maps as “NickyM’s Kitchen at Mr.Toff Toff’s Pub.” Chef Nikhil Mirkar runs this place with his wife, Jui & serves the best in town – burgers, double-decker sandwiches and more,
along with a very welcoming and delightful dining experience. Chef Nikhil has always been passionate about cooking and to create a unique dish to present; he chooses the freshest of handpicked ingredients so don’t be amused to find him picking up some veggies at the Mapusa market or the other local supermarkets. The uniqueness of the food at NickyM’s is that you will always find yourself savouring a unique dish EVERY WEEK. Yes, you heard me right! A dish with a new twist every week.
Being around the beachside, NickyM’s Kitchen is mostly visited by the working class on the coastal bed. This café in Calangute can currently accommodate a bunch of 10-15 people in their minimal outdoor and indoor seating (Not to forget how colourful & vibrant the seating is after the renovation and looks really beautiful at night) and they also deliver their delicious food, right from Anjuna to Taleigao and they are also on Swiggy. They are very particular about following the hygiene and the COVID guidelines. The staff wears masks at all times, there is a sanitizer stand and every surface is sanitized once a table is vacated or at least 3 to 4 times a day.
Food with a Twist at NickyM’s
So, it’s time to find out what I tried at NickyMs and why I love this place so much! Firstly, I pounced onto the NickyM’s Classic Beef Burger.
This burger comes with a combo of crispy homemade chips and pickled vegetables. As mentioned earlier, Chef Nikhil likes to pick up only fresh vegetables from the market and ensure that everything is homemade – that makes it different. The very first bite was so satisfying for 2 reasons; Reason #1 – because I haven’t had a burger in a long time due to the lockdown and reason #2 – because I never had a beef burger delectable as this one. I’m still reminiscing the blend of the flavourful patty along with the delicious homemade sauces, making it just perfect. Burgers are juicy, filling, freshly made and innovative. The sandwiches are a must try too. Have a burger and a beer and you will be coming back for more.
After this, we were served with a chicken burger called the Toff Toff’s Classic Chicken burger, a speciality of Mr. Toff Toff’s Pub. It is more or similar to the beef burger, however, with a chicken patty which is so succulent and gives a flavour that makes you go “Oh Wow!”
I don’t want to disappoint the veg food lovers, because I myself consider vegetarian food in par with non-veg. So, we tried the Bombay Veggie Delight. This double-decker sandwich is loaded with fresh veggies – potato, cucumber, tomato, sautéed onion and a mild-spicy chutney, garnished with the Bombay Shev, just like the perfect Mumbai-styled sandwiches that my grandmother used to make for my birthday…it just walked me down the memory lane. Another pick from the vegetarian section is the NickyM’s Veg Burger. The juice veg patty, along with the harmonious taste of the homemade sauces and sautéed veggies, is just the ideal choice for a perfect brunch or perhaps an evening snack.
All the food would not have been complete without a twist….Presenting to you the highlight of the day – Masala Coke. Ever heard of it? I never did until Nikhil got us this refreshing beverage with a twist. I must tell you, if you ever visit NickyM’s and leave without trying their masala coke, you are undoubtedly in a huge loss! It’s been more than a week now since I’ve visited this burger café in Calangute and I can still recall the flavoursome hints of mint and black pepper (not sure if it really is) as some ingredient in this Masala coke. Well, this is Chef Nikhil’s secret recipe 😉 We couldn’t resist but ask for a Masala Sprite this time.
We visited NickyMs for the second time and this time with the renovation, the place look fabulously-mindblowing! Also, Chef Nikhil had some interesting food added to this menu too – as I said, he keeps experimenting. Here for the cocktails, we were served with the Feni Mojito which had the exact mix of Feni (not too strong-not to less) and is a perfect pick for Feni lovers. The Masala vodka is another innovation which I’ve tried for the first time is definitely something that you will find only at NickyMs. Have you tried Old Monk with Masala? Here’s a chance to try their Old Monk Masala Coke and it’s one of my favourites after the Feni Mojito. I’m usually not a Rum-lover but this one wasn’t too strong – just mixed with perfection!
Coming to my favourite – Tapas or if you call it Appetizers, NickyMs has now introduced a range of lip-smacking appetizers which will make you go “WOW”. To accompany our cocktails, we first tried our very own Prawns Rissois. Even if you’ve tried Prawns Rissois, you still need to try these because they are completely different from the regular ones and moreover, they have a generous amount of prawns filling. Nuggets have always been my go-to snack and here I got some Steamy Chicken Nuggets on my table – crisp and flavourful; I didn’t realise how soon I gulped them down while in conversation. Chicken Sausages with Red Chilli was my favourite – I really adore the combination of how well the sausages went with the flavourful and mid-spicy Chilli sauce. Before I skip, you can also choose your variant of sauce – Recheado, Teriyaki, BBQ.
Who ever thought that Goan Sausages would go well with cheese? Chef Nikhil did and the combo turned out to be simply delectable. Grilled between the slices, the Goan Sausage and Cheese Grilled sandwich was generously filled with layers of authentic Goan Sausages and some gooey cheese (I’m a cheese lover) which drives in all the flavour with the first bite. Burgers from NickyMs have always had a place in my heart and this time I tried their very popular Beef Teriyaki Burger with an extra fried egg – now how amazing is that! I’m sure the name itself got you drooling…Trust me, I totally loved how succulent the beef patty was, which put together with some Teryaki sauce and a perfectly fried egg, satisfies the soul. This is a must-try burger if you love beef!
The essence of home-cooking in every dish at this burger café in Calangute has got my attention and I can’t wait to try the very famous NickyM’s Boozy Pork Chops & Chilli Con Carne – I’m craving for this already! Here’s something interesting about NickyM’s – they have a concept of ‘Tasty Thursday’, which happens every Thursday where Nikhil brings out the most exceptional meals like the Meaty Stew, Chicken Marsala and not to forget the Whooper (Chicken/Beef/Veg).
Furthermore, the place is regularly sanitised, a sanitiser for customers is placed at the entrance and regular thermal checks for customers as well as employees is done, ensuring complete COVID-19 precautions. THE BAR IS OPEN so don’t forget to grab a combo of a delicious burger and a refreshing beer so that your weekend is sorted!
They’ve also added some new and delicious items to their menu, like the tall Triple Smash Burgers with 3 patties, 3 bacon and 3 cheese, The Naked Burger (Burger without the Buns), 2 Fried eggs on a spicy onion red chilli mash and a few innovative cocktails using Kokum, mint, fresh lime and a special masala from Sion Koliwada, Mumbai – something you ought to try!
So, if you’re ever headed to Calangute, make sure you hop-in to this wonderful burger café and restaurant to try out Chef NickyM’s magical taste of distinctive food – burgers, sandwiches and more.
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