Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Eating Out In Goa

Last sunday happened to be one of those nights we thought it would be a good idea to visit an old time haunt, Florentine, at Saligao for their chicken cafreal.
Ever since i turned vegetarian more than a decade and a half ago, i knew there would be a limited variety of food for me to choose from the menu.
However, it was one of those 3 against 1 situations and i didn't have much of a say besides turning into a 'spoil sport'... i was sure that i'd at least get some mix veg fried rice.
"Fortune favours the brave", it is said, and i was perhaps the only one smiling when we saw some 30 odd cars parked at the restaurant. There was no way we were going to get a table within an hour.
A quick vote and we decided to head for Satya Heera at Mapusa, which by and large serves a reasonably good fare besides the family favourite frothy French Onion Soup.
The restaurant is situated at the terrace level of the hotel and judging from the unusually long que of people waiting for the lift, we should have guessed the chances of getting a table was pretty slim. However being part of hotel, there was every chance that most of the people were house guests and only heading for their rooms. Unfortunately such ws not the case. Satya Heera as well was jam packed and no one was in the mood to hang around for 45 minutes, as informed by the management, before a table would be available for us.
As a nearby alternative, i thought we should try out a place reffered by a friend.... "Stomach" - yes, "Stomach"!!
This particular restaurant had eluded us on about 3 of our past attempts with a sign on their shut doors that either said "Shut for Ganesh Festivities", "Closed due to repairs" or something else.
This time around the shutters were just down. Period.
No sign, Nothing.
It was totally and unanimously agreed that this was it....... no more "Stomach", no matter how loud our stomachs would be growling.
I guess one was pretty much put off by these gatro musical chairs experiences that one did not think of 'Kamlabai's', which was also just about 2 minutes drive from where we were as also known for it's very good goan fare.
Instead we decided to go to Sher-e-Punjab, Panjim, as my brother-in-law Prince wanted to eat some 'masaledaar khaana' / spicy food.
While the carnivores lunged at various meats, i ate a humble mushroom masala, pretty sweetish for my palate and pretty avoidable the next time around. The very nicely vinegar marinated onions with mint chutney and the fresh green chillies were simply no match to the sweetness of the dish. Although the parotha and the karari (crisp) roti were well made and so was the fresh lime soda (salt & sweet), thank you.
No one said it out aloud but for dessert everyones mind was on the icecream counter that is attached to the restaurant and accessed from the sidewalk.
I was very clear about having a go at their very nice Gulab Jamun nestled in Rabdi.....yum yum!
But as usual, being fickle minded, i decided to try their Figs & Nuts ice cream.
Good, but a mistake. Its a bit too rich with the nuts and they over power the flavour of the ice cream - whatever it may have been.
Next time i'm just going to stick to the Rabddi.
On another note, since Prince now resides and works in Dubai, he was pretty shocked at the way the costs have escalated in Goan restaurants and said it was far cheaper to eat at a similar restaurant in Dubai.
Also, for me the crowning bummer was that i ended up with an upset stomach, the morning after and it so turned out the everyone seemed to have been a bit "uncomfortable", one wasy or the other, the morning after.
So, I guess, Shere - e - Punjab at Panjim may as well end up being a nice place to stop at for dessert.