By Arlette Evita Grao | Opening Doorz Editorial | February 05, 2020
Being a Goan born and raised in Mumbai I discovered Mahé through a very close friend who is married into the Timbadia ménage. Knowing my ardour and appetite for seafood, she strongly recommended I give it a whirl at Mahé, along with some contemporary concoctions by the bar. Little did I realize at that point that Mahé would leave such a lasting impression on me!
Not only is Mahé a modern and sophisticated fine-dining restaurant, it also stays true to its coastal flavours. The restaurant offers a culinary experience with a substantial offering to everyone—vegetarian, non-vegetarian and seafood lovers.
Mahé is situated in a small village, Anjuna, Goa, at Mazal Waddo on the Anjuna-Arpora road near Our Lady of Good Health Chapel (Copel). If you know where the legendary ‘Mr. Gelato’ [Dessert Parlor] is located, then you’ll find Mahé adjacent to it. However, the best way to any destination in today’s day and time would be Google maps—it’s accurate and will bring you right to the doorstep of this restaurant.
The first thing that draws you towards the place is the 19th Century Indo-Portuguese house. Mahé stands tall at Mazal Waddo and is hard to miss. As you enter the property, you’re welcomed by a large garden space with lush and varied foliage. The entrance is through a balcao (verandah) which gradually opens into Blush (the bar) and Jade (the dining area). The ambience at Mahé is a mix of light and breezy vibes and a whole lot of dappled sunlight. The mood is just right for that intimate and at the same time cheerful dining experience.
The service at Mahé is incredible. The staff and waiters are knowledgeable of every item on the menu. If you’re even a bit confused or unsure of what to devour while at Mahé, I can assure you that you’re in good hands. The waiters are well-acquainted with the many questions they receive on an everyday basis and quick to generously shower their recommendations and advice. Expect the chef and part owner Sandeep Shreedharan to make a friendly visit to your table and even check on your experience.
I tried the seafood coastal plate, which comes with a generous portion size of chana curry, Mahé prawns curry, fish fry (white tuna), string hoppers, dal, bhindi fry (ladyfinger), papadums and an interesting date and beetroot chutney and molagapodi (gunpowder).
I also tried the beef carpaccio which is paper-thin slices of beef served with a modern amaranth pickle and drizzled with olive oil. My experience at Mahé has truly been palatable transportation to seventh heaven.
When in Goa make sure to make a table reservation or else just walk into the very large hearted Mahé. It is a culinary experience in itself. The panache in which familiar meats and flavors come together is outstanding. If you’re a person who delights in fine-dining, Mahé is a pit-stop you must make when in Goa: these guys know how to appease your taste buds.
Arlette’s top 5 recommendations
- Cured Mahi Mahi, coriander oil, kondattam
- Pickled Kolharabi Carpaccio
- Red Snapper Ceviche
- Preserved Aubergine Recheado (served with poi, wheat grain bread)
- Spicy Goan Chorizo, Poached egg (served with Pao)
Large Plates/ Grills/ Main Course
- Grilled Fish (Pomfret)/Grilled Lobster
- Fish with Moilee Foam
- Mahé Vegetable Curry
- Chicken Chettinad
- Mahé Prawns Curry/ Srilankan Mutton Curry
- Mallu Mai Tai
- Gin Sour New York Style
- Negroni de Goa
- Whiskey Sour
- Dark & Stormy
Gin Sour is hands-down my most favourite amalgamation of red wine and gin!
(Arlette Evita Grao is a model and actor who is extremely impulsive and fun-loving. She loves the beach, enjoys gardening and getting her hands messed up in soil and also cycling around the gullies in Bandra).
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