Capital is a very friendly, relaxed spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in Patnem. It's ovo-lacto-vegetarian, but there are quite a few vegan options, and they are happy to accommodate special orders and substitutions.
Service was surprisingly good for such a casual place. The owner's nephew, who usually took our orders, was warm, friendly, charming, and well trained (e.g. always repeating our orders back to us, including our vegan substitutions and quirky requests, which is always an encouraging sign, but one often absent in other low-key eateries of India).
The menu (taking obvious cues from Blue Planet in Agonda, though without the same finesse in execution) includes a somewhat unusual (and therefore refreshing) mixture of Indian and international items. The center of gravity is health food staples (e.g. various salads and tofu burgers) but there's enough variety that it will likely appeal to almost everyone.
- Red rice chapatis, a local specialty, are very good, with a distinctive texture and delicious flavor. Millet chapatis were quite good too.
- Local millet porridge with coconut milk is quite nice for breakfast. Also good fruit salads.
- Tasty fresh bread (available topped with hummus or avocado)
- Delicious homemade almond milk. (Soy yogurt was also on the menu but sadly unavailable during our two-week visit.)
- Fresh juices are a bit less expensive than those on the beach, and they have good variety and combinations. Try the Power Smuthi with spirulina.
- Pakoras (both mushroom and tofu) with green chutney were quite good (though not always crispy; sometimes they arrived soft, which rather defeats the one upside of deep frying).
- Also OK: tofu burger, veg curry, tofu--mushroom-spinach stir fry, paalak tofu
LOCATION: It's not on Patnem beach itself, but rather right on the northwest corner of the one main intersection in Patnem, at the turnoff from Patnem beach from the main Patnem-Palolem road.
PRICES: Moderate, and quite reasonable considering the above-average quality of the food and service.
ORGANIC? Given the loose use of the "organic" buzzword in India, and since there seems to be rather limited availability of organic produce and dry staples in the area, one wonders what percentage of Capital's ingredients are actually organic. We didn't investigate, but maybe someone else would like to do so and post the results in a review here...
Several vegan options, special orders & substitutions OK, surprisingly good service
a lot of egg and dairy, sometimes obnoxious music at night