“ Address: Geislerova 34 / Brno / Czech Republic / Tel: +420 602 505 551 „
Living abroad long term offers certain challenges, and for me, access to the food I love from back home is probably the biggest. When feeling a bit down, I inevitably descend into a maudlin reverie about such things as Pot Noodles, Cheddar cheese, Admiral's Pies, Kingsmill Bread, and of course, the UK's favourite, Curry.
It took almost two years for us to venture out to Goa indian restaurant - the word of mouth was good, but the suspicion held that it simply wouldn't cut it against what we were used to back home. That fear of disappointment kept us away, especially having had our fears confirmed at the Taj in Brno centre. What could this little place offer?
Well, I'm delighted to report that the Goa has crossed 'Curry' off my list of must-eats when I next get back to England.
Situated on a quiet street away in Zidenice, Goa is situated in a small but modern brick cellar. Decor is minimal, and the expected Indian music in the background tends toward modern and subtle compared to the Raj's harem themed Curry Houses back home.
While the atmosphere was initially quite hushed, to the point where you feel everyone is keeping their voices down in case the next table overhears, it was encouraging to see the place pretty full for 4pm on a Saturday afternoon. And what we saw on other people's plates gave us something rare in Brno - tantalised tastebuds tingling with anticipation.
Poppadums came out appropriately as an appetiser, with a cool mint dip and an extremly hot chilli dip. The heat of the chilli also gave encouragement - this could be the real deal.
No disappointment when the main course arrived - the chicken madras was not hot, but beautifully spiced, and the pieces of chicken just fell apart with the slightest coaxing of knife and fork, wonderfully tender. The naans were big, fluffy and crispy, the rice soft and fragrant.
Service was courteous, and the only slight downside was the beer was a little flat and on the warm side - when I'm eating a curry, I like to have an ice cold beer to hand.
This is an excellent spot for an Indian, and I'd almost go so far as to say it's one of the best Indians I've had, if I wasn't viewing it through a filter of nostalgia, memory and flavour-starvation since my time in Brno. I can categorically state that Goa offered me the most enjoyable meal I've ever had in the Czech Republic, including high end restaurants in Prague.
(This review originally appeared on Ciao under my aliaas Midwinter.)