Featured Restaurants in Goa

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Updated about 22hrs ago

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An Indian experience
It’s sizzling…it's spiced…it’s on Flame. The spanking newly refurbished multi-cuisine restaurant at the Double Tree by Hilton has been cooking up a spread this monsoon. And a treat for the taste buds too. Executive Chef Apoorv Bhatt has brought in the ‘rustic’ Indian flavor of the North into his kitchens. From the regions of Punjab, Awadh, Hyderabad and even Goa the food is not the common ‘makhani, tadka’ variety, but tastefully crafted and researched to bring preparations compatible and longed for in Goa.

Decor
Stark, refreshing, cooling white with an oasis of greenery leading to a water body that can be seen from the big ‘glassed’ French windows; even in this weather cocooned against the elements it’s a pleasure to sit there and watch the rain pouring down in sheets. The restaurant has two levels and its ‘white effect’ is toned down with a big spray of orangey-red with a hint of purple flowers splashed on the walls.

Comfortable seating and a coffee shop styled ambience makes it a place that projects warmth and relaxation, the center of the restaurant dominated by the hue and color of eye appealing desserts on the buffet.

Food
The diner has a choice of the buffet or the a la carte. Let us stop for a moment to focus on the buffet at an unbelievable price of Rs 650 plus taxes. What has the chef placed on offer? There were approx 10 varieties of appetizers…miniature portions so you don’t dig into a big dish which has a feeling of somebody else’s ‘left over’s’. Broccoli chicken salad, Zucchini and corn salad to name a few; or perhaps the cold cuts finely sliced for the taking. A choice of two soups, and a variety of mains which pander to the whims of everybody’s taste buds…from the Oriental, (Fish Kung Pao), Indian (Mutton Rara, lychee korma) and even Goan (Sorpotel) were some of the day’s specials. Order a piping hot roti, naan or a laccha paratha, it comes straight from the kitchen. Desserts and a cheese platter, gives the final touch to the ‘experience’. The colorful ensemble of Duet mousse, white forest pudding, malai barfi…just a few of what is on display. The mini cheese platter offers a choice of five….Gruyere, Edam, mild cheddar, Gouda, the chef’s variations can encompass an Ementhal or a Camembert too.

This is value for money and taste too. But if a la carte catches your fancy the elaborate menu is there too. Go for Indian, the list of preparations with fine presentations caters to a ‘gourmet’ experience. For starters try the Bhatti ka Murg (a Punjabi home-style chicken tikka preparation where the spices of with red chillies are cooked before the chicken is marinated in yoghurt). The masala oozes out as the dish is presented…soft and succulent to taste. Remember there are no ‘run of the mill’ preparations so order the Hari Mirch ka murg tikka, very similar to the Malai chicken tikka but with finely chopped green chilies added to the marinade. Succulence is the by word of the chicken appetizers…maybe by word is the wrong adjective. Foreword would be more applicable.

Old favorites re-churned…the Murg maska mar ke, the names says it all. Your taste buds will be ‘maskafied’ with this ‘makhani styled’ preparation or choose the Mutton Rara. Chef Apoorv states that in village households the meat was ‘pounded’ on the tawa as it gets cooked into fine shreds with its spices. The pounding of your heart as it surges to meet with the sensations of gratification…ah yes; the preparation is definitely one of the specials on the menu.

While Apoorv works his magic in the Indian section, the Goan chef’s sorpotel is worth the order. The blend of spice and meat will suit the most fastidious Goan palate.

Plus and Minus
For a star hotel the buffet is ‘value for money.’ Their breakfasts have a ‘unique’ offer – fruits right off their trees (fresh red and yellow dates, Imli and coconut). Dinner offers an ‘on the spot’ preparation with a slight extra charge but definitely worth a visit. If one looks critically at the items displayed the only absence felt would be the ‘crackers’ needed for the cheese. The chef states that he will be working on a series of ‘nutty’ flavored breads as the accompaniments.

