A memorable holiday week in Goa

Published October 7, 2015

Fun, Food, Drink & Beaches………….Mapuca Friday Market too!

September 2015

Goa is known for it’s pure fresh air, scenic beauty, beautiful churches and temples, pristine waters and beaches, heritage structures, extraordinary landscapes, delicious food (especially seafood) and drinks.

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Aerial view of Goa

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Baga Beach

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Duler, my sister’s neighbourhood

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Duler

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Guirim, My neighbourhood

Guirim fields

My husband and I travelled by Air India direct flight from Kuwait (approx. 4 hr. flight time) and my sisters, brother-in-law and my brother joined us from Mumbai arriving Goa by car (approx. 10 to 11 hrs. travel time, around 604 km.). My brothers’ car made commuting in Goa very convenient.  It is a 8-seater Zylo and had more than enough room for our group of six.

We stayed at our apartment in Guirim, off the NH17, situated in a farm/village locale, untouched by tourism and away from the busy beaches and shopping areas. The peace and tranquility, shattered only by our own voices and laughter and occasional chirping of the birds.

A coconut tree within arms reach from one of our bedroom windows.

As my husband always says…. there are more coconut trees than people in Goa!

Travelling by Air India was a revelation of the new markedly improved services, timely flight departure and arrival, in fact our flight on 25th September to Kuwait arrived 45 minutes early, which is highly commendable as we did have our apprehensions when we booked Air India.  The added advantage was 40 kgs. baggage allowance each and on the inbound sector as well; you must be Air India’s frequent flyer Flying Returns member to avail of the additional 10 kgs. Well the effort Air India is making to revamp it’s image and services must be applauded.

Each day we visited a different beach and restaurant for lunch. Had mainly seafood except one of my sisters who is allergic to seafood. However all dinner plans had to be cancelled as none was in the mood to venture out of the house after our blissful afternoon siesta, which sometimes stretched well into late evening as we used to return home around 3 or 4 pm from Lunch. The initial four days of rainy weather did add to the lethargy though… Moreover, all except one of my sister’s being or nearing 60’s, we just felt like chilling and relaxing at home giving us great opportunity to catch-up with each others news and helped us to bond and spend some quality family time together at home.

Before departing Kuwait we had scheduled Kamlabai in Mapuca for our first day lunch and were reminiscing and relishing our past lunches at Kamlabai. Imagine our disappointment when we found the restaurant bearing a notice ‘closed from 17th September until 2nd October’. At this point, we thought it must be closed for renovations, etc. but soon learnt that it is a holiday closure whereby the restaurant closes each year for 15 days during the Ganpati festival.  Not only Kamlabai but almost all hindu managed entities remain closed for this festival which is celebrated in a huge way by the Hindus in Goa and all employees go home to celebrate this festival. Am surprised we had never before heard of this shutting down of businesses for the Ganesh festival in Goa. Festivities are relatively peaceful albeit with some bursting of fire crackers and sans the un-manageable traffic jams and crowds experienced in Mumbai during Ganpati.

Day 1, Thursday 17 September

We then went looking for a place to eat lunch in Mapuca and ended up at Reis CornerREIS CORNER

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Had Fish Thali and fried Bombay ducks, chicken and fruit salad, caramel custard and ice cream for dessert. The food was okay, nothing extraordinary.

Day 2, Friday 18 September

Headed to Calangute Beach for lunch at Souza Lobo.

Ordered the seafood platter, mackerel rechado, fish curry (King fish) rice which came with curry fish as well as fried fish, beef chilli fry, rotis and naans. For dessert it was, chocolate brownie with ice cream, fruit salad, fruit salad with ice cream and chocolate crepe with traditional (coconut & jaggery) filling. I must say the seafood platter was awesome and delicious and so was the other food, desserts, drinks, service, etc.. Everything was simply perfect.

Day 3, Saturday 19 September

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Aunt’s house at Chinchinim

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Sumptuous spread, Aunts, Chinchinim

We visited our Aunts in South Goa, Chinchinim, had a sumptuous lunch there. Thereafter, the plan was to visit Benaulim beach but were way too exhausted and headed straight home.

Day 4, Sunday 20 September

Attended the 10:15 a.m. English Mass at our Parish Church, St Diogo’s, Guirim

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St.Diogo’s, Guirim

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St. Diogo’s Church interior

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St. Diogo’s church main Alter

We returned home had a change of clothes and headed to Fat Fish which is located at Agar Wadoo, Calangute – Arpora Road, close to Baga Beach.

FAT FISH

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Fat Fish Restaurant

Loved the place and the food.  We had Shrimp cocktail (the shrimps looked limp though), King fish fry (they didn’t have the mussels in wine) mussels rawa fry, pomfret curry, pomfret fry and rice, rotis and naans and Lasagne. Everthing was delicious.

Worth a visit. Point to be noted –  when we enquired the price of the (above) pomfret prior to ordering it was Rs.800 each but after the order was placed we were informed that the price would be Rs.1000 each.  Now do we have a choice when we have decided to have pomfret!! Crabs were just for the picture, we didn’t have any.

