I love Goa. I can live, eat & breathe Goa every chance I get and one of the things I love most about the beach riddled territory is having my share of Goan fish curry and beer by the sea. So when I first heard of Mahe, which is neither near a beach nor serving authentic Goan cuisine I wasn’t sure if I wanted to visit. But a friend convinced me and I made my way to Anjuna for what I can easily classify as one of the nicest meals I’ve had so far in 2019! What changed my mind about this modern coastal place? Read on!
I walked into a dimly lit courtyard wafting with unfamiliar smells and a backgroung of classical Indian music. The place looked & felt like Goa, yet it was not. The restuarant felt like it was Portugese inspired but there was an elegant finish to it. As my evening would continue, I would get to know of the mixed confluences of the architecture and the explanation behing the modern thematic contrasts.
Mahe is actually built in a bungalow that dates back to the 19th century. The main house offers two different spaces – the Blush (bar) & Jade (dining) rooms with light, breezy elements that create an intimate dining experience along with statement bars. Guests can also enjoy an al-fresco dining experience in a large garden space that brings out the quintessential Goa experience with white pebbles and lush, varied foliage. While the inherently voluminous characteristic and painstakingly restored portion of the home lend the place a nostalgic, warm vibe, minimalist French pastel highlights, Scandinavian inspired details and modern Indian digital art bring out a fresh, modern lightness.
Food & Drinks
As I spoke to the owner, Sandeep, I got to know that he comes from a small town just at the edge of Kerala – a town called Mahe which also means confluence.
Reflecting the same philosophy of familiarity together with contemporary lightness, the food celebrates the fresh, seasonal produce, classic favorites, and easy plating. You can ease into the Mahé experience with a range of Small Plates – Stuffed Morels with street style potato jus, Confit Yam with cherry tomatoes, Pickled Mussels in EV Coconut Oil, Steamed Fish, Red Snapper Ceviche, Chorizo with a poached egg or Slow Cooked Mackerel with fresh plums among others. Or opt for specialties straight off the grill where you pair your seafood – fish, prawns, lobster, & squid and vegetarian options – paneer, mushroom, baby corn & tapioca with region-specific sauces from the West Coast, East Coast and Sri Lanka.
A coastal experience is incomplete without a complementing Bar Program that captures the essence of the location. Little details like creating clear ice blocks and perfecting an in-house vermouth elevate the Mahé cocktail experience. Signature regional favourites express and pay homage to the terroir of the land and include drinks like Negroni de Goa where chiretta leaves are infused into Campari and served along with cashew feni and house-made vermouth, Mahua Spritz, Kokum Shrub made with coconut feni, artisanal coconut vinegar and kokum and the Mallu Mai Tai made with chilli spiced rum, house velvet falernum, Malabar tamarind tincture, orgeat, fresh lime and pineapple. The creator of the bar program at Mahé, Abhishek George also brings in a selection from The Spiffy Dapper – his cocktail bar in Singapore. Experience options like Sheikh on the Level – black tea gin, cardamom, fresh lemon, brown sugar & egg whites, Glad Rags Sheela made with straight bourbon, apple & cinnamon and Ossified Mrs Grundy – a mix of cherry tomato vodka, house spiced bitters & fresh lemon.
Address: Mahé, House 1111, Anjuna Arpora Road, Mazal Waddo, Anjuna, Goa
Phone: +91 97658 74858