Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Spice Goa, Thivim, Goa (just off NH17) - A very special Goan lunch

This place was recommended in 2014 by my cousin Louis and specifically to try out the Prawns Biryani at Spice Goa. However, when on a short holiday, it gets difficult to plan anything in advance and then you never make it. During  my last trip to Goa, in April 2015, and the rush to have a biryani, I headed out with another of my cousin, Sandy who is also a foodie and a couple of friends, on our Quest to find Spice Goa.

It was relatively easy to find the place which is on the right side of National Highway 17, if you are heading north and about 200 meters after the Thivim junction on NH17. You need to turn right and get on to a small lane leading to the restaurant. The restaurant can be seen easily if you are on NH11 so you can miss it if you keep looking towards your right. 

We were quickly seated on the upper air-conditioned floor and started of with a few Kingfishers which were chilled perfectly. Infact we had to look at one another to admire the chill of the beer at the first sip and had a good acknowledging smile about it.

Ok now to the main focus which is the food. We first asked if the biryani was available which was nodded pleasantly by the waiter who was going to serve us that afternoon. Very cheerful chap, prompt and well versed with the dishes. A pity we didn’t get his name. We told him to ensure that we get our fix of Prawns biryani after we done with our appetizers and beers and asked him to recommend his best dishes. We were told to try the Prawns Grilled in Banana Leaves and the Erliyo (silver fish) Koshimbir. We also asked him if he had Kalwaan curry (Xacuti) to which he said they don’t have the curry but they had it Rawa fried. We decided to go for it and also decided to try out their reichad masala so ordered some bangda reichard to see if they pass the test. 

We were first served the Prawns Grilled in Banana Leaves and the Erliyo (silver fish) Koshimbir. Both these dishes were fantastic and in my opinion the best two dishes we had there. The prawns were neatly wrapped in Banana leaf and the green masala stuffing was just perfect..not too spicy and just balanced the sweetness of the prawns. 

The Erliyo (silver fish) Koshimbir was something unique and although I have had Koshimbir before, this was different. The fish was fresh, of good size and fried just enough not to overdo the soft tasty flesh. The fish was tossed in a mixture of fried onions, garlic chillies and the works. I would definitely go back for this,

The deep fried mussels too were very good, juicy and crunchy at the same time and had a good buttery taste in it. There are few restaurants that can really do it well and Spice Goa was one of them.

The mackerels were nice and plump and the reichard was ok. Have had better. 

One of  our friends tried out the thali and loved it. The King fish too was fried well but we were too stuffed and our main event, the prawns biryani was on its way

Finally it was time for the Prawns Biryani and which didn’t disappoint. The prawns were quite large and cooked just right. The Biryani was awesome, not too spicy and with enough flavours to give you that twang in your tongue. This was an extremely good biryani and even after eating so much, the taste of the biryani stood out. The next time will focus on a fewer items so that the biryani can be given its due respect.

This restaurant was the highlight of our trip and will definitely make it once I'm back. I highly recommend that you try it out during your trip to Goa.  

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