Day 11 – Trip to India – Further explorations of Goa and dinner at Gunpowder
Though the bulk of our stay in Goa was spent relaxing, this morning we had a guided tour of the churches of Old Goa and the neighborhoods of Panjim. We saw ruins of an old church on a hill that gave the impression the church was vanishing, the church which houses the relics of St. Francis of Xavier who’s nearly completely intact body you can view through glass, the large cathedral that Portugal built, and a recently, partially restored church with a great view of Old Goa named Our Lady of the Mount.
We walked through the small Latin Quarter that has heritage Portuguese houses, stopped at the fashion designer Wendall’s boutique, and has well prepared Goan food at Mum’s Kitchen. We had the red chili based Peri Peri preparation of pomfret and a curry of kingfish steaks.
Erin and I had an excellent meal tonight at Gunpowder. Gunpowder is owned and operated by the same team running the store People Tree. In fact, the store and restaurant are collocated. In the monsoon season Gunpowder only has four tables sitting on the verandah of the old Portuguese house. In be on-season, a larger outdoor patio is used as the main dining area.
The menu features South Indian cuisine from Andrah Pradesh, Kerala, Mangalore, and Goa. We focused on good from Kerala but made an exception for a sweet and sour pumpkin dish from Andrah that was highlight d in our Love Goa travel guide. We started with a spiced whole fish that had been grilled. We then orders a chili based prawn preparation and a delicious coconut and potato dish is that tasted like an Indian fusion version of potato chowder with spices of black pepper and fresh (very spicy) whole green chili peppers. The desserts were scrumptious as well. We had a mango Lanka cotta and a chocolate ganache atop a crumble similar to graham cracker pie crust. We also sampled a local cashew feni – a liquor sourced from cashew nuts. Erin craved the taste, but it’s sour notes were not for me. You will want to browse the artisan textiles at people tree before or after your meal. There is a great reading library spread over two bookshelves and some literary/political journals for purchase. The neighborhood of Assgao where Gunpowder is located has beautiful Portuguese houses and churches.