India

Goa Restaurant and food review – July-August 2022


Being monsoon season, Shravan and Ganesh, we had to sacrifice some items on the menu as the options available for seafood were far less than expected.  Pomfret, King fish, Oysters, Mussels were not available in most places! Hence all the special fish thalis (we love seafood!) which are either King Fish or Chonok were restricted to only Chonok. Secondly, due to monsoon season we were not able to visit as many restaurants as planned.

1.Copper Leaf, Porvorim – 7th July, 2022

We obviously start our Goa restaurant hopping with Copperleaf and their Special Fish thali is always our first meal.  Although Copperleaf Sp. Thali is the most expensive among all the thalis we have had, we have found the taste, quality and also quantity exceptional, having  most number of items in the thali!  Price Rs. 380/-.

2.Copperleaf, Porvorim – 12th July, 2022

Lunch ‘A la Carte’, Ordered Prawn curry rice, King Fish Rawa fry, Rawa fried Mussels. For take-away ordered, stuffed crab, fish platter and bombil fry.  Took pictures only of mussels and stuffed crab.

3.Soyre, Gauns Vaddo, Mapusa – 24th July, 2022

This restaurant was a revelation and an amazing find.  Happened to google for seafood restaurants in our area (being seafood fans!) and chose Soyre from the lust that came us.  On our first visit we ordered al la carte, Squid butter garlic, Tisreyo sukhe, King Fish recheado, Prawns Rava fry, and Prawn Curry Rice!  My sister who does not eat seafood ordered a Chicken Thali.  The food was amazing, fresh, cooked to a perfect texture and delicious.  The recheado was the best I have ever tasted.  Prices were very reasonable. For 4 persons with drinks the bill was Rs. 2,100/- approx.

Happens to be a fairly new 3 month old restaurant.  Ony hope the restaurant continues to maintain their food quality and taste!

4.Souza Lobo, Calangute – 31st July, 2022

Chose a beachside restaurant to enjoy the beach ambience.  We have often patronized this place.  They do not serve fish thali.  Ordered Sol Kadi golgappas, Stuffed papad with crab, Mackerel Rechado, Chonok Rava fry, Prawn curry rice. 

Food was not that great.  Golgappas were good.  Mackerel rechado was simply some chilli powder smeared on the inside of the mackerel which had no taste at all. Understand the cooks have changed at Souza Lobo so to give them the benefit of the doubt, we hope they are able to rise to their previous standard of food quality and taste soon.

Despite the food we enjoyed the beachside ambience….

5.Turmeric, Porvorim – 3rd August, 2022

Located on the Porvorim main road opposite Mall de Goa.

Planned to try their fish thali but were disappointed as they offered only “A la Carte” although their menu listed fish thali for lunch!

Ordered prawns rava fry, chonok rava fry, king fish curry and rice. Food was ok but the curry had just one slice of king fish shreded into 4 to 6 pieces, ridiculous!  I don’t think I would want to go back to Turmeric.

6.Vinayak Family Restaurant, Assagao – 8th August, 2022

Heard a lot about this restaurant.  Tried their fish thali, as usual the special fish thali.  They had King Fish so ordered one King Fish Thali and One Chonok Thali and what do you think they served as one of the items – Ross omlete, instead of crab curry!!  That was truly disappointing.  Again, I would give them the benefit of the doubt, being off season, etc. etc.  May try them again to see if they have better dishes during season.  Alongwith the thali also tried their Stuffed Mackerel Rechado and Bombil Rawa Fry, which was good. The thalis were priced at King Fish Rs.380 and Chonok Rs. 320.  Mackerel Rs.200 each and Bombil Rawa Fry Rs.430 per plate (3 pieces)

7.Soyre, Gauns Vaddo, Mapusa – 13th August, 2022

Visited Soyre again just to try their Chonok Fish Thali.  Priced at Rs. 250, it was good value but could have been better in taste and quality although the Chonok was fresh, crisp and delicious.

8.Kamalabai, Mapusa – 20th August, 2022

Kamalabai AC section is not opened yet and should be functioning October 2022 onwards.  Their Special Fish thali is always good and love the roti that is always served with the Thali.  The Chonok Thali was priced at Rs.300 which compared to Copperleaf is quite reasonable.

9.Le Jardine, Near Municipal Gardens, Mapusa – 23rd August, 2022

We would have never found or ventured into this restaurant had I Rickshaw driver not recommended it as a good seafood and thali place.  A decent place for family, situated in the heart of Mapusa, bang in front of the Mapusa Municipal Gardens.  They serve Goan Rice Lager, which we tried and was good. Ordered the Chonok Fish Thali and here too were disappointed to find ‘Egg Burji’ instead of crab curry. Anyway need to try them again during “Season”.  Prawns Rava fry was delicious and the mackerel recheado was OK!  Thali is priced at Rs.265, Mackerel Rs. 120 each and Prawns Rs.325.

