Goa has some of the choicest seafood options and certainly the best in the country. If you’ve visited this place, you’ve probably tried a few of the local specialties, which are commonly found across Goa.
And, if that has got you in the mood to try on some interesting food options, then let’s take you to a quaint laid-back fishing village in South Goa, called ‘Assolna’; where you can indulge in an exciting seafood experience.
Assolna is a distance of roughly 1 hour and 17 minutes from Panjim, and 26 minutes from Margao. You can ride or drive to this place, which is easily navigable. Assolna is situated on the banks of the River Sal.
As you enter the village, you reach the main church of ‘Regina Martyum’, which is the oldest church in Salcete built on the remains of a military fort. The statue here ‘Cristo Rei’ (Christ the King)’ is one of the prominent structures that indicate you have arrived at the right place.
Several interesting tales are associated with this village. For example, people believe that the name Assolna means ‘Oslem-na’ in the Konkani language, which means ‘No other ’. And, if you are riding through this village, you are definitely going to say ‘no other’, when you come across several routes lined with lush greenery and natural beauty.
Owning to its fishing culture, Assolna gets plenty of catch on a regular basis. It is also a hotbed of various restaurants that have interesting seafood options on their menu.
While seafood is one of their many specialties, let’s head to a couple of restaurants, which are worth-trying.
1. Starlight Riverside family Bar and Restaurant
This place comes as a surprise to many. Facing the river with dim lighting, this place is quaint and relaxed. If you are an early visitor, don’t forget to grab a seat by the edge, facing the river. Some also end up dropping a fishing rod in the river, hoping for a catch. And, if your catch is a big one, then the restaurant might cook it for you too.
The sea food menu is exhaustive and there are several options to choose from. Just name the fish of your desires and it will soon be on your plate! You can choose between masala or rawa fried fish. The masala is locally made, and local ingredients find their way into these dishes. The restaurant generally gets busier on weekends and at night. However, you are sure to get a seat here.
Must try: Butter garlic crabs, crab xec xec and rawa fried prawns
Location: Assolna - Cuncolim Road, Tariwaddo, Assolna
Contact: 97633 33878
2. Amarela Restaurant with Bar
Lake view, live music, and lots of fish; Amarela is a recent addition to the Assolna food scene. The very lively decorated ambiance has ample seating space and can accommodate large groups of people. The place is known to serve some of the finest authentic Goan food.
You can not only find sea fish, but also local river fish on their menu. They have very interesting ways of preparing their dishes, by keeping alive the local flavours. Some of their specialties are recheado kalundar, Red Snapper (Masala rawa fry and half fry), Rawa fried prawns, Crab Xec Xec and crab butter garlic. Several one-man bands also perform here.
One can sit back; enjoy the lake view along with good food and music. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner too. Most of the staff here are locals, and so, along with some yummy food, you are definitely going to hear some local stories.
Must try: Tamso tandoori, crab masala and creamy butter garlic squids
Location: Tariwaddo, Assolna
Contact: 84110 25938
3. Seamens Nest Restaurant
Another popular outlet located near the Assolna ferry point is the Seamens Nest, a quaint place serving amazing fish and pretty pocket-friendly. The place is very busy during, both, lunch and dinner. You can bite on some starters like mussels rava fry, Leppo fry, Bombay duck, Modso, Chonak.
Must try: Pomfret masala fry, shrimp crackers and chonak rawa fry
Location: Tariwaddo, Assolna