March 11, 2014

My TripAdvisor Review No.27: 'Fish Curry Rice', Restaurant at Narayan Peth, Pune.

“Genuine Coastal Cuisine”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 10 March 2014 NEW
We visited Fish Curry Rice recently to try out their coastal Indian fish preparations about which we had heard so much. We ordered a la carte, though they served fish thalis too, in which one can have a complete meal comprising of the fried fish as well as in the curry style fish of Konkan and Goa.

The restaurant is located in the heritage Peth area of Pune, at Narayan Peth. One has to be a skilled driver to negotiate the narrow roads in this locality and find parking for your vehicle, more so if you are in a 4 wheeler. We found parking for our car about 350 m away and walked down to the place.

Because of the limited seating space as well as the popularity of this restaurant, we had to wait outside for 10 minutes. The fishy smells wafting from the kitchen reminded us of the eat streets of Goa and Malvan, and made our mouths water. As soon as a table was empty we were ushered in and welcomed with a cup of kokum syrup.

Between the three of us, we ordered fried Surmai (seer fish) and Bangda (mackerel) with chapatti, and a Goan prawn curry with rice. The fish was fried with a coating of rawa (semolina) and masalas and tasted very good. The prawn curry, made in a typical Goan coconut gravy, was a milder version of the spicy curries we have tasted in Goa, but very fresh. We had two types of solkadi, a spicy digestive drink, at the end of the sumptuous meal.

They serve not only fish, but mutton and chicken curry dishes as well, and many vegetable preparations made in the typical Konkani style, with a mixture of coconut and Malwani spices.

I would definitely like to visit ‘Fish Curry Rice’ again, but next time I would go there on my bike!
Visited March 2014

March 1, 2014

My TripAdvisor Review No.26: Moti Talao, Sawantwadi, District: Sindhudurg

“Pearl of a Lake!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 9 February 2014
'Moti Talao' literally means Pearl Lake!

It is a small, but beautiful, lake at the center of Sawantwadi town.This lake also serves as an important road junction, with the national highway on one side and the smaller state highways, leading to the coastal towns near Malvan, on the other. All travelers passing through Sawantwadi on the way to Goa will see this enchanting water body in the center of this town, which lies in the Sindhudurg district of Southern Maharashtra.

The Sawantwadi Palace, or Rajwada, of the erstwhile rulers of this princely state is just next to the lake, and the majestic gate leading to the Palace is clearly visible on one side. On the other side of lake are a row of shops and restaurants where travelers can stop for a bite. There are a few good hotels too, near the lake. One can stop overnight, or longer, since Sawantwadi is also one of the lesser known and beautiful resort towns of India.
Visited March 2013

My TripAdvisor Review No.25: Fish'ka Bar N Restaurant, Betalbatim, Goa

“Excellent seafood!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 8 February 2014
Fish'ka restaurant is just half a km down the same road which leads to Martin's Corner in Betalbatim, and is located opposite the Alila Diwa Hotel.

We found Martin's Corner was already crowded for lunch that day, so we decided to try out Fish'ka. And we were not disappointed. Car parking is available in their bungalow just behind the restaurant.

Though their menu was not as elaborate as Martin's Corner, we found the food to be very tasty and more reasonably priced. Their wine menu was displayed on an old wine bottle, which was a novel idea.

We enjoyed their fish n chips served with a tartar dip, and the masala fish fry.

Their service, though unhurried, was more friendly than at Martin's.

Would definitely visit again.
Visited March 2013

My TripAdvisor Review No.24: Mickey's Restaurant, Colva

“Seafood with a view”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 8 February 2014
We drove down to Mickey's at Colva since we wanted a change from the resort food, and we were not disappointed.

First of all, the restaurant has a very nice setting near Colva Beach. Since we had come for lunch it was not crowded, and we got a table with a good view of the shimmering sea.

We whiled away our time enjoying our beer, iced tea and wonton soup, waiting for the main course to arrive. We had ordered a tuna salad, a mixed veg salad, and prawn curry rice and quite liked the taste of their preparations.

Would go there again to enjoy a lazy lunch in Goa!
Visited March 2013

My TripAdvisor Review No.23: Varca Beach, Goa

“One of the best beaches of South Goa.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 8 February 2014
Varca Beach lies in the center of the approximately 30 km long unbroken stretch of lovely South Goa sand beaches, which extends from Bogmalo to Cavelossim. Varca Beach itself is about 4 km long, stretching from the end of the Taj Exotica Resort on Benaulim beach down to the Colonia Jose Menino Resort at Fatrade, near Carmona.

Compared to the crowded North Goa beaches, Varca beach is very peaceful and uncluttered, with only a few beach shacks and resorts. The main resorts along this beach are: Club Mahindra's Emerald Palms and Varca Beach Resorts, Ramada Caravela, Varca Palms, Zuri White Sands and the Colonia Jose Menino Resort.

The beach is excellent for long walks and water is reasonably calm for swimming and water sports activities, except during the rainy season.
Visited March 2013

My TripAdvisor Review No.22: Club Mahindra Emerald Palms Resort, Varca, Goa

“A Jewel of a Resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Club Mahindra's Emerald Palms is located between the beaches of Varca and Benaulim in South Goa. We enjoyed a fun filled sunny 5 day holiday here last year during the Carnival.

We drove down from Pune, stopping en route at Sawantwadi. It is better if you have your own car when you stay at Emerald Palms since it is located in a rural setting, and the taxi charges can be exorbitant if you want to do a lot of sight-seeing. There is ample parking space, around a beautiful fountain, and near the entrance to the resort.

The resort itself is a majestic looking sprawling Portuguese mansion with a lot of fountains and statues in the quadrangles with the rooms laid out around them. It is surrounded by a lot of greenery and coconut trees. The swimming pool water is very clean and clear and looks very inviting.

The centrally air-conditioned rooms are well furnished, with the bedroom having a walk-in closet. Our 1BR apartment had an extra bathroom attached to the living room, which was an added convenience.

The restaurant 'La Terraza' serves authentic Goan dishes, and we enjoyed their Fish Curry and Goan Pulao. The buffet option is also available. They even have outdoor seating. The restaurant staff are very courteous and eager to please.

There are some restaurants and shacks outside the resort which are within a 10 minute walking distance towards the beach.

Club Mahindra acquired this property a few years back from the 'Zuri' group. Club Mahindra's Varca Beach Resort is just 2 km away, and a comparison between the two properties would be in order, for the benefit of other Club Mahindra members.

1. Emerald Palms has only 1BR and hotel units (HU) options, whereas Varca Beach Resort has HU, Studio, 1BR and 2BR options. However the 1BR in Emerald Palms are better in that they have two bathrooms.
2. There is no dry kitchenette in Emerald Palms rooms, only a small fridge and electric kettle. Varca Beach Resort rooms have a fully equipped dry kitchenette (except in HU).
3. Varca Beach has 2 large swimming pools and sprawling lawns, and the property opens out directly onto the beach. Emerald Palms has 1 medium sized swimming pool and the beach is a 1 km walk away.
4. If you prefer a quiet holiday within peaceful and tranquil surroundings go to Emerald Palms. If you prefer an activity filled holiday within the resort, go to Varca Beach.

Both the resorts are equally good in their own respects and one can enjoy a good Goan holiday in either one of them.
Stayed March 2013, travelled with family