Goa, celebrated for its beaches, serenity, yoga retreats, cuisine, local ‘susegad’ way of life, has a new cliff-hanger destination in Vagator, Bo-Tai. As I drive towards chasing the horizon, I am curiously peaked by the symmetry of this mystical offering on Ozran beach. Unassuming and simplistic in design, I saunter in to be transported into a make-belief world with spellbinding views.
Bo-Tai, Goa is all hearts
This well laid out offering by Zorawar Kalra (founder of Massive Restaurants) and Aman Anand (Franchise Partner), co-creators of this conceptual space, have a simple preamble — to arrest time as it were, with nature’s canvas up front instead of a clock! Lounge and dine through the day, and it magically vibes into transition, post a glorious sunset into a high-octane lounge with stirring beats.
“We have created Bo-Tai Goa in such a way that it exudes a modern chic beach-town vibe, incorporating legendary food and cocktails from Massive Restaurants. Goa has always had my heart. Situated on top of the uber stunning Ozran beach hill, with a beautiful view of the sea and the sun, Bo-Tai will quickly become your favourite going-out spot in Goa. Since the time I moved to Bombay, I always knew I would finally come back and start a couple of restaurants and bars in Goa. This one is special as it is my first, and the vibe is absolutely incredible.” Aman Anand Co-owner & partner.
What are some of the must-haves at Bo-Tai in Goa?
The décor is chic and inviting. Soft tones put you at ease with the unison of background music. The sea up ahead instils a sense of calm. This modern Thai bar and grill has something for everyone, with a mix of Italian with the Woodfired pizza oven slaving away to perfect that apt crust. The server arrives with an ever-greeting smile. Suggestions galore — appetisers commence. The Edamame tossed with chilli garlic is balanced and refreshing, with a hint of chilli garlic spice in every morsel.
Accompanying this is the Full Moon Festival, throwing back memories to my party on the beaches of Thailand many moons ago. The gin base and edible flower concoction encompasses the globule ware and is extremely grammable. A pro-tip for Instagram: Order the Chicken Dimsum and Full Moon Festival together. The Blue dim sums alongside the natural beauty of this liquid edible garden is a riot of colours. You are welcome!
As the Peanut crumbed shrimps with Sriracha Aioli make their way to the table, I ponder over the marvel of an immersive surround sound in an open-air space, especially with the neighbouring Antares, literally next door! The music is immersive and teleportal, just when a gust of salt prayed wind breeze inwards from the beach below, as the Salmon Sake Nigiri makes its way inwards skillfully placed on my chopsticks. Whoever said dining wasn’t an immersive experience needs to experience this moment! The hits don’t stop there. The Yellowtail Raw Mango Maki Roll is a winner, as it delicately balances a marriage of flavour profiles from Japan and Goa all in one bite.
An interesting observation lies with palate adaptability in the Pork Belly Lotus Flower Bun. My first introduction to Goa in 1990- had a local mention my arrival with ‘three sure-shot signs’ to know you’ve entered the state — a church, a coconut tree, and a pig crossing the road. Synonymity with this meat locally is a religion, and Bo-Tai has carefully chosen and aptly balanced this preparation. The belly is moist with a soft epidermal crackle and digests like a dollop of butter on freshly baked bread.
”Bo Tai is a brand that has been loved by its patrons since the very beginning. With our fourth outlet, we chose Goa because it’s the perfect home for our brand. Goa has fast become the top destination for F&B in India. A vibrant local populace coupled with the fact that the whole of India descends upon with frequent abandon makes for a strong business case. But mostly it’s the vibe and the views of vibrant Goa that pulled us here,” Zorawar Kalra, Co-owner and partner.
As the meal drew to a close, space was left for not one but two signature desserts. The Coconut Crème Brulee served in a coconut adds to the charm and nostalgic focus the team has towards the local adaptive inspiration and produce the ‘jiggle’ ratio is consistently firm and velvet inspired. Do plan it out, and the show stopper reveals itself with the Belgian Chocolate Tart with Coffee Mousse. A ‘pick me upper’ for anyone, this dessert is Smooth, Rich, Sinful and Calorific. A Coffee and dessert lover’s fix. Feeling guilty with every morsel? There are close to 100 steps adjacent to the establishment to transport you down to the beach below and wash your edible sins away.
Where: Ozran Beach, Vagator, Goa 403509
Opening hours: 11:00 am onwards
Recommended dishes and drinks: Belgian Chocolate Tart with Coffee Mousse (dessert), Salmon Sake Nigiri (mains), Full Moon Festival (cocktail)
Price: Rs 2,800 (plus applicable taxes)
Noise levels: Medium to Loud
Service: Attentive and Friendly
All Images: Courtesy Bo-Tai Goa