Long weekend coming up? Chalo Goa chalte hain! I have lost count of the number of times this suggestion has come to me from my friends. And in all honesty, both my Goan experiences have been exactly this - weekend trips. Goa, for me, had always been a place I could visit to enjoy the cool beaches and crazy clubs! However, this time around I realised that Goa is quite misunderstood. It's definitely a great wedding destination, but it has SO MUCH MORE to offer.
Goa is home to some of the most authentic, locally produced liquor and no, I'm not talking about just fenny. Surprised? Let's just say I was too, all thanks to Airbnb who introduced me to this amazing experience in the 'party capital'.
In addition to homes, Airbnb recently came up with this unique concept, Experiences. They had earlier launched it in Delhi and now they have taken it to Goa, too! I got a chance to experience one among their many wonderful services - the Goan Tapas Pairing with Cocktails with Nolan Mascarenha, and I don't know how to say it better than this, so I'll just be straight-forward - I fell in love with it.
I stayed at Seis Villas, this gorgeous property located in the hilly Arpora region, and the villa was a home away from home. The next day, I set out to go for the much awaited Goan tapas experience with Nolan. After travelling for about an hour, I reached this tiny building, which looked really simple and dusted from the outside. It confused me a little but I still walked in and was taken to the fourth floor straightaway - a restaurant named Moki Bar+Kitchen, where a beautiful entrance, decorated with polaroid shots of happy customers, and fairy lights welcomed me.
As soon as I entered the restaurant, I was bowled over. It was the most stunning view of Goa I had ever seen. Add to it the light rain showers, the light breeze, slow music and the super enthusiastic host for the day - Nolan Mascarenha aka Nolan Satwit, and the morning looked like a promising one already. You know you're in Goa when you are all set to taste cocktails at 11 in the morning.
Nolan is a traveller, a foodie and a writer. He has come up with some amazing cocktails, the craziest combinations you could think of. The best part was that he mostly used locally produced liquor like fenny and uraak in the cocktails.
There were five different drinks, and they were all accompanied with bite-sized, scrumptious tapas. Each cocktail had a different story behind it, inspired by Nolan's personal life and it was so much fun to listen to them while tasting the spread in front of me.
The way the drinks were presented added a lot to their taste and the overall experience!
The ambience of the restaurant was so peaceful, perfect for a romantic date. It had some really fun signboards and the decor was pretty quirky, too. It was the happiest Sunday morning I have had in a while, surrounded by people who brightened my day.
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