While hordes of tourists from around the world are flocking to the sandy shores of Goa this time of year, what a treat it is to get it right at your doorstep. Restaurant maverick AD Singh’s newest eatery Lady Baga is a slice of Goa’s shack culture bang in the middle of Mumbai.
Expect plenty of flower-power, The Beatles, free love and peace out, man. Designed by the original Queen of Kitsch, Sabina Singh along with Clement DeSylva, lots of bright oranges, pinks and blues splash the walls and line the upholstery, whilst design elements like colourful jholas hang artfully from the ceiling alongside framed images of the flower-power era. Like a surreal vision, an actual beach front is streamed on one part of the wall, giving you a taste of Goa’s lapping waves and tranquility.
The menu by Chef Aloysius Dsilva indulges the ‘twin peaks’ of Goan cuisine – plenty of pork and plenty of seafood. So don’t miss trying the deliciously tangy Pork Vindaloo (slow cooked in wine vinegar, garlic and Goan spices) served with traditional poi bread and the Prawn Curry that comes with juicy, big prawns and a side of fried fish, pickle and red rice. Both dishes had the comfort feel of a good home-cooked meal. The Chilli Lime Potatoes were wonderfully crispy and the salads – Kale & Quinoa and Fresh Strawberry had a refreshing burst of freshness. Make sure you sample their unique cocktail list, especially Moonshine and Hooch which is a chilled shot of cashew vodka (since feni can’t be sold outside of Goa) and the Bloody Marianna that was a Bloody Mary with a bohemian twist – made out of a special chorizo flavoured vodka! And although Goan food is traditionally heavy on the belly, I must add I left feeling light and not weighed down at all.
The Tenderloin Cafreal that came with an egg on top – crumb fried to deliciousness with a kick of spice.
Sadly I wasn’t too wowed by the desserts!
(Lady Baga, Oasis Complex, Kamala Mills, Gate No 4, Lower Parel, Mumbai; Tel: +91-22-49731012)
By Farhad J. Dadyburjor, Mumbai