My trip to Goa was planned 3 months in advance. My husband and I wanted to go during the monsoons when Goa isn’t crowded and the offers are better. But I think somehow the “Rain Gods” got word of our plan and it decided to pour during the weekend. We flew out on Friday morning, at least that was the plan. The flight is a short 50min flight from Mumbai. But the rains had other plans for us. We took off on time, reached Goa airport, circled for about 20mins, returned to Mumbai, refueled, took off back for Goa and finally landed, a whole 4 hours after our intended time of arrival. After the ordeal of traveling the entire day, we decided that nothing, not even the rains, would deter us from our food trip while we were in Goa. But be warned that this involves a lot of Beef and Tiramisu.
Acron Waterfront Resort
This year as well we stayed at Acron Waterfront Hotel. The husband and I love this place as the staff is really friendly and welcoming, the food is delicious and the property is close to Baga but not so close that you are engulfed in its crowds. Given our flight ordeal, we were famished by the time we arrived at the hotel and ordered the Parmesan crusted Mackerel and Samboosa de Carne Vaca (Beef Samosas). I preferred the Mackerel as it was fresh and cooked to perfection. It was served with a roasted garlic mayonnaise that complimented the Mackerel perfectly. Although the hot Beef Samosas were welcoming in the rainy weather, it was strictly okay.
All our breakfast meals were at the Hotel and the menu changed daily. The breakfast had an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. One morning we opted for the Riverfront Eggs Benedict special. The dish comprised of the traditional eggs Benedict served on pao and topped with a cheese sauce and the entire thing was baked. While the dish was packed full of flavour, the eggs did not have runny yolks when cut into. On other days, we sampled the Akuri, the Goan version of the Mahararashtrian breakfast staple Ussal Pao, and Puri Bhaji. While the Akuri was generous and delicious, the Goan Ussal Pao was light and had a healthy helping of coconut and the Puri Bhaji was perfect and filling.
In addition to this we had a 4 course meal at the Hotel, which was part of our stay package. This was a Chefs special. We started off with a potato and leek soup. The next course was Grilled Prawns Charmoula and Beef Chilli. The Beef was soft and tender, but the prawns were slightly overcooked though they did not lack in flavour. Our main course comprised of Beef Steak with grilled vegetables, potatoes and topped with a fried egg and Fish steak served with prawn crackers and wilted spinach. Both dishes were absolutely lip smacking and the portions were more than generous. For dessert we had Vanilla ice cream with Jamun compote and Mud Cake with chocolate ice-cream. The Jamun compote and Vanilla ice-cream was an off the menu dish. Although I was a little skeptical about this, I must say it tasted really good..tangy and sweet. The Mud Cake was light and spongy and was a perfect end to the meal.
Go With The Flow.
This is another one of our favourite places in Goa. However it is opened only for dinner. During the ‘season time’, they have outside seating which is gorgeous and quite romantic and the place is decorated beautifully. In the monsoon season, the tables are shifted indoors. We were given a complimentary tasting of Chicken Liver pate with Pickled Beetroot. Though I am not a fan of Chicken Liver Pate, this was really delicious – smoky and light. We started off with the salt and pepper squid with wasabi mayo. The batter was crispy & airy and the squid was cooked till tender. Although I would have preferred a little more kick to the wasabi mayo. For the mains we had Beef Steak from the grill served with smoked mozzarella aracini, basil mash, tomato confi, tomato butter and pesto and the Baked Filet of Fish which was packed in a herb crust and served with pea puree, dauphine potatoes and a sweetcorn veloute sauce. The herb crust that coated the fish had a substantial helping of butter. Both dishes were outstanding and reaffirmed our decision to keep visiting this restaurant. The dessert was a Millionaire Shortbread. I was not as impressed with this dessert as the shortbread was a little difficult to cut into and was kind of messy of eat. Having said that if we visited Goa again, this restaurant would continue to be on our list of places to visit.
Just a mention that the Chef of this restaurant has changed. While previously there was a Brazilian Chef, now the baton has been handed over to Chef Stefan Marais from South Africa.
Go with The Flow: Open for dinner only (the Chef mentioned that post monsoon they were looking at serving lunch as well)
Meal for 2 people with 2 drinks, 1 starter, 2 mains and 1 dessert cost Rs 2740 (including taxes and service charge)
Britto’s Bar & Restaurant
A trip to Goa would be incomplete without a visit to the legendary Britto’s. The drinks were potent and we mainly ordered 3 starters so we could sample a variety of the food. I read somewhere that Brittos is known for its Chinese food, more specifically the Chicken Noodles. Maybe you can try it out and let me know how it tasted. We ordered the Baked Crab, Beef Chilly and the Masala Mussels. The Masala Mussels were my least favourite dish of the 3. I preferred the Baked Crab which was a generous help of crab meat in a cheese sauce baked to perfection in the crab shell. I have always loved the Tiramisu at Britto’s, but not this time. The layer of cake was really thin and non-existent and it was heavy on cream.
Britto’s Bar & Restaurant: Open for Lunch and Dinner
Meal for 2 people with 6 drinks, 3 starters and 1 dessert was Rs 2700 (including taxes and service charge)
Riverhouse Gastropub and Deli
Situated along the Baga creek, the Riverhouse is a 3-level restaurant which houses a pop up store on the ground floor, the deli on the 1st floor, and the restaurant on the 2nd floor. We visited this place for dinner on a Saturday night. Since it is the monsoon season, the menu is limited but what was available was delicious! We ordered the Panko Crusted Prawns which was served on a bed of seaweed and accompanied by wasabi mayo. The prawns were fresh and the seaweed added a nice touch to the complete the dish. Since the portions were large we ordered just 1 main – Kingfish Steak served with chorizo and potatoes and olives. This main was excellent. The fish was cooked in the chorizo which gave it added flavour. The portions are quite large and can be shared by 2 average sized eaters. Finding this place is a little difficult as it is not listed on Zomato nor is the menu listed on any site. Only details available are on their Facebook page.
Riverhouse Gastropub and Deli: Open for lunch and dinner
Meal for 2 people with 3drinks, 1 starter and 1 main dish set us back Rs 2350 (including taxes and service charge)
Café Lazy Days
This café was a totally surprise – As the name suggests, this place was really nice for a laid back Sunday lunch. They have a pool table and some wonderful music from the 80’s and 90’s.. We fell in love with the place and food. We decided that we would have a couple of drinks and then move onto main course and dessert. But when we saw the Beef Carpaccio we couldn’t help but order it. The beef was thinly sliced, with a topping of parmesan cheese and arugula leaves and lightly drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The meat melted in the mouth and was light and fresh. For mains we ordered Goan Prawn Curry with rice and Rawa Fish Fry. The server recommended we try the Rawa fish with a little goan masala as it would taste better. I’m glad we listened as it just added extra flavour to the fish. The Prawn Curry Rice was served with papad and pickle. There are some dishes that transport you back to your childhood and this unassuming prawn curry rice took me back to sitting at the dining table at my grandparents’ house on a rainy Sunday afternoon. We ended the meal with an order of Tiramisu. This dessert was absolutely spot on delicious. I was pleasantly surprised by the little espresso jelly cubes at the bottom of the tiramisu glass. It was the perfect ending to a perfect meal.
Café Lazy Days: Open for lunch and dinner
Meal for 2 people with 4 drinks, 1 starter, 1 main dish and a dessert was Rs 2050 (including taxes and service charge). Do note that they only accept cash.