There is a lot more to Goa than just beaches. For instance, Goa’s incredible food has attained legendary status. While there are plenty of restaurants that specialise in different global…
If you’re travelling to India for the first time, chances are that the beach destination of Goa is on your bucket list. In fact, frequent travellers to the country also find it hard to resist the charms of this beautiful city to the west of India, steeped in influences from the era of Portuguese rule. Because Goa is as popular among the locals as it is with the foreign tourists, it is not always easy to sift authentic Goan experiences from the general ‘touristy’ encounters dished out to you by local tourist agencies as well as travel experts and magazines. Speaking of dishing, it’s becoming incredibly challenging to seek out places that can serve authentic Goan cuisine free of any influence from the Northern Indian cuisine that has been making its way to the kitchens all over the country because of its popularity.
You don’t have to worry, because we’ve got you covered. Here are top five places in North Goa where you can have food true to the place of origin:
Venite is a tiny Portuguese joint amidst one of the narrow alleys of Fountainhas in Panjim. If you don’t follow the GPS, it is possible to go past it without noticing. But once you are inside, the first thing to strike you would be the colourful walls decorated with crayon graffiti that seems like specimens of modern art as well as sea-inspired memorabilia scattered around carelessly. Beef cafrial, rava fish, mushroom pepper fry, veggie vindaloo curry with rice are some of the dishes that you must try. Don’t leave the place without trying banana in rum topped with sinful ice cream to be left with flavours that you’ll remember for long after you’ve left this Goan joint that has been around since 1955.
La Fayette, Chorao
La Fayette in the laid-back Chorao Island is a humble restaurant run by cook Maria. Be prepared to treat your taste buds to the genuine flavours of Goan spices rampant in most vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. You can try fried mackerel and hot fish curries cooked to perfection. You’ll be surprised to see that this unassuming place can serve you ice-cold cocktails along with delicious food, a great respite from the humidity of island if you are visiting in the summer months. The meal here can come at as low as 500 Indian Rupees or around £6.5.
The journey through the lush rice paddies and beautiful villages on your way to Andron is as much fun as the actual restaurant experience. Run by generations of the same family, this bright-yellow walled Goan and Continental restaurant is one of the few places in Goa that still focus only on serving the seekers of an authentic Goan cuisine. The list of delicacies awaiting you here extend to sausage pulao, pork ribs, tongue roast, ard mas, pork chops, tripe (pig stomach) curry with rice, beef steak and masala feni with soda among many other mouth-watering dishes. Vegetarians might not be able to order off an extensive menu but Anthony, the much-loved owner of this cafe, will have it specially prepared if you call ahead of your visit.
Bhatti Village, Nerul
Tucked away in a small lane near the Nerul village, Bhatti Village has a lovely ambiance and welcoming owners. One of the factors that make this restaurant quite unique is that you don’t have to order the food off a menu card. If you are seeking an authentic Goan dish (or two) that you would like taste, just tell the owners and they will have it freshly prepared for you. Not much of a connoisseur of the Goan cuisine? You don’t have to worry. The owner will make some interesting recommendations after consulting your preferences.
Mum’s Kitchen, Panjim
A lot more sophisticated and elegant for a place that calls itself Mum’s Kitchen; the restaurant lives up to its name by bringing warm service, authentic recipes and a great taste to the table. Run by Goan couple, the restaurant boast of serving dishes made with recipes that have been personally collected from local Goan households. A lot more popular than other restaurants that feature in this series, Mum’s Kitchen gives you a lot less reasons to complain. Sumptuous Goan seafood as well as mutton, chicken and pork dishes are served here with an array of local and international wines and beers. What more can we ask for!