That’s my first Restaurant review post here at Masala Herb and I am a bit excited about it because it is simple looking but their food is awesome and its located at a special place. ^.^
Some days ago we had decided to go for a little holiday of 3 days, and since my relatives from Europe were down in Goa, it was the perfect excuse for some quality relaxation time. We don’t have to go that far to find a beautiful place in Goa. My girls are real beach bumps, their holiday mission was tanning and to come back with some colore to a freezing winter wonderland. So our aim was the best beach in Goa. That can only be Palolem, a gorgeous bay in the South district of Canacona.
We left early morning from North Goa, so that we would not get stuck in any traffic and reached there after 2 hours. We crossed 2 bridges and huge hills covered with thick jungles (the drive over the hills can be daunting). Once in Palolem we checked in at “La Raja Little Village“. They have small beach huts also called coco huts which are at around 1500 INR per night (~30$/ 23€). The rooms are very simple furnished with a table and a bed which is covered with a mosquito net. Mostly any beach huts in Goa will have only cold water showers, anyway its hot and you are at the beach so you will not require hot water showers. The owner Wilson is a local and very welcoming. It seems that the movie Bourne Supremacy was filmed with Matt Damon in La Raja Little Village. Well we hadn’t known that then, but I remember the girls were all the time looking out for Enrique Iglesias on the beach. lol
One feature of La Raja little Village is, that they have their own beach shack restaurant too, called the Big Fish. A shack is a Beach Restaurant build of Bamboo which is easy and quick to build and unbuild for the monsoons. Shacks are suppose to be simple, no flooring only sand, giving you a natural feeling, an authentic beach feeling. The Big Fish’s environment is decorated in this fashion, which gives it all a sympathetic charming feeling. The Visitors Area consists of a bar, a Tandoori corner, a Chill out niche and some few tables and chairs in the shack. Beach beds are free of charge and are kept for Visitors during the day on the beach, they are removed in the evening and replaced by chic dining tables and a romantic candle light (tip for marriage proposals). For those who need a quick connection to the outside world, they provide free Wifi too.
Since we stayed in their rooms and we ended up being more lazy then anything else, we sticked to the Big Fish dining experience the whole 3 days. There are an other 50 shacks situated on the beach stretch but it didn’t matter to us. We had found our foodie jackpot and were very pleased with the service and food choice/ qualities. You have to know, that as a foreigner you should be always suspicious about restaurants in India or you will end up with food poisoning. I had learned my lesson early and had learned quick, but I have been a while in India too and so my stomach can take definitely more and my tongue is used to spices. As a newbie, just take care, a posh looking restaurant might not be that pretty looking in the kitchen and vice versa.
The Food & Drinks choice is immense and the prices are very reasonable. There is for every one something, you can choose between continental, Indian, Chinese and Tibetan. Continental included all different types of breakfast, salads, soups, desserts etc. They even bake oven fresh Pizzas and they are yummy! Indian food dish chapter on the menu includes Goan, South Indian, Punjabi and North Indian cuisine. We were 4 people who had 3 days to try around different food styles. The holiday had turned into a foodie mission!
The first day we were tempted to try some of their fresh fish choices. I love when Restaurants display in a correct way their fresh caught fish. You can choose and ease your health consciousness. The waiters were patiently explaining my sister which fish was what and we decided to all try their Red Snapper cooked in the Tandoori bhati. You can choose, as guest how you d like your fish, between BBQ, Fried or cooked/baked in the Tandoori oven. I always prefer the tandoor because it gives the meat a smoky touch. That day we devoured the fish and forgot to make photos. XI
We did have Chinese food to try, my sister reported the Veg chowmein as “every bite a delight” and I was well satisfied with a chicken Spring roll.
My husband and I had shared on the second evening of our stay a Punjabi themed meal. We ordered out of the menu chicken tikka, chicken korma gravy and Cheese butter garlic nan. We did well, it was absolutely delicious and I would order it again. My husband had tried later on a other tandoori dish called mushroom tikka, he was raving about it. Definitely a high 5 for the Tandoori/ Punjabi section of the Menu!
We did have some cocktails too. I always end up choosing a Pina Colada, I just love the taste of Coconut cream and pineapple with alcohol. The girls had the same taste and my husband is addicted to Bloody Marry.
One morning we planned a boat trip to see dolphins and to chill on a secluded lonely beach. You can find boats right in front of the Big Fish Beach shack and rent them for 2 1/2 h for the price of 1500 INR and more. Its totally worth it, we enjoyed every bit of it and got even some few dolphin pictures. IF you are lucky you get to see them even jump up. We didn’t have that luck but we really saw a lots swimming around, making that pfff sound. After that the boat guide takes you to a lonesome small beach where he leaves you to hang around for some time. There are solid rocks in that are and you can make some lovely snaps from the top down. That’s me in the water by the way looking for fish. ^.^
Palolem beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches is the world. It has a looong curved beach stretch for jogging and long walk lovers. The bay is surrounded by little island bits, the biggest island on the right beach belt is called Butterfly Island. There used to be Hippies living on it and you can find a way across to the island when the water level is low. 5 years ago I had landed on that beach the first time in Goa and I remember an old foreign man living near the butterfly Island between bushes and a big rock. He would teach Yoga and would live of donations. There are some few yoga, meditation and massage centers along the beach, where you can easily subscribe for an activity. The water itself is wonderful warm and calm and there are no water currents which makes it easy to enjoy a swim or just a quick dip. There are Lifeguards there for any casualties, a security who keeps an eye on suspicious individuals and cleaning ladies who keep the beach clean of waste. The best part which I get excited for is that they have garbage bins on the beach. You have no idea how horrible it is to chill on the beach with garbage lying all over the place. I have to praise the Authorities in Palolem for that!
We had a great stay there, I managed to forget time and my husband got finally some times off which he more then needed. I recommend La Raja Little Village and their well organized Restaurant and the Big Fish for anybody who intends to spend some time in Palolem, South Goa.