This brings me to the last of our new discoveries at Baga this year, the Pagoda restaurant.
Pagoda is one of the two Chinese restaurants facing each other on the stretch just after the Tito's turning and the Bharat Bar, as you walk towards Calangute.
Kainaz and I had never been to a Chinese restaurant so far at Goa as we would head straight for the Goan joints.
Pagoda was a nice place to celebrate my brother's birthday especially as he is fond of Chinese food. And he is a generous host. As Confucious would say, "a great meal begins with a great host".
The food was quite well flavoured and subtle. Slightly different from the heavy, spiced tastes of Bombay Chinese. Closer to the Chinese food in Calcutta. In fact the steward who was reasonably well informed about the menu was from Calcutta!
We started off our dinner with some fried wantons which were fairly nice and showed promise of a good dinner ahead.
We had a crab starter too which was served in the shell and had a mild batter coating. Breaking into this revealed a very well flavoured shredded crab with the odd burst of green. This was quite a tasty dish though I must confess that I don't remember the name. The crab was as fresh as it gets.
The board at Pagoda and the restaurant facing it promised the famous 'Peking Duck'. We went in for a duck in plum sauce which turned out to be a great choice. The duck meat was served as thin, roasted, slivers and were quite slippery and yummy. The sauce was quite different too. It had a hint of sweetness without being too sweet.
We ordered a dry chilly garlic fish which was quite nice as were the fried rice and the hakka noodles. The rice and noodles were quite firm and separate the way I like it.
My brother finished of his dinner treat to us be ordering darsan and ice cream for dessert. This was nice and crisp and yet sticky without being too sweet.
All in all Pagoda was a nice experience. The prices were quite reasonable with most dishes costing within Rs 150 (3 USD) each and were cheaper than Bombay prices for similar dishes. The ambience was what one would associate with Chinese restaurants here with an overarching red theme with dragons, bamboo strips, lanterns and Chinese script peppered all over. This was an open air restaurant.
Worth checking out if you are a bit tired of Goan food. Beats me why though.