Sunday, June 13, 2010

Viva Panjim, Goa – The perfect place for Goan Food


Set in an old Goan home, with its authentic Goan cuisine, and an award winning Chef, Viva Panjim was highly recommended. Lonely Planet, Outlook Traveler, Time Goa Guide and Tripadvisor sang its praises. This was one of the two places to go for Goan cuisine– the other being Longuinhos, which was a let down.

If the weather is good, I highly recommend walking to it from the Church of our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. You get the feel of passing through an old world, beautiful and forgotten. The architecture and people will keep you interested in the 15 minute walk. See the story below to understand how outrageously helpful the people really are!

First, the restaurant. We sat down outside in the street, and experimented with our order. In addition to the Kingfish Curry and Rice, the Rawa Masala Fish, Chicken Stuffed Papad – we ordered Brinjal Chips! Brinjal Chips surprisingly, turned out be absolutely fantastic! The rest of the food was great too – though you might want to request them to make the food extra spicy if that’s how you like it. The foreigners outnumbered the Indians here – which explained the mild spices.

Eating on the street
Eating on the street








We had Bebinca for dessert, which was fantastic and beautiful as always. The chief chef Mrs Linda came outside to talk to us just when I was reading about her.

She said “I am so happy to see Indians coming home as well”, and looked like she meant it. We were the only Indians out of the 30 odd people eating there that afternoon.



Surprisingly, unlike other great restaurants in Goa, this one was very reasonably priced. So I kept a copy of the bill. The meal for two just cost us Rs 475. I hope to go back to Viva Panjim and try their Xacuti, Vindaloo and Sea Food Platter soon.

On our way back, we thought of picking some fruits for our walks. There was a small open shop with beautiful fresh fruits – strawberries, grapes, bananas and more, but empty. We waited for a few minutes and thought of walking away. Just then, there was this lady walking on the other side of the street who came up to us.

She said - “I will call the shopkeeper, you guys select the fruits”.

Perplexed at buying fruits from a shop from a passerby we hesitatingly started selecting fruits.

This lady then started calling out - “Is anybody here?”

A guy who was probably eating his lunch, looking at his hands dripping with rice and curry, came out and asked her what she wanted.

She said - “You have some customers - Is it okay if they buy stuff and leave the money here?”

He said-“Fine” and went back in to finish his lunch. She then said - “Oh I’ll have to disturb him again to ask him the price”. So here’s this guy, who doesn’t care what price his goods are sold, nothing is more important than lunch. And there’s this woman, who would go out of the way to help some tourists, in this heat. That’s Goa for you in a flash – there are people who take a 4 hour afternoon ‘siesta’ and people who would go out of their way to help you.

She then shouted again, asking him the price and then told us to keep 60 rupees in his shop. We did that and left, so did the woman! The guy didn’t bother to come out.


1 comment:

  1. This seems like paradise. Or fairy tales we used to listen ............. what a life - no worries for money and others helping the neighbors. Man can you find a small hut there for me when I retire sooooooon. can't wait.