Lady Baga: Go gaga over Baga

Let’s be honest. When you think of a Goan shack your thoughts will conjure up images of a place to unwind and have some fun, perhaps with a drink in hand. Food here was incidental with a few dishes standing out, most of them acceptable but none of them ‘not-good’. Which is why Goan food has always been one of my top cuisines – it never disappoints, by that I mean, I have never had a ‘bad’ Goan meal. Open a restaurant serving Goan food, I will be there 😊

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Lady Baga in Kamla Mills, Bombay has been on my restaurants-to-visit list since I first heard of it. Just the name brought back memories of very carefree holidays and good times. Unfortunately, on my visit to Bombay, soon after it had opened, I heard about the Kamala Mills fire which resulted in most of the restaurants being close for a while. On my next visit, friends advised me to avoid the restaurants in Kamala Mills for a little bit longer.  And so, the wait continued….

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That is, until December 2018 – exactly a year since it opened. 😊

My friend, entrusted with finding us a restaurant to laze around in so we could catch up on six months’ worth of gossip, suggested Lady Baga. The stars had aligned.

From hammocks, hand-made dream catchers and bead curtains to brocade cholis and tie-dye cushions, Lady Baga perfectly recreates the susegad (relaxed, laid back) feel that Goa is famous for. They have even gone so far as to have real sand, bamboo reed and matted banana leaf to keep with the Goan vibe. I knew the words to most of the songs that played – 70s-80s – which made me, in sporadic moments, actually do a sing-a-long.

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First off, time for a drink!

Virgin Baga Bong – Passion fruit on the list, its got to be in my midst 😊 Well this one was mixed minus the alcohol for me. It had grapefruit juice, passion fruit (but of course) and orange.

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Just the sound of sesame and coconut together was enough for me to insist we order the Sesame and coconut prawns – tangy and spicy prawns sautéed in an aromatic spice mix.

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The Deviled Chicken – boneless chicken tossed in a fiery, semi-dry Goan recheado masala – was highly recommended to us. Boy, was I glad we did. That faint spicy taste that stayed in your mouth begged for another spoonful.

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For our mains we settled on the classic Goan Fish Curry which we were told is made from the chef’s (Aloysius DSilva or as he is fondly known Chef Aloo) mum’s recipe. The fish is the catch of the day – which on our lucky day – was king fish. It was served with red unpolished rice with sides of fried fish, tendli pickle and kismur. There was an option to change the red rice to jasmine rice, but I am glad we never did read the fine print on that one.

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Two hours later, as I was taking a photo of the Rasta Chocolate Cup – dark chocolate mousse with an echo of coffee and rum – I must have had a wide grin on my face which was noticed by a couple of people walking out the door to have a smoke – they told me that grin would change into the most satisfying smile after I had tried the dessert. And lo and behold they were right – they walked back in and the dessert dish was nicely licked clean.

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Location: Oasis Complex, Gate No. 4, Kamala Mills, Lower Parel, Mumbai Tel: +91 22 4973-1012/ +91 77770 01586 Open from 12 noon to Midnight

NOTE: I ate at Lady Baga on my OWN time and money! The views and opinions expressed on this blog are truly my OWN.