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There are three things that are sacrosanct to the average Goan in the food domain; their love for ‘urak’, their proud rich legacy of sweets and affinity towards it and the hot plated Fish Curry Rice thali, encompassing all the food groups in one serving. Follow that with a nice afternoon ‘siesta’ and one could understand the essence of the ‘susegado’ way of life- relaxed and stress-free. Here is a list of some of the haunts frequently visited by locals and yearning foodies alike.
Peep Kitchen, Caranzalem
Run by two brothers in the heart of Caranzalem, following their mother's age-old recipe, this Fish Thali focuses on the Saraswat way of Goan cooking, with a Sol Kadi, a huge fillet of the local catch and some home-grown vegetables. Only open for lunch, do call them for a reservation on your next visit.
Doing it in pomp and style, living up to their 5-star reputations is Festa at the Grand Mercure hotel in Candolim. They have delicacies ranging from fresh and choicest catch of seafood in the ‘Tisreo’ to Sol Kadi and curries, the traditional fugat style veggies and not to miss the Bebinca; their Goan dessert serving. The thali is slightly on the expensive side but it is painstakingly curated for that quintessential 5-star experience.
Anand Bar, Anjuna
Thronged by locals and tourists, Anand Bar on the arterial road towards Siolim is a visit on the culinary map. Known for their portion sizing and long queues for a table, you have many patrons descending upon them during the lunch hours for that fresh catch of the day. A great place for a late lunch, to enjoy a late wake up for the party animals as many patrons visit it post 3 pm and they still keep serving.
Sanil Bar & Restaurant, Porvorim
This restaurant has carved its name through word of mouth and local gossip to emerge as one of the most sought after destinations to attract the likes of fancy cars and high spenders. A quaint little restaurant with only a few tables, what you see is what you get – no frills attached. You must try his fried Bombil; available only till stocks last along with the Goan Rice Thali on offer. Unfortunately, one cannot call for a reservation as its first come first served basis so try and get there early.
If you are looking for a lady’s touch in your food, then this is the place to visit. Run by a couple; here the wife cooks and the husband serves. The food is scrumptious and makes one feel as if it is delivered right from the kitchen to the plate.
Woods Inn, Porvorim
Their thali is known for its gigantic size. Do not over order, as this can be shared between two easily, though it is not allowed. Throwing in every possible Goan delicacy from the fresh catch of the day fried, to an assortment of curries and pickles as well as vegetarian preparations- this commands you to bring across an appetite. A value for money offering indeed.
Be sure to head over to some of these establishments on your next visit.
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.