Food – The same old, same old

Whatever kind of adventure you’re in Goa for, a culinary adventure will always tag along. How about some new flavours every time you’re hungry? Goa has it all.

Ah, Goa. Vacationer’s paradise. It’s not every day you come across a cosmopolis that’s so tightly bound to the culture it hails from. And of all things to do here, there’s always going to be another. All those fort selfies, beach walks, and endless grooving is sure to get your hunger going. Then what? Go to a beach shack and have the same old same old? Not this time you won’t. Because this time, it’s quite likely that you’d have read this. One thing that I’ve witnessed in the past two years of my stay in Goa, and by witnessed I mean savoured, is the choice you have to satiate your hunger with. And trust me, I’m just as moody as I’m hungry- almost all the time. I remember the day I woke up to a cold draft that I felt through my hair. The day that reminded me oh so much of the clear blue skies and the freshest air that ever passed my lungs while backpacking in the Himalayas. And what was even fresher was the tingling sensation in my tummy as I gulped in simple yet delectable samples of Tibetan food. On that pleasantly nostalgic day in Goa, my senses led me to Himalaya, not the mountain range but a quaint restaurant in Sinquerim, Candolim that serves generous portions of refreshing Tibetan, Himalayan, and Nepalese food. That was also the day I realized why Goa is about so much more than rawa fried prawns and fish thali. And as I slurped on to those glass noodles in a soupy beef preparation loaded with crunchy wholesome veggies (FingSha) served with a freshly steamed bun (TingMo); I savoured each bit since it was the last meal they served for the season. But I didn’t just stop there. For next year to come, I was on an expedition to find the most diverse cuisines that my palate can possibly demand. And so the search began. I’ve never been to Myanmar. I’ve no idea about Burmese food. But the first time I stepped in Bomra’s, a chef-owned Burmese speciality restaurant in Candolim, my nostrils knew that I was in for a treat. You’ll have to try it to believe it. And if you ever want to challenge your ability to take the heat, as in spice, you should definitely head to Shivers, an el-fresco restaurant specializing in north eastern food or Soul Chef at Joe Joe’s corner, both in Candolim. Did you know that Bhut Jolokia, traditional north eastern pepper, is 400 times hotter than Tabasco? That’s exactly what you’re in for if you ever try their Naga Pork or Pork in bamboo shoots. Oh, just writing about it is making me reach for the water. Bengal may be geographically close to the North East but the food, as similar as it may appear to be, has some very subtle and distinct flavours. One such flavour is that of Mustard, which is also the name of a Bengali-French speciality restaurant located in Sangolda. Kosha Mangsho. Bengal’s traditional meat delicacy, although main course, is the first thing I’d tell the steward to bring me.

There’s more to Indian speciality food though. Gun Powder in Assagaon and Southi in Candolim are just brilliant for Indian Peninsular food. The ghee roast or appam and stew at either of these joints will have you screaming for more. But how much of Indian food can one eat? Well, it’s true that the diversity of Indian food is downright astonishing but having just that doesn’t really do much justice to the cosmopois nature of Goa. Take Go With The Flow for instance, a ravishing eatery in Baga. Who would have thought that Brazilian food would make it to India’s smallest state? And why not? Both used to be Portuguese colonies after all. And then there’s Sakana, a Japanese speciality restaurant in Chapora. Their sushi is definitely exciting but their Miso Soup is as authentic as it gets. And since the oriental gong has started reverberating already, I have to mention Koi, a fine dining pan Asian restaurant in Calangute.

Be it Vietnamese, Malay, Korean, Japanese, Thai, or Chinese; every portion, no matter how humble, boasts of authenticity. Their 16 course meal and live teppanyaki is a must-savour if you’re ever there. Another oriental place to check out is Wan Hao in Goa Marriot Resort and Spa. Look out for their food festivals if you’re up for some delightful offerings from the far east. You can’t miss out on Italian food, can you? So can’t I. And while you’re at it, dig in to the Sunday lunch at Da Luigi, a casualdining Italian restaurant in Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa. Another blessing to Italian food lovers is Baba’s Wood Cafe in Miramar.

A cafe-cum-furniture store, Baba’s Wood serves the best home-made pastas in town. No, I haven’t forgotten Goan food at all. And what doesn’t let me forget Goan food is the fish thali I have for lunch almost every other day. The best of which you’re likely to find at Anantashram in Vasco, Ritz Classic in Panjim, and Peep’s Kitchen in Carenzalem. But fish thali is not all that comprises of Seafood in Goa. Head to Palms and Sands, a quiet beachside restaurant in Candolim, and choose your fish, lobsters, or crabs before you tell the steward what to do with it. I’m sorry, did I miss anyone out? Of course, the vegetarians. I love vegetarians as much as I love vegetarian food; probably so I get to eat all the meat they’re leaving behind. But for the green palate, there’s Artjuna, a chilled out cafe and handicrafts shop in Anjuna that serves up all things vegetarian and one of the best coffees you can possibly have in Goa. Interestingly enough, fusion food is really picking up in Goa as well. And why wouldn’t it? Marakas in Porvorim for instance fuses Goan and Spanish/Mediterranean flavours flawlessly.

Black Sheep Bistro in Panjim serves up a melange of local produce cooked into delicacies from all over the world. Another epic joint for delicious fusion food is Off The Wall in Sinquerim. This chef-owned art gallery and bistro keeps changing its menu seasonally with inspirations from Moroccan, Spanish, French, and Italian cuisines cooked in a comfortingly Goan style.

But no matter where you eat or what you eat, one thing is for sure. You’re not going to stay hungry for long if you’re here for a while or for a long haul. I agree that I haven’t done justice to all the other awesome places which didn’t appear in my humble story but trust me, the upcoming Food Guide sure will. However, if you have some places in mind that you’d like to share with us, log on to www. planetgoaonline.com and drop us a line. Till then, Bon Appetite!



Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

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