(L-r): Vada Pav, Gadbad, Tandoori Pomfret, Kadhai Paneer at Bombay to Goa in Sunnyvale, Calif. (All photos: Vansh A. Gupta | Siliconeer)
No, it’s not the 70s Amitabh Bachchan hit. It’s a trending joint in Sunnyvale, Calif., with a catchy name that serves exclusive Konkan coast cuisine from Mumbai and Goa.
If you are in the mood for a quick bite of spicy Konkan cuisine from Western India, in the heart of Silicon Valley, Bombay to Goa is definitely worth a try. The place is open late on weekends and offers free Wi-fi, in addition to the flavors of Aamchi Mumbai, write Siliconeer foodies Vansh A. Gupta and Rohan Kumar.
Bombay to Goa
151 East El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA
(At South Sunnyvale Ave. and East El Camino Real)
Phone: (408) 245-9999
Cuisine: Konkan Coast, Western India
Cost: $½. (Dishes are under $15 each)
✯✯✯✯✯ | Extraordinary
✯✯✯✯ | Superior
✯✯✯ | Good
✯✯ | Mediocre
✯ | Poor
There are many choices for dining out in Silicon Valley, but if you fancy or are in the mood for some Konkanese cuisine, Bombay to Goa, located in Sunnyvale, Calif. is probably one of a kind. Bombay to Goa was a very unique experience, lived up to its name suggesting that this place is an Aamchi Mumbai restaurant with flavors of Goa. The menu boasts of a unique experience for native Bombay and Goa food. The fact that this place is open late, till 1AM on weekends, and has free Wi-fi are an added bonus.
First Impressions & Service: The place is a casual dining joint and service clearly does not top the priority list, it wasn’t too bad but you shouldn’t expect a lot. The waiters knew what was what and served us well. The food came out fast for us, but we did observe there were other tables waiting for quite a while. The food came hot but all lacked serving utensils. We only received serving spoons for two main entrées. The water was self-serve. For some that could be a good thing. It might be a good idea if the management considers enhancing their service experience.
Ambience: Although the restaurant has a casual look, we felt that it had a semi-upscale take overall. This restaurant was decorated to resemble classic Mumbai feel, but with beaches of Goa, adding to the lively atmosphere. The warm lighting inside the restaurant adds to the lively atmosphere. However, if you are someone who likes spending time in fresh air, they also have beach umbrellas and patio heaters to accommodate you.
Coconut Water (Drink): A refreshing drink from Mexico, but the taste reminded us of the beautiful beaches in Juhu, Bombay, and Goa. The water was sweet but not sugary. The coconut was cut and served as pulp after request. One order can serve one, but if you want to be a little caring, then don’t mind sharing. There is enough for two.
Non-Veg Appetizer (Chicken 65): Imagine chicken that’s perfectly crispy and nicely spiced on the outside, but moist and soft inside. Bombay to Goa’s Chicken 65 easily portrayed this. As, it maintained a crispy exterior and juicy interior. All the flavors were balanced and were all jumping around our taste buds. The presentation of the dish was not deceptive, it was what it looked it was, simple and spicy. A single order can serve up to three people
Veg Appetizer (Vada Pav): Simply amazing. Reminds one of the roadside eats in Mumbai. The pav (buns) were nicely grilled. The vada (patty) and chutney combination had the right amount of zing! The side of onions and chili-peanut powder makes the dish more appealing. If you are brave, go ahead and have the green chili as well.
Non Veg Entrée (Chicken Xacuti): An overly satisfying dish. The waiter recommended rice to accompany this, indeed the rice worked well. The dish is perfectly seasoned, as it was spicy but not fiery. The coconut flavor was also a delightful surprise. There is enough chicken to serve 2-3 people. This is also something kids would like since it isn’t overly spicy and has fewer vegetables.
Seafood Special (Tandoori Pomfret): Fish is such a delicacy for some, but it has to be perfectly cooked and seasoned to bring out the bold flavors. The chef here understands how fish needs to be seasoned as was clearly evident with the Pomfret. It was crispy outside and soft inside. Quite a lot of flavors played around. The salt, the sour, the spice, it was all there. This dish was indeed special. The pomfret should be enough for up to three fish fanatics.
Veg Entrée (Kadhai Paneer and Garlic Naan): Kadhai paneer with its partner in crime, Garlic Naan are just like Bonnie and Clyde, made-for-each-other-couple. Kadhai Paneer was oily and spicy like it should be. The addition of bell peppers and onions made the dish a lot more colorful in flavor and looks. There was an abundance of paneer meaning there is enough for three people. The piquant dish’s partner, Garlic Naan, was crispy and fluffy but was sort of lacking the pungent garlic flavor and some butter. Yes, butter is crucial for extraordinary naan. One order of naan serves two.
Solkadhi: As we put all that oily spicy food behind us, our waiter suggested some Solkadhi, a soothing drink good for digestion with a peculiar but good taste. We liked this drink, but here’s a warning: It makes you want to hit the john instantaneously after the last sip.
Dessert (Gadbad Ice Cream Sundae): Ending a meal with something sweet just makes sense, so we ordered the Gadbad ice cream sundae. Any ice cream lover would relish this sweet offering. It is mango, falooda, coconut, and pistachio ice cream in one. To top this off, Bombay to Goa also adds chocolate sauce. The hard-to-find coconut ice cream is a good addition to this.
Bibinca: We actually ordered two desserts this time. The second was Bibinca, which is Goa pudding topped with whipped cream. This was another example of a warm base that tasted good with a chilