The beautiful porch at Gunpowder. Photo via Facebook
For most, Goa is a holiday lazing on a beach shack. We say go a little further and explore the real beauty of the sunshine state. If you are one of those who seek solace in a good meal and happy conversations in a Boho-inspired setting, we recommend you to try Gunpowder at Assagao village serving regional cuisine from coastal India. Away from the noisy, touristy beaches and tattoo artistes, it is a haven for food lovers.
The vibe: The quiet, laidback charm of the restaurant set in an old Portuguese bungalow is good reason for you to drop by for a drink or meal here. The vibe is eclectic so to speak; we were pleasantly surprised to find folks dressed in handloom sarees and linen trousers (quite an unfamiliar sight)! What also sets Gunpowder apart is a boutique selling high-end clothing and jewellery, decor, knick-knacks and what-not. You can while away the time by simply walking from one room to another (it's a house!) admiring the lovely display. Wait by the bar or say hello to Queenie, the in-house dog, while the staff arranges a table for you. Pick one of the tables in the porch or in the alfresco section.
The food: For some, Goa is all about the seafood. And we agree. So when it comes to good coastal cuisine, Gunpowder ticks all the boxes for us. The fresh seafood, the south Indian meat and chicken curries, the hot egg appams all blend perfectly on the menu. We tried the Kerala mutton curry, Madras chicken curry, the spicy Goan chorizo fry and Kozhi fish curry accompanied by fluffy Malabar parotas and appams. We'd have loved to try the backwater prawns, Coorg pandi curry and the Syrian Christian beef fry, however we were full. For desserts, we picked the Kahlua mousse cake and given the coffee nerds that we are, it was a good decision. Don't miss out on the drinks as Gunpowder is known for some interesting concoctions too!
The service: Although we booked a table in advance, when we reached the restaurant, we were asked to wait by the bar. We didn't mind. Once seated, our orders arrived real quick. The Goan chorizo was too salty so we requested the staff to take it back, and they politely obliged.
If you are looking for something offbeat from your regular shacks and bars, give Gunpowder a chance. We left with memories of a hearty meal.
Cost for two: Rs. 1000 (approx.)
Insider tip: Must-go during monsoon when the shacks and cafes are shut.
Address: Anjuna-Mapusa Road, next to Hotel Astoria. Contact:08322268083