It’s almost 10 years since I first visited Goa and like all the million and one earthlings, fell head over heels in love. I have traveled to Goa with my college friends, with my husband (then boyfriend) and this year with my sister and brother in law.
Goa is special! I had my first tequila shot in a cozy bar in Panjim in 2005, spent new years eve shack-hopping at the Palolem beach in South Goa, celebrated the colourful Goa Carnival with locals and tourist alike, danced oblivious to the world at Silent Noise, India’s original headphone party; To me, Goa is a web of happy and soulful memories.
So I decided to do it different this time. I didn’t stay in a hotel, I didn’t enter the water, I didn’t party heck I hardly saw the beach this time! This year Goa was different & special beyond what I remember it to be. This year, I have a relative staying in Goa, to be precise, my sister. (cool down those jealous fumes y’all ). This year all I wanted was to escape the Maximum city; This need combined with the long weekend added fuel to fire and I leapt at the opportunity to visit Goa. All I wanted was to do nothing! And eat, ofcourse!
My Train was 4 hours late.
I booked tickets in Tatkal and reached CST station to find my train to be delayed by 2 hours. By the time I reached Madgaon railway station at 1300hrs, the train was running 4 hours behind schedule. My spirit was not easily dampened and I waited for my sister and brother-in-law to pick me up.
Chapter 1 – Martin’s Corner
Address: Binwaddo, Betalbatim, Salcette, Goa 403708
Popularity: Look up, right there, touching the sky.
There was a queue. A queue on a hot, sunny, humid friday afternoon. Thankfully, we got seated immediately. The restaurant was cool with adequate space between tables and had a relaxed goan vibes attached to it. Our server was a smartass and funny. We ordered for Martin’s special Beef Steak, Pork Sorpotel with plain rice and fish steak. And ofcourse, some, ok, a lot of Heinkein to go with it. The food took a good 15minutes to arrive and was a 10/10. Martin’s is the sort of place where everything you order is good. A friend of mine, resident of Goa & Ms.Goa 2010 Sparsha Deshpande recommended that I have their Crab butter garlic the next time I go there. Done deal! For desserts we ordered Apple pie and Tiramisu. The Tiramisu was a little strong on coffee but it left a heavenly aftertaste. My sister prefers the Tiramisu at Britto’s in Calangute but I think I will have my love affair with Martin’s Tiramisu. The Apple pie was just perfect. I chose not to dilute its flavour and hence had it sans the ice cream.
Martin’s Corner made the crappy 16 hour journey oh-so-worthit.
We reached my sister’s house near Verem and crashed! There’s nothing more pleasurable than a satisfying meal now, is there? We watched the sun set over a cuppa coffee (My sis makes awesome coffee but don’t ever ever ask her to make tea, mind you) and entered the narrow, curvy lanes of Goa. You need to be a little careful while driving or riding in the lanes of Goa; Small lanes combined with no streetlights and zero concept of a foothpath make it a little dangerous.
Chapter 2 – Wok and Roll
Address: Aguada – Siolim Road, Sinquerim, Aguada Fort Area, Candolim, Goa
We reached Wok and Roll by 2000 hrs. Situated right next to Cohiba, a very popular dancing joint on Saturdays, Wok and Roll is not hard to find. This was a Friday evening and all I saw was few tourists in this area. I was told that if it were a Saturday, we would not get place to walk, forget parking a car.
The restaurant had a nice setting, a perfect date place in my opinion with dim lights and good music. What made the ambiance better is the lack of tourist crowd on the road. Still feeling full from the food we ate in Martins and the coffee, we decided to take it easy on our tummy. We ordered for some fish cakes and Honey glazed pork ribs. The server got us a complimentary Appetizer called Miang Kham and was sweet enough to explain what it was and how it was eaten. Never to shy away from trying something new, we dug in and loved every bit of it. Did I say we ordered Beer? I didn’t? Well we did 🙂
Our order of Fish cakes and Honey glazed pork ribs came simultaneously. The fish cakes were delicately flavored with a amazing texture to it. But the winner of the evening was the honey glazed pork ribs. They stole the show and how! The tender sweet and delicious meat just fell of the ribs and it was unlike any other pork ribs I have ever had. A must try! If you don’t mind a little sweetness in your pork, you have to try this one!
We skipped mains and ordered desserts. My sister recommended we try the Water Chestnut Rubies while I decided to also order for Glazed Peach with sticky coconut rice. These desserts were such a refreshing change from the typical desserts we get in a restaurant. The peach was sweet and cold placed on a bed of warm soulful coconut rice, the combination of which made the dessert a winner! The water chestnut Rubies was unique in its own way and it tasted as spectacular as it looked.
Chapter 3 – Cafe Chocolatti
Address: 409A, Fort Aguada Road,Candolim, Goa
I woke up happy and content from the previous days hogathon and we hit the road in hunt for a breakfast joint. My sister recommended we go to Cafe Chocolatti on Fort Aguada road in Candolim. Now, Cafe Chocolatti has a different aura about it; it is open air with hints of white and is surrounded by green trees and plants turning the cafe in a cozy world away from the heat and slightly dusty roads. There are fan’s to keep you cool and the bakery from where you can purchase their baked goods is in a solid white painted structure. We ordered for English breakfast, Bacon and cheese waffle and I ordered for a Beef burger (I have always wanted to have a burger for breakfast 🙂 ) and some cold coffee and hot drinks.
The cold coffee was disappointing and had all the sugar settled at the bottom. The beef burger was yum but trust me when I say, I make tastier burgers. The waffle was something else, I mean you CANNOT go wrong with what has bacon and cheese in it. The English breakfast I didn’t taste but it was a filling meal for two. I wanted to try some of their muffins, pies and cheesecakes but decided to come back later.
Chapter 4 – Tuscany Gardens
Address: Main Road, Near Kingfisher Villa, Sinquirim, Candolim, Goa 403515
With my train leaving for Mumbai at 2130 hrs, we hit Tuscany Gardens at 1900 hrs. We has skipped lunch after the humongous breakfast and walked a bit in the markets at Candolim. We came back home by lunch time and just dozed off, waking upto coffee and my desire to stuff myself some more.
First things first, parking is difficult here. It’s alright if you have a 2 wheeler but walking or taking a auto is the best. Tuscany Gardens left a lasting impression on me; From the spiral staircase at the entrance to the seating area outside and dimmly lit red interiors, this restaurant kept taking me back to the movie – Under The Tuscan Sun. We would have taken seat outside had it not been hot.
We ordered for Quattro Carni (4 meat pizza) and some Tiramisu. 3 out of 4 toppings in this pizza were mind blowing and I found the Tiramisu falling short on the aftertaste, unlike Martins but very delicious nevertheless. My sister however preferred the Tiramisu at Tuscany Gardens over Martins corner.
I hit the sack immediately after I boarded my train at 2130hrs. Somewhere the ‘tourist’ in me was upset for not doing the typical touristy things like going to the beach, eating at the beach, doing water sports or hitting the club but the traveller and foodie in me was more than content with this small yet fabulous trip where I did nothing but relax and eat.
Till my next foodie adventure, À la vôtre!