A fab new eatery, S.E.A Goa in upscale Assagao village is creating buzz for all the right reasons. We dropped in for a quick check. By Siddharth Singh
Star Russian mixologist Evgenya Prazdnik – who had a wildly successful run at the legendary Gunpowder – has now moved to S.E.A, a fab new eatery in Goa’s upscale Assagao village. Set in a restored bungalow, with décor in calming hues of white and beige, S.E.A has drawn in one of the state’s best mixologist. We requested a custom caipiroska before moving to Prazdnik’s marvellous GT Origin, a gin and cucumber cooler with a hint of bitters to round off the residual sweetness. We asked for Goa’s local Greater Than Gin although several fine homes brews ornament an unusual and energetic bar menu. Prazdnik continues to dazzle with bravura talent at her new gig, where friends have also extolled Cactus Alert and Dr Haldi.
S.E.A has a casual approach to its food; this might explain why the menu reads a tad scatter shot. We were trying to locate how some South Indian staples like their delicious onion paniyaram might pair with merely average soya tamarind glazed tofu but perhaps we are novices at the free association. Executive chef Nondi Raja has dreamed up a colourful, inventive menu, where we relished the rava fried calamari and a superlative grilled eggplant with sambal. An entirely avoidable khow suey (how can you compete with Bomras?) – made way for a superlative ghee roast mutton, which was so elegantly constructed it was both substantial and delicate.
The restaurant would merit from a tasting editor to curate its menu – to bring its tightness and coherence. But these are early days, and no doubt diners will weed out dishes that don’t quite cut the mustard. S.E.A has one extraordinary talent to its advantage: they have excellent, thoughtful, prompt service, which is rare for Goa (yes, it’s all a bit chronically sleepy here). Go for the cocktails. And if you order discerningly, you’ll return home a happy diner.