(Shankar Mahadevan) Baga Deck, Bardez, Goa
Over my two stays in Calangute I’d walked past Baga Deck several times each day, it’s so large, loud and brash I’d assumed it was a tourist trap, but on my last evening in Goa I thought I’d give it a try.
It’s situated on the junction of the main Calangute/Baga drag and the interestingly named Fahrenheit Road. I’m not sure how it got it’s name, but amusingly it’s the location of Calangute’s crematorium.
I digress, I arrived and was seated promptly, overlooking the aforementioned Fahrenheit Road, I ordered a large bottle of ‘Kingfisher Strong’ (8% ABV) and ordered my food – Salt and Pepper Prawns and Prawn Balchao.
My ‘Salt and Pepper Prawns’ were not quite what I was expecting, but were really tasty, large, chunky prawns served with chilli, garlic, sweet pepper and mange tout peas in a rich sauce, reminiscent of a Chinese black bean sauce, but spicier.
For my main course I’d ordered another Goan classic – ‘Prawn Balchao’ – the first time, this trip, that I’d seen it on a menu. The menu listed that this was served ‘with bread’ and I was expecting a paratha or roti, but somewhat bizarrely it arrived with a couple of slices of white bread, carefully quartered. No matter as I’d ordered a side of rice.
The Prawn Balchao was delicious, complex, smokey and jammy, with just enough spice to make you lips tingle.
The bill, again, came to about a tenner… that seems to be the going rate in up market restaurants on Goa.
As I was eating, I quietly cursed myself for not trying Baga Deck earlier in my trip. I mentioned earlier that I had assumed it was a tourist trap, but actually it was a revelation, excellent food at a good price.