The Taj resort offered several restaurants. We skipped the Thai restaurant, Banyon Tree, since I was on a mission to try as much Goan cuisine as possible during my visit. On our first night, we were told that the Beach House that specializes in Goan cuisine where the property’s master chef presides was closed for a private party. Instead we dined on the outside deck at Caravela, the informal restaurant. The menu has a wide array of international cuisine but I didn’t want that.
Our waiter at Caravela quickly resolved my disappointment and offered us the menu from the Beach House. I was in heaven. We asked him what he recommended on the menu and had to reduce the list to just a few items. We dined on Recheido (pan grilled Pomfret fish stuffed with masala that is made with toddy) and Prawn Balchao (shrimp in a sweet, sour and spicy masala sauce). These two dishes were incredible with the traditional Goan flavors dancing on my palate. Being a bread-lover we had to try the specialties of the house: Sannas (the Goan version of Idlis, with toddy) and Pao (yeast bread in the shape of a bagel that is cooked twice) – definitely worth the extra calories. For desert, our waiter created a plate with both Dodhol (made with rice flower and jaggery usually reserved for special occasions) and Bebinca (an incredible layered dessert that takes hours to prepare and is incredibly fattening), both traditional Goan specialties. We split the desserts and called dinner a delicious success.
The staff in the restaurant was very friendly and helpful. If I asked any one of them a question or made a request, it would be handled immediately and with a smile. They were happy to share their knowledge (and, obviously, their love) of the food as well as of Goa itself.
While in Goa, we ate every meal in this restaurant feasting on local Goan specialties. My only regret was that we could not stay longer. I will come back as soon as I can.
In my next post, I will share with you the absolute highlight of my entire trip: meeting Chef Rego.
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