Hello friends! Welcome to Visa2Explore! This is your host, Harish Bali. Last night, we decided to begin the North Goa… … food & travel journey from early morning at 6. For the whole day, we will roam around the capital of Goa, Panjim, and explore the food. We’ve reached Panjim. Breakfast at Café Bhonsle! What you see in front is traditional Goan breakfast. What you see here is Sukhi Bhaji (potato curry) and salad bhaji. With this, I have ordered for myself what you can call a sweet bun. I’ve found out that it is made of banana, refined flour and a little milk. I had eaten it somewhere, where they had also added jeera (cumin seeds) to it. Yes, I can see some jeera in it. This bun is very soft. As always, I feel this kind of breakfast is very inviting and tempting. Salad bhaji! Though its name is salad bhaji, it is usually made of two ingredients – onion and tomato. Ummm! If you notice, this sweet bun has a thick lower layer and a thin upper layer. Of course, it is sweet too, because it is a sweet bun! And this salad bhaji, which has a delicious sourness of tomatoes! Umm! Too good! What a combination! Delicious breakfast! In Goa, you will see breakfast served like this at many places. Two bhajis or curries in the same plate. I’ve already had sukhi bhaji once, so I am enjoying it very much. Umm! Today began at a good note! Ummm! We are running 2 and a half hours behind our scheduled plan for the day. We reached Panjim only at 8.40 am. Anyways, after my breakfast, I tried to find out about more we could eat here. They told me that just on the backside of this restaurant, I could enjoy a mix of custard & ice cream with fruits. This shop opens at 9.30 am and we are the very first customer of the day. Just look at what I ordered for myself. It is called Fruit Salad. Now see what all is in there – ice cream, cashew nuts, custard and jelly. This is the jelly in it. Ummm! I have had custard and jelly several times – not on video but otherwise. But to eat it with this combination of ice cream, like in this fruit salad, it is my first experience. Very tasty! Apple, banana, Chiku (sapodilla)! It was overall a good experience to come here. The Old Goa Church is at a distance of 12kms from Panjim. This distance can be covered on a scooty comfortably. Construction for the Old Goa Church was completed in 1605 A.D. The Basilica of Bom Jesus has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The Basilica holds the mortal remains of St. Francis Xavier. Every 10 years, on the death anniversary of the Saint, the holy relic is displayed for public view. The next exposition will take place in the year 1924-25. It is believed that the mortal remains of St. Francis possess divine powers… …due to which these haven’t decomposed till date. There is also an archaeological museum inside the church complex. Videography is not allowed. We visited inside and got to study a lot of deep-diving historical knowledge. For lunch, we’ve come to the Ritz Classic restaurant on 18th June Road with a lot of recommendations. The fish thali that you see here, it has a total of, I’ve counted, 10 items, including fish. Now the point is where to start from. So, I think it would be best to start with the prawn curry. Yeah! It has prawns in it with drumstick and, what is visible here, is Kokum. I received a lot of comments from my viewers asking me to have lunch here whenever I come to Panjim. Umm! Really praise-worthy taste! I had heard that the Goan fish curry is quite spicy, with spices on the higher side. But there is nothing like that here. The first thing I noticed with my first bite was a slightly sour taste and spicy at a medium-level. Ummm! Too good! They’ve served me Surmai fish fried in a rawa (semolina) batter. Absolutely soft! Rawa-fried fish is really delicious in taste. I spoke to a lot of people in Goa to understand which fish is the most popular. A lot of people told me, it is Surmai that you will get to see the most. Although, Bangra fish is also very popular in Goa. But Surmai is a little more popular. Yummy! This is shellfish and its local name here is Tisryo. Here is its meat, with coconut and onion. Cool! One benefit of ordering a thali is that you get to taste a little of everything. This is called Kismur. It is a dried prawns dish made with coconut and onion. This dish is cooked by frying dried prawns. Umm! Its taste is absolutely delicious! Slightly sour, but very nice! This is local fish, cooked in Ambotik gravy. In the coming days, I will try to explore this gravy a bit more. Meanwhile, the fish that you seen in my hand is a local variety – Korli. See, it is so soft and fresh – absolutely melted in my mouth! I had received a lot of recommendations for lunch at Ritz. And I am quite satisfied with the overall taste of food & also with the variety of food served in the thali. After I finish all of this food, I will drink Sol Kadhi and then kheer. I really love Sol Kadhi. Mind-blowing! Coconut, Kokum and spices! The flavor of Kokum in Goa is amazing! Too good! It is sour in good measure! Fantastic! Very good for digestion! Kokum is creating magic in this drink along with coconut milk. Now, I’ll have kheer after a break of 2 minutes. Kheer made with vermicelli! I enjoyed every aspect of this lunch. It took me almost 30 minutes to enjoy this thali. Coming here was a pleasant experience. We’ve just reached Miramar Beach. I can see some people playing volleyball on the beach. This beach has a huge entrance. It is evening time and people are enjoying themselves. Let us ask Himanshu about his opinion of this beach. Miramar beach is a sunset viewpoint. Since it is cloudy right now, we cannot watch the sun setting. But the feeling of strong wind blowing into your face right now is ultimate. Even though it is off-season, we can see a lot of tourists here. There are at least 20-25 food stalls too outside the beach. Even though we are not in mood for food, let us take a round of the stalls and see what is served here. I had read mixed reviews about Dona Paula on the internet. And I’ve reached here to get a first-hand experience for myself. I love the beauty of this place. There is a river, ocean and rainy season right now. I’ve heard that people also come to watch the sunset here. But the sunset visibility is quite low since it is rainy season. But this place is so beautiful; I can see many tourists around. I’m enjoying myself. Let us go up and check out the view from there. The view from up here is absolutely breath-taking. At this point, Mandovi and Zuari rivers meet and confluence with the Arabian Sea. Too good! From this point, you can spend hours enjoying the view as well as the sea. When you come to Goa, you must experience the casino too. Here it is written ‘Maharajah Casino.’ Let me go inside and find out more about it. We are boarding their jetty to reach the ship. It will take us 5-7 minutes to reach the ship by this feeder boat. Even though it is a river, but the water flow is as beautiful as that of an ocean. Anyways, let us enjoy this environment. Host: “Hi!” Here, they have these 3 types of packages. We’ve purchased this package on the top. This cost me Rs. 2,500/- and on weekends, it costs upto Rs. 3,500/-. Otherwise, the main difference that I’ve understood is that of alcohol drinks. One can go for a bigger package if you want something premium. This is also nice, good sitting area. The lighting arrangement on the ceiling is also very beautiful. Now, let me check out the gaming section on the ground floor. The ground floor is home to the electronic gaming section. Lot of games! This electronic gaming section will become operational in a few days’ time. Let us now go to the first floor and check out what is there. 9, 15, 13, 7, 2 – each coupon has a value of Rs. 100/-. Good luck! One win, four losses! All lost! We saw live gaming on the second floor and played a bit too! Right now, we’ve come to the 3rd floor. We were told that this floor also has live gaming. On the fourth floor, they serve charred snacks from 7 pm in the evening. After that, dinner from 9 pm onwards! Along with dinner, they also have live dance programs. We won’t be able to see that because we came here early. Anyways, I met a man here who has a recording of that dance program on his mobile. Let me show that to you. To come to Panjim and visit this ship casino was a pleasant experience for us & something new! There is a cruise ship that plies on the Mandovi river between 5.30 pm and 8.30 pm. Right now, we’ve come to the Paradise Cruise in front of the Fire Brigade building. First of all, I’m going to go up on the deck and stand there. A lot of travelers are doing just that. It feels good to stand up here and enjoy the view like this. Downstairs, they have cultural dance programs too. Travelers are enjoying that as well. Dance, DJ, music, all this is fun! This 45-minute journey is a good experience to enjoy when you come to Panjim in Goa. Generally, a cruise has different levels. You can say that it is a level up from a ferry. This is why it is called a Boat Cruise. For dinner, I’ve come to Mum’s Kitchen armed with very strong references. I’ve ordered two dishes for myself, let me show you both. This dish is called Vaal Shaak or Vaal nu Shaak. This dish is called Ambade Sansanv. Now, to understand both the dishes, I’ve asked them to show me the raw vegetables. This long bean is called Cowpea and in Goa, it is known as vaal. This is called Hog Plum in English and in Konkani language it is called Ambade. The pav (bread) that you see with it, it is called Poee here and it is made of wheat flour. A lot of people had written in their comments asking me to have lunch or dinner at this place. So, when I came here, I checked they have a lot of varieties in vegetarian and non-vegetarian Goan food. Since I didn’t want to eat non-vegetarian right now, I ordered Goan traditional food for myself. That is what you can see here. This bean, also known as vaal, clearly has coconut with it & it was beautifully garnished with coriander. And I could also see mustard seeds in it. Ummmm! The first feeling I got with the first bite is that I am eating a healthy dish. The way coconut has been used so beautifully in this dry dish, I am enjoying it very much. Vaal is a local bean variety in Goa. I doubt it would be available anywhere outside Goa. The gravy has coconut flavor, sourness of tamarind as well as that of ambade. This gravy is working magic with this Goa pav known as Poee. I haven’t had Ambade yet. I’ve been told that it tastes very good. Oh God! Tangy, but very tasty. It has a pit inside, so I cannot bite it completely. But you can keep chewing it slowly as it oozes the sour juice. And I’m enjoying it like anything. Too good! I feel like taking a pause during dinner and chew each of these ambade for 3-4 minutes. It is so tasty! Great food! Now let me finish it slowly. After that, we are going to end our day journey here. They have so many options in traditional food and I ordered this dessert for myself. What you see on top is cashew nuts, then chana dal (split chickpeas). I was told that it has jaggery, coconut milk and sabudana (sago) too. I became so excited to taste this unique combination of ingredients that I ended up ordering it for myself. Ummm! Brilliant! Even if someone is not familiar with the ingredients, the first feeling is that of jaggery, hot and coconut milk. You will definitely notice these two ingredients with the first bite. This dish tastes good only when it is warm. Ummm! It is delicious! I will try my best to visit Panjim once more in the coming days and explore the Goan food in more detail. What did you like best in this episode? Do share in your comments. As always, I shall be waiting for your comments. That’s it. See you soon! Thanks for your time.