We had the opportunity to have the best South Indian lunch we’ve had in Goa at the newly launched SOUTHi at Candolim.
SOUTHi is a restaurant at Zense Resort, one of the newest boutique resorts on the Fort Aguada Road. This unique 20 room resort is compact yet a beautiful destination for a comfortable stay. They have five categories of suites/rooms to choose from and being located on a bustling stretch of Candolim. We loved how each room had a spacious astro-turf balcony and some even had hammocks to laze around. Zense also have tandem bicycles available for guests to explore Goa on, the first places we’ve come across to provide this fun facility. But we are excited to share with you the amazing meal we had at their popular restaurant SOUTHi.
Birthed by two well established brands in India, Mahesh Lunch Home and Banana Leaf, SOUTHi not only lived upto our expectations but far exceeded them. Chef Mahesh Gowda’s expertise in the kitchen reflects in the variety of dishes that are served at SOUTHi. With some lip-smacking innovations, SOUTHi is a must visit when in North Goa.
It was a pleasant afternoon and we started off with some white wine sangria. It was delicious, the perfect amount of sweetness and right amount of wine with a generous amount of chunks of apples and pomegranate pearls. Loved it.
First up, Prawn Rava Fry, Bombay Duck Fry and, drum roll… Prawn Dosa.
Knowing that SOUTHi is owned by one of the best seafood restaurants in India, we knew that the seafood here would be a class apart. We were in Goa for about three weeks and SOUTHi served us, in our opinion, some of the the best quality seafood we’ve had on our trip. Crunchy and juicy with flavours and freshness that would make you want to eat more.
We LOVED the Prawn Dosa, our first non-veg dosa in Goa. 😀 Tiny prawns made a really good stuffing to the super crispy dosa. We also had a piping hot Seafood Soup, which was spiked with chili. Wow! It was a riot of flavours and textures.
Moving on to the mains. We tried the Kadi Patta Prawns first. Cooked with a generous amount of curry leaves, this dish will make you fall in love it with it’s flavour. Used in almost all South Indian dishes, we were amazed by how well it goes with prawns. We absolutely loved how these dishes were served in mini cast iron skillets. We had them with Appams and we even tried the Egg Appam. We then had the Dakshin Chicken, which we highly recommend to all who visit SOUTHi. It’s insanely delicious, the subtle flavours of the spring onions with the thick coconut sauce is a treat for your palate. We also tried the Chicken Ghee Roast. Packed with spices and doused in ghee, this dish will hit you hard with its robust flavours. We can only image the crab version of this dish. Super impressed.
SOUTHi has some really good meal options to choose from and other southern specialties like Pork Mandya Curry, Chettinad Masala and Mangalorean Gassi. Team these up with steaming rice or thin Neer Dosas and you’re set to enjoy a lovely post-lunch siesta. Our afternoon didn’t end there. Chef Mahesh had lined up a trio of desserts for us. It was not too sweet, so we were able to enjoy the flavour of the tender coconut. We had the Mannapuram and the Akrot halwa, both were made with pure ghee. The Belle Payasam was rich and creamy. We also had the Yelneer Payasam (loved the mini mason jar it was served in).
We loved what Chef Mahesh is trying to accomplish with his culinary skills and wish him and his team the best. SOUTHi is a great place to unwind. The food is impressive and lives up to the reputation that Mahesh Lunch Home and Banana Leaf are known for. The staff are courteous and polite. We’re definitely looking forward to come back to try the Rajni Dosa and the Mutton Kheema Dosa. For all those who want to try some crazy combos and lip-smacking seafood, head to SOUTHi. We are sure you’ll be left wanting more.