The Goan chef needs to be congratulated, the peri peri sauce and the sorpotel was ‘fine tuned’ to perfection, but the Raechad stuffed in the ‘fish popio roll’ did not enthrall although the chef’s presentation needs to be emulated when serving this dish. All in all the Flame at the Double tree by Hilton gives double the ‘value’ when matching the expectations of the diner.

Must Try
Bhatti ka Murg Mutton Rara, Lychee korma.

Updated this week

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  • Service
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A ‘Chatpata styled’ experience

It’s multi-cuisine, Chinese, Italian, Indian, Goan and soon a corner to be Pan Asian too. But what makes this place different is that Girish Desai of the Kebab Corner and NH 17- Catpro fame has a new address in town. And now he has tweaked his preparations with a new avatar chatpata style, sure to appeal to the palate of the locals.

Décor/Ambience

Functional yet a tasteful get up. Big stenciled glass windows overlooking the pool, dark brown place mats placed on striped damask cross cloths, simple white crockery contrasts the effect. The bar is at one end of the restaurant, a big TV mounted on the wall for those who have some time on hand. The menu is wholesome in more ways than one, a wide variety of preparations to choose from, the choice and the ambience to tempt families to frequent often.

Food

Girish is known for his kebabs and his Indian food, but here he has taken the taste to a different level, which coaxes the senses to identify the flavors within. Take the popular preparation of Ghee Roast. A rich reddish brown masala oozing with ‘ghee’ (no oil used states Girish). One can choose a full or a half portion. One can have it as a starter or as a main. And this South Indian preparation has been tweaked – to perfection. Saliva oozing good if one is partial to the ghee richness. Another hot favorite is our very local Prawn Dangar have it with teesrois (shellfish) too. These rawa fried cutlets have a slight dose of ‘extra spice’ – great to have with a drink. From the kebab section, the ‘potli’ kebeab (green peas, onions and peanuts’, so called because it resembles a miniature bag locally called as a ‘potli.’ The Anar de kebab, chicken with pomegranate seeds sprinkled with cheese on top, the roti pe boti (mutton or chicken mouthfuls flavored with elaichi with an onion ring on top and an Indian bread base below. Yes, there are a wide variety of kebabs that are unusual – credit to Girish’s creativity. The mains – the Mumtaz chicken (tandoori chicken in a tomato gravy tweaked with honey and topped with grated egg). I am sure this honey flavored extravaganza would have even topped the Moghul Emperor Shah Jehan’s list. The Chinese is home styled too…hot favorites are Soya chicken tweaked with star anise, or the chicken in oyster sauce. Go Italian and say Mamma Mia! The Penne Arabiatta has been tweaked to suit our ‘chatpata’ palate. The spice factor adds a touch of its own.

Plus and Minus

As far as the taste and the portion size is concerned, it’s awesome, and in keeping in tune with dining in a Club. However, non members are permitted to dine there for an additional sum of Rs 20/- per person. Paltry indeed if you consider the menu price and choice available. There is Murg Karachi handi, Murg boti masala and Girish’s famous galouti kebab to be kept in mind. Melting moments indeed! If one would look for a ‘black spot’ in the total experience, its miniscule - perhaps the base of this kebab would need a small tweak for improvement. The fish is served on seasonal availability, the rawa fried Modoshio (ladyfish), did not warrant a ladylike exclamation. Simply ‘fishy’ fresh! And don’t think of walking out without having the dessert, you will be deserted. The Serradura - 8 ½ out of 10, the best that any restaurant has dished out so far. It might be called ‘sawdust’ (Portuguese translation) but the taste is anything but. The desserts of the day also include Chocolate Mousse and Gajjar halwa besides the kulfis. If one tends to find the ‘chat pata’ atmosphere along the Miramar beach…do keep in mind that there is a better way to enjoy this fare. Just a few meters away from the beach, there is a Chatpata styled experience created especially for you?

Must Try

Kebabs, Ghee Roast, Chicken Mumtaz, Serradura

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