Traveling to a new city is always a treat for food lovers. We get to explore the city's local produce, enjoy the street food (hopefully without our stomachs getting upset) and relish some truly authentic local experiences. Goa, for instance, is one place we love to visit again and again - not just for the stunning beaches and nightlife but also for its incredible food. Seafood and European cuisine surely have a special place in our hearts and we simply can't miss out on trying them while going to Goa. Mystras is the newest addition to the vibrant food and dining of Goa and here's why it's surely worth a visit on your next trip.
A modern-European establishment, Mystras is nestled in the upscale area of Assagao in North Goa. If you are staying in Candolim, it will be just a 30-minute drive for you - of course, subject to traffic. This is the second establishment by restaurateur Richa Malhan after Miss Nora in Delhi. The expansive property is artfully decorated and is set in a restored Portuguese villa. Sloped roof interiors layered with red bricks, warm lighting, lamps, high ceilings, long fans, and vintage-style switches give it an old-world charm. There are options for indoor as well as outdoor seating. The restaurant seemed a little less occupied at first, but soon the crowd trickled in!
The moment you enter Mystras, it feels like you are in an old Goan house or the ruins of an old fort. It is ideal for a romantic evening or unwinding with friends over drinks and dinner. We started off our meal with a delicious Beetroot Salad - chunks of beetroot with beetroot puree, goat cheese, orange, pickled radish, and a coffee cinnamon soil. The balance of textures and flavours was insane, and I especially enjoyed the crunchy soil. Next, we had some Spanish Mushrooms - button mushrooms cooked in a flavourful brown sauce sprinkled with chopped scallions, fried garlic, and black pepper.
Coming to the mains, the Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli was done quite differently with a creamy sauce that had a hint of garlic, cashew nuts, and some chili oil too. A little bit more on the salty side, but the contrasting sweetness was quite refreshing. Another dish that the chef served us was Tofu, Water chestnuts, Black Mushroom, and Bok Choy in black oyster sauce. The tofu was quite soft and melt-in-the-mouth and the bok choy added crispiness to the dish. We surely had to try the wood-fired pizzas and the Margherita thin crust was warm and fresh with the cheese melted just right.
A special mention also goes out to the excellent service at Mystras - with agile staff that went the extra mile to cater to me. The skillful chef Deepak also came and explained each dish in painstaking detail. The knowledgeable bartender catered to our specific preferences with his mixology skills and whipped up some truly wonderful cocktails. We tried Vitamin Sea - a cocktail with gin, kale, spinach, orange zest, and egg white. There was also the Vinta Lapa drink, a tequila-based drink made with jalapeno brine served with a creamy cracker on the side.
While I was really full after the heavy mains, there's always room for desserts! The super soft and moist Tiramisu had just the right balance of coffee and cream. The mascarpone was whipped to perfection and dusted with coffee powder. A truly superb end to our meal!
So, head to Mystras for a memorable European meal with a Goan vibe to complement it!
Where: SY. No 216/53A, Assagao, Goa 403506
When: 12 pm-12 am
Price for two: Rs. 2,000/- (approx.)