Which restaurateur was evicted by his landlord? Who said, “Sunsets in Goa will never be the same again” and lived up to it? Where is the new Baba Au Rhum, and which is the latest Japanese restaurant in Chapora? Chef and television host Shilarna Vaze, who swims between Goa and Mumbai, knows the answer to all of these questions.
Live from Goa, where she and her husband are setting up a pop up brunch for January 2, 2015, our bikini-clad encyclopedia tells bpb about the hippest bars and restaurants in Goa this season. We can feel the wind in our hair already.
Restaurant at Leela Cottages, Ashwem
Chris Saleem Agha Bee’s Goa domination plans now involve Ashwem. The untitled project, a two acre property smack in the middle of Ashwem beach, is ready to open its doors by the end of this week. Watch this space for high-end comfort food that has won Chris Bee fans from all over the world.
The Restaurant, in front of The Leela Cottages, Ashwem; O Fogo, 5/158, La Maison Hotel, Rua de Natal, near St. Sebastian Chapel Fontainhas, Mala, Panjim, call 0832 2235555.
Ashwem Beach. Yoga vibes. Delhi boy meets Israeli girl. Heart chakra opens and out pops Anahata Resort. One of the most beautiful spots on Ashwem beach is now an eco-friendly, yoga centric resort for the well-heeled. They’re gearing up for their first season ever, so book rooms quickly at this tree covered paradise.
House no 367, next to Ajoba Temple, Ashwem, Mandrem, call 07720034172.
A secret that we’re almost reluctant to reveal, Paros by Amarya opened last year on a secluded patch at Turtle Beach.
Rockfish on Baga is bound to be the next big party place for those who hang out at Calangute and Candolim. On the beach with a fancy Mediterranean menu, here’s where you’ll sip cocktails or tuck into brunch this season.
Baga Beach, call 09823080180, view the Facebook page here.
A secret that we’re almost reluctant to reveal, Paros by Amarya opened last year on a secluded patch at Turtle Beach, Morjim with luxury tents and a handful of rooms. With comfortable deck chairs, an (almost) private beach and seafood spaghetti with mussels and prawns, Paros is one of the best options for some R&R post New Year party madness. Psst: Sign up for Gaia Home Chef and Paros’ luxe Chandon Brunch on January 2, and check out their hippie-chic, high-end flea market in the La Plage area called Le Souk.
Paros, Temba Vaddo, Morjim, call 07875224039.
A hang out for all things organic, Natty’s Naturals café offers healthy alternatives to the usual pork fest in Goa (although they do serve bacon in their omelets). Best for breakfast after a particularly indulgent night and also for to stock up on ingredients like Spirulina powder from Auroville and Pukka detox teas.
On the Anjuna to Calungute Road, call 08550999422.
The Burger Factory
A friend who’s particularly enthusiastic about food, goes to The Burger Factory after every meal for a burger. In a tiny little space on the Anjuna Beach Road, the Delhi based chef here has managed to come up with every kind of burger there is. The buns hold up, the patties are fresh and the feeling is of complete satisfaction. Meat lovers who are sick of all this namby-pamby vegan nonsense will have a reason to smile again.
Anjuna Mapusa Road, Anjuna, call 08600990220.
New Baba Au Rhum
As the season starts up, the old story of which landlord kicked whom out begins. Ignore the gossip and check out the new location of Baba Au Rhum, which promises a fresh start for the bakery/pizzeria. Overlooking rice fields on the Anjuna back road, those in the know go here for their daily fix of croissants, pain au chocolat and pizza.
Anjuna Back Road, Anjuna, call 09657210468.
Matsya Freestyle Kitchen At Samata Holistic Retreat Center
Gome Galily is one of Goa’s Phoenix-like creatures. You see him at parties kicking up some dust, you see him in Arambol cooking at a gourmet but hippy restaurant, and then suddenly, you see him doing his thing at the beautiful new holistic healing centre, Samata in Pernem. (Check out my uber-cool Croatian friend Dejana’s yoga retreats set to be held there this season http://www.supersoulyoga.net/). The idea behind Matsya is that there are two fixed prices, you make a reservation and tell Gome about your preferences, allergies etc. After that, the cooking is all freestyle.
Arambol, call 09823699270, email email@example.com.
When Shaana Gwynne packed up Butterfly, her cupcake shop in Bandra, and moved back to Goa with chef husband Evan, things were looking sunnier in the sunny state. And with good reason: only one season old, Shamba does world cuisine with new African flavours (reflecting her Mozambique heritage) on the menu, including Kenyan roast chicken with plantain chips and Pork Three Ways.
House no 1108/1, Kutchem Bhatt, Anjuna, Bardez, call 07774030661.
Chapora heads will recognise the Italian trance label Parvati Records as being one of the biggest promoters of dark psychedelic trance. But since November 1, they have also been promoting Japanese food. La Beffa (sadly, the owner passed away) in Chapora has been taken over by yet another friendly Italian and has been re-imagined into the Parvati Café, which serves average Japanese food and lets you bring your USB to buy killer Parvati Records tracks while you munch on nori.
Chapora, view the Facebook page here.
Go With The Flow
The setting at Go With The Flow is so impressive, you almost feel like you are inside Cirque du Soleil as opposed to by the Baga River. Here, a Brazilian chef creates some seriously stellar food - Porcini Risotto, Salmon Tartare, Beef a la Piedra (cooked on stone). The psychedelic but slick décor will have you making reservations for special occasions. Plus, all the proceeds go to charity! Now there’s a good reason to eat a pricey steak.
Near Baga bridge, end of Baga River Road, call 07507771556, visit http://www.gowiththeflowgoa.com.
Romeo and Francesca declared “sunsets will never be the same” and last season, they lived up to that by organising some of the most talked about evening parties in North Goa. Fabulous (but expensive) cocktails and a stunning setting (no cement was used in the construction) make this a great spot to grab that pre-dinner drink.
Small Vagator, Bardez, call 09167239345, view the Facebook page here.
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