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For a weekend of clubbing

In search of new and interesting places for clubbing in Goa, we went from Cheenos in Baga to Club Zoya in Benaulim. It proved to be yet another torrential downpour on a Saturday evening when we found ourselves outside what very much looked like a large garage, but entry finds you in a spacious and surprisingly swish club atmosphere called Zoya, named after the owner’s daughter.
Ambience: like an aeroplane hangar, this place bellies the anormity of size from the outside. With a high roof, asbestos sheets, and a wall of wooden boards, the décor is minimalistic. They have a live music station where the in-house DJs Raj Naiqure and Jay Naidu take turns at the turn tables and also jam with visiting musicians. With a separate smokers section, a VIP lounge and a dance floor apart from the main restaurant area and the bar, this place gives you plenty of legroom. And has its own parking space.
Food: The menu itself looks promising with a wide variety and range. We tried the virgin mojito and the cosmopolitan and both were good renditions even though uninspired. The prawn ajilo on the other hand was quite a lot of effort on a plate. Each individual prawn came in its own soup spoon, and a lemon-garlic buttery sauce. Visually appealing, the prawns were cooked a tad too much, a rookie mistake easily rectified. The BBQ chicken wings were like earnest club grub, worth getting your fingers dirty for. What we liked were the roasted mushrooms with cheddar, they were earthy and herby and, unlike many restaurant versions, were not deep fried or covered in bread crumbs. Not the rustic local almi, these were the average button mushrooms presented inventively.The sizzlers at a nearby table smelt partlicularly welcoming as well. Stuffed crabs with masala crab meat and cheese topping were an interesting option. The Mexican chicken with roasted bell peppers and onions could have been done with more Mexican heat.
The menu had a lot of dessert options and yet only one was for the taking, the penacota. Even though the sole contender, it was one that the masterchef judges would have approved, with the right amount of wiggle and no glass to support it, beautiful texture and a clear refreshing flavour. Club Zoya, having opened pre-monsoon and hoping to create a stir in the days to come brings a welcome change to the clubbing scene of south Goa.
Ambience: 3.5 plates
Food: 3 plates
Service: 3 plates
Go here for: a night out over the weekend with friends

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