We are a gourmand couple who love to discover new places and eat our hearts out. Follow us for a guilt trip along the food road.
The synonym to Goa is a Care free holiday. When one thinks or speaks of Goa all that comes to one’s mind are the amazing beaches and wild night life. It boasts of the most amazing beaches of the country. Goa is not only a preferred holiday destination for Indians but people abroad also are quiet keen to enjoy the serene beauty of Goa at the most affordable price.
Goa being one of the top honeymoon destinations is also a hot favorite amongst people who love adventure water sports. Various water related activities are something which is most sought after every year during peak season. For the photographer fanatics there is no dearth of great picturesque location. So basically there is something for just about everyone at Goa.
Goa can be divided as North Goa and South Goa and has almost over 25 beaches. Each of these caters to an individual’s preferences and needs and liking. The ones at North Goa; like the Baga, Calangute, Colva, and Anjuna are more crowded and bustling with activities, parties at various shacks. The younger generation who love loud music, authentic Goan cuisine prefer this side of Goa. South Goa has more of peace and serenity. These include the Palolem, Arambol, Agonda to name a few. Relaxation and rejuvenation is what one can enjoy to the fullest here.
Goa has always been at an undisturbed priority at any time of the year for us. Irrespective of it being on or off season, if Goa calls us, we make sure that we stop everything and pack immediately. Having gone there over a dozen times and done it all from sightseeing to partying we now wanted to experience the unexplored side of Goa and spend a different kind of holiday. We just wanted to RELAX, and get into the snooze mode. Thus began our search for a location and property at Goa where we could just be left undisturbed.
Having seen quite a few resorts what caught our eye was this property called the ‘Bay 15′, which was about less than 5 kms from Dona Paula. The pictures on-line screamed of peace and tranquility and we were game, without second thoughts. Location wise it was neither north nor south Goa and was centrally located on the map. Moreover the property was so strategically located that it was far away from the maddening over enthusiastic crowd Goa welcomes year after year.
So the obvious destination being Goa and now the stay being finalized we were all set to pack and leave with immediate effect. And here we were ready in 2 days with all necessary equipments and ingredients to enjoy a holiday and with of course our travel tickets.
We reached our destination – Goa and as soon as we got off the bus we were greeted with a call from our cab driver. With a warm welcome and being comfortably seated in our cab our driver from Bay 15 was more than enthusiastic pointing out various places of interest on our way. On seeing a professional camera, he was trained well enough to ask if we wanted to halt to take pictures, which we did.
In less than ten minutes we took a turn into a secluded road which was rather quiet and very unlike Goa. For a moment both of us had this feeling that this one holiday is going to be a great stress buster, away from our busy hectic media life. Another 10 minutes and we were driven into this large gate. In front of us we saw a wooden chalet, which was the reception area. We wished this attractive looking wood house was what we could have lived in too. Warmly greeted by the Front desk manager, we instantly fell in love with the hospitality. We were literally carried to our room and were not allowed to even carry a tiny bag. And to our excitement as we walked out of the reception we were right next to the swimming pool and the pool was surrounded by the same wooden chalet we walked out of. Yes, our wish to live in the attractive chalet was going to be fulfilled. As we entered the room allotted to us we were in for another pleasant surprise. Our house for the next 3 days over looked the beach. Just a few steps from our private balcony and we were overlooking the Odxel beach, our very own private beach.
The property has 15 wooden cottages. Don’t get fooled as these are not the usual cottages but one full of 5 star amenities. Right from a comfortable king size bed, to a TV, mini bar, writing table and chair, a safe deposit locker and many more comforts. You name it and they have it. Available round the clock the service is par excellence. The highlight of the room though is the huge French window which leads you to the balcony overlooking the Arabian Sea. Its quiet contradictory when we say it is calm but the sound of the lashing waves, the chirping of the birds, the swishing of the tall coconut trees which surround the property were pleasantly noisy and welcomed happily. These balconies are the perfect place to have breakfast. The non early birds will also want to wake up to a heavenly breakfast by the bay. Such is the view and so is the breakfast.
The hospitality the next 3 days is commendable and whatever said or mentioned here is just 1/100th of what we witnessed. Right from the Kiwi Fizz that we were served as soon as we walked into our room to the last meal they packed for us when we left was mind blowing. Just to text down our experience is next to impossible but the least we have tried to do is cover the best of the best we experienced.
