If you’re wandering off the beaten track in Goa and looking that is far away from the regular touristy crowds, head to Alua. Located in Merces, right off of Panjim, this sprawling restaurant is a local favourite.
As you enter the restaurant, you walk through a wood panelled tunnel which transports you to another world. To add to the typical Goan charm, the panelling along the corridors is adorned with Mario Miranda style murals depicting the classic Goan village life. The entryway itself is a delight to walk through, and if you’ve come with some time on your hands, you might like exploring the details of the murals — it’s sure to brighten up your mood.
Next comes the food — and we couldn’t rave more. The restaurant has a great variety of choices when it comes to cuisines and offers both vegetarian and non vegetarian options. Meat lovers, it is one of the few restaurants that has mutton preparations on the menu. Inevitably, the mutton sukha with the deliciously soft garlic naan, was our favourite. The prawn curry rice is also worthy of mention.
The stuffed crab and the prawn balchao are two other must-try dishes. Even among the vegetarian options, the Goan and Chinese preparations are recommended — the dal gosht gets a popular vote. And the prices are commendable, for food that is as delicious!
Alua also offers ease and space without being too busy on most days. The wait staff is polite and friendly — they even let us sit after hours, as we sang away old Bollywood songs into the night.