Friday, 4 February 2011

They know how to eat in Goa

Well, we arrived in Goa on Tuesday night and have not looked back since. The sun, sea, sand and surf were like paradise compared with the noisy bustle and constant hassle in north India. We had seen some eye opening sights in the north. For example, I saw a fair few street cows eating cardboard  and was beginning to wonder whether there was some nutritional value in this. I was secretly a little weary of India at this point and the 24 hour train journey from Kerala was almost unbearable. I was reading an extremely good book though (The Help) which passed the time. We checked into a place called Namaste (Hello) on Patnem beach which we read was the nicest in the area and it is. There was a group of old English geezers playing on a bunch of guitars, it was open-mic night.

Anyway, as I was having a bit of a grump, I was not expecting much when we ordered Mexican at our beach hut restaurant. Turns out I was very wrong. Not only has the food in Goa been cheaper and quicker than anywhere else in India, it has also been the freshest and widest in variety including superb curries and western food better than some places at home. Of course, it also has the best scenery and most nights we ate looking at the setting sun.

This was a big contrast even to both the north and Kerala. Although the food in the north was very quick and tasty, eating out seemed to be more of a chore and the restaurant turn over was very quick meaning you could not relax and enjoy your surroundings. In Kerala we had to wait most evenings for about an hour for our food. Sometimes we waited for a menu for up to 15 mins. We soon discovered this was the laid back attitude of the state and although it was frustrating we got over it.

One really funny thing about eating on the beaches in Goa, is that they are filled with very tame, but hungry and territorial dogs. They go around in packs and wait patiently for someone to slip them a snack. If another dog gets too close they go completely mental and start running up the beach chasing each other, but wagging their tails behind them. It is mainly just a carry on for no reason.

In Goa, each meal has gotten better and better. Here is a snap shot...

We found a place called Home which is run by an English couple. The breakfast here is to die for. Porridge so rich it tastes like ricepudding. Mixed in is banana and black grapes which dye it purple. Muesli with curd and fruit salad. The best discovery of all was warm home made cinnamon and raisin bread with jam. We had to go back the next day for more.

Plus look at the view.

One other breakfast time was astonishingly made a highlight of our time there, when we saw a lone dolphin swimming in the very shallow water right in front of us. We laughed that it would not have been such a good sight if you were in the water. I think I would have had a heart attack. Tom already came out the morning before because he was paranoid there was a shark. I said it was comeuppance for eating a shark steak the night before.

We also enjoyed a couple of nice curries, the best fish tikka masala I have ever had. I have not been partial to fish curry with the veg curry and butter naan... :)

No doubt a diet will be in order on my return. I must share one more tasty tale with you. Sleeping in a wooden hut with walls that have a 3 inch gap from the roof can make you a little jumpy during the night. Well this one night, there was this weird flapping sound in the bathroom (which has no door it is pretty basic) and Tom woke me up saying he didn't know what this noise was. He started rustling around with the light but he wouldn't get out from under the mosquito net. Tom doesn't like moths and flappy birds and I think he thought that is what it was. Well he made such a fuss I ended up wrestling my way out the net to turn on the light. I did not expect to see a small lizard whacking a half eaten and still moving cockroach against the plastic lining on the bathroom walls!! Lizards don't bother us much and it was clearly taking control of the other so we just went to sleep.

The end.

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