Here’s what IFN thought of the new menu at Lady Baga Mumbai.
Come Friday, and all of us corporate slaves just want to roll up our pants and stroll barefoot along a Goan beach, sand beneath your feet, brewski in hand, ‘ya feel?
Unfortunately, not all our jobs allow that, but Lady Baga at Kamala Mills, Mumbai will let you escape the mundane without actually escaping the city or leaving a searing hole in your pocket.
Lady Baga brings Goa (Baga more specifically) to Mumbai, the vibrant hippie vibe of this place will instantly transport you to a classic Goan beach shack, sand and all. And while the joint is frequented for the abundant booze, exquisite cocktails and fish curry they have, IFN decided to give their new menu -which boasts of beloved Goan favourites, special recipes, reinterpretations of classic dishes, and fancy chakna- a try.
As soon as enter the premises of Lady Baga, we are bombarded with the brightest of colours. The walls are an assortment of Instagrammable art and murals; the ceiling is adorned with fairy lights, dream catchers and kooky chandeliers. To put it simply, the décor is tastefully kitsch.
Our Goan journey started as soon as we entered with a pint of beer and some spicy masala peanuts (we think maybe a tad overpriced at INR 250) that were the perfect bar snack we needed.
This got our tummies churning and we got on to the starters: Chargrilled Chicken Skewers in Racheado sauce (INR 350), Prawns Chilli Fry (INR 600) and Calamari Frito (INR 500).
The starters won us over, the chicken skewers were charred to perfection and slathered in a generous helping of the Racheado sauce, the prawns were cooked to perfection and the sweet and spicy accents balanced the dish beautifully, but the hands-down winner was the batter-fried calamari that was cooked and seasoned to perfection, accompanied by a heavenly aioli to dip this crispy delight into.
Now that our bellies were all warmed up, we ordered a feast of sorts for the main event: Friday Special Curry (INR 350), Chana Tendli (INR 300), Fish Caldin (INR 550) and Chicken Xacuti (INR 400).
Our table looked like we were sitting in the dining room of a typical Goan family. The two vegetarian options of Friday Special Curry and Chana Tendli were an instant hit with us. The coconut-y Friday Curry was subtly spicy with an assortment of veggies; we were told it is a classic recipe for traditional Goan Catholics who swear off meat on Fridays.
Moving on to the Chana Tendli, what an odd dish to try outside home one may think, but this was a pleasant surprise. The Konkan classic was delicious in its simplicity.
The spicy Chicken Xacuti had chunks of boneless chicken doused in a sauce that hinted notes of ginger, garlic, and coriander. This was a clear winner.
Next up was the Fish Caldin that left us in a tizzy, the subtle coconut curry just an allusion of sweetness proved that sometimes less is truly more.
While it is advisable to eat all of this with rice, we chose to experience the cuisine in all it’s authentic glory and dipped our curries with a type of bread called Poee (INR 35) which is made fresh at Lady Baga, in the same fashion as local Goans.
With our pants gnawing at our satisfied bellies, we decided to end the meal with the classic Goan Bebinca (INR 300). This layered dessert was warm and cinnamon-y and was accompanied by a serving of ice cream.
The dessert was good; not life-altering, but the ice cream took the cake. Pun intended.
Props to manager Sasha Berry, her upbeat personality along with her knowledge of the menu ensured we were in good hands. The service staff was prompt, polite and well informed about the menu, which made the already satisfying evening, exceptional.
We will see Lady Baga again, entering with our tummies empty and walking out with our hearts full.