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My three-day vacation in Goa ended way too early for my liking.
This time, I tried to take notes on the various restaurants we visited. If you ask Geeth, he will tell you that the only thing I seem to order when in Goa is seer fish curry and rice, and for the most part, he’s right. But I also tried some other stuff in between, so here’s a recap of sorts:
Infantaria is a popular restaurant in Calangute that I have visited on multiple occasions, and always for breakfast. The place is famous for its ‘5 beers’ deal – usually for Rs.100 or Rs.300, depending on the season and the brand of beer. I, however, like the place for its breakfast options – this time I chose a simple breakfast of baked beans on toast because I’d already caught a bite to eat at Bangalore airport. I also indulged in a Toblerone Shake, which was delicious, and some yummy fried bacon. We did order some English breakfast sausages, but for some reason they never showed up.
Address: 5/181, Calangute Baga Junction, Calangute, Goa
This was my first visit to Thalassa, a fine-dine Greek restaurant. The location and overall ambience is just breath-taking. The view of the Arabian Sea, the whitewashed building, the cute little boutique that greets you as you walk into the place, and the beautiful decor – all charming. We were lucky enough to catch the short dance performances by the staff, and I hear this takes place every evening. At Thalassa, I tried the mixed mini pies, which are light samosas stuffed with spinach and feta cheese. The pastry was light and flaky, and the feta cheese was rich and creamy. For main course, I tried the sofrito, which is essentially pieces of tender beefsteak fillet, cooked in garlic, parsley & white wine gravy served with a choice of rice, spaghetti, potatoes or mash. This was nice too except I picked spaghetti which really didn’t go well with the meat (in my opinion).
ALL the desserts at Thalassa are amazing, especially the chocolate baklava and the chocolate cheese cake.
Address: Small Vagator, Vagator, Goa
Calamari Bathe & Binge
Calamari has quickly become one of my favourite beach shacks in Goa. The food is great, and the location is even better considering I have now stayed twice at Santana Beach Resort, which is a stone’s throw away from the beach shack. The best part? If you stay at Santana, you get a 15% discount voucher on every visit to Calamari for the duration of your stay.
Calamari makes their cocktails really strong. This time, I tried the Planter’s Punch which was quite nice. In terms of food, one of my favourite dishes here is the seer fish curry and rice. The batter-fried calamari is also nice to munch on as a starter. On this trip, I discovered the white chocolate cake, which is yummy.
Address: Dando Beach, Opposite Santana Beach Resort, Candolim, Goa
Ignia is a brand new BBQ restaurant located in Verna, close to Madgaon. This is run by some very close friends, and we hopped over at their invitation. Each table has a mini barbecue in the center, which is a rather fun concept. There’s a neon lit, eye-catching bar that houses a range of whiskeys from around the globe. For starters, we tried the chermoula beef, a highly flavoured Moroccan inspired dish and we loved it. We also tried the barbecued chicken. I absolutely loved the garlic bread that was served along with the dishes – it was light, fresh and yummy.
Address: Next to Udear Spring, Verna, Salcete, Goa
Anand Seafood Bar & Restaurant
I think this place serves the best seafood in all of Goa, hand down. Unpretentious, no fuss, affordable, tasty food – one of Goa’s best kept secrets. We discovered this place thanks to some friends, who took us there in April. If you visit Anand’s, you have to try the fish rava fry. Unfortunately, they were out of seer fish fry by the time we got there (be prepared to get there early, and wait some amount time before a table frees up) so this time I had the pomfret rava fry which was outstanding and butter garlic calamari. I also had cashewnut feni here (my first time trying this famous local Goan drink), which I was advised to mix with Limca and a green chilli! For main course, I had the (surprise surprise) seer fish curry.
Address: Anjuna Siolim Road, Anjuna, Goa
I really wish I had discovered this place earlier – decided to visit on our last day in Goa, after we had already eaten breakfast at our hotel 🙁 But I’d never let go of an opportunity to have a second breakfast of sorts, so I ordered a thick chocolate shake which was REALLY good. It wasn’t an overdose of sweetness, which is usually what milkshakes end up becoming. But mostly, I just loved the ambience. The ivy-covered building is charming, and there’s this whole Parisian cafe feel to the place. Also, the rest of menu sounds really yummy – my fellow breakfast-mates tucked into some gorgeous looking waffles, and akuri with toast.
Address: 409A, Fort Aguada Road, Candolim, Goa
Tucked away in a narrow street in Panjim, this is one of Goa’s ‘hidden gems’. It’s so quaint, and I fell in love with the signboard (look at the picture and you’ll know what I mean). You enter a whole different world when you step into Venite’s, and as you walk across the wooden flooarboards (taken from an old ship, as the menu will tell you), you feel like a true local. I visited Venite’s with my family a long time ago, again on the recommendation of some friends, and I had delightful memories of the graffiti-covered walls. I was not disappointed when I visited this time – nothing has changed. What I loved here was the spiked fruit punch (not on the menu). For starters, we tried the roast pork and the chilli beef fry – both were nice, but the portions were not massive. The restaurant serves some authentic Goan pao, that was fresh from the oven and oh-so-soft. For main course, we tried the tangy Goan prawn balchao that comes with a portion of rice.
Address: 31st January Road, Panaji, Goa
Do you have a favorite restaurant in Goa? What’s your go-to dish there? Tell me so I can go try it out the next time I disappear to my favourite holiday destination!