If You Can’t Make It To China For Chinese New Year, Here’s The Next Best Thing
This may come as a surprise, as the port city of Vasco is not exactly famous for its restaurant scene. But nestled in the heart of the city at the fabulous The HQ Hotel in Vasco is Ori, offering up some of best Pan Asian dining in the state. Aside from the delicious Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese, Malay and Indonesian dishes, here you will be greeted by a serene and warm décor wholly reminiscent of the Far East. A great wine selection, friendly service and innovative offerings – such as this month’s special Chinese New Year menu – make Ori a great choice for a culinary night out in Goa.
If you live in Vasco, you’re especially in luck, of course. But if you live anywhere else in Goa – North, South or in between – it’s really worth making the trip to check this place out.
On a recent evening, Goa Streets photographer Brendon Sapeco and I started out by sampling the Pineapple Chilli, fine cubes of pineapple garnished with red chilli. I just loved the combination of tangy and spicy on my tongue!
Then Chef Raj offered us a choice of 3 varieties of soup, namely, Veg Wonton, Chicken Talumein and Asparagus and Crab Meat. My pick was the Veg Wonton, which I enjoyed immensely, with those vegetable dumplings floating elegantly in the subtle Chinese broth.
With so much food already under our belt, so to speak, it seemed funny that we, in fact, had technically not yet “started” our meal. So when it did come time for the starters, we had the Fish with Crackers and the Sesame Pango Prawn. Both were crispy. Both were yummy.
For the main course, Chef Raj brought out some Pineapple Fried Rice, Clay Pot Chicken, Eight Treasure Vegetables with Tofu, Broccoli, Cabbage, BokChoy, Shitake, Spinach and Zucchini Stir Fried in Light Soy Sauce, and Shandong Noodles with Vegetables. Most of these dishes are part of this month’s Chinese New Year menu, and all are lovely in their own way. It’s clear that a lot of love and care went into the preparation of each delicacy, and the experience was indeed memorable.
Sweet plates flowed onto our table next, including Chocolate Lava With Litchi & Ice Cream, Banana Pan Rolls With Caramel & Ice Cream, and Coconut Honey Dumplings. I am a person with a sweet tooth, to be sure. But I can honestly claim that even if I were not, these desserts would still have put me in Seventh Asian Heaven, which is where I found myself while devouring them.
If I were a judge on the TV show Chopped, I would give Ori high marks on all counts – taste, presentation and creativity. If you add to this the wholly reasonable prices and the lovely Vasco location right in between North and South Goa, I’d say this is a must-visit restaurant. Kudos Ori! You done good.
• Food: Pan Asian, totally yummy
• Atmosphere: Elegant, Far Eastern
• Service: Attentive
• Something Special: This month’s Chinese New Year Menu
• For Reservation: +91 7709003237
About Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is one of the most important Chinese holidays, celebrated at the turn of the lunisolar Chinese calendar. This year the Chinese New Year began with the new moon on Monday, Feb. 8. Traditions include giving money in red paper envelopes, decorating homes with red colour paper-cuts and wishing others good fortune and long life. Ori is a great place in Goa to bring the Chinese New Year to life.