Palacio Do Deao, Goa

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A rainy day!!! Not worth visiting the beach nor any pub during the off season at Goa. So what? Goa has much more than Beaches or Pubs or Restaurants. It’s the Greenery and of course the old Goan Heritage.

Palacio Do Deao, I have been researching about this place for quite some time and never got an opportunity to visit for obvious reasons. We always find joy in North Goa and South Goa is often skipped from Schedule. Very few people know, one can have a relaxing vacation in South Goa than North.

And it was this monsoon, we take time off for Goa and it’s purely South Goa. Moreover, we had two birthdays to celebrate in a week and Palacio Do Deao is the finest place to celebrate a special day.

While in Goa, I called Ruben for an appointment on a Monday. He said he would call me back after some time and when he called after some time he suggested if we opt for Thursday instead of Wednesday. I had planned a birthday surprise here and I informed the same to Ruben. He did not confirm on the same day but he called me on Tuesday asking us to be there at Palacio Do Deao at 12:30 in the noon. I was so excited for I was longing to visit this place for a long long time.

Here’s my experience about the delicious meals made by Celia and the cordiality of Ruben.

We took the help of Google Map to locate this place and while google was directing I was wondering if this place will be good enough as it was amidst the Quepem junction. But as we parked the vehicle in front of THE Palacio Do Deao, I was awestruck, so elated seeing the palace coming to life with beautiful gardens and artifacts around. As we entered, there was a beautiful alter (as this place was built by a priest and the first mass of Quepem took place in this palace itself) and heartwarming smile of Celia.

When we reached Ruben was out for work and the day being Wednesday, their weekly off; he had scheduled all his personal and professional work on that day. I still feel sorry for interrupting their weekly holiday. Celia asked us to go around the palace and wow what a place they get to live in. It’s an architectural marvel, lovely interiors, amazing collection of antic artifacts, and beautifully carved furniture’s. I must say our ancestors have really worked hard and what we do is not appreciating their creation and just going with the easy work, template based designs and machine made works. Earlier, people have really created wonders with detailed work may it be architecture or furniture’s or jewelry or anything.

After walking around the palace and the beautiful garden we entered the boulevard for our lunch. Celia got us a Kokum Mocktail a simple but tasty drink which we had in the boulevard overlooking the beautiful garden and bird house. And then followed by amazing culinary creations. Everything served was so perfect and authentic. I bet no restaurant will serve such an authentic and delicious traditional food. Five on Five for everything served and extra extra stars for the Pumpkin Cheese Pie. Yummy!

I do not remember the names of the dishes served, but the taste is still lingering my taste buds. We had prawn rissoles for starters along with green salad, stuffed squid preparation, and cheese balls. Each and every plate was designed and placed professionally with so much love and care. We then continued with the tomato soup, needless to say; it was delicious. Then comes the king of our meal “Pumpkin Cheese Pie”. I loved it, and I wish I could prepare that dish the same way how Celia would make. Sigh! For main course, we had Chicken Xacuti, Prawns and Ladies Finger Curry with Brown Rice. Oh my God! Did I forget the grilled whole fish – Red Snapper, fresh catch from the nearby Kushavathi River. White wine along the meal was savoring. To end with, we had caramel custard and then a cup of coffee. I was surprised, this 5 star meal experience did not cost much. Because everything served was of top quality and no compromise in quantity too. I was relieved when Ruben handed the bill box, such a worthy meal it was. It was one of the best meals of my life I had so far.

I have no words to express my gratitude to Ruben and Celia for the great work they are doing. The restoration of this amazing place is done so well and is maintained with so much love and care. So is the food which is prepared for the guests who come here. Purely home-cooked Goan-Portuguese cuisine prepared with the touch of love. I really have no words to express the bounty of this place, one should go there without any second thought and feel it for once.

To conclude, Ruben took us around the Palace explaining the history and how they restored each and everything within to resemble how it looked earlier when it was built. Great job both of you Ruben and Celia. Thank you!

Do book in advance. Ruben and Celia were so kind to accommodate us even on their day off.

Address:

Opposite Holy Cross Church,
Quepem, Goa (South Goa)
Landline: 0832 266 4029
Mobile: +91 98 2317 5639

Note: The appetizers like Kokum Mocktail or whatever you order, Wine or other drinks do not come with the base package price, they are charged additionally, but reasonably priced. 🙂

Few of the images from our visit.

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Bengre Beach and Riverside – Mangalore

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This time when I visited Mangalore for Independence Day and this Independence Day was well celebrated with Family, Friends and Sea shore.

