On one of the drizzly days this August, thoughts turned to some good Goan cuisine and fresh seafood. It’s been a while since I’ve ventured outdoors while the pandemic rages on. But there’s only so long you can stay inside. So, with a silent prayer and fingers crossed, we made our way to Fisherman’s Wharf, Cavelossim, South Goa.
This is our first restaurant in more than three months. We’ve been here twice before and both times were amazing. The weight of expectation can be a horrible thing. And ours were high.
With most restaurants shut and erratic these days, I called to check if the restaurant was open, and was pleasantly surprised to hear that it was.
If you’re located in any place but South Goa, the restaurant is a little far and away, but well worth the drive.
We parked and entered, to witness a full service staff well-masked, an automated sanitiser and a footfall that was obliterated. It was just as well, because we were hoping for some peace and quiet.
As far as the view and ambience goes, Fisherman’s Wharf trumps them all, with its riverside seating, gentle breezes and a quiet lull that can be felt more in the afternoon than in the night. We’ve been to this place pre-lockdown and the nightly ambience is a little more pulsing and upbeat.
There’s an appealing brick-lined moodiness, the air scented with the lake, and the seats positioned to overlook some trawlers in the distance. So far, so lovely. There isn’t enough time to wax lyrical about the ambience or I could go on for days.
You’re instantly reminded of the current times we live in, when you see QR code based menus. And of course, that’s the safest thing these days. A quick scan of the menu gave us a hint of all the lovely dishes we’ve had in the past including Devil prawns- prawns wrapped in bacon and Goan fried chicken-diced chicken pieces fried in house-special Goan masala. +
Our choice – Chicken Cafreal and Rawa fried prawns. This is all about the pleasures of letting good ingredients talk for themselves. Nothing much could distract us from sinking our teeth into the juicy chicken cafreal : simple almost primal pleasure. A pedestrian Goan dish made genius : bracing and tasteful at the same time.
The poie bread was gorgeous – they had only two and boy, were we lucky?
The Rawa fried prawns with sauce, were a sight for sore eyes, fried into plump-crispiness, delicately salty and served with a side of recheado tasting house spice. Utterly simple, completely sumptuous.
There was only one disappointment. The restaurant doesn’t serve drinks at this time on account of government regulations. But enterprising diners that we are, we found a wine store in the vicinity and were soon up to our eyes in a Sula red slurping it down like pop.
The service and staff were extremely gracious and thankfully safe and cautious. The little details haven’t been overlooked that send you on your way smothered in smiles. They even let us ramble onto the gorgeous open deck that has breath-taking views of the river, mangroves and the mountains in the distance.
It was strange. It was such a leisurely afternoon, yet we felt time couldn’t have ticked along faster. And somewhat surprisingly, the place measured up grandly to our previous visits.
Never have we trudged so warily to a destination during this pandemic, only to exit so starry-eyed and blissful. No wonder it continues to be one of Goa’s most lusted spots. Not to mention its most romantic. And for a short while, everything seemed to be sane in this otherwise crazy time.