Viva Panjim | Fontainhas
Rich traditional flavours meets classic colonial charm for an undeniably Goan experience
Tucked away in a small unassuming corner of Fontainhas in Panjim lies Viva Panjim. This restaurant, along with a select of others (like Venite, which is just a few blocks away), has been a constant in the ever changing landscape of Panjim through the years. Converted into a restaurant from the hundred and fifty year old ancestral home of owner Linda D’souza, it is designed and decorated in such a manner that constantly reminds you of just what it may have been like dinning in an era so long ago.The rich dim interiors can be a bit cramped during peak hours – after all, it used to be a living room once. Tables are also set on the little patio and the sidestreet outside. pop music of the 60s and 70s softly plays from the overhead speakers. Walking around in fontainhas is a curious time travel experience in itself, and Viva Panjim just reminds you that you are not in Kansas anymore.
The food is delicious. Linda is an amazing chef, and everything that comes out of the kitchen smells good. The restaurant specializes in Portuguese cuisine, and has won many accolades for the same. Also, it is not heavy on the pocket at all.The cafreal, and the kingfish steak are a delight. Even the crab xec xec is very sumptuous. The vindalho is a bit on the sweeter side though. A must have is the pork sizzler. Though not strictly a Goan dish, Linda manages to charm it into a hot and sweet delight with a definite Goan twist. Another recommendation is to order the butter garlic bun with your main course. I would visit Viva Panjim even if they only made the butter garlic bun.It has its imperfections, of course. The waiters can be apathetic, but then they do not discriminate in their apathy. And if you ask them sweetly, they might just give you the Tuesday special on a Thursday. The service can be slow, sometimes excruciatingly so. The atmosphere has become rather touristy off late. The staff should do something about the fly problem in the outside dining area though, you can never fully enjoy your meal while worrying about the flies buzzing around your beer.All in all, spending your afternoon in Viva Panjim, having a few beers and some delicious food while listening to the sweet nostalgia of Boney M’s ‘Malaika’- that’s an experience. Afterwards, walk down the road to Rilassi for a chocolate parfait for dessert. This is a side of Goa one rarely gets to see.
Open | Monday to Saturday | 11:30am – 3:30pm & 7-11pm | Sunday | 7-11pm
Location | 31st January Road, Behind Mary Immaculate Girls High School, Fontainhas, Panjim, 403 001
Contact | +91 832 242 2405
Written by Kaushal Sapre