Hungry? End of the Month scenes? Craving great home cooked seafood? I have 2 words for you — Goa F*****g Bhavan, well that’s three words, but you know, if we use the Eff word, its effing gooood!!! In a quiet little lane of linking road, just a little ahead of FabIndia and Gujarat Bhavan is this small officers building with a little canteen on the ground floor. This is our experience at Goa Bhavan, and after reading this we are sure you will definitely pay a visit to this little canteen.
The Chef: Been here quite a few times to be called a regular, eaten the same thaali and side gravy all the times I’ve come here, am I bored — F*** NO!!!!! Simplicity is what this place is made off, let it be from the service guys to the atmosphere in the room, to the food and even the crockery and cutlery!! You go in, you order, you leave with a full tummy, great seafood what more could one ask for. Their “funda” is simple, keep the same thaali, with either fish (Surmai, Rawas or Pomfret) chicken, prawn or vegetarian, and the other elements are the same which include – Rice (Unlimited) Roti (Unlimited) Salatttt (Unlimited) Pickle (Unlimited) Potato sabji (Unlimited), Some sort of other Sabji (Unlimited), Fish gravy (Unlimited) and finally the Thaali of choice that you ordered – Franws curry, chicken curry, surmai curry vegetable curry etc. I just wanted to stress on the unlimited scene, it make the hairy Sindhi in me very happy!
Also for those who choose not to go for the thaali, they do have another curry again stating the fact that its ONE other curry, which is the masala , For eg. fish masala curry, frawns masala curry, chicken masala curry etc. which is also divine!!!! Simple curry in an onion and masala gravy with a heavy hand with the Coriander. Well one cant come here every weekend for a meal but one can sure in hell come here when we are broke or want to treat our friends to seafood. For our order of 2 thaalis, one with prawns and one with surmai plus an extra Prawns and Chicken masala was only 630 rupees. Definite try for all you foodies out there!
The Foodie: Been here a couple of times, and I am thoroughly impressed with concept of meals for people on a shoe string budget. When The Chef first told us about Goa Bhavan, I imagined something like our Martin’s Corner or Gables in Colaba where you get your non – veg goodies at really cheap prices. Well this won’t serve you your cafreal, xacuti, sorpotel, and chorizo kind of goodies that come to mind on hearing the words , Goa Bhavan, but the sound of different kinds of sea food Thalis, does get your mouth watering, no doubt. A very unassuming place, and the second time I came here I thought to myself how I need to come here more often. All you need to do it, carry some cash ( no cards here, and atms are close by, yes)
We went here on a rainy evening, and the first thing I noticed here was Dil toh pagal hai playing on regular cable tv channel. and idle workers looking up towards a tiny television all engrossed. So cute. I also noticed that it does not have a chalk board with the prices written (not expecting a printed menu, since it is a small place with a fixed menu), you just ask your server for any doubts. While yash chopra’s music is playing in the background, I looked around the observe the place a little more. This place attracts a lot of young crowd as well, discussing their complex problems over delicious affordable homely food. In short good enough tiny space for discussing world woes. The kitchen, which was two steps away and looked like a part of a regular household, separated by just a curtain. After a short wait, our food arrived. The Sol Kadi was nice and sour! Our basic Thali came followed by the main gravies. At this point I have to confess I could not eat the tiny fish fry pieces that came along with other goodies on the plate. I had ordered the Prawn thali, which was nice, but was busy attacking Chef’s surmai because it was just so fresh and left this lingering taste in my mouth. That is usually an indication that it is delicious!
Apart from this, I ordered a Chicken Curry, out of curiosity, but it didn’t create that big an impact.. was clearly Surmai was my hero for the day! The one thing that didn’t go down well, were the not-so-soft chapatis. I have been too spoilt by my cook’s thin, soft chapatis, so I guess I can’t blame the cooks around town. But yea, the chapatis can be softer 🙂 So once I finished eating them, I went for the rice! Really liked the unlimited veggies, rice and pickle that came with my thali. All the flavors, combined with the rice, tasted really nice, and homely and I may have taken three helping without realising.
Apart from the regular thalis, they have Mussels (Tisriya thali) which is seasonal and their Bombil Fry is supposed to be quite a hit too!
What makes me happy is that these places have a charm to them which can’t be explained. Reminded me of this little trip Mrs. Foodie took me for, back in my Sophia Days, to Anand Bhavan for some simple but mind blowing Prawn Curry and Rice. This eatery was placed in Kotachiwadi, which isa classic example of an urban settlement near Marine Lines. I wonder if it is still running. Perhaps I should make a trip soon to find out 🙂
Such humble places are what Bombay Foodies are looking for, around the city, ALL THE TIME! So it would make us nothing less than happy if you would write in your suggestions for more hidden gems around here..