Danuska Da Gama | NT BUZZ
Though I live quite close to the coastal beach belt of Calangute, let me confess I hate riding on those roads owing to the crazy traffic violations of tourists and the crowd. But, on the two occasions that I had to choose to have a meal in the area, it was at Blue Apple.
Earlier known as Café De Goa, this all day dining restaurant is situated on the left side of the road after turning in right at the St Alex Church junction. It is a quaint place that’s attracting a large section of Goans and tourists who want to be in ‘the’ area and yet away from the madness.
Eknath Oraskar began this venture after gaining quite an extensive understanding of what works in the F&B industry in the state. From breakfast, to lunch and dinner, you can see several people lazing around or working on their laptops and binge eating.
‘Love for food’ is what they propagate and the menu certainly boasts of it. It has a little of everything to cater to whims and fancies of people, dietary restrictions, or cravings and favourites. The breakfast menu is quite elaborate and has American and English options, sandwiches, smoothies and shakes.
In starters, chicken salt and pepper is what I remember distinctly – a simple satiable starter to begin a gathering or business lunch. Tandoor options are available only for dinner and here the choices range from paneer to your choice of fish marinated in Indian spices.
I tried the Nicoise salad that has its origin in Nice, France was quite true to the original recipe that has boiled eggs, tuna, green beans and cherry tomatoes. For most tourists, butter chicken is the staple, and you won’t be disappointed with the taste here.
If you want some comfort food, you can have your pasta, fish and chips or Land and Sea which is made of grilled chicken breast served with jumbo prawns on a bed of mash potato and grilled vegetables. The two platters Fishermen’s platter (has a combination of seafood made with butter garlic/recheado/rava fried) and the mix rainbow platter that has chicken and mutton cooked with Indian spices in the tandoor.
There is a fish thali served for lunch and the homemade masala for the curry is what makes the difference. The Caldin, xacuti and vindalo are some of the dishes that are done the right way, unlike most restaurants that present a warped version to tourists.
The bar here is well stocked and you might want to try some tropical cocktails. Due to an in-house bakery and confectionery you can devour on some freshly prepared blueberry cheese cake from among others.
The ambience makes the difference. However, both the times I went here I preferred to sit on the first level and watch vehicles zoom by, surrounded by some green fields. Chef Vicky Pradhan lends his personal touch to make sure people get what they want and often has a suggestion or two. The staff is pleasing and will strike a conversation with you. The manager, Valentine Fernandes is the friendliest face there, apart from the owner Eknath, if he is around. He will help you choose, place your order, restrict you from ordering too much and will also talk to you, making you feel warm and valued.
At Blue Apple, on some evenings, you might find live music and entertainment.
In between a casual and formal setting, Blue Apple stands out for its quality, variety and service. So if you’re heading to that side of Goa, this hidden gem won’t disappoint you.