Imagine this! You enter a bylane in Fontainhas – the Latin Quarter in Goa, where everything suddenly looks different. You leave behind the colonial bungalows and plush restaurants and enter a lane lined with rustic structures – rumbling walls, doors and windows; and a cross at the far end of the lane. However, what catches your attention is the lone board peaking outside a door – rather a house, at towards the end. A swift walk, and you are at the doorsteps of Pakiza!
Yes! I only recently visited the much talked about restaurant (for the second time) and was blown away with their biryani. I happened to randomly stop by at Pakiza, in 2015, while I was shooting in Fontainhas and I couldn’t find a restaurant open at that time of the day. And the ladies at Pakiza were willing to serve me some nice homemade omelette and tea.
I didn’t give it much though back then, because I wasn’t into food blogging. But when I landed there the second time, I recalled it was the same place. But the addition of the board confused me. Also there was a guy at the counter, while originally there were women. On enquiring I was told, the board is a recent addition and the women are still the cooks.
The restaurant is little – with a few benches lined across a room in their house, which gives a more homely vibe to the place. I was told that they started way back in 1992, by serving food to their friends. It was only later that they converted it into a restaurant. And now it’s become a well known place for a scrumptious biryani that’s made in a Muslim kitchen!
Getting back to the food, they serve a limited menu – Goan and some Indian items. I had heard about the biryani (tbh, someone commented on an Instagram post where I had introduced Khalida’s biryani to everyone). So I went ahead and asked for their biryani. And I was thoroughly impressed by the flavour and texture.
The biryani @ Rs 140 was the right amount of spicy, had enough gravy and chicken pieces, came with extra gravy, salad and pickle. They don’t have raita or curd. However, you can ask for a bowl of curd @ Rs 25. I don’t like having raita with my biryani, I like to have it as it is, to preserve the original flavours and enjoy my meal! I am definitely going back for more.
Address: H No 96, 31 January Road, near Hotel Crown, Mala, Panjim, Goa
Must try: Chicken biryani
Price (per plate of biryani): Rs 140/-
Related post: This little joint in Panjim serves the best homemade chicken biryani, and it's priced at just Rs 90/-