• From building disasters to power failures, there's a lot to overcome as Sarah Todd sets up a restaurant in Goa. (My Restaurant in India)
Former Masterchef contestant Sarah Todd leaves her comfortable life in Melbourne and heads to Goa to face the daunting challenge of setting up and running a 400-seat beach club and restaurant. But…in an industry where only one out of three new restaurants survive, is this just a flight of fancy?
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18 Sep 2016 - 12:10 AM  UPDATED 20 Oct 2017 - 3:22 PM

With a screamingly tight timetable, building disasters, wet weather - and the emotional challenge of leaving her young son behind in Melbourne -  setting up her first restaurant in a country far from home is a huge challenge for Sarah Todd. Can she do it?

Sarah Todd first shot to fame in the 2014 series of MasterChef Australia, where she quickly earned a reputation for her passion for Indian cookery. While Sarah was facing the challenges of the reality show kitchen, she was also winning over thousands of followers in India where the series was proving extremely popular. So much so that one day Sarah received an offer that seemed too good to be true… One of India’s most successful restaurateurs wanted her to set up and run an exclusive restaurant on beautiful Vagator Beach, in Goa, India.

In My Restaurant in India, we follow Sarah through the life-changing experience of chasing her dreams and setting up a business. 

catch up with Sarah
Smiles and tears for Sarah Todd
A book, a tour of India, two television shows - and of course being a mum. Life's been hectic for the 2014 Masterchef favourite.

Episode 1

Perched on the cliffs above one of the most exclusive stretches of beach in Goa, the site of this new restaurant has huge potential. But Sarah is 6000 kilometres from home and this is her first attempt at setting up a restaurant. With very little industry experience, Sarah has everything to learn about running a restaurant. Armed only with her wits, a burning passion for great food and a deep love of India, she's going to five it her all. "Will there be chaos? Completely,” says restaurant owner Ashish Kapur. He's soon proven right - and adding to Sarah's challenges as she's trying to find her feet in a foreign land is the weather. Monsoon season makes construction painfully slow – leaving just 10 weeks for the restaurant to be open for peak tourist season. 

 

Episode 2

Seven days out from the restaurant soft launch, Sarah finds herself in construction chaos as missed deadlines become the norm. An emotional airport reunion threatens to divide her attention between the two things she loves most, her restaurant Antares and her 5-year old son Phoenix. But a trip on a fishing boat and delicious snacks cooked on-board the boat give her new ideas for the menu, and back at the restaurant, it's time to test out some of the drinks that will be served at the bar. 

Exclusive recipe from the Antares menu

Strawberry basil margharita

 

Episode 3

Sarah and her staff finally get cooking in the kitchen after a long awaited shipment of stock and equipment arrive at the restaurant, but her confidence takes a hit when her recipe testing is said to be too bland for the Indian palate. She's taken on a huge task with a business with multiple areas to service: "We actually have six menus in total between the beach club, the private dining room, the events menu, the restaurant menu, the breakfast menu, dessert menu, so there's a lot to do," says Sarah. 

Exclusive Sarah Todd recipes from the Antares menu

Caramel and chocolate mousse cake

Smashed pavlova and orange curd

Mango kulfi with coconut mousse and oat-ginger crumb

 

Episode 4

The day of the soft launch has arrived but the restaurant is still under construction. The money has run out but  the restaurant must open despite delays and systems not being in place. With more a hundred hungry guests, Sarah must push through fear and self-doubt to stay in control.

Exclusive Sarah Todd recipes from the Antares menu 

Tempura prawns

Mushroom rillete

 

Episode 5

Tensions reach critical mass as the restaurant construction remains unfinished and the Australian staff reach breaking point under the tough conditions. Sarah discovers that everything is done differently in India and she must learn to adapt to keep her vision for Antares on track.

Exclusive Sarah Todd recipes from the Antares menu 

Pecan and dark chocolate brownie with salted caramel and chocolate cremeux

Iced pistachio nougat with crisp tuille

 

Episode 6

After a trip home, Sarah returns to India with her proud mother and son Phoenix, but things have not been going well since she's been away. Following the soft launch, the restaurant has been welcoming a few customers, but things are still down to the wire. Tensions between the Indian owners and the Aussie expats on the staff are at an all-time high. Tempers boil over as the official launch draws near and it becomes a race against time as Sarah’s dreams hang in the balance.

Exclusive Sarah Todd recipe from the Antares menu 

Pork ribs and nashi slaw

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Where to eat - and what to do - like a local in Goa
Sarah Todd, star of My Restaurant in India, shares her favourite haunts in her beloved Goa.