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Goa, Restaurant & food review

A Memorable holiday week in Goa

Mince Jeere Meerem


Mince Jeere Meerem

Mince Jeere Meerem

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 Kg mince (Beef or Lamb)
  • 3 to 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp. Jeere Meerem masala powder
  • 1 cup green peas (or Potatoes, cubed)
  • 1 small cup coriander leaves
  • 1 to 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • ½ tsp. sugar (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1½ tsp. Salt or to taste

Method

  1. Heat oil/ghee in a vessel
  2. Fry the chopped onions and green chillies till onions turn slightly brown. 
  3. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for few minutes.
  4. Drain the mince completely and add to the pan with a tsp of salt.
  5. Saute till the mince turns brown and the water completely dries up.  Continue to brown the mince till fat begins to separate.  Do not hasten this step.  The browning of the mince brings out the flavor in the meat.  Should take 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Once nicely browned, add the jeere merem powder, mix, add two cups of hot water and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower flame and cook on medium for 30 minutes.
  8. Open after 10 to 15 minutes and give it a good stir. 
  9. If water dries up, add some more hot water as per the consistency you desire. 
  10. Add the peas and cook further 10 minutes. 
  11. Add the vinegar and sugar and simmer 5 minutes.
  12. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  13. Serve with Pao or Parathas or Pooris or steamed rice or pulao.

A Typical Konkan Coastal Fish Curry Rice Meal for Four persons cooked in less than 30 minutes


A Typical Konkan Coastal Fish Curry Rice Meal for Four persons cooked in less than 30 minutes (excluding preparation)

To keep it real have used my daily regular utensils 😉 😉

A meal for four persons

  1. Raouns (Rawas, Indian Salmon) Fish Curry
  2. Cabbage Vegetable
  3. Lepo (Sole Tounge Fish) fry
  4. Steamed rice
  5. Mango pickle (homemade)
  1. Rawas/Raouns (Indian Salmon) Fish curry

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces Raouns fish
  • ½ medium onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1” pc ginger
  • 1 raw mango
  • 1 tsp. Salt or to taste

To grind to a paste

  • 4 Kashmiri chillies
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 6 peppercorns
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tbsp. coconut powder
  • 2 flakes garlic
  • ½ medium onion

Method

  1. Clean and wash & cut fish.  Apply a little salt and set aside. 
  2. Grind the masala to a smooth paste. 
  3. Slice the onion, green chillies and ginger. 
  4. Wash and peel the raw mango and cut into wedges.
  5. Heat 1 to 2 tbsp. coconut oil and add the sliced onion, green chillies and ginger.  Saute till lightly brown. 
  6. Keep the flame low so the flavors of the onion, chillies and ginger release and give off a nice aroma. 
  7. Add the masala paste, the masala water, raw mango pieces and salt. 
  8. Stir and increase the flame and bring to a boil, simmer till oil appears on the edges. 
  9. Add the fish, stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce flame to medium low and cook for ten minutes. 
  10. When curry is done it will leave fat and appear glossy.
  11. Remove from flame.

P.S.: Same recipe may be used for Pomfret, Gole fish (Hammour), Mandeli (Golden Anchovies), Surmai (Kind Fish).  This curry is called sweet fish curry where chillies are less and coriander seeds are more. Other curries are the amotik (Spicy hot) usually made with Tarle (Sardines), Bangde (Mackerels), Bhing (Herring) Tato (Shark) etc., Green curry with fresh green masala for Pomfret, Fresh Bombay duck, etc. and the Kane  (Lady Fish) where curry to similar to above but Ajwain is added to the masala and onion and garlic are increased. 

2. Cabbage vegetable

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 small tomato (Optional)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 4 flaked garlic
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tsp. salt or to taste

Method

  1. Shred the cabbage and soak in salted water for few minutes. 
  2. Slice the onion and green chillies, chop the tomato.
  3. Crush the garlic cloves and wash the curry leaves.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and allow to splutter. 
  5. Add the garlic and curry leaves, followed by the chillies and onion and saute for a minute. 
  6. Add the cabbage and salt, mix.
  7. Cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes till done.  Do not add any water.
  8. Garnish with fresh coconut.

3. Lepo fry (Sole Tongue fish fry)

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 Lepo
  • 3 tsp. red chilli powder (or to taste)
  • ½ to 1 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • Rice flour or Rava to coat the fish

Method

  1. To clean the fish, cut the head and pull out the skin from both sides and the intestines.  Wash and leave aside to drain.
  2. Mix the red chilli powder, salt and vinegar to a paste and apply to the fish and marinate for half hour.
  3. Heat some oil to shallow fry the fish. 
  4. Take some rice flour or rava in a plate. 
  5. Roll the fish to coat evenly and fry on medium flame for 5 minutes on each side till crisp.

4. Steamed Rice

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice or boiled rice if you wish
  • 1 tsp. salt
  1. Wash the rice and soak in water for atleast 15 minutes.
  2. Bring water to a boil in a vessel. 
  3. Add the pre-soaked rice, salt and bring to a boil. 
  4. Reduce flame and simmer till rice is tender.  Strain the water. 

Tip: Cook the rice on low flame so the grains remain whole and separate and do not break.

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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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

REIS CORNER

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

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.

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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Alun stems with red beans1
Alun stems with red beans3
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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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