The breakfast on all the days was almost the same buffet, but the feel was different due the various locations we chose to have it at. Day 1 was our room balcony followed by one at their open air restaurant and one exactly at the promenade by the beach. Toasts, fresh fluffy Omelettes, Bacon and Sausages, fresh Juice and steaming Tea & Coffee, Corn Flakes and Fruits and of course various sweet meats like freshly baked Buns, Doughnuts, Pastries, Fruit Cake, so on and so forth. A heavy breakfast could keep you full till late afternoon. Like they say eat breakfast king size, and yes so we did. Rather every meal of ours was king size.
Special Mentions: The ‘Omelettes’ were simple, basic but there was something about the way it was cooked. The colour was the perfect white, the texture was light and fluffy and the veggies and cheese blended well as a filling. A glass of fresh juice is all you need to complete your full-fledged breakfast.
Post breakfast we took a walk down the property. Huge and sprawling dotted with tall coconut trees. The end of the property is a church for the ones who want it all in one complex. There is some magic in the breeze. One never gets tired of walking and with the camera in hand there are multiple options to keep clicking. A good stroll and back in the room to take a quick nap till we await the next meal. Our post breakfast time across 3 days was just walking around the property, exploring the little corners, watching the chef rustle up food in the open kitchen or just relax on one of the recliners by the beach side with a book and our favorite beverage. We were informed that they were soon going to be gazebos by the beach where one can enjoy a good massage or a great spa session.
Open Air Restaurant: Day 1 we thought of exploring the restaurant right next to our room. The aroma that wafted every time we opened our balcony was too tempting. So comfortably seated with our beverage we were handed over the expansive menu cards. Bay 15 was not just about the typical Goan cuisine but they had a good collection of the Mediterranean, Indian and Continental options too. The ambiance of the open air restaurant was very casual and not the prim and proper kinds that we usually go through in a fine dine. The staff needless to say was very friendly and gave the best of suggestions on what we should eat. We did go by what they suggested along with a few which fancied us from the menu.
Special Mention: ‘Paneer in Goan Masala’ was one of the best innovative paneer dishes we’ve had in a long time now. The cottage cheese was tossed with some rustic goan spices which was very crumbly in texture, so basically when you pop in a chunk of paneer you also feel the crunch of the spices. The julienne capsicum and onions enhanced the taste in total.
The ‘Stuffed Crab Rissad’ was something that kept us craving till now. There isn’t one place in Goa that can serve such an amazing preparation. A rich, Spicy stuffing of tender sweet crab meat impressively served inside its own natural shell. The crab meat was fresh and the spice and seasoning were so perfect and balanced. We simply want to call this a Crab Lovers Paradise.
The ‘Dry Fruit Stuffed Tandoori Alu’: When at an Indian restaurant, the kebab can actually speak of the quality of food that’s going to follow. We were more than pleased with these attractively plated Stuffed Tandoori Potatoes. Char grilled to perfection the crust of the potatoes was well marinated and the spicy dry fruit stuffing was way too perfect
‘Rajma Galauti Kabab’: A very soft melt in the mouth kebab on crispy flat Indian bread was presented to us. As soon as it arrived not realizing that it was a pure vegetarian dish the non vegetarian half of us started devouring it. The plate was swept clean in just a few minutes. Moral of the story – When vegetarian food be so good why does one need non vegetarian at all. All said and done if even a hard core non vegetarian can’t distinguish between them, then indeed it is praise worthy.
Their version of the ‘Tandoori Prawns’ was the best prawn preparation we have witnessed in a while. The spicy, Smoky and Crunchy prawns with a unique marination left us speechless. The spices included a hint of Indian with a slightly tangy goan twist. One needs a Experienced and seasoned palate to distinguish this marvel.
Dinner Scenes: Day 2 dinner and we were in mood to explore the lounge. Though off season we were in for a pleasant surprise. There were quite a few guests who were already dining. Bay 15 is also open to people to come in just for the dining experience, even though you are not staying in their property. Pretty well known among localites too and upon enquiring they said they swear by the sea food served here. The freshest catch with the best of flavours was what Bay 15 is famous for. As suggested by fellow diners we thought of opting for a mix of sea food and Mediterranean cuisine.
Special Mentions: The ‘Lebanese Platter’ comprised of fresh soft Pita Bread with flavorful Humus, Babaganaoush and Tzatziki. Not too heavy but good enough to fill our stomach with no hunger pangs at all.
The Falafel Pockets were done really well. Crunchy on the outside and soft inside. These came with fresh greens, Tabouleh and the Tahini sauce was exceptionally good. Everything here was beautifully plated and served. We sure agree that a lot of effort went in to masterfully create such exceptional dishes.
