Updated: May 11, 2019
Discovery. Again and again, that’s the word that kickstarts my adrenalin. Be it while researching the Worlds first vegetarian guide to Paris or Indias first city restaurant guide. And todays’ restaurant gives me that same tingly, happy feeling. It sits quietly in Byculla. Elbowed into the printers compound, in one of the warehouses. It faces a Parsi chawl (yes there is such a thing) and yes! we did get lost trying to find it (because of some road closures) and ended up in Ghoddopeo village. We had a super time with great fun foodies. Yes! we will return. And make it a point to do so on Saturday… for the live-jazz night.
DÉCOR Having negotiated your way into the winding Byculla lanes, Walk into a low ceilinged reception area. And then wham! the warehouse’s highceiling, with amphitheatre-like steps comes as a surprise. There is a glassed in open kitchen, grey-toned industrial chic, Nikita DSilva ensures that the focus is on the food and the only pop of colour are the bright green plates.
FOOD Our server in a black uniform (like the rest of the servers) brings us the comprehensive short menu of what he calls “upscale comfort food” and when we ask for a a huge number of small and large plates of baos, burgers et al advises to slow down. A riveting parade of dishes begins …complimentry sticky rice balls with tangy sauces, prawn wafers with a dense bacon sauce. Tart, sweet, salty, fruity bursts pop in many of the dishes. We love the refreshing juicy watermelon tucked into the Belgian pork belly bao with goat cheese enlivened with ginger coriander dressing. Sweet persimmon chutney sparkles the charred broccoli served with airy burrata foam Orange segments top the cast iron cauliflower, under a layer of mashed potatoes with Vadouvan butter, Citrus pesto in the seabass, guava in the pork belly… unexpected marriages. Fleshy moist eggplant plump with flavour and kissed with sweetness Delicious dessert of PB & J–peanut butter mousse with textured peanut brittle on a chewy macaron base. Must ask for this dessert…Pillows of marshmallow bursting with blenders pride whisky over a callebaut mini molten lava cake sprinkled with miso caramel…Umami heaven.
MINUS POINTS Open only for dinner. Uncomfy chairs.The location is at once a minus and also a plus point. They do have valet parking. Thick skinned duck dumpling and chewy pork ribs are avoidable. Please note, no take-aways and no kids.
MY POINT Tucked into one of Byculla’s warehouses, Goyaa has a wonderful feel of discovering a hidden secret. It’s a grey minimalistic high-ceilinged space. Vibrantly seasoned and creatively composed with unexpected flavour combinations upscale comfort food of baos and more (plenty for vegetarians). Not all of it works. Dishes priced at Rs275 to Rs350 (the most expensive being Rs 450) . The whole experience (including getting lost due to the closed road) is an exciting story. “Goyaa” is the Persian word for the art of telling a story. An unpretentious delicious story! PS The twist to our story? we find out at the end…our unformed server is Siddharth Somaiya the brilliant 30 year old owner chef.
Goyaa, Unit No 2, JAK Compound, DK Cross Road, Byculla (E).
Rs 2000 for two. Open from 7pm to 1am. RATING FOOD 3.75 SERVICE 3.75 DÉCOR 3.75