This post is a part of the What’s On My Plate series
Picture Courtesy: Siddhesh Mayenkar
Plates with grilled goodness, that are taken straight off the pass
Last weekend, I proceeded to do something that I had been meaning to for a while, but had kept putting off, for want of time. With work commitments during the festive season and everything else that just kept piling up incessantly, the odds of finding the time to meet up with an old friend just seemed slimmer than ever. However, perhaps as a part of the resolution for the New Year, I just cleared everything and heading down south to keep up to said commitment. Upon meeting with said friend, I was in for yet another surprise: his choice of venue to meet at. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m every bit a workaholic, but when someone tells you to come over to their office for dinner, it will take even the most composed of us a little by surprise. So in keeping with his request, I promptly headed deeper south, to Haathi Mahal in Mobor.
The hotel, which serves as the headquarters as part of the chain referred to locally as the ‘Royal Goan Group’, has what I can only describe as a very surreal establishment, housed within its premises. I use the term surreal when referring to Attwood’s Bar, the venue in question because once you walk through the archway that leads to it, you’ve stepped out of Mobor and into Millwall.
So before we proceed any further, let’s chat about the venue a little bit. The English pub has been named after the late Mark Attwood, Co-founder and former Sales and Marketing Director of the Karma Group. Designed as a Cornish Pirates Tavern, Attwood’s Bar features an ante room that plays home to a dart board, a library, a game room with a pool table and a mini movie theatre. But to be honest, to me it has more of a Liverpudlian feel of things (think of The Cavern, where The Beatles rose to fame). If you’re in on the weekend, you couldn’t possibly ask for a more British vibe, as propriety goes out the window and expletives find themselves echoing around the walls of the tavern, for every near-miss during a Premier League encounter. For the sake of aforementioned propriety, perhaps it’s a good thing that Fernando Torres has moved to a different league.
So what makes the Carvery Night so special? For starters, owing to the fact that it is being housed in a setting dedicated to said British pub-like vibe, the offerings are traditionally of English pub grub in nature. From a Roast Leg of Goan Pork, to succulently Grilled Chicken and Fillet of Beef with all the appropriate trimmings, the food is there to be devoured. There are also other favourites on offer, such as Sausage and Mash and the Cottage Pie, as well as spectacular Irish Cider, but that is indeed a story for another time.
The Carvery Night is something that caters to the need of what was once a buzzing international community in Goa: the British. As such, you won’t find spice and plenty of colour at this spread. What you will get however, is a huge serving of the sheer feeling of a satisfactory Sunday roast held in someone’s backyard. It’s wholesome and delicious, because you can’t beat grilled meat for a healthy diet. Now if you plate a dollop of the delicious Cheesy Cauliflower that appears on the list of options of side-servings, or wolf down a dozen Yorkshire Puddings, that’s another matter altogether. My personal favourite is the Fillet of Beef, which is cooked beautifully, to a perfect medium-rare. However, the house recommendation is the Roast Leg of Goan Pork, which is served with Applesauce (according to Mark Atwood, it was a sin to serve one without the other).
It turns out that the Carvery Night is something that the management at Haathi Mahal have managed to keep a well-kept secret, though for the life of me, I cannot fathom why they would want to do that. At the end of the day, the good things in life were always meant to be shared and spread. It makes the world a happier place, doesn’t it?
The British pub-like atmosphere is a very pleasant change from the usual. However, punctuality is of the essence, as the Carvery Night begins at 7:30 PM and ends by approximately 10 PM.
Do go with a protracted evening in mind, as there is much to be devoured, in quantities of your choosing. If you have a sweet tooth, don't expect too much in terms of dessert offerings. What is available though, is very pleasing.
The Carvery Night is an 'all-you-can-eat' dinner which (minus the libations) is priced at ₹750 per head (at the time of publishing this review).
‘Hog Worth’ worth a visit? Without a doubt. It will leave your wallets girth rivalling only that of your rapidly expanding waistline.
How to get there
Margao - Cavelossim Road, Mobor, Salcette, Goa 403731
Food is a huge part of any culture and for me, chancing upon a good meal is synonymous with having a great day. The What’s On My Plate series of posts is where I discuss food, great places to eat, and anything gastronomically moving. This could be anything from a great place to eat, to an obscure kind of food, to an origin story. After all, there is no love like the love of eating.