I know it’s been ages imprinting words, my heart and soul on you. Life was busy teaching me other lessons and so I did what best encapsulated the situation- I booked tickets out of Kolkata. Choosing a destination to recharge didn’t seem like a tough call to make at all. Sometimes the answer lies right in front of us but we fail to take notice. Not in my case though. When I made a choice, I made it as simple as three syllables that encompassed infinite possibilities to get away from it all…… G-O-A.
Goa, well what do I write about a place that just speaks volumes of just it’s mere mention!
Should I write about the culture?
Nah that makes it to the travel blogs.
Umm well what about the rich history and buildings and hotels?
This is A Pinch of Salt NOT Tripadvisor remember!
So food history?
Well let’s tweak this a bit then. I had the pleasure of spending four fabulous days in this paradise and although I did more travel photography than eat anything, I will give you guys an insight of the Five best places I did get a chance to visit and savor Goan delights. Ready…Steady… Hog!
1) Martin’s Corner
When I asked my fellow food bloggers about the best places to try authentic Goan cuisine; Martin’s Corner was what made up the consensus quite frankly. I was told this place started out as a small shop set up with only four tables about 20 years ago by the late Mr. Martin Pereira and family and today is considered an icon in Goa’s culinary history. What then? I just had to make way for dinner on day 1 itself and the experience was a bliss.
The ambiance at Martin’s Corner is evergreen just like it’s food, with its cane lamps and chairs reeking nostalgia of the bygone era quite evidently. Although the restaurant gives you an impression of a typical Goan shack, the prices however, are anything but shack like. A meal for two including drinks could cost you around 1200 INR; however don’t deny yourself GOA on your plate. Their must try’s most definitely include the Prawn Balchao, Vindaloo and the Sausage Pulao, i.e. salty rice cooked with the fat of spicy Goan chouriço sausages. Vegetarians before you guy’s start throwing up, be relieved that Martin’s Corner does have it’s fair share of greens for your tummy and yes there is a separate vegetarian kitchen. Dessert or no dessert lovers DO NOT give their traditional Bebinca with ice-cream and Tender coconut souffle a miss! For those who don’t know what Bebinca is, it a 16 layered pudding and a traditional Goan dessert. The ingredients include plain flour, sugar, ghee (clarified butter), egg yolk, coconut milk and the mixture is steamed.
Address: Binwaddo, Betalbatim,
Contact: (832) 288-0413
2) Portofino, Kenilworth Resort And Spa
If buffet breakfast is your poison, head on to Portofino the all day dining spot at the Kenilworth Resort and Spa at Majorda, South Goa. From a typical English breakfast choices like grilled bacons, eggs of your choice, sausages, croutons, danish pastries, baked beans, hash browns to delectable Indian breakfast variants like stuffed paranthas, puri sabzi, customised dosas and idlis– there’s something for every kind of taste bud. If you’re lucky like me, you get a chance to enter their live kitchen and make yourself hot and crispy pancakes and waffles. All this at a price of 650 per person. Steep but definitely worth it.
For me the breakfast was included in my hotel package. Not just breakfast, Portofino also boasts of incredible thin crust wood fire pizzas, Indian and Pan Asian delicacies in their dining menu. Ask me! Room Service put on full use you see! There! done with showing off. Let’s move on! 😉
Address: Utorda, Salcete,
3) Brittos, Baga Beach
Another hit favorite among my friends was Brittos, a shack located on Goa’s most popular Baga beach and a sea food lovers paradise or so I hear. Headed there and I gain justification to their incessant boasts. Stroll on sand right from the street till the shoreline, weave between tables set between till you reach an old Goan house verandah with stage-settings that showcase Goa and you know you’ve reached the right place.
Although Brittos does lay their expertise in traditional Goan delectables like the Caldin, Balchao and Xacutti; one should try their Prawn Chilli fries that’s sweet and spicy served with french fries. Some of the other fascinating dishes at Brittos is their Goan style Roast Chicken with white wine sauce and the Prawn Baffad which is similar to the Bengal special Prawn Malai Curry. A meal for two would be as much as 1500 INR approximately but be prepared for delayed service.
Address:Baga Beach, Baga
Contact: (832) 227-7331
4) Curlies, Anjuna Beach
How could I miss Curlies Shack down Anjuna Beach! Even Google puts this place on priority than “Curly Hair” on their search engines! Ok jokes apart this place is a must visit wherever you are in Goa although let me tell you to locate Curlies is a bit of an issue since it lies in the interiors of Anjuna; so if you’re a first timer, you gotta be prepared for good old fashion asking around strangers to find the shack. The place is packed on or off season which justifies its sheer popularity so to speak. The ambiance is not fancy at all- plastic and cane chairs with wooden tables- but the beautiful view of the beach and the perfect sunset location is what Curlies cashes on.
Their must try apart from their Prawn cocktail is their thin crust shrimp pizzas and their “Sex on the Beach” cocktail. For an approximate price of 1500 INR for two people, the service and the terrible washrooms most definitely is not worth the exuberant pricing for a shack. It is also not really a preferred family friendly ambiance. For stags this place is nothing close to heaven after the famous Bob Marley shack.
Address: Near Flea Market, Monteiro Vaddo,
Anjuna Beach, Anjuna,
Contact: (+91)98221 68628
5) Thalassa, Vagator Beach
Thalassa has captured my imagination from the time of it’s inception in 2010. Where else can you find Greece in Goa; the ethereal combination made by man! Not to mention this tavern lies perched on the edge of a high cliff overlooking the Arabian Sea amidst the Small Vagator village, offering one of the most breath-taking sunset views in Goa and a fabulous evening ambiance. Although I couldn’t make it here this time round because of off season. Patrons shouldn’t miss this place for anything during the season time (between November-May). Conceived, owned and managed by Mariketty, diners are invited to share the ‘Greek culture’ that infuses this enchanting taverna, from its authentic and delectable Greek food, to the music and the warm hospitality. Since this is a prolific fine dine establishment, be prepared to shell out as high as 2000 INR plus taxes for two. Then again this place is always filled with noted Bollywood and Hollywood celebrities so no complains!
The menu offers excellent Greek canapés as Dolma (stuffed vine leaves), different kebabs and the quintessential Greek Salad. The Grill serves up heavenly meats rubbed with Greek flavors and herbs melting in your mouth. The Main Course includes Greek top choices like the Souvlaki Wraps, Mousaka, Gyro platters of chicken, sheep or meat and different Fish and Vegetarian courses.
Dessert lovers must try the Profiterole– a choux pastry ball with a typically sweet filling of whipped cream, pastry cream, custard, or ice cream; served plain or garnished with chocolate sauce, caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar. To get the ultimate Greek high, go for a shot of Ouzo and thank me later! 😉
Address : Small Vagator, Ozran,
Contact : (+91) 9850033537
So there you go dear diary! Enough food for thought for you to digest I guess. Regards the personal stuff I was bickering about earlier on; let’s leave that evaporated what say? Next chapter now shall we?
To be continued…….