Mumbaikars cannot seem to get enough of Goan food. Consequently, the last year or so has seen a spurt of brand new Goan restaurants dotting the city. If you happen to be one of those who have a thing for Goan cuisine, then these Goan restaurants are sure to satiate your cravings. Here are ten of them, ranging from Colaba's classic old-timers (New Martin's and Gable's) to the posh and experimental (O Pedro). Head to these places in Mumbai and make the most of this vibrant and flavourful cuisine.
New Martin Hotel
One of Mumbai's most popular Goan restaurants, Martin's (as it is colloquially called) is always thick with office- goers. Set back a little from Colaba Causeway, it is almost a canteen, unfussy and unfashionable, but serves hearty Goan food at very reasonable prices. The owners of this Goan restaurant are Mangalorean (the irony!), but the food here is authentic Goan-the Goa sausage chilli fry and prawn pulao are worth ordering.
Where: 11, Glamour House, Strand Road, Apollo Bandar, ColabaGable's
Phone: 022 2202 9606
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A stone's throw from Martin's is Gables, a much tinier Goan eatery with just four seats. The food however, is just as good as any Goan restaurant; try the sorpotel and calamari fry, if you don't believe me. A further incentive? Accompanying you through the meal will be Mel, the restaurant cat.
Where: Glamour Building, Colaba Causeway, Opposite Shiv Mandir, Apollo Bandar, Colaba
Phone: 092242 69773
Snowflake's has the look of an Irani cafe-dark bentwood chairs, round tables domed with marble tops. In other words, it's intensely characterful, although slightly dingy. Snowflake started out as a bakery servicing the people of the area, but was soon steered towards becoming a full- fledged Goan restaurant. Snowflake's menu reads like a greatest hits selection of Goan food i.e. sorpotel, vindaloo, xacuti, fish curry, crumbly fish cutlets. An added bonus is that everything is less than Rs 200. Admittedly, it is a little hard to find, but the extra peregrination is well worth the effort.
Where: 18, Ribeiro Building, Ground Floor, 1st Dhobi Talao Lane
The decor at this Goan restaurant is a bit on the nose-swaying palms, surfboards etc. However, it's more than made up for by the inventive cocktails and the wonderful prawn curry, which comes with tendli, whitebait, and red unpolished rice.
Where: Oasis Complex, Kamala Mills, Gate No 4, Lower Parel
Phone: 077770 01586
Savita maushi, who helms the kitchen of Sushegad Gomantak, grew up in Calangute, picking up the nuances of Goan cooking from her mother. At this Goan restaurant, the food has a firm Hindu-Goan slant, with no buff or pork, and not much coconut either. Instead, there is seafood and plenty of it. The ordering system is simple-select your choice of seafood (ladufish, mandeli, squid, prawn, mussels etc.) depending on what's fresh, and then have it cooked sukhe (dry fried) or in a curry. Every meal here is served with onions, green chutney, and a cabbage salad.
Where: Shiv Sagar Cooperative Housing Society, Lady Jamshedji Road, Opposite Crown Bakery, Mahim
Phone: 022 2444 5555
Fresh Catch offers excellent balcao, butter garlic crab, bangda jeera meera and an enthusiastic, wholesome seafood pulao. The prices though, are on the high side.
Where: Diamond Court Chawl, PN Kotnis Road, Mahim
Phone: 022 2444 8942
We all love Soul Fry for its Monday night karaoke, but for the rest of the week, we must content ourselves with platefuls of moreish crab xec xec, cafreal and recheado; because at the end of the day, Soul Fry is a spanking good Goan restaurant offering a smattering of Mangalorean and East Indian cooking as well.
Where: Silver Craft, Opposite Pali Sabji Market, Pali Mala Road, Bandra
Phone: 022 2604 6892
O Pedro has impeccable credentials, opened by the same team that steered Bombay Canteen to its heights, that is Hunger Inc Pvt. Ltd. partners Sameer Seth, Yash Bhanage, and Chef Floyd Cardoz, who himself has deep roots in Goa. But this is a Goan restaurant with a twist; the food is an excellent emissary for Goan and Portuguese cuisine, but with whimsical touches. For instance, the pork chicharones ambotik takes a Goan classic and inflects it with Latin American flavours.
Where: Plot No C-68, Jet Airways - Godrej BKC, Bandra Kurla Complex
Phone: 022 2653 4700
Porto and Poie
At Porto and Poie, Chef Gracian De Souza stirs up all manner of Goan delights, everything from prawn rissois, a classic Goan fish curry, to tendli tonnak. And of course, there's that smoky, indulgent, poee to mop it all up with.
Where: Above Royal Garden Hotel, Juhu Tara Road
Phone: 074000 92996
Each thali at this humble Goan restaurant costs Rs 200 or so; a brilliant deal considering it comes with rice or chapati, chicken, vegetables, prawn, clam or fish curry, koshimbir, sol kadi and pickle. There are also a plethora of fish fries.
Where: 12 Gulmohar Cross Road, Near Fabindia, JVPD Scheme, Juhu
Let's not forget our honourable mentions: Goa Portuguesa, a Goan restaurant that finds its way to this list by virtue of its longevity; Melroy's in Mahim, a tiny joint that's best for takeaways; and Orlem's Mangoes that serves home-style buff and pork roast, rice omelette, and tongue jeere meera.