The salads were also a must try. After gorging on exotic food the whole day we actually preferred some light salad. We opted for the ‘Classic Veg Cesar Salad’. The Lettuce was crunchy, and ceaser dressing topped with herb oil was fresh and felt great to eat with a glass of wine. When dinner be so good one could just survive on salads.
‘Open Air Sunday Brunch’: Bay 15 is pretty much very popular for the Sunday brunch. People from around Goa love the brunches they have in offer. Not all look for an occasion to dine here. The live band, fresh food, great panoramic view and pocket friendly is a reason enough to head here to spend a lazy Sunday and overcome the Saturday hangover. The brunch is quiet expansive and one can spend a good 3 hours and just relax.
The Indian food can never be given a miss. Though we had tried a lot of assorted Indian starters but as the chef said the experience of eating changes basis the location. So we opted for the open air gazebo. A restaurant serving such a great variety can never go wrong with Indian food. So on recommendation of the chef and with great hesitation (please read hesitation as being over stuffed with food) we agreed to have a simple Indian dinner. Nothing fancy but just basic sampling. We started with the ‘Tandoori Baby corn’ and ‘Kakori Kabab. Both these were very spicy, just like how we had wanted it and went really well with the ‘Garlic Nan’ and ‘Dal Fry’. Though the meal was a simple one but definitely did not lack in taste. We could give a 200/100 for the Dal Fry. On enquiring the chef said the Dal was a very simple one with no spices at all. He said he took the liberty to make it as basic as possible as the char grilled Baby corn and Kakori was way too spicy. We thanked him for taking the liberty but are still amazed and wondering how a Dal with no special spices be so tasty.
Continental food is now a days available at every nook and corner of every city. Any restaurant which serves Pasta or French Fries calls its self a continental restaurant. How and why, we actually haven’t figured out yet. Bay 15 on the other hand was unlike the 100 others and had some interesting options on the continental menu. Visit to experience the expansive menu
Our experience was coming to a close and there was just one thing which we hadn’t experienced and we dint leave that stone unturned. Room Service. We took the privilege to order for room service the last day of our stay. Simple home style food is all we required. Our tummies wanted a break from all the exotic meals we had consumed the last 3 days. Even the experience of eating simple basic food was an experience of its own.
Desserts at Bay 15 need a special mention and a few extra pages to write about. Being dessert lovers and always on the lookout for something very innovative and different our search was put to rest here. Our dessert experience here the 3 days was insane.
Dessert 1 : ‘Bay 15 Lemon Grass & Mango Panna Cotta’ – Panna Cotta means “cooked cream” in Italian. Mango being the king of fruits can never go wrong in any dessert. The Pana Cotta was softly set with the right consistency. The lemon grass acted as a balance to the sweet mango and gave the dessert a great twist.
Dessert 2 : ‘Baklava with Oreo cream and Fig sauce’ – A beautiful looking dessert. Took us long to actually disturb the plating and start eating. Tiny bits of baklava or the filo pastry filled with dry fruits sat adorning the plate. Around it was fresh cream and topped with bits of Oreo biscuits. The whole dessert was drizzled with Fig sauce. Each spoonful took us to heaven and back.
Dessert 3: ‘Bebinca’ is a traditional Goan dessert. This dessert was one which had so much detailing and we were sure required loads of effort to make as well. Each of the layers was of different ingredient, starting from flour, clarified butter, eggs, coconut milk etc. A compact and complete dessert but the taste of each layer was very distinct.
Dessert 4: ‘Seradura’ as complicated as the name might sound this dessert required the minimal effort is what the chef informed us. Hard to believe but this required nothing but thick fresh cream, condensed milk and some crushed Marie biscuit. This was love at first bite and we made sure Seradura was part of every meal we had at Bay 15. Irrespective of what we ate and however full we were, in spite of us having already ordered other desserts from the menu, but Seradura was definitely placed on our table along with the others. And we being foodies with an extra sweet tooth never said no, nor sent it back. Full justice was done and we are glad we did.
People say , when in Goa be like wild traveler, enjoy the beaches, shacks, parties, get high, go wild, eat crazy and dance like mad. We experienced all of this and more but in our own way. At the end of 3 days we weren’t tired but rejuvenated, fresh full of positive energy. We did not need to take a holiday to recover from our holiday. One need not venture out at all once you are inside Bay 15. Ask and you have it all. A holiday this way is apt if we called it A DREAM HOLIDAY !!!
Follow our food journey: