Malbar Paratha, Avial, Coconut Chutney, Gunpowder, Tomato Roasted Chutney, Egg Appam, Butter Milk and Pomfret Fry
Highly appealing cuisine from the south of India
To understand the appeal of Gunpowder Goa, you have to go beyond the food and understand the context of this unusual restaurant. The context, in this case, is Assagao, the village inland from Anjuna that is quietly emerging as one of the trendiest and most interesting areas of Goa. As Goa Streets wrote in a cover story a while back (http://www.goastreets.in/assagao-colonial-chic-meets-chilled-out-cool/), it has “an ‘alternative’ scene quite unlike anything else.” The presence of Gunpowder, along with People Tree Goa, the extremely innovative design-studio-cum-shop which shares the same premises, contributes to this special Assagao vibe as much as any place in the area.
Why? There’s a commitment here to creativity, tranquillity, beauty and excellence. It’s something of a riddle why India, with such rich culinary traditions, is home to so many food establishments with substandard Indian fare. Not so with Gunpowder Goa, the brainchild of Delhi and Goa-based Satish Warier, who until recently ran a restaurant of the same name in New Delhi. The food here, simply put, is very, very good.
On a recent evening, we sampled the following dishes:
Aila Fry, pan-fried mackerel in Kerala spices
Andhra Prawn Masala, shallow fried in Andhra spices
Beef Fry, Kerala Syrian Christian style with black pepper and coconut spices.
Backwaters Prawn Masala, hot & sour Kerala style backwaters prawn curry.
Idukki Pork Curry, spicy curry from the high ranges of Kerala
Pandhi Curry, Gunpowder’s version of the Coorgi sytle pork curry, sweet & sour and semi dry.
There was a certain subtlety and depth of flavour in all these offerings, something that’s not easily achievable in Indian cuisine, given the plethora of spices. Each dish was deeply satisfying in its own way, and in our case, pleased particularly discerning diners at our table who are in no way pushovers when it comes to judging Indian food.
And that all this was happening as we sat outside under the stars, a cool pre-winter breeze wafting the delicate scents into our noses, the swaying trees of Assagao in the background, made this something of a magical evening. We’re happy that Gunpowder Goa sticks to what it knows best: great Indian fare. If you want a burger or a pizza or a ‘multi-cuisine’ restaurant that offers up food for every palate, but none of it particularly good, then this is
not your place. Gunpowder is the real deal. We recommend it highly.
The Food: Outstanding South Indian fare
The Ambience: The magic of Assagao. Located in the beautiful garden of a converted Indo-Portuguese house.
The Service: Attentive
The Prices: From Rs 50 to Rs 350, with most dishes around Rs 250. Well worth the reasonable price.
Contact: 6, Saunto Vaddo, Assagao, Bardez, Goa, India 4035070832-2268091 / 0832-2268083 / +919910093666 / +917744834904