Goa for me has almost become a second home of sorts. It’s my annual pilgrimage and also a state where I can let go of my wandering thoughts and finally relax. I’ve been there multiple times, sat on the beach doing nothing other than a King’s in my hand and let my body relax with no other thought in my mind at all. So this February as we packed our bags for Goa once again, we though to revisit places which our favorites which we hadn’t since a couple of years.
Taking up accommodation in a beautiful house called Matilda’s Place (You should definitely check them out) in Candolim. Now I usually prefer taking the bus from Hyderabad and renting bikes right from Panjim, so that I don’t have to pay extra for the to & fro auto/cab ride to the beach. This way I end up saving atleast 600-800 rupees minimum.
Goa – DAY 1
The Carnival had just ended and the remnants of the festivities had yet to taken down. Along the Candolim – Calangute road is a beautiful German Bakery run by a Nepali which is worth checking out. Even though I love the one in Palolem, this one didn’t disappoint. The breads for the sandwiches had been freshly baked and moreover they put fresh basil which is just delicious. A Ham Sandwich and Watermelon Juice I was back at my favorite store in Goa, Newton’s. Now the Newton’s supermarket is where I do all of my liquor shopping. They always have offers going on and also the varieties stocked are much better than any other store. It’s now almost a landmark in Goa.
Though a lot of tourists now head to Fat Fish, I’m now over them. There was a time when I was a regular at Fat Fish for their Goan Thali during lunches but now it’s the crowd which puts me off. They also make a Portuguese inspired Goan dessert called Serradura which is superb. Driving a little further is Crazy Crabs which they’ve now renovated to look more upscale. They make a delicious Butter Garlic Crabs and Rawa Mussels Fry. Looking for a respite from the heat, I sat down to devour happily my Butter Garlic Crabs washed down with Sol Kadi.
We then headed out to the Chapora Fort to undertake the trek we hadn’t for years. The last time I’d gone up Chapora Fort was almost 4 years back. The road was much better then but they’ve totally screwed up the climb with a lot of digging. If it’s your first time in Goa then be my guest to head up there else it’s not worth it anymore other than the view.
My evenings in Goa are set with one dish. Post relaxing on the beach watching the sun go down, I always end up going off in search off a good Ras Omelette. Now if you don’t know what’s a Ras Omelette, then let me explain it to you in the choicest words. Imagine like the best omelette in the world made with fresh onions and green chilies and then topped off with the Xacuti gravy. The Ras Omelette is to be had with fresh buttered pav. They sell it for like 20-30 bucks in the thelas and is a must have when in Goa.
For dinner that night we ended up going a bit exotic. Meeting a friend over for dinner we headed to Chef Soumyen’s Kitchen. Run by an Ex-Taj chef, the Steaks at Chef Soumyen’s are fabulous. The prices aren’t cheap by Goan standards but so it their quality. The Spaghetti Bolognaise was exquisite.
Now was the time to head back to beach and just relax over either Beers or Feni. This is one trip which after many years finally made me accept Feni. The Goan Feni slowly develops on you and the first taste can be quite hard to digest. The best way to have a Feni is always in a ratio of 1:3 with Limca and slice of lemon thrown in. Trust me when I say that the sleep you get post having a Feni will be the best you’ve had in a long time.