Old Is Gold: Thai Food Lovers In Goa Need To Head Straight To Banyan Tree
Banyan Tree is Goa’s oldest Thai cuisine restaurants and still going strong with its new menu. If you want to see all the culinary innovation that’s possible with handpicked Thai ingredients, spices and regional flavours, hop over to Taj Holiday Village, Candolim, on your next Goa vacay.
What Makes It Awesome
Freshly plucked herbs from the spice garden, an ever-so-gracious Thai chef, the signature Taj hospitality… there are so many ingredients that make a meal at Banyan Tree, a cut above the rest. When everyone’s trying to reinvent, this restaurant has decided to go back to its roots and stick to what it does best. This is what explains an interesting menu that combines classic Thai dishes with new-age fusion options. If you’re a purist you’re happy, if you’re a fussy kid, you’re happy and if you’re a foodie, you’re perhaps the happiest. You see, we’re talking variety between a Thai pizza and Thai green curry.
As you find your perfect spot, take a moment to soak in all the greens from the wrap-around balcony; it’s a treat to sore eyes when it’s pouring and even otherwise, you might find ducks happily parading around. If you choose to sit inside, be prepared for cosy hill cottage feels. Also, without fail, get started with Tom Kha soup or their popular detox mocktail made with a generous amount of lemongrass.
For starters, (we’re hoping you’re a big group because this is just that kind of family setting we all love), we were absolutely delighted to see so many vegetarian options. We picked the raw papaya salad, Thai hummus with wonton crisps and Thai veggie rolls. The papaya salad was light and familiar, the hummus was an interesting take with chickpea and lemongrass while the veggie rolls were fresh as a summer day with crunchy shredded veggies in an earthy, tangy, peanut-y sauce. For the mains, take your pick from the Thai Curry (we know how fiercely passionate people are about red versus yellow versus green) and pair with Jasmine Rice because some things are better left conventional.
All this talk about vegetarian grub making you feel leaf-t out? Worry not. There’s so much seafood (hello, Stir Fried Tiger Prawns and Thai eggs Benny) and interesting non-veggie options like Thai style roast duck, a bunch of lamb dishes and meaty noodles and rice too.
To end the meal, we picked the coconut milk and water chesnut dessert that came in a coconut shell, sweet and fragrant with rose syrup and perfectly balanced with the crunch of the chesnut. There really couldn’t have been a better ending to our lavish lunch. We also hear good things about a certain chocolate mousse with a hint of kafir lime. Yum, right?
If you have a romantic dinner on your mind, they can set up a magical table-for-two under the magnificent 300-year-old banyan tree, after which the restaurant is named.