Featured Restaurants in Goa

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Critic's Review

Updated 1 hour ago

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An ‘Indian’ experience

It’s back again in Goa with a new address..right in the heart of Panjim. 25 years ago Niyaaz was opened in Belgaum, and today with a concept of takeaways and fine dine with its team of chef’s working in tandem to take care of 310 covers in North Karnataka and Goa from its base kitchen in Belgaum, this is a revolutionary means of standardizing the curries across the spectrum of ‘Niyazz’ – the take away as well as the fine dine places. Irshad Saudgar’s spanking new restaurant serves Lucknowi, Awadhi, kebabs and some Chinese too, catering to the ‘middle income’ segment.

Décor/Ambience

Big glass windows overlook the busy street. Enter the doors to a foodie woody concept. The restaurant has two levels, the lower one designed as an ‘L’. The brown paneled designer chairs (woody), bright lit ambience and tables set close to each other (waiters jostle to place the food on neighboring tables) – does give one a ‘foodie’ feeling too. This is a place to eat. The tables are set with placemats and polished cutlery – (read about the origin of the kebabs before you order) – place the order and you are ready for a dining experience.

Food

Everyone has heard about TIPS – there are many connotations. A few - what you give a waiter (To Insure Prompt Service), or a hint. The team of Niyazz chefs has worked on many cooking TIPS to keep you occupied as you browse through the menu. They focus on leftover food, cooking non vegetarian, making gravies and even frying. The first tip that the chef of Niyazz Shaikh Farir offered is a balance – when ordering the biryani (mildly spiced) order a chicken bhuna masala (heavily spiced). So we started with the kebabs. While the chicken tikka and the malai tikka are old favorites we decided on the Chicken Tangdi Kulfi and the Chicken Murakkan kebabs. The former is a stuffed leg of chicken (with chicken mince). Mildly spiced, the flaky meat is tender, the presentation easy on the eye. The latter (Murakkan) takes 25 minutes for preparation. Breasts cooked in a two method process – the chicken is wrapped in silver foil and given a final work over with cream and cheese.

Oh yes! One has a choice of 13 kebab styled preparations. The mutton Boti Kebab – shades of Changez Khans original preparation has six chunks of meat, spiced as well as cooked to perfection. One can if in a festive mood order the Raan. 1.2 Kgs of meat is served to you, but as a pre order you can request the staff to use part of that meat in gravy of your choice. So we come to the gravies. As explained the main commissary at Belgaum sends in the base..but the other ingredients of onions and tomato bhuna before mixing is done by the chef before adding the fresh meat. The Murg Matka – this Mumbai styled gravy is a creation of the Niyaaz main chef’s (at present not served in a Matka) but I am sure that the chef’s TIP was put to use (fry ground masala on a reduced flame to retain color and taste)…the whitish brown masala heavy with ‘rogan’ was delicious to the taste senses. The mutton Roganjosh…the coarse thick reddish brown masala, its lives up to the ‘rogan’ feel. If using paratha, scoop the gravy by hand and slurp it down. On the other end of the spectrum, the Mutton Jeera Gosht has a cashew paste. A combo of a spiced and non spiced preparation gave the taste buds a great feel.

Plus and Minus

Niyaaz is known for its food, kebabs and gravies – no alcohol served. Although, Chinese food (an all time favourite and also available when the kitchen shuts from 3 pm to 7 pm) plays an important role in this menu, Niyaaz is and will always be known for their gravies. Take the Mutton Kheema, one of their star preparations. The Black Hawk is not yet down – this is with reference to the arrival of the Chicken Black Hawk soon (another all time favorite) so called because of the bhuna styled black pepper gravy. Their gravies are rich, heavily laced in rogan – but tasty. For desserts – Gajjar Halwa at an unbeatable price of Rs 80 for a portion and that too with mawa. Besides this the kulfi is another choice to make. There is a choice for the vegetarians too..recommended by the chef are the Paneer Lababdar and Tawa Subz Bajara.

A TIP to be considered – here is a place moderately priced at present, the rogan can add or detract, but the food is tasty. Parking during peak hours can cause some heartburn, but the experience will leave a pleasant and rich feel to the pocket and palate.

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

Updated about 16hrs ago

  • Food
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  • Service
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  • Decor
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Its peppy, hep and happening. For three months of the year (November to February), it lives up to its name with music to add to your zest. The ambience too is created to lift up your spirits…green checked tablecloths, red chairs and shell chandeliers adding a warmth to the place. Collin Fernandes the proprietor has created a niche concept on the Candolim belt. Situated on the main road, it is a great place to sit with a drink, listen to the music and watch the world go by. Order a Goan Samba (a cocktail of course), the feni aptly adds spirit to the experience. Nibble on Garlic Potato Wedges, or perhaps a Chicken Lollipop. If Feni is not your 'poison' order a brandy cooler or choose from the list of spirits on the menu. Prawn Sesame on toast or perhaps the prawns wrpped in bacon…the snacks repertoire is catchy. If however you have already dined and the music catches your fancy, drop in for a coffee. Choose from the Irish, French, Calypso or even Russian. If that does not take you for a global spin perhaps the music will. Foot tapping Jazz, Karaoke Nights, retro…it's a place to unwind and enjoy.

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