A few weeks earlier, on a rather dull, grey and gloomy rainy afternoon in the chaotic city, we found ourselves outside Lady Baga. The bright and colourful decor and 70s classics were a stark contrast to the gloomy weather outside. Keep on reading to know our thoughts.
DECOR & VIBE
After all those failed Goa plans with our friends, we are at least one step closer to it here in Mumbai! Lady Baga is exactly as it sounds; reminding you of a colourful, cheery hippie with impeccable taste and love for all things Goan. As soon as you walk in, you’ll literally feel as if you’ve entered one of those super exclusive hip shacks on a pristine secluded beach at Goa. Before entering, we were greeted by a rather colourful purple volkswagen van right out of scooby doo! Upon going further, the restaurant has an outdoor seating to help you reminisce your time in Goa, complete with sand beneath your feet and twinkling fairy lights overhead! Unfortunately, due to the monsoon, we couldn’t sit outside but once we entered the wonderfully decorated restaurant, we didn’t get as much FOMO. As soon as you enter the restaurant, you feel like you’ve teleported AND time travelled to Goa, probably in the psychedelic 60s in all it’s grandeur. Everything from the vibrant graffiti covered walls, fairy lights, the star shaped lanterns and the music instils a sense of a much awaited vacay! Since it’s located in Kamala mills, filled with office, a little time out for lunch at Lady Baga will definitely make up for the long work hours and a much needed vacation with your friends.
Apart from that, Lady Baga has some of the sweetest staff we’ve ever met and that just made our day even better. The ever smiling manager, Sasha, made sure all the guests were well taken care of and had a hassle free experience while dining there. The servers too recommended some of their best seller dishes depending on what basic taste group we were looking for! They answered all our doubts about which ingredients would be in a certain dish or why it’s called that and explained to us the lesser known traditions in Goan families; all with a smile.
When people think of Goan food, they automatically think of yummy fish curries or something coastal but Goan cuisine has so much more to offer! For vegetarians, there is an array of choices instead of just plain old done and dusted dishes. For non-vegetarians, this place is an absolute delight and if you happen to be a fish lover, then you’re definitely in paradise. One more plus point is that while planning the menu, they have also taken our Jain friends into account and made sure at least a few dishes are available for them. We ate a delectable mix of vegetarian and non vegetarian starters, a hearty main course and a sumptuous deserts. Here are our thoughts:
- Paneer Cafreal Skewers: Karishma LOVES spicy food. Knowing this and the fact that she’s a vegetarian, the waiter recommended the Paneer Cafreal, which happens to be the spiciest marinade in true Goan style. Cafreal is basically like the tandoori of Goa; except it’s spicier and green in colour since it’s made with green chillies. As for the paneer cafreal, it was served on skewers marinated along with onions and peppers and served piping hot. Not only was the quantity good enough for 2 to 3 people, it was so spicy that Karishma actually cried; not because it was spicy but because she finally got to try something different for a change! The paneer cafreal in itself was a meal and after finishing the entire starter alone, there was barely any place left for anything else. Overall, it was a wonderful vegetarian alternative on the traditional Goan chicken cafreal but it was so deliecious, it will have all you fellow spicy lovers dreaming of it on a daily basis! However, if you aren’t that much into spicy food, they also have options to customise it in either rosemary & garlic or rechaedo sauce depending on what you like.
- Langos Chicken Kheema : Served in a Hungarian style bread, this dish has a Goan twist on Hungarian street food. It is generously lathered with sour cream and topped with either chicken / mutton kheema. It’s uber soft and instantly melts in your mouth. The harmony of flavours and textures makes this one of our favourite dishes at ladybaga. It’s big enough to split with someone you love because let’s be honest sharing carbs creates the strongest bonds.
- Chicken Recheado Skewers: Grilled boneless chicken served with an authentic Goan spiced masala is DEFINITELY a good idea. Just like the panner skewers, these too can be made either in cafreal, rosemary + garlic or rechaedo sauce. We had the rechaedo infused ones. They were perfectly cooked and the flavours of the rechaedo sauce and tenderness of the chicken really complimented each other. Healthy and tasty ! What more can one ask for!?
- Friday Special Veg. Curry: When we read this, we were definitely intrigued by the name of the dish and particularly why it was called that. Every Friday, traditional Goan Catholic families swear off meat and opt for an equally delicious vegetarian meal. This rich creamy curry is filled with fresh vegetables and served with steamed rice. It reminded us of comfort food cooked by our grandma!
- Bhindi Kokum: This dish was a traditional twist on normal bhindi, except as the name suggests, with kokum. Not only did it taste absolutely amazing, it also made us fall in love with bhindi! Even for people who don’t particularly like bhindi, we bet that even they would fall in love with this one!
- Prawn Pulao: Slow cooked in coconut milk this pulao hits all the right notes, especially when you’re super hungry and craving for some comfort food. The balance of flavours is impeccable and the quantity is perfect for 2-3 people. Hearty and filling and definitely a must try for all the seafood lovers out there!
- Bebinka: By the end of our hearty meal, we barely had any place left but they convinced us to at least try a bite of this dessert. Let us tell you how glad we were when we did. Bebinka is a traditional layered Goan dessert cooked with coconut milk and warmed to perfection. Served with vanilla ice-cream, this dessert has quickly made it to our top 5! The balance between the sweetness of the vanilla and the creamy, lingering taste of coconut is perfection. Even though we were so full, we absolutely devoured it in under a minute and could have possibly exploded after that.
Not only is Lady Baga has home delivery options on Swiggy and Zomato, they also have a special express thali lunch menu between 12-3PM from Monday to Friday. Apart from this, they also have a separate menu for take out to help you save time! How thoughtful is that?
Lady Baga currently has 1 outlet in Mumbai at Kamala Mills, Lower Parel.
Bangalore: 1 outlet ; Delhi: 1 outlet ;
Approximately Rs. 1,500-2,000/- for two, and a full tummy and a relaxed state of mind depending on meals without alcohol.
Visit Lady Baga for all those failed Goa plans. We can’t think of a better way to spend our day except sitting here with a cool beer or cocktail and eating till we can’t eat anymore. The food is to die for and the experience and service is on point! Namaslay approved!