Coastal Colours and Curries!
Mumbai has no dearth of eateries serving coastal Konkani, Malvani and Maharashtrian Cuisine. It was, rather, our quest for trying authentic Goan food that had us wandering.
While visiting Siddhivinayak Temple one Saturday evening, I spotted Goa Portuguesa Restobar-Mahim in the same vicinity. Beautifully lit with a very Goan vibe, the restaurant’s vintage look is so welcoming. Complete with a huge church bell at the entry, the appearance is convincingly coastal European. The idea of relishing Goan-Portuguese food amidst such ambience was exciting.
The interiors and décor is the soul of this place. Set in a medieval Portuguese villa sorts, the ambience reeks of Colonial era. Woody engraved ceilings, stained cathedral glass doors, wall art by prominent Goan artist Mario Miranda and coconuts hung here and there! All you miss is surf and sand, hoping to find the ocean as you gaze out of the window. We visited over a weekend for dinner and the place was packed with happy looking patrons. There are also live music performances at your table.
There are three sister restaurants- Goa Portuguesa Restobar, Diva Maharashtracha and Dakshin Culture Curry that are located next to one another and share the same kitchen. No wonder you are presented with three menus on the table.
Goa Portuguesa offers a versatile mix of Goan, Konkan and Portuguese platters in veg and non-veg. On one hand there are traditional coastal sea-food, pork, mutton, fish and chicken preparations, on the other there are vegetarian soups, cuisine and desserts from Goa’s Hindu households.
So, there is a lot of crab, prawn, lobster, fish, squid and lobster coming your way along with chicken and mutton, offcourse. Portuguese origin Goan delicacies including Caldo Verda (national soup of Portugal), Vindalho, Cafreal, Xacutti, meat croquettes are a must try. Cocktails and beer are served with special discounts over lunch. Also, the restaurant levies only 10 percent service tax.
Our prawn stuffed papad turned out to be so scrumptious that we were tempted to repeat it. Tender masala prawn wrapped in crunchy papads. So delicious!
Recheado was fish stuffed with spices and grilled slowly over fire till it turned crunchy.
Chicken Bali Bali was soft chicken pieces sautéed in red Goan masala. Absolute delight!
Me being a dessert fanatic got sold to their super delectable Dodol, which was so fresh and warm that it almost melted on my tongue. Dodol is a traditional Goan dessert made of coconut jaggery, cashews and coconut milk.
The staff is very courteous and enthusiastic to explain the cuisines and suggest earnestly in case you are clueless about the food. The guitar performer entertains patrons and belts out requested songs.
The walls are adorned with pictures of the Awchat couple, owner of the three sister restaurants. They drop by your table to ask about the food and strike casual conversation, which makes it ever friendlier.
In the testimonials of celebrity patrons at Goa Portuguesa, late food critic Khushwant Singh said, “The food here is orgasmic. I am still coming.” Well, I can’t agree more!