Terttulia Goa is for everyone between 18-80 to enjoy in comfort, says Imrun Sethi
Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
Multi-award winning restobar Terttulia recently opened its new outlet in Goa, at Campal, Panjim. The brainchild of maverick restaurateur Imrun Sethi, Terttulia Goa sees Sethi join hands with dynamic entrepreneurs Sunny Sara, Ritik Bhasin and Ranbir Batra. Life & More spoke with Sethi to deep dive into what’s on offer at the newest restobar in town. Excerpts:
How did you enter the restaurant business?
I got into the restaurant business by default. At the time I was a musician, and a few years ago I went from being a DJ to a performer for several other restaurants. I have always dreamed of hosting people from different cities in my own restaurant, or having my own space, if you will, where people can enjoy their time and enjoy delicious food. Since then, my journey has begun and I would like to mention that in order to start this business, I first made sure to educate myself thoroughly and in doing so, I had the opportunity to gain fruitful experience under the guidance of my grandfather who also owned his own restaurant.
Where was the first Terttulia opened? How much investment went into it. And the subsequent additions were done at which locations?
The first Terttulia was opened at Koregaon Park in Pune. I was there in Pune, ideally for training for a restaurant for a hotel management school. I had joined a hotel management school for a six-month training for which I had been in Pune. And as I mentioned earlier, Pune was the place where my grandfather and father had invested in a restaurant, and so began Terttulia’s journey. And since Pune is an emerging market for taste, the decision to open Terttulia in Pune first was quite easy. Besides, the city with the most vibrant young crowd deserves a place like this where you can eat something good. So we started with a place that served breakfast and dinner, without alcohol, with a tiny little concept of a café. We started with an initial investment of 10-15 lacs, expanding the café considerably and making the necessary changes.
Today, Terttulia is available in Pune, Koregaon Park, Baner, Terttulia Bombay apart from Terttulia Goa. However, we wanted to start in Pune, Deccan as well, but due to Covid, there were major postponements and the project had to be cancelled for a period of time.
Baby beetroot risotto with goat cheese
Terttulia is quite a different name. Any story behind keeping this name?
Deciding on this name was not so easy. I really had to do a lot of brainstorming, talk to some friends, relatives and people in the industry before confirming the name. One fine day, after all the brainstorming and ideas, we sat with our team in Pune. While we were deliberating, one of our design team members was reading in a book and happened to come across the name Terttulia, and so we were able to decide on the name.
The meaning of the word fitted very well with our brand identity, our ethos and everything that we wanted our café to exude when you visit the space. The name comes from Catalan and can be pronounced differently, but we really understood the meaning of the word: a conversation with friends over a coffee or beer and good food. That’s how we decided the name Terttulia.
Terttulia Goa is located in Panjim.
How is Goa responding to Terttulia?
Goa is still very new, so we still have a lot to do with what we want to do there. But yes, it is very encouraging, so far it has been very well received, customers love it. We are located in Panjim, a town in Goa, which is a bit away from the tourist areas. So it’s one of those places where people between the ages of 18 and 80 are well catered for. We are an all-day café offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails, parties, fine dining or a few starters at the bar, also because of its opening hours. It’s not just a place to eat, it’s a place to feel comfortable and not intimidated. It’s a place for everyone to enjoy their comfort, their space, etc. So yes, we are keeping our fingers crossed and would love to see more and more ventures in Goa too.
Kale Quinoa Salad
Do you have a standard menu or does it change according to the city?
Terttulia as a brand has a rough outline of the menu, we are an all-day diner, we have a breakfast menu and an evening menu. We have grilled food, salads, different types of sandwiches, we also have a lot of homemade pasta and we try not to use anything from the bottle. We try to make everything ourselves as much as possible, from the mustard sauce to our own breads that we make ourselves, so we can maintain that wherever we go and wherever we open. We adapt to the locally inspired places we have opened and some of the additions to the menu are locally inspired. So yeah, it’s not always the same. We make sure that we leave a lot of room for creativity and experimentation, and that’s how we express that in our café.
Who is your target diner?
It is a place for everyone, and our target is everyone who enjoys the space and what it has to offer. As I mentioned earlier, everyone aged 18-80 are our target guests. And since it’s a modern European restaurant, it stands to reason that people who know about that kind of cuisine are also our main draws to visit.
Which is your hot-selling dish?
It changes from city to city we are in, but we have a couple of crowd favourites that I would like to list here. We have a dish that is a real signature dish, which is Lamb Ragout served with buttered spaghetti, a lamb that is cooked in its own steam, which means for hours, and it becomes really tender and soft because it’s off the bone anyway, but it melts in your mouth as soon as you eat it. Thirdly, our Sangria is something that literally started as a standard and an experiment and has now become one of the best drinks in Terttulia restaurants because people love the red wine sangria. For desserts, it’s the Tiramisu and the French Toast. These are the restaurant’s most popular and best-selling dishes.
Iced Latte and Road to Heaven
What are your future plans – any new outlet in the offing?
At the moment we have no plans to open a new branch anytime soon, but that is not our goal or plan either. However, we will definitely look for a place to open in Bombay.