Living where we do, we are spoiled for choice of a view of the water given that we’re rarely more than 10 or 15 minutes away anywhere in town from the water whether it’s a beach or the river. Yet watching the waves coming in and washing up on the shore while the coconut palms sway gently in the cool breeze is something that never gets old. Add a five course fine dining experience to this list along with a ring side seat to the drama of a slowly approaching curtain of rain across the ocean and it’s something worth writing home about.
Bay 15, a Justa Hotels and Resorts managed property which is situated at the Odxel Beach, Panjim (Goa) is just off the Dona Paula University highway. The Executive Chef Mir Hafizur Raheman, recently back from the Maldives, has created a new fine dining degustation menu with an aim to introducing food from a fresh perspective. To quote him, ” (he likes) pushing his culinary boundaries to creat a melange of flavours and let the food speak the language of the world”
We were invited to experience this new menu by Bay 15, and I must confess to being a bit hesitant to accept the invite. From past experience, we have found that a lot of places in Goa can be limiting with their menus for vegetarians. My husband and I are vegetarians and teetotalers, but I was assured that this wasn’t a problem as their menu had a good number of vegetarian dishes.
Bay 15 offers its diners the option of dining by the seaside seated close to the water, on the upper deck of the main building or inside. As the skies seemed serious about a promise of rain (and it did rain eventually) we chose to lunch on upper deck where we could enjoy the view and the breeze without the risk of getting wet.
We were offered the choice of deciding what we wanted to eat from their menu, but we chose to let Chef Raheman surprise us with a menu of his choice. We started off a rather lazy lunch with mocktails. Apparently they were made especially for us as they don’t normally serve mocktails thought they offer a good variety of drinks for those who are fine with alcohol.
Our first course was a nice blend of sweet and salty flavours in the form of an amuse bouche of a Minty Watermelon Shooter with a bite sized round of watermelon topped with a little of Feta cheese on the side.
The second course was a simple Greek Salad with diced cucumber, bell peppers, black olives, Greek cheese and oregano.
The salad was missing the sweetness of tomatoes which I understand was an omission on that particular day. It seems they usually add cherry tomatoes to the salad which, I’m told, they couldn’t source on that particular day.
The third course was a Porcini Espresso, which is a rich and creamy mushroom soup topped with a lemongrass foam.
It was served with a crisp Pesto Crouton, Mushroom Rissois and Muhamarra Dip. The flavour of the lemongrass didn’t quite come through for me but the mushroom soup was so, so very good, and for me it was the star of the whole meal.
Our fourth course was Bay 15’s signature Honey-Ginger-Beetroot Risotto with Ratatouille and Spicy Black Lentils. Another excellent dish with well-balanced and really good flavours. I prefer my main courses savoury and so found the risotto a bit on the sweeter side but my husband could find nothing to complain about and loved it.
The fifth and final course was the dessert course, and a lovely way to end the meal. Chef Raheman went all out and served us three desserts – the Bay 15 Lemongrass and Mango Pannacotta (it’s vegetarian and made with agar agar), a Chocolate Chilli Baked Yogurt and a Goan dessert called Serradura. The desserts were light, not too sweet, a visual delight and very good.
If there was something that could be improved on, it would perhaps be to reduce the time between serving the courses. We ended up having to wait a lot more than one would consider reasonable between the arrival of one course and the next.
If you’re looking for a peaceful place, far away from the madding crowd so to speak, good food, courteous service and a great view then Bay 15 might be your destination. They have a wide selection of Meditteranean, Indian and Goan dishes on their menu.
Address: Odxel Beach Dona Paula, Panjim, Goa.
Please note: The information in this post was current at the time of writing it, and may have changed since.
Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from Bay 15. Due judgement has been applied and I have done my best to remain objective and unbiased while writing this review. This review is my personal opinion so please exercise your own discretion.