Sometimes, the best food is found in some quaint little property in a distant town faraway from the hustle-bustle of the city or the major tourist belts. Agree? Stop by on a long trip, or just drive down to this recently renovated restaurant – Adarsh Bar & Restaurant in the heart of Bicholim in North Goa, and be in for a scrumptious treat.
Don’t expect much in terms of interiors are décor. It is tastefully done, with paintings depicting Goan landscapes smiling at you from in between the wooden furniture and cushioned seats. The restaurant is tidy and air-conditioned. It spreads across two storeys, but somehow the ground floor is the prettier one. The service is swift and quick.
Adarsh Bar & Restaurant can easily classify for a Goan restaurant with the variety of Goan fare they have on offer, but they also have a bit of Indian and Indo-Chinese thrown in. Though the restaurant has been in operation since 1963, the operations have been passed down to the sons from Mr Mashelkar. While his elder brother monitors the happenings in the kitchen, Sarvesh is in charge of guest relations and makes sure everything is running smoothly at the restaurant.
The restaurant is famed – over the years – for its prawn curry, which is made in the traditional Goan style, complete with seasonal veggies. You may find chopped okra (ladyfinger) or raddish, while to add the tang, it’s either kokum or fresh raw mango or bimbli (during season) that’s added. Yummm! The consistency of the curry goes perfectly with steamed rice, with fried fish as accompaniment.
If not that, you can opt for the fish thali. They are one of the very few restaurants in Bicholim that serves the traditional Goan thali for lunch and dinner. The humble thali comprises of the usual – steamed rice, fish or prawn curry, fried fish, tisreo sukhem, kokum curry, dry prawn kismoor and a dessert. They even have a chicken thali, which is customised to your palette.
We started our meal with the usual – crispy chicken, which goes perfect with drinks. As we sipped on our mocktail, we got our first serving of seafood – rava fried kingfish, which was as delicious as ever. The Chicken A-la Adarsh, an apparent signature, was a delightfully buttery and thick cashew based gravy that goes perfectly with butter roti or naan.
Getting to the highlight of the meal – the prawn curry, tisero sukhem and dry prawn kismoor. The prawn curry was so simple, yet so delicious. The dry prawn kismoor was perfectly done and the tisreo sukhem was delicious. What I loved about the meal was, it was home style. Though the restaurant has been renovated, surprisingly, the prices are still the same and it’s a totally value for money meal. Totally a hidden gem yet to be discovered by many Goans! Desserts comrpised of the yummiest tender coconut ice-cream served with chopped fresh fruits.
The can be found on Facebook at Adarsh Bar & Restaurant.
My #ootd for the day: