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Make A Beeline For These Restaurants In Goa For Authentic Goan Food Experience

The crowd waltzing to the musicians' ways at The Lazy Goose: Puneet K. Paliwal
06 Min Read

These restaurants in Goa are serious when it comes to food and a whole lot of fun

Manek S. Kohli

SALIGAO STORIES
When Anisha Hassan’s Hyderabadi father and Goan mother got married, they also wedded recipes from two rich Indian culinary traditions. This way, Anisha got the best of both worlds, as well as plenty of tales surrounding her food. And with her new restaurant, Saligao Stories, she simply presents ‘a collection of what is made at home’.

And what better venue to do that than her decades-old ancestral home?

The interior of Saligao StoriesThe mango-and-cream coloured villa, Arshekaniche Ghor (Konkani for glass house) is located in North Goa’s Saligao village and has an antique-style décor consisting of Catholic and Portuguese paraphernalia, vintage furnishings, as well as family heirlooms.

Chorizo dip on onion biscuitsAt Saligao Stories, every dish comes with its own story. Among Goan fare, the zesty ‘pickled chicken’ is right from Anisha’s home kitchen. Then there’s her grandma’s chicken vindaloo, uniquely garnished with coconut strips. Among the Hyderabadi fare, ‘The Hyderabadi Story’ platter includes the light kache ghosht ki biryani, adum ka murg, a nalli gosht, a mirchi ka salan and a special ‘mutton chutney’ (which Anisha’s mother created by accident). Also go for the succulent mutton stew, haleem. Among desserts, the Portuguese serradura (condensed milk with cream and Marie biscuit) is indulgent, and in cocktails, the ‘Tranquility’ interestingly combines cachaça (a spirit made from fermented sugarcane juice) with cranberry juice. +91-8554833889

TIERRA Y MAR
Tierra y Mar translates from Spanish to ‘Land and Sea’. And for its chef Benpramar Laitflang, who had lived most of his life inland before moving to seafront Goa, this naming of this innovative Spanish and Latin American-inspired restaurant reflects this journey. Located at the quiet Sangolda village in North Goa, he co-runs it with former footballer Nishant Mehra. Enter its venue, known as ‘House No. 248’, to find a collective of artistic spaces—a few shack-like huts house a workshop space, a lifestyle boutique store, and, of course, Tierra y Mar with its casual fairylights-lit al-fresco interior. A young crew comprising chefs Maia and Sanchit assist Ben with the restaurant operations and the ever-changing menu, while Abhik churns out some interesting cocktails.

The rustic shack-like setting at Tierra y MarTierra’s concept is to use fresh ingredients to make some surprisingly simple, but very delicious dishes, reflective of a cuisine quite unexploited in India. Among starters, go for tacos de la lengua (beef tongue with charred jalapeño salsa verde, pico de gallo, and sour cream), prawn and avocado ceviche (with cucumber, lime,chilli, coriander and mint) and, for mains, the ricotta and Parmesan dumplings (served with greens in a clean broth). For cocktails, the whiskey sour, and the orange cinnamon martini should be tried. +91-9819443210

SOI
What is a visit to Goa without indulging in some of its authentic fare? At Soi (which in Konkani means grated coconut), that recently opened its newest branch in Panaji’s Dona Paula, enjoy delicacies from both Saraswat and Catholic Goan food in a vibrant, semi-formal setting. Run by Anushka Adwalpalker, whose family operates many restaurants and nightclubs across Goa, the most striking feature of the décor is the colourful panoramic wall mural done by artist Gaurabh Quenim. It takes up the whole wall and highlights aspects of Goan life—fisherwomen, instruments such as the trumpet and the ukulele, the old buses and the traditional boats.

The rest of the décor is similarly done in Goan flavour—find ceramic jars or the buyaon in which pickles are traditionally stored, garrafões or glass containers in which feni would be matured, Portuguese ceramic plates and an old hunting gun. All these lend great character to the place.

The food at Soi is a crash course in delicious Goan cuisineAnd then, begin with the feastings. An easy start is the light and traditionally Portuguese caldo verde (soup with mashed potato and spinach). Among appetisers, the chorizo pulao (Goan chorizo sausages tossed and served with basmati rice), rawa-fried Goan pork chops (marinated with red chilli and vinegar, and served with mashed potatoes) and the stuffed squid (in recheado masala) are three very different, yet innately Goan options—such that they display the variety a single cuisine presents. In the main course, Saraswat options such as the crab sukhem (cooked in whole spices and grated coconut), the tisreo sukhem (clams in garam masala) and the sol kadi (a drink made of kokum, coconut milk and spices) nicely sum up this food exploration. Oh, and the cocktail of choice is the ‘fenito’, which is a mojito that combines pineapple, mango and feni to create something spectacular. +91-8308849516

THE LAZY GOOSE
As children growing up in Goa, siblings Praveena and Rohan D’Souza would frequent the idyllic Nerul river—known for its backwaters setting and lush mangroves—near North Goa’s Candolim town and enjoy a meal by the erstwhile Amigos shack, which was located right below the Nerul Bridge. Years later, the duo, joined by restaurateur Hitesh Keswani, externalises their childhood memories by presenting the Goan, seafood and continental restaurant, The Lazy Goose, at the same location as Amigos.

The place, which opened up as recently as November 6, 2017, has a boating-inspired tropical-themed décor, excellent live music and an infectious joie de vivre vibe. Vibrant colours dot its open-air casual seating, and the custom-made paddleboards hung on the walls and a real boat hung upside down from the ceiling further build on the theme.

Also, as it turns out, The Lazy Goose has retained Amigos’ authentic Goan fare in its menu, as shack-owner Sabita continues to cook from her home behind the restaurant. The rest of the menu comprises offbeat, but flavourful dishes. Before anything else, try the signature mud crabs, freshly caught, available in butter chilly garlic, recheado or pepper preparations. Among starters, the clams steamed Asian style (in a broth with lemongrass, chilli and coriander) stand out and, in the main course, the cauliflower, cheddar cheese and vegetable baked cannelloni. As for the cocktails, signatures such as Boat Face (gin and passion fruit with kaffir lime) and Bikini Blast (watermelon infused with tequila and fresh pineapple) are quite refreshing. +91-7775958419

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