Go International, Eat Local

On World Food Say, I say this to all travellers. Well, and to some Instagram tourists too.

The red roof of Pereira’s

Meet Periera’s in Varca, Goa. It’s a pub with a weathered and faded signboard that has more Russian lettering than English for once there was a huge influx of Russian touristS. Run by the Pereira husband and wife duo, this place has been at it since almost the last 2 decades. The windy, open eatery next to their humble abode painted yellow, Pareira’s was the choice of restaurant for a lazy lunch.

Goan Masala Pomfret

The fried pomfret was heavenly. The spice marinade was good enough to get any hearty eater to suck at the fish bones for the last trickle along with the tiniest flake of fresh fish. Next up was the staple favourite – prawn vindaloo that came resplendent in deep brick-red curry and a taste that told of the circa and tamarind mix. A side order of plain rice and lunch was sorted. With it was a large bottle of chilled beer and a glass of white wine. Eating at Pariera’s was almost like eating at home. No fancy frills, usual cutlery, table fans to cool down those that cannot handle Western Indian spices. Must I talk of the decor and ambience? Sure, I should. A small family garden with huge hibiscus flowers welcomes every diner. Expect surprising visitors like a caterpillar or even a honey bee, it was everything a resort isn’t.

Garden view superior rooms at Zuri White Sands

I put up in the resort right next to it, the fancy Zuri White Sands. The property is fab with helpful staff and a million things to do, including the usual spa and pool. Tennis, badminton and table tennis for those that fancy outdoors or a pool table for those that want the cool airconed environs. Don’t get me wrong – I love the property and it’s comforts. However with the mixed clientele that Zuri Sands attracts, their food variety is a mixed bag. And the taste is a bit off-centre. Breakfast and other meals range like any other hotel brunch buffet – from South Indian regulars to Italian fare with maybe one or two Goan dishes thrown in. Funnily number of guests asking for North Indian dishes whilst in Goa were fairly high. Although I shouldn’t be surprised at all at this trend since I have seen my seemingly posh ex-boss and colleagues make a bee-line for “chholay  chawal” and “poori sabzi” in Thailand and Switzerland, respectively!

In case you come visiting Goa, try and opt for the local eateries offering local nosh for a decent price and the familiar Goan hospitality. Give them your business. They need your support and encouragement. What you will get is stuff worthy of the next travel show on national television. And that picture for your Insta story.

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