We are of the firm opinion that any trip to Goa remains incomplete without ravaging through an authentic fish thali, and our ultimate suggestion to satisfy that kokni craving is, well, Kokni Kanteen! Just walk down Dada Vaidya Road in the heart of Panjim and step into nostalgia of good home-made food at Kokni Kanteen. From authentic fish thalis with sol kadi, to the fish fry with the day’s freshest catch to traditional mocktails and cocktails, everything served here is uniquely kokni, and comes with a serving of the quaint old-world Goan charm and oodles of deliciousness.
Tucked away opposite the Mahalaxmi temple, Kokni Kanteen has been around since 1972 and everything from its red laterite walls to the decor, right down to the home-made kokni curries and desserts are reminiscent of the welcoming and cosy Goan charm, that will lull you into food coma soon after. With tasteful décor all around you and a rustic radio softly humming away Konkani songs, the restaurant doubles up as a time machine, promptly teleporting you to a prettier past.
The restaurant is frequented by a fair share of city dwellers and famished tourists alike, with exceptionally friendly staff assisting you warmly. Their fish thali is likely to make you shamelessly critique each and every thali you’ve ever devoured in your life. They have an ultra special thali called the 'bappa' thali which comes loaded with crab curry, prawn curry, mussels and fried fish - an absolute must-try. Each dish has a distinct taste and flavour. From the Kokum saar to the Surmai rawa fry to the mussels stir fry, each dish is freshly made with Goan recipes that have been passed down generations.
In the dessert section on their menu, Kokni Kanteen incorrectly claims to have Goa’s best Ceradura, it’s quite possibly the best in the world. A deceptive layer of biscuit crumbs conceal velvet soft pudding in generous quantity beneath it. Wash down all that Goan humidity with some in-house cocktails and refreshments bearing fascinating Konkan names; not sure where else you’ll end up sipping an orange and lime vodka called Traffik Jaaam. Be sure to also try their delectable range of appetizers at equally pleasing rates.