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Yearning to go to Goa for a break has a lot to do with the food there, apart from the sun, sand, and sea. Naturally then, if a bit of Goa comes to your plate right here in Mumbai, it is pure bliss. While Malvani food has always been freely available in Mumbai, authentic Goan home-style food - vindaloo, ambotik, cafreal and even the Saraswat delicacies, have somehow never been commonplace. An opportunity to savour real Goan food was a rare thing until recently. Clearly, the popularity of Goan food and the lack of it in the city has resulted in several Goan cuisine restaurants mushrooming. From home-style traditional Goan meat and seafood delicacies to dishes with an innovation, now you can enjoy them all in Mumbai.
It is a place which pioneered this cuisine in Mumbai and still is one of the best places to relish authentic Goan-Portuguese food in the city. Master Chef Deepa Awchat ensures, her offerings are an equal treat for sea food lovers and vegetarians alike. Pomfret Recheado with the tangy vinegar-based red masala teases one’s taste buds, while the Mutton Xacuti With Rice and the fiery squid chilly fry are the ultimate treat as main course dishes.
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The cheerful and spacious restaurant is unmistakably Portuguese-esque. The menu has been inspired by the Catholic, Hindu Saraswat and Portuguese cuisines of Goa. The core remains authentic, but it is the inventive spin which makes the food unique. The spices are authentic and the flavours distinct. Cardoz’s Chicken Chilli Fry and Beryl’s Fish Curry are similar to the ones you eat at home. The vegetarian Saraswat Tondak Curry is delightful and will appeal to carnivores too. Aunty Li’s Serradura takes you straight to the dessert served at a home gathering.
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This small eatery cum café is a hidden gem. The cheerful vibe outdoors is infectious and the area indoors is like stepping into a spacious Portuguese villa. The menu has global comfort food but with a special focus on Goan delicacies. The Goan Fish Curry Red Rice With Fried Prawns alongside is the piece de résistance. Chicken lovers can gorge on the well-made Chicken Cafreal With Poi and reminisce about being in Goa.
A Goan beach shack is where you are transported to when you enter Lady Baga. The relaxed vibe, music and colourful décor add on to the atmosphere. The menu is vast but the Goan dishes are a treat you cannot miss. The Crab Recheado And Prawns curry With Rice are spots on, in terms of comforting flavours. The Aubergine And Green Bean Ambotik is an absolute winner, for vegetarians. Chef Aloysius Dsilva’s rustic home-style unpretentious food, makes you feel you are savouring a meal at home.
This cute and cosy 100-seater Goan and Portuguese restaurant, at Juhu, is strongly reminiscent of a Portuguese villa in Goa. Porto and Poie’s food and bar menu pay a tribute to the dishes, flavours, ingredients, and spirit of Goa and Portugal. With vinegar, jaggery, chorizo and poie directly from Goa, Chef Gracian de Souza brings to you the flavours of Goa with his own family recipes. From Prawn Rissois to Chicken Croquette and Goan Peper Lamb Stew to a Goan Potato And Vatana Bhaji, you get it all here. Carnivores rejoice as there is pork aplenty in several dishes here.
Food critic, features writer and columnist, Mini Ribeiro is a qualified Journalist, from IIMC New Delhi. She specialises in the Food & Beverage and Hospitality space. As an established food & beverage writer, Mini currently contributes to several leading English publications across the country – Asian Age, Hindustan Times, Sunday Financial Express, Hotelier India, Go Getter and Vistara inflight magazines and Rediff.com. She also has her own You Tube channel called Mini’s Food Fundas. Fond of cooking, Mini enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with various cuisines, with Indian regional food, being her favourite. She has recently started, a platform for home talent, called 'Flavours from Home', an initiative which aims to make women who are passionate about cooking, entrepreneurs.