Where is Bengre?

Bengre is a small island in Mangalore city with few of the Mangalorean population staying there.

How to reach Bengre?

There are two options to reach Bengre.

  1. Via Passenger Ferry which ferries passengers from Dakke (which is Harbor or Mangalore’s Fishing Dock) to Bengre.
  2. Via Taneerubhavi Road, the road which is used to reach Taneerubhavi continues till Bengre. There are few buses from this route or you can use private mode of transportation.

We opted to use the ferry from dakke. In fact, dakke was Mangalore’s first port which later moved to the current Mangalore Port in Panambur. Still, we find few goods which are operated at Dakke. Then the fishing dock is still functional here as it is convenient from this location.

The ferry charges are 5 rupees per person, once you get into Bengre, you will not find any Restaurants or Malls, and rather you find petty shops all over.

To reach the Beach or the Golf setup area, you need to walk few kilometers passing the village. We used the short cuts, visiting one of our friends relatives house and then to the beach.

Honestly speaking, the beach was very dirty as it the end where river meets the sea called Mouth, and no one visits this beach except the villagers. Moreover, it was rainy season and all the garbage from all over Mangalore is collected in the shore. One old lady was collecting the firewood’s from the garbage from the shore but no one bothers to clean other stuff. And Sea wouldn’t keep anything for itself.

But the feel was good. We spent some time near the beach, though we could not get into the beach. And the shore is very shallow and it is not suggested to get into the water.

From the shore we walked towards the golf setup which is in conflict now. The look and feel is like Marine Drive expect for the crowd. The place where River and Sea meets, they have placed tetrapod’s near the edges. We clicked few photographs and watched the locals fishing with fishing rods and they were getting good amount of fish. We watched the sunset and headed back via the ferry to Dakke. The boat ferries until 10:00 at night.

Few flicks from Bengre:

Fresh catch by the locals

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Black and White Family!

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Around Dakke Fishing Dock and Bengre

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Tetrapods

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Martins Corner, Martins Comfort, and Sunset Beach

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WoW..What a combination Food and Shelter are the main ingredients for a traveling soul. In Goa, choosing a good place to dine and best place stay from thousands of options is a hectic task. Because you don’t want to spoil your vacation and waste your time browsing through the list of places and reading the reviews.

However, I give my fellow readers my two cents on a place to eat and a place to stay. Martin’s Corner and Martin’s Comfort named after Martin, who first started a small restaurant in the South Goa with just 4 tables and his wife cooking the food is now a place where superstars come and savor the authentic Goan cuisine. Our Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar frequents this restaurant and they have named a dish after his name.

The success of Martin’s Corner helped them to launch Martin’s Comfort where people can stay in a three star environment. When Food and Shelter is at one place and South Goa known for its calmness less crowd with unexplored places around what else do you need to unwind on a vacation.

Martin’s Corner:

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This is a very famous restaurant in South Goa and if you think it’s hyped over, then you might be wrong if you are a hardcore seafood lover. Martin’s Corner was in my to-list for a very long time. This monsoon when we decided to explore South Goa, finally we could visit this place. Most of them would say, what’s special about this place, it’s become commercial and all that. But I would say the ambiance and price here is commendable even though the place is one of the most famous restaurants frequented by celebrities. While we visited Martin’s Corner, the south movie star Nagarjun had come to dine with his family.

The food which we opted was awesome and the day we went to Martins, they had this singer with guitar singing songs at each table. WoW, that made our day.

I would recommend their Prawns Pulao and Tender coconut shuffle.

As we stayed at Martins Comfort, we frequented her for Lunch, Dinner all week.

Martin’s Comfort:

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We visited south goa during this June and initial couple of days we stayed somewhere else in South Goa and we happened to find Martins Comfort while we decided to have our lunch at Martin’s Corner. We got a good deal and we checked in here. We were very comfortable with clean and large room at the first floor. The room service was neat and prompt everyday. Martin’s Corner is just opposite to the hotel.

Only negative here is the breakfast. Most of the items are make to order and when there were minimal guests they wouldn’t spread the buffet. The attendant who was in charge of breakfast was a bit indecent. He would serve the same eggs or toasts which was served to some other table and untouched.

Also, there was no free Wi-Fi, while most of the places offer free wi-fi.

Overall, it’s a cozy comfortable place. I do not know how it would be during season as the rooms are closely connected. But I’ll definitely come back here during the monsoon.

