Bringing the spirit and freshly-brewed beer straight from the streets of Hanoi, Ping’s Bia Hoi is a Vietnamese beer garden meets Southeast Asian street food haunt in Sangolda. A peppy, kitschy, music-filled garden, this one sits perfectly in chef Picu Gomes’ family home and makes possibly the most irresistible Philadelphia Cream Cheese Dim Sums ever. The colourful barber shop kiosk, the clothes lines at the entrance, the flower baskets are a slice of a typical Hanoi market set right in the heart of North Goa.
If you haven’t guessed already, this one’s the Goa cousin of the popular Ping’s Cafe Orient from Delhi and a fitting ode to the susegad life that demands brunches over bottomless cocktail pitchers. The restaurant's forever bursting with flavours of fresh lime and lemongrass, the food is all about authentic Asian flavours. The rustic, sharp edge to dishes is reminiscent of the joy that street food evokes and the bustling market setting ensures that the Sunday brunches are packed here.
A few visits later, we refuse to budge from our favourites on the menu. These include the Tapioca Pops, perfect with a pint of chilled beer, Philadelphia cream cheese dim sums and Tofu Bao for the vegetarians (there are so many veggie options, including everyone’s fave Thai Curry). The non-vegetarian invariably always orders the Sticky Pork Ribs, Pork Char Sui Bai or Miso and Red Chilli Clams.
In keeping with their Delhi reputation, the cocktails here are artisanally ace. We personally dig the Elderflower Spritzer and Gingerbread Martini to sip through balmy, lazy afternoons. For dinner, we often lean towards a Ping’s Old Fashioned. If you aren’t in for something flowery and sugary, get yourself some freshly brewed beer on tap by Goa Brewing Company, Bira or Arbour Brewing Company, all of who are making special blends for Ping’s beer garden.