The clue is in the name here. Goshala means cow sanctuary in Sanskrit, so it’s no surprise to find that beef is off the menu at the eponymous restaurant. And it’s not just beef that’s off limits: Goshala’s menu is 100 per cent veggie. Flip your bright paper placemat over, and you’ll learn more about the origins of the name.
Rustic heavy woods, from the front door to the tables and chairs inside, exude an understated quality from the get go. An internal courtyard affords more seating and looks like a promising alfresco dining spot away from the noisy street, though torrential rain kept it off limits on our visit.
The menu is for the most part Brazilian, with an Indian twist – aromatic and gently spicy dishes sit alongside contemporary Brazilian fare. We started with a baked camembert, served with a delicately spicy-sweet relish and a chapati – an excellent combo, followed by samosas de queijo meia cura e pupunha (R$12, cheese and palm-fruit samosas) – deep-fried, triangular parcels that were tasty, though with their cheesy filling they veered more towards a Brazilian pastel than a samosa.
Finding a good paneer curry in São Paulo is no mean feat, but the one we had here was tangy, aromatic, rich and deep in colour – the perfect comfort food for a rainy day. We also tried the moqueca de caju (R$25), a respectable veggie version of the traditional Bahian stew, made with crunchy cashew nuts and served with black rice. Look out, too, for the dish of the day (R$22 or R$26 including dessert), chalked up on the blackboard and published on the website (goshala.com.br) each day.