Sunset Beach:

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The Sunset Beach with few minutes’ walk from Martin’s has become one of my favorite beaches. Loved this beach the moment I stepped in. As it was monsoon season, hardly 3 or 4 people were there and some people fishing. I liked the serene long beach, which is absolutely not crowded. I believe even during season very few people might visit this beach. I could be in solitude enjoying the waves, completing a novel, sometimes few drizzle to refresh.

To me, South Goa > Bethalbatim was a complete package for a perfect vacation.

Giri Manja’s

Part 2 of http://cutesmilealways.blogspot.in/2015/08/want-to-try-authentic-mangalorean.html

Another recommendation goes to Hotel Giri Manja’s which is near Car Street. Similar to Hotel Narayana, this was my recent find providing authentic seafood cuisine. The place is not a fine dine types but the food goes on to taste better than what you get from the five stars.

Restaurant Name:
Giri Manja’s

Address:
Behind Indian Overseas Bank,
Near Badrai College,
Mukhyaprana Temple Rd,
Bunder,
Mangaluru,
Karnataka 575001

Timings: 11:00 – 3:00 (lunch only) – Sunday Holiday
Average Waiting Time: 10 to 20 Minutes
Cost for 2: 500 (depends on what kind of fish you opt)
Specialty: Sea food

They provide authentic GSB type food along with the season specific fish cuisine. I have tried most of the fish fries here and my all time favorite is the crab roast. The restaurant is a little dificult to find even for a Mangalorean but every Auto driver will know this place and you can always rely on Google Map and this restaurant is listed on Google Map.

What to order:
Like Narayana, this hotel comes which a template of meals (GSB style) which includes Boiled or White rice, fish gravy (mostly sardine curry), pickle, vegetable sabjis or curry. And the fish fries which you have ordered. Pricing and variety of fishes depends on the season. don’t forget to try their cocum juice.

These are the 2 restaurants I suggest you not skip while you are on a Mangalore trip. You can refer the following website for best Mangalorean restaurants: http://www.the3hungrymen.com/

Want to try authentic Mangalorean seafood at Mangalore?

I always want to try the local cuisines while I travel. But I never thought of finding an authentic Mangalorean cuisine restaurants in Mangalore while I was staying here. Long after I shifted to Bangalore, I found this small hotel, which was very famous by the time I could make a visit. That’s Hotel Narayana in Bunder, which is very close to Dakke (Fishing Dock of Mangalore).

One more reason for not trying out this place was, we usually have home cooked food and when we go out for lunch/dinner we always preferred chicken or fine dine restaurants. But all this while I did not have an idea what I had missed.

So here comes my 2 recommendations for authentic Mangalorean food, when it comes to Mangalore its Seafood. One is Hotel Narayana at Bunder and the second one is Giri Manja’s near Car street. (I have provided the details in the next post)

First recommendation:
Hotel Narayana

Address:
Behind Indian Overseas Bank,
Near Badrai College,
Mukhyaprana Temple Rd,
Bunder,
Mangaluru,
Karnataka 575001

Timings: 12:30 – 3:30 and 07:00 – 09:30
Average Waiting Time: 20 to 30 Minutes
Cost for 2: 500 (depends on what kind of fish you opt)
Specialty: Sea food

My mouth started watering while I’m filling in the above details. This is not a fancy or fine dining place. It’s a mess kind of place but the food served here will beat the quality and taste of a five star hotel. Always try to be there by 12:30 in the afternoon or be prepared to wait for at least 20 to 30 minutes and to share your table with others. I have always been here for lunch and believed this place was closed for dinner but the google listing displays the timing 12:30 – 3:30 and 07:00 – 09:30

What to order:
This hotel comes which a template of meals which includes Boiled or White rice, fish gravy (mostly sardine curry), pickle, one vegetable sabji or curry. Once the waiter gets the thali, he will come with a thali filled with variety of fish fries and you chose whatever fish you would like to have. Pricing and variety of fishes depends on the season. Don’t forget to try the special powder which is the fried remains of fish fry. Yummy..! Also, the special butter milk.

The quality and taste of the cuisine is no doubt. No one can replicate the taste of the fishes at Narayana. Yummy, mouthwatering. This place is a must try when you are in Mangalore.

August 15th is a holiday at Hotel Narayana. I remember driving all the way to Hotel Narayana during Independence Day to find the restaurant closed. Imagine our hungry stomach craving for the fish fries of Narayana. 🙂

Sadly, I do not have any photographs of this place or the cuisine as I was always into hogging whenever I was at this place.