The place is subtly done with a hint of beige and brown. The decor is simple but fresh. They have several seating options available. There is the restaurant with regular table and couch seating, with a great view. There are private dining areas where one can host small parties or lunch/dinner with family/friends. Then there is the bar & lounge. The bar counter wasn't stocked, probably because they're just thrown open for business. The bar has high stools like every other restaurant. The lounge again offers a spectacular view, with low tables and couches to keep you comfortable. The lighting however is remarkable, they have some incandescent green lights that lit up the lounge in the night creating constellations on the wall spreading a great vibe. It's a place perfect for family lunches and dinners.
The menu is varied, but the quality of the cooking and the presentation shows the place is professionally run. There is a choice of eggs and toast or idli-dosa-upma or poori-bhaji for breakfast. The vegetarian and fish thalis for lunch gives it a touch of tradition with value for money rates. Choose from chicken drum-sticks for snacks, batter-fried fish fingers, and morsel-sized spicy mixed-dal vadas, piping hot from the stove. The King Fish Thali, Palak Paneer and Chicken Peshawari were proof that the chef is an experienced one.
That’s not surprising, because under the new management of Chef PN Raman and Ms. Swarna Raman, Nebula has a new, five-star menu at affordable prices. Without drinks, a couple can have a scrumptious meal for Rs. 750/- or less. Chef PN Raman, who is now running it along with two other experienced professionals, is reticent, but well-known in the field of Hospitality. The ex-Director - Culinaire of the Goa College of Hospitality and Culinary Education (formerly known as the Academy of Culinary Education) is a reputed name in the chef fraternity in India. He has worked with reputed brands like Taj and ITC's Sheraton Hotels all over India as the Executive Chef.
The kitchen at Nebula is headed by the same chef, Raman, who has catered to the likes of George W Bush Sr, Prince Aga Khan, Prince Charles, Indira and Rajeev Gandhi and Milton Oboto. Raman believes that "Chefs should adapt recipes to the tastes of people."
If you eat at Nebula, besides the view, you will remember that in memorable meals God lies in the details. The ingredients, the proportions, the timing, all contribute to one very good experience, at a price office-goer, food-adventurers and just-hungry-yaar types will love.
The Kingfish thali we got on Chef Raman's recommendation was voluptuous, priced at just Rs. 120/- which left us utterly shocked. The quantity and quality of the food is amazing, topped with a crisp Rawa Fried slice of Kingfish, complete with a dessert - caramel custard. The coconut prawn curry, with a little South Indian touch to it was delicious. The Clam Sukha and Dry Prawn Kismoor were absolutely amazing. The vegetable and seafood served with roti, rice, spiced papad, salad kokum curry and dessert offered a nutritious and delicious meal. They also have the regular Mackerel Thali at Rs. 100/- and Pomfret Thali at Rs. 150/-.
The Chicken Peshawari was among the best I've had. Made with a rich cashew nut gravy, it's served in two portions - one portion each made in onion and tomato base. And when eaten together, it's offers a burst of flavours combined with the richness of the grounded cashew nuts and well cooked juicy chicken bits. The Palak Paneer was well done too, with the perfectly cooked paneer in the palak gravy.
We absolutely loved the food, however the drinks were not up to the mark. The Porto Wine Sangria did not taste or look like Sangria at all. Even though it had a bit of wine and chopped fruit, the orange fruit juice and cinnamon stick kind of spoilt it. The mocktail I asked for was again, too strong for my liking. It was a blend of strawberry and lemon in an aerated drink which gave a sweet-sour taste. So I'd suggest to opt for a normal drink like soft drinks, juices or beer, and focus on the food, because the food is great and totally value for money.
Besides the multi-cuisine Goan, Indian, Chinese & Tandoori food fare they have to offer, Nebula has lot of growth plans going forward. To begin with they aim to promote packed lunches in different categories for the companies based in the industrial estates in the surrounding areas in Mapusa/ Porvorim. Secondly, they wish to take up outdoor catering orders for functions, parties. They will also let out the restaurant space for special occasions like birthday parties, meetings, training programs, and such special events. They also aim to promote specialty proprietary food items like Idly/ Dosa batter, spices, condiments, masalas.
The Food & Drinks
The Bar & Lounge
Text & Photographs: Flexcia D'souza | Food Blogger Goa