Where you can taste Goa in the food and décor

Sea View restaurant, in Caranzalem, has stood the test of time, and taste, for 45 years, and its Goan food comes with no external additives
Sea View restaurant takes one back to the Goa of the past.
Sea View restaurant takes one back to the Goa of the past.Photo: Augusto Rodrigues

Sea View, the quaint restaurant in Aivao, Caranzalem, no longer offers its customers a view of the sea, but the food has remained as Goan as it gets since its inception in 1978, when an old house by the sea was transformed through its cuisine.

“I arrived from Mozambique when I was 17. My father ran a taxi, and with no steady earnings, we bought an old house by the sea and my mother started a restaurant to supplement our income,” recollects proprietor Diogo Rodrigues.

Sea View restaurant takes one back to the Goa of the past.
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If Sea View was sought for its location and food when it was situated at the sea front, it is now habituated by people who want to experience the taste of Goa without external additives.

Fish has been, and still is, the specialty because Diogo’s love for fishing has not ebbed despite turning 64.

“I still go out with my boat, though not often as before, and still come back with a good catch,” says Diogo in Portuguese.

Diogo Rodrigues believes Goan food carries the identity of Goa.
Diogo Rodrigues believes Goan food carries the identity of Goa. Photo: Augusto Rodrigues

Despite living in Goa since he was 17, Diogo feels comfortable conversing in Portuguese.

“When I first came to Goa, I helped my mama with fish I caught, and later in the kitchen. I speak Konkani and English, but I grew up speaking only Portuguese and it is my mother tongue,” explains Diogo.

Sea View had to be relocated to its present place after the land on which it once stood was acquired for the National Institute of Watersports (NIWS). And so, for a period from 2000-2002, the restaurant had to be shut.

We still have the old customers coming to the restaurant because we have not compromised on our standards.

Bemvinda Tavares, Diogo’s wife

“We still have the old customers coming because we have not compromised on our standards. We are perhaps the only restaurant that does not serve vegetarian food, and everything is cooked by me,” expresses Bemvinda Tavares, Diogo’s wife.

The samosa at the restaurant is one of its trademark snacks. Made of beef, sautéed with onion and garlic, one samosa leaves one salivating for the next.

“We have regulars who come and pick them up in large quantities,” admits Diogo.

For regular customers, Sea View restaurant is like a second home.
For regular customers, Sea View restaurant is like a second home.Photo: Augusto Rodrigues

The menu at Sea View is limited, and one that leaves a lasting taste because Bemvinda believes, “Food tastes best when prepared by individual hands.”

There are dishes of pork, chicken, beef, fish and even fish curry rice on their menu.

“I come to this restaurant regularly, not just because of the food served, but the camaraderie offered by this couple. In times when Goa seems lost, this place makes me feel at home,” admits regular client, Xenobia D’Souza.

Sea View restaurant takes one back to the Goa of the past.
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Diogo has a quaint bar which boasts of the finest local brew with his caju and urrack sourced from the same vendor since the beginning.

“The one from whom I get my caju and urrack is my secret because my customers relish the drinks!” admits Diogo.

The pork menu at Sea View is exclusive, and the Pork Ard Mass (pork bone meat) is a dish that is difficult to find in most restaurants today.

Sea View restaurant takes one back to the Goa of the past.
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“The food, prepared by my wife, is what she learnt as a child at home and that explains the flavours of Goa,” boasts Diogo. 

If the food at Sea View is Goan, the décor fits in with Diogo keeping things elementary – typically the old  style with the emphasis on food.

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