A romantic outing to Purple Martini isn’t included in “Tips to help your relationship“ because people are just too stereotype. Move over candlelight dinners and serenaders. A restaurant with a heady view can bring back the magic too.
On a day when I didn’t have the emotional bandwidth to travel all the way to the North of Goa, my companion suggested a change of place. After some resistance, I concurred and off we went driving to catch the sunset at Purple Martini.
Let’s first acknowledge that the weather these days has been playing truant. It could be sunny one day and downright rainy the next. Or somber with an overcast sky, but no rain. Today was one of these. Thankfully, all of this played to our advantage.
There are certain places that make everything better. Purple Martini is one of them. When we get to Anjuna, everything seems isolated and washed out. But just a five minutes walk into a tiny lane on the left, is a pulsing sign of life.
Perched on top of a cliff at Anjuna, Purple Martini has a vantage point. The most breath-taking view you can imagine. It’s a pat on the back. A splash of rain on the cheek. An exuberant hug of welcome.
You can see the sea for miles- undulating slowly, swelling and receding, crashing on the rocks below splashing sprays of salt water into the air.
It doesn’t go by time constraints or dress codes. You can show up whenever, looking sophisticated or dishevelled. You can order a pitcher of sangria at 5 pm or a coffee at 9 pm.
While I’m flirting with the view, my companion browses through the menu. It’s vast and has a selection of Asian, tandoor and practically everything desi and continental, making it tough to narrow down our choices. The server is cheerful and made us feel very welcome.
For drinks, we order a Manhattan and a Sangria. The Manhattan is a delightful shade of liquid gold and the sangria was just right.
For starters, we order the masala peanuts and tandoori prawns. I thought that, with a view this perfect, the food didn’t have to be grand. It just needed not to be bad. It wasn’t.
The masala peanuts may seem pedestrian, but they were simply delicious. The tandoori prawns were plump and pleasing featuring a side of salad and some meaningful pudina chutney. And each mouthful got a lift from the elements : the breeze, the salt, the slight drizzle.
The breezy view and relaxed ambience, made us yearn for some hookah. But the excessively high price which started at Rs.2000/- onwards was a big deterrent. Anyway, if that’s not your thing, there are lots of other less worryingly priced items that you can order.
Two Manhattans, one sangria down, and we’re buzzing like bees with an overdose of honey. Our senses leap even more, when a saxophonist begins the early evening with some jazzy arrangements, a few classics and contemporaries.
Tousled children prance around deck chairs, the wind whistles, we move to the rhythm and can’t help but grin foolishly.
As the twilight turns to dusk, the place fills in with tourists and the music becomes more trippy. Looking around, you get a sense that people have thrown caution to the wind, forgotten the pandemic and are just out to live their lives once more. This isn’t a new normal. It’s a whole new reality. Possibly one that I can live with quite happily.
As the crowds kept pouring in, right in tune with the now pelting rain, we decide to call it a night. There were magical moments but we’ve learned to leave before the party is over. This is after all, a restaurants main role at the moment : offering short, intense, lively moments of magic.
It’s not quite fine dining. Nor is it star service or budget-friendly. But it is dining outside with a terrific view. And at the moment, we should all grab it where we can get it.