Chonak To Crab: Grab A Beer & Thali Lunch At This Goan Restaurant
Remember the adage that tells you, “when travelling in a new place, eat where the locals do”? Well, if authentic Goan flavours is what you’re looking for, Le Jardin in Mapusa, is where you should head.
What Makes It Awesome
Located right at the beginning of North Goa’s Mapusa market, Le Jardin is a local restaurant run by a Goan family. Replete with authentic Goan flavours, the restaurant makes a mean fish curry. In fact, the seafood spread is what makes them stand out — the menu itself has sections dedicated to various fish and seafood — kingfish, squid, chonak, crabs and mackerel. Each dish meticulously prepared with local recipes that have been passed down through generations of Goan grandmothers.
The food here is very well priced, and comes in more than sufficient quantities. They also have a full bar available and honestly the prices are some of the best we’ve seen in Goa (a large peg of Amrut, single malt is INR 250, and Blenders Pride is priced at a mere INR 65!). The family that runs the restaurant is extremely hospitable and warm, and the wait staff takes after them.
We absolutely loved their chonak rawa fry and kingfish peri peri just as much as the mushroom xacuti. Teamed with some steaming hot rice, and a chilled beer for company, we were happily full.
When here, spend some time (while you’re waiting for the food) on their balcao, to get a glimpse of the #goalife far removed from the one you experience at the beaches. Oh, and in case you feel inspired to recreate some of those dishes, pick up some wholesome ingredients from the Mapusa Market. Here's a guide for you.