Featured Restaurants in Goa

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Critic's Review

Updated about 2hrs ago

  • Food
  • 70% Complete (success)
  • Service
  • 60% Complete (success)
  • Decor
  • 70% Complete (success)

It sits atop a hill like a crown - above the city of Panjim, and the shimmering jewel (the Mandovi) meanders in the distance. We are talking about the ‘bird’s eye’ view like none other when you visit the hotel – The Crown. A small narrow winding road (as in the days gone by) near the Old Latin Quarter and you are perched up there…its small, it boutique and tastefully enhanced, and the view which is also captured at one of its outlets that’s open 24x7 is the Harbour Café.

Décor/Ambience

Walk out of the lift, past the pool towards an air conditioned eatery. A big blue wall hanging depicts fishing boats that could be the artists representation of the boats bobbing across the river at Betim. The hue is enhanced throughout the restaurant, big bay windows that give visuals of both the pool as well as the river in the distance. The tables have inlaid ceramic tiles painted with a ‘shell design’ the deep brown polished wood given the ambience a ‘solid’ harmony as you drift harmoniously in the watery shades of blue. The seating is comfortable, wifi available….just the place to while away some time with a friend or work on a project.

Food

It’s a menu that ‘peaks’ with some specialties and yet remains constant for the palates of diners who do not like to be adventurous. So there are Pan Asia, Goan, Indian as well as the carefully crafted burger to keep those salivary glands working. Let’s go burgers!

A specialty menu lists chef Manjula D’Cruz’s culinary adventure into this ‘try the difference’ package. Hot selling Creole chicken fillet burger. Served in an Onion seed bun, the Cajun spiced marinated chicken filet is put on a bed of mayo and jalapeno jam. You will ‘jam’ those teeth together to let the flavor linger on with a bite of that soft bread, chicken and the crunch potato wedges that accompany the dish.

Let the second bite be with the beetroot crunchy slivers…… there are a host of burgers to try, and bread too, to sandwich your meat. But moving on to some other specialties try the Indonesian mutton curry with sticky rice. It’s really a ‘sticky’ option- only recommended to those who love to cry – talking about the spice factor of course. So if you can tolerate high levels of the spice factor, this is the dish for you. Absolutely Yuuum! You will be ‘oozing’ out in more ways than one. Dessert lovers….the items might be limited, but opt for the Orange and Chocolate mousse. The Cointreau…treasure the memory of the orange enhanced chocolate melting at every bite, flavored by the bitter zest of the garnish. But that depends on ones zest for life…. You can enjoy every spoon and forget about the creamy calories. The other dessert…called simply gajjar halwa but inspired by the ingredients that go into it…is a ‘chewy styled’ carrot, mawa and almond sliver enhanced dessert. Heavy but very tasty too! Reasonable doubt - halwa’s is supposed to be of that consistency ‘chewy’… so this preparation is an inspiration of sorts. Let’s go desi….a gamut of Indian preparations – old favorites. The Butter chicken, the Roganjosh…let’s start at the beginning.

There are two dishes sure to make the vegetarian smile with joy. To start with the dahi kebab is a sure winner. It’s crisp on the outside, soft and tasty inside, a great way to begin. Then try the paneer pasanda…creamy gravy, soft paneer sandwiches a mash of lightly spiced potato. The Butter Chicken, Mutton Roganjosh are tasty fare….constants that balance the menu.

Plus and Minus

It might be conceived as ‘problematic’ to drive up the slope to reach the hotel, but there was plentiful parking available during lunch. Moreover the security, are trained to make the drive easy. The view is heavenly, the Café designed to suit your mood….relax and unwind. You have a choice to try out the chef’s specials or opt for the all time favorite fare…the menu showcases both. So crown your day with an ‘all in all’ combo….the view, the ambience and your choice of meal….it’s an all day dining at the Harbour Café.

Updated about 2hrs ago

  • Food
  • 70% Complete (success)
  • Service
  • 70% Complete (success)
  • Decor
  • 60% Complete (success)

An ‘All Day Dining’ experience

Mercury is rising, yes the tourist belt is getting some new additions which will titillate your taste buds. What better than an All Day Dining at the Grand Mercure Goa Shrem Resort? It’s time for Festa where they are celebrating food all day. Yes that is their mantra, and in the traditional local style the chef’s have worked their magic with ‘old’ favourites and new creations, an experience to remember.

Décor/Ambience

Look out for the color ‘purple’ gently embedded in the Festa logo and entwined with the bright rich green of the upholstered chairs. Perhaps that is the only color in this bright airy room, the high ceiling, the murals on the wall and the big glassed in windows, classy and relaxing. It overlooks their soon-to-be-launched Italian and Goan restaurants. Take a peek at the tables; the knobby legs hark back to a time when local furniture graced the Portuguese ‘sala’, the practical tabletops with place mats giving it an informal touch. In the center of the restaurant, a ten seater table with ‘old fashioned’ upholstered chairs adds a touch of regal tones to an otherwise relaxed place. At the far end is the open participative kitchen with chef’s busy preparing their culinary treats. Small bharni’s with colorful local ingredients…chilies being the most prominent set the tone of their concept – local and traditional.

Food

Chef Ganapathy Mallaya is no novice when it comes to creative cuisine, but ask him what’s cooking and he states – comfort food, adding ‘ghar ka khana’. A quick glance at the sections – Pasta, Indian, Pan Asian as well as a few global favourites. Mercury rising or dipping? Choose from a warm or a cold salad. If warm- choose the chicken tikka warm from the tandoor with red pepper, mango jelly and papad chips. Or chip in for the cold beet and feta salad, a great combo. There are many ‘known’ favorites listed on the menu – mezze, panneer kathi roll or even the elaichi murg for starters. They might be from different countries, but the taste, still remember the succulent tikka bits flavored to perfection. From the Asian section- the Nasi Goreng. Go for it. Schechwan fried rice, prawn crackers, batter fried prawns, chicken satay with that fried egg on top. Let the yolk ooze onto the rice as you nibble on bite by bite. Dee…li…cious! And there are other specialties too. The Malaysian Laksa, curry noodle soup too. If you think that all pastas are cooked in the same vein, and I am not referring to diameter of the spaghetti, order the Spaghetti Carbonara. You have a choice of other pastas too, but the sauce, Chef explains that he tosses it in a sabayon made with egg yolk, cream and cheese. No regular thickened sauce as is the norm. It coats the pasta to perfection. Let’s get practical, there is even a health section. For breakfast its smooth, order the smoothies, for meals, the Norwegian salmon is suggested to trim down those meals with rich sauces and gravies. The menu offers a varied choice.

Plus and Minus

Open 24x7, it will be a great boon to party revelers for a bite at any time of the day. And yes there will be music every night come September. The buffet – choose a soup and salad buffet or perchance a dessert buffet if you tend to feel puckish. Food for every mood! And desserts on a la carte. Bourbon mud cakes (the shot upped cakes are served with vanilla ice-cream) or choose the Cappuccino chocolate mousse…guaranteed to keep you awake any time of the day or night. Ever had a 5 star falooda? From the bye lanes of the past the Badami kulfi falooda makes its mark, served in a tall glass with vermicelli, rose syrup, kulfi and crumbled almonds raises the bar. So let this Mercure in its own inimitable style pamper you traditionally in its own starry avatar. The experience will take you galaxies away!

Critic reviews are anonymous and all bills are paid by TimesCity.

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