Fish, not Wine! A meal gone right, in Goa.

With the Valentine Day euphoria behind us, I guess I can now safely put up a post involving a romantic dinner with the husband and not sweat about it being drowned in a tidal wave of lovely  sweet ”V-Day” dinner posts that we have seen all of last fortnight.
Our dinner, at Goa’s “Le Poisson Rouge”, in fact, had nothing to do with the 14th of February. We were in Goa to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, and wanted to mark the day with a decadent meal. We reached Goa on Saturday, and saw this speciality restaurant located just across the bridge over the Baga River. I over-confidently proclaimed that the name had something to do with red wine, and was proven wrong later when we researched the place and realized that “Le Poisson Rouge", in fact translates into The Red Fish.

Our dinner on Sunday had all the luscious trappings of an elaborate courtship meal. The restaurant is set in a charming tropical garden, amidst swaying palms and exotic flowers. The tables are thoughtfully set apart to give every guest their desired space and privacy. The cuisine, as the many reviews already describe is a mix of local produce cooked using French culinary techniques. A selection of local organic produce complements the distinctive Indo-French fusion cuisine.

We ordered a celebratory sparkling wine, and an assortment of artisanal breads with olive oil, Balsamique, and Olive Tapenade. The slightly coarse texture of the breads, accompanied with the dip trio made a toothsome combination, creating a sort of sensual red carpet for the rest of our meal. While we were still cruising this high, our first course, “Caramelized Onion and Malai Paneer Tartelette” was brought to the table. Perfectly fresh paneer cubes on a crisp crust base, topped with an assortment of fresh baby greens. Since a good crust for a tartlet has always been a bit of a mystery for me, this was, I knew, coming from a kitchen that takes its cooking not merely as a putting together of produce, but as an art.

My main course was a "Red Snapper Escalope, with Tangy Orange Butter", while the husband chose "Braised Mahi-Mahi Escalope with Fishbay Butter". We had come to the restaurant seeking a memory, and a memory is what we got. My dish was a visual and textural delight. The fish was fresh off its waters and yielding in its soft, elegant taste. The Mahi-Mahi has a firmer, saltier flavour that was thoughtfully partnered with a more piquant element to it. The main courses, set on a wide radius white platter, smeared with their respective butters and paired with the vegetable accompaniments justified what many reviewers claim is a high price to pay for a meal here. 

The portions are weighed in with due consideration to food-loving appetites, moderate, not tiny, but not overbearing. So one ends up enjoying every course without feeling full. Which is great because I had my eyes set on a "French Toast with Exotic Fruits Marmalade Quenelle". I think that “happily Forever After” is a thought that usually starts with a dessert like this. Reminiscent of the home made, traditional French Toast, yet with a dulcet twist in form of the Marmalade, it was a fitting finale to a meal that marked an important landmark in our married life.

To me, romance is incomplete without great food and wine. And Le Poisson Rouge is a place to make your heart’s stirrings come alive. Soothing ambience, delectable food, and a tasteful selection of music to get you in the mood for a gastronomically driven seduction, it’s food for grown ups. If you are in Goa, and tired of the usual debauchery, stop here for a mellow repast. Your senses will thank you for the visit.

Please Note: All reviews on this blog are my own experiences and personal opinions on food and places and may be subject to my personal preferences. They DO NOT represent other opinions unless stated. Taste is subjective and I  WILL NOT be liable for any food experience gone wrong.

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