Fado Night At Alfama, Goa

Celebration Of An Age Old Portuguese Tradition

28 Feb, 2017 by Nolan Mascarenhas

Fado is a traditional folk music popular in Lisbon, Portugal. Melancholic by nature, the music includes instruments such as guitars and mandolins with one ‘Fadista’ singing poetic lyrics related to darker elements of love such as death and sadness. Cidade de Goa, also known as the ‘City of Goa’, is reminiscent of a Portuguese city with its hanging balcaos, cosy green terraces and the landmark statue of three gentlemen in conversation. Through the years, this famed five-star deluxe resort has kept its promise to cherish and promote the cultural traditions of Goa’s past.

Over 600 years ago, the Portuguese first made Goa their home. Bringing with them, an array of flavours and food traditions from their native land and colonies worldwide. Many of these influences can still be seen in our day to day lives. The Fado evening is one such tribute to the past, which is held on first the Tuesday of every month at Alfama – the chef’s speciality dining restaurant. The unique interiors of Alfama – inspired by the Bohemian Town Square of Lisbon, accentuates itself into the dining experience with romantic balconies and alcoves with musicians to serenade guests through the meal. This ‘Latino’ style restaurant evokes a bygone era.  

The Fado, a Portuguese song, is a mellifluous haunting melody, evoking passions of love, sorrow, jealousy, guilt and satire. The Fado performed by famed Fadistas – Sonia Shirsat, Miguel Cotta, Chantalle Marie Cotta E Viegas and Nadia Rebelo along with musicians – Franz Schubert Cotta – Portuguese Guitar (Guitarra Portuguesa) and Carlos Menezes – Guitar (Viola), wow the audiences with their soul-stirring renditions. Truly a night worth witnessing – bringing back old forgotten memories. The menu carefully crafted by Chef Sunit offers a delectable array of Goan and Portuguese cuisines to suit every palate. The four-course set menu had the Salada De Caranguejo E Camarao (Crab Xec Xec Salad with Marinated Shrimp) followed by a Sopa De Galhinha E Pimenta Assada – a Chorizo Scented Chicken and Roasted Pepper Soup. The Prato Principal (main course) has the Galinha Grelhada A Portuguesa – a Portuguese Barbeque Chicken with Carrot Mash and Garlic Tossed Spinach that sends everyone into a tizzy. Before departure, indulge in the sweet temptations with the Queijadas De Sintra, Torta De Chocolate E Gelato Da Coco – a Sintra Cheesecake Tart, Chocolate Cake and Coconut Ice Cream – sin on a plate indeed. It is safe to note that there is a specially crafted vegetarian menu highlighting the essence of vegetarian cuisine in Portugal. 

The service has all the guests lulled in a melancholic and blissful state with soulful music to boot. A great evening of fine music and lovely cuisine. 

Written By



An award winning photojournalist, Nolan is torn between food & travel. Having held multiple exhibitions across- he loves to capture the essence of a meal or moment through his lens. Known for his love of food he believes in making viewers salivate over drool worthy pictures, titilating their palates over social media. His photography added vivid dimensions through his contribution to the book The Culinary Heritage of Goa which won the Gourmand Best in the World for Historical recepies in 2015. Author of the ever popular food/travel blog www.nolansatwit.com, many have commonly referred to his wit or 'twit'iness. A recepient of the prestigious REX Karmaveer Chakra award by UNESCO he spends most of his time divided between sampling the various offerings of the gastronomic world and his unending quest for new and far flung places.

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