Day 5, 21 September

Visited Dona Paula, but as the road leading to the beach was closed and it would have been a very long walk, we skipped Dona Paula and headed to Miramar Beach. Were highly impressed with the clean and beautiful beach, and didn’t find many people there neither were the shops and restaurants open.

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Miramar Beach

My son had recommended Tahlassa Restaurant and their mussels in ouzo sauce; and we were looking forward to it but sadly it was closed for the Ganesh holiday, another disappointment! We were then recommended Alcove Restaurant by a passerby.

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Alcove resort reception

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Alcove Resort & Swimming Pool

Turned out to be a splendid suggestion as the ambience and venue was simply amazing and the place spotlessly clean with courteous and helpful staff.  Our table faced the ocean overlooking Vagator Beach

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Vagator Beach

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Vagator Beach

and enjoying a meal in this setting was a dream come true…couldn’t have asked for anything better.  With the cool, fresh sea-breeze blowing on us, we had grilled seafood platter, seafood sizzler, pomfret rechado, fish curry rice, vegetable caldin, green salad, rotis and naans and chicken sizzler and drinks, coconut water, fresh lime soda, fresh lime water. and for desserts, chocolate cheesecake, brownie with ice-cream, apple-pie, fruit salad with ice-cream.  If we had the capacity we would have ordered some more food just to spend more time there and enjoy the cool sea breeze.

Thoroughly enjoyed the meal and the surroundings and found the pricing reasonable compared to Fat Fish and Brittos.  Alcove restaurant is part of Alcove Resort and appears to be an excellent venue for family destination celebrations.  Will certainly keep in mind for future events, if any.

Day 6, 22 September

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As it was the penultimate day of my family’s departure, we headed to Mapuca market for a bit of shopping and then went for Lunch to Ruchira Restaurant, located at Satyaheera hotel, Mapuca market.  Have visited this place on earlier occasions and liked it.

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But what was surprising was the price of the pomfret. Fat Fish: Rs.1,000 each, Alcove: Rs.600 each, Ruchira: Just Rs.410 each…size of the fish being the same. Well this is the advantage of eating at city restaurants rather than beach venues where the food and drink has a premium. We ordered as usual fish curry rice which was pomfret fish curry/fried, fried shrimps, vegetables, rotis and naans and for dessert it was ‘Gadbad’ which is famous in Mangalore and is a delicious hotch-potch of three ice-cream flavours stacked together and fruit, nuts, etc thrown in.  You can really make a meal out of this dessert.

Day 7, 23 September

My family left early this morning to Mumbai.  My husband and I went to Mapuca for some purchases for Kuwait and then headed to Baga for Lunch at Britto’s.

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We have felt cheated at Britto’s in the past but decided to give it another try and were again disappointed.  The seafood platter, supposed to contain crabs, mussels, shrimps, squids and fish appeared with only squid, fish and tiny shrimp in sauce and the server didn’t think it was important to inform us that the other items on the platter are not available!  The fish curry/fry with rice, we were told would be king fish and were served some fish we could hardly recognize, a complete disappointment. In the past we have been cheated on the pomfret price so do be careful and check prices thoroughly before placing your order.

Day 8, 24 September

Made a couple of visits to neighbours and friends near by and some shopping at Mapuca.

Day 9, 25 Septermber

MAPUCA Friday Market

Being a Friday, had to visit Mapuca Friday market.


Was looking to buy Haldi (turmeric) leaves, Alun leaves, Alasande (osanay) and Ambade on this trip.

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Found them in plenty and upon my return to Kuwait prepared Patoleoshttps://cooklikececilia.com/patoleo/, Pathrode with the alun leaveshttps://cooklikececilia.com/pathrode/, Kaane (Lady fish) curry with ambadehttps://cooklikececilia.com/kaane-lady-fish-curry/, all my mother’s great recipes from ‘Mais Recipes’, check them out!  Also prepared my own version of Alun stems with alsande and ambade curry  https://cooklikececilia.com/alun-stem-with-alasande-red-kidney-beans-and-ambade-curry/, it was delicious.

Our programme to visit other restaurants and sight-seeing places on our itinerary remained incomplete due to the festive holiday, namely, The Spice Plantations, Dudhsagar water falls, Cruise on the ‘Santa Monica Riverboat’, etc.  Also the Anjuna Flea market and Arpora saturday night market are open only during season which is between November and April.  Hope to take in all of these in the future including visit to the casino, discos, etc.

A completely enjoyable, relaxing and satisfying holiday with my husband, siblings and brother-in-law.  We certainly look to a repeat of this experience with many more family and friends in the future.

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6 Comments

  1. Thanks on sharing your feedback about Britto”s even we had a bad experience of this restaurant when we visited in Jan 2015, so they haven’t improved….Anyways next time we go to Goa we can visit the different restaurants you suggested above, thanks for sharing your experiences and the relative prices of fishes too 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Benny Sequeira says:

    I hit upon your blog through FB., someone posted your ‘post-partum tips’, and was amazed to read your blog, to say I enjoy reading it is an understatement. My husband hails from Goa (Tivim) and schooled at Duler and we are in Kuwait too, sent the link to him to enjoy reading and to promise me to take me to all the Restaurants you have listed ;-). Keep up the good work. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

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