Antares Down Under in Little Vagator | Ozran Beach
Launched a few months ago last November, Antares has made it to Goa’s list of must visit restaurant, bringing a little bit of Australia to Goa. This alfresco style restaurant is an marvellous culmination of Sarah Todd’s fondness for India.
The People Behind It
Antares is founded by Master Chef’s very own Sarah Todd and avid restaurateur Ashish Kapur of the ‘The Wine Company’, ‘Dimsum Bros.’ and ‘Yo! China’. You might remember Sarah Todd as one of the model turned culinary artist and one of the finalists of Season 6 of Masterchef Australia.
Antares is Sarah’s first exciting new venture after Masterchef.
Equipped with a wholesome passion for food, a span of experience and collaboration with the country’s most sustainable and organic food producers, the duo are armed to take on the multi- cuisine and hospitality space in Goa.
Located at the perfect place to be during or around sunset, Antares rests in a secluded and snug nook of Vagator with an incredible view of the Ozran beach.
One would expect the sound of waves gently lapping against the ocean as they enter, but that is not usually the case. The setting sun usually brings with the upbeat and retro music courtesy of the live bands that usually play there – yes, even off season brings in weekly performances of Goa’s very favourite Alcatrazz and Raagas 2 Riches to name a very few.
Designed by Antares very own founders; Sarah Todd and Ashish Kapur, the interior has been done up sublimely reflecting a fusion of a what one can assume as a classy Australian gourmet restaurant coupled with the comfort of a beachside shack only true right here in Goa.
Soaked in a warm lighting, the a la mode wooden furniture coupled with the weave-themed interior makes you want to kick back and immerse into a relaxed homely state of mind knowing that whatever come out of the kitchen is without a doubt, sure to surprise you.
Really striking, are the island style bar and open kitchen located in full view, bringing to life the fundamental concept of the restaurant – the age old romanticism of people with food. This complete transparency creates a very unexplainable sense comfort tipping the scales in favour of one’s experience here.
Experimental, contemporary, fresh and absolutely heavenly are some of the words that can be used to describe the food here.
The constantly evolving, twice a year, menu is food lovers paradise assuring that you would be treated to a new experience each time you dine here. Fresh pickings from the local market with delicate preparation of every item hits the mark every time, bringing the succulent taste of gourmet food to your taste buds.
On the ‘Small Plates’ as they are called, the Tandoori school prawns with garlic and lime and aioli are the absolute must try’s. Tangy and bold with a hint of herbs, this dish leaves seafood aficionados asking for more. If you are more of a pork lover; the Glazed bbq pork ribs, pickled pear, white cabbage with fresh lemon is celestial. The combination of these items fit perfectly in sync each balancing out the other – need we say more about the combination?
If you are straight edge vegetarian, the kitchen does surprises here too. The mushroom rillettes, pappad with crispy onions and more particularly, the crunchy batter coated Cheese croquettes, fried sage, parmesan with black truffle mayo are some of the interesting items the menu offers.
Sarah Todd does an amazing job with creating a menu that fuses the Goan and Australian palettes on a single plate. The clean techniques nails all the elements and brings up a variety of flavours in succession one after the other.
On the ‘Large Plates’; the Slow cooked lamb shoulder, smoked eggplant, potatoes and mint is one of the menus prime takeaway. Each juicy bite is packed to the brim with an explosion of flavours leaving your mouth watering for more. Another dish to watch out for is the Pesto linguini, charred asparagus, basil, cherry tomatoes.
Finally, we would never leave out mention of the desserts.
The Caramel and chocolate mousse cake with cocoa crumbs and cream Chantilly is undoubtedly the highlight of the dessert menu. With a close second is Sarah’s famous Master Chef iced nougat, pistachio with tuile and pomegranate.
At Antares, the bar menu stock up on an impressive variety of cocktails, beers and and an assortment of international and Indian wines.
The Summer Abroad – which is a concoction of gin, cucumber, fresh ginger with mint shaken and ice poured over is a great, as in the name, summer time drink. A few of these with the gentle ocean breeze leaves you with a slight buzz and built up appetite.
The spotlight though, is the Spicy Mango. Built from the base with vodka, green chilli, mango juice and lime battles all three senses of sweet, spicy and quite obviously, the appeasing effect of vodka.
Apart from this, the Smoking Monk which has a very interesting infusion of old monk, lime juice and cinnamon and the Strawberry Basil Margarita which is a mash of tequila, strawberry, basil and triple sec are some notable mentions.
George Bernard Shaw once said “There is no love sincerer than the love of food”
Serving up not only the quality and caliber of the cuisine but the overall hospitable experience, it is very clear that everyone involved in the day to day working of Antares not only loves the emotion and preparation of their dishes, but also goes out of the way to ensure that the experience he is a valuable one that will indefinitely leave you coming for more.
Antares is a definite must visit not only to food lovers but anyone willing to go out and partake in a unique dining experience.