But, here's what I've checked out so far. We're staying in Assagao, which, if you're not familiar, is a nice residential village-y bit close to Vagator and Anjuna beaches. It's a global village with all sorts of cool stuff, which I have been steadily exploring.
* A friend of mine, for example, is baking her own sourdough bread in batches and delivering it to a select group on WhatsApp, which is pretty amazing. She says if I listen carefully at around four or five pm, I'll hear the parp-parp of an old-fashioned bicycle hooter, and that'll be the poi guy, making his rounds with fresh baked Goan bread.
* For fish thaalis, our friends whose house we're in (just going to call them M and R, since I suspect they'll come up a lot in this newsletter in the coming weeks) have a favourite place called Vinayak. Sadly, they're closed till the end of Ganpati, but the memory of their kingfish rawa fry is keeping me going. There's another place that comes recommended by others called Anand, but it was closed when we drove past yesterday at around 2.30 pm, so will try at an earlier hour and see.
* We were sent off to Dali Bar, as a "really cool dive with Bira on tap." That famous Dali self-portrait was everywhere, the drinks were cheap-ish, and the food, while not spectacular, was plentiful. We even packed up the wedges (described as potatoes bravas) to take home and had a disgustingly greasy brunch of those with Goan sausage on top the next day. Dali Bar is nice because it's chill and open till 5 am, which is good to know.
* Driving around in search of that fish thaali, we found ourselves at Ruta's Roadhouse ("open rain or shine!"), which is a lovely large Portuguese house with a garden and the most interesting food. I had a plate of pork carnitas, served with a light lovely salsa, K had some shrimps and greens, tossed in an amazing dressing. I liked it a lot, marking as repeat visit. Plus, the whole place seems to be run by one family, so you see them all, grandmum, mum, dad, two daughters, all waiting tables and talking to guests, except for the smallest, who seemed about ten or eleven.
* There's always that old favourite Gunpowder, but at the risk of making all of you gasp, I've gotta say, I prefer my own Malayali delivery place in Delhi--Mahabelly. After months of eating Mahabelly, Gunpowder seems like a tamer version of their spices. Still v nice though, just not as spicy.
On to other things! Here's what I wrote this week: In my relationship column, are you in love with your best friend? I think everyone is, a little bit, especially when you're young. ** In my column for the Financial Chronicle, the critic as the harem and not the eunuch and our relationship with criticism.**
Reading list: Spot Lutyen's rich/famous/powerful while eating out in Delhi. ** Irritating mandatory email signup, but fascinating story about Facebook harassment in India and how it affected one poor couple. ** Everything about this article about homes and how they're reflections of you made me nod ** I'm quoted in this story by Rosalyn on Palika Bazaar (ah, memories) ** Weekend time-suck: 100 and a few exceptional pieces of journalism in 2015. **