Explore Goa's tempting food scene during Sao Joao

On June 24, treat yourself to some of these 'Sao Joao' specials that you only get to taste once a year at the feast of the son-in-law
TASTE OF TRADITION: Explore Goa's festive food this Sao Joao.
TASTE OF TRADITION: Explore Goa's festive food this Sao Joao.Photo: Rohan Fernandes

Festivals are a guaranteed good time. In Goa, along with the cascading rains, a galore of festivals make an entry, and one coming soon is Sao Joao, a feast like no other that brings revellery unmatched.

Believe it or not, on this day, June 24, locals don kopels (crowns of leaves and flowers), plunge into wells, consume seasonal fruits and traditional delicacies, while sipping refreshing drinks.

Food, therefore, is an indispensable part of Goan celebrations.

TASTE OF TRADITION: Explore Goa's festive food this Sao Joao.
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This year, as Sao Joao fervour fills the air, restaurants and eateries are adding their little bit to the festival by curating special menus and takeaways. And, here’s what you can nibble on or experience.


At the feast of Sao Joao in Goa, there’s an explosion of flavours and delicacies.

Letting everyone dive into Goa’s rich culinary delights, The Goan Kitchen in Margao, South Goa, is offering traditional sweets and goodies.

VIVA SAO JOAO: A glimpse of the annual festive revellery on June 24.
VIVA SAO JOAO: A glimpse of the annual festive revellery on June 24. Photo: Rohan Fernandes

Also known as Zanvoianchem Fest (feast of the son-in-law), an important custom at Sao Joao is of vojem, a platter of items sent by the bride’s family and distributed to the friends and family of the groom.

At Oliver Fernandes’ The Goan Kitchen, you can get a peek and a little taste of this deeply-rooted tradition.

Priced at Rs 950, their Sao Joao special vojem comprises jackfruit mandos, patoleo, muttleo, papaya halwa, chunvllyo chunn, banana filos, jacada, figada and mango sheera.

TASTE OF TRADITION: Explore Goa's festive food this Sao Joao.
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As it falls during the monsoon season, the festival presents an opportunity to savour sweets prepared from seasonal fruits.

Reviving some of these refreshing flavours, the restaurant is offering pineapple halwa, papaya halwa, mango sheera, muttleo (balls/laddoos made of roasted jackfruit seeds, jaggery and coconut), jacada, patoleo, jackfruit patoleo, banana filos (traditional pancakes), banana figada, chunvllyo chunn, jackfruit mandos and mango doce.

Engaging local women in the preparation of these mouth-watering festive specials, the restaurant also has a main course that lists ukde rice, mackerel kharem, sannas, prawn curry, pork aadmaas, chicken dry fry, pork solantulem, beef in green curry with potatoes, beef roulade, aged sorpotel and Goan pulao.


LOCATION: Shop No 18, Pereira Plaza, opposite Hospicio Hospital, Pajifond, Margao

WHEN: Sao Joao Vojem and main courses will be available on Sunday, June 23 and Monday, June 24. Sao Joao sweets will be available throughout the week till stocks last.

CONTACT: To order, WhatsApp +91 8007762121

DELIVERY: Available

TASTE OF TRADITION: Explore Goa's festive food this Sao Joao.
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Nestled along the picturesque riverside setting in Siolim, Fireback, a Thai restaurant and bar, is extending an invite to experience the essence of Goan culture with their Sao Joao special cocktails.

Crafted with Goa’s traditional feni as the spirit base, these are sure to get you in the festive mood.

There’s Deccan Roots that blends poached pear-infused dukshiri with house lime cordial for a refreshing twist on classic flavours, or yuujin that combines feni with a tangy grapefruit shrub and a hint of wasabi.

STIR SOME FUN: Sip on some amazing cocktails at Fireback.
STIR SOME FUN: Sip on some amazing cocktails at Fireback. Photo: Fireback Restaurant

As celebrations continue and the sun kisses the horizon, tantalise your taste buds with the sunset sipper cocktail that mixes Aani Ek limon feni with coconut, kaffir lime, hibiscus and carbonated water.

The bold and spicy cocktail, Goan Well, will feature Cazulo cashew feni, lime and chilli. Get your hands on Sao Jao Fizz that perfectly captures the vibrancy of the festival.

That’s not all. Offering an unforgettable culinary experience, Fireback has a special menu that reflects the joyous spirit of the much-loved festival. Complementing their cocktails is the array of delicious Josper-grilled dishes.

Pumpkin and sweet potato skewer, steamed lotus stem, and smokey eggplant are some nutritious options for vegetarians.

Meat-lovers can try their turmeric chicken, juicy chicken marinated in aromatic turmeric and grilled to enhance its rich flavours, or the aromatic lamb that features the succulent lamb infused with aromatic spices, grilled to achieve a delectable taste.


WHERE: Fireback, near St Anthony’s Church, Siolim, Bardez

WHEN: Sao Joao cocktails will be available on June 24, while the grills are available throughout the month.

TIMINGS: Lunch time (12 noon - 3.30 pm), bar bites and drinks (4 pm - 7 pm), Dinner (7 pm - 11 pm)

CONTACT: +91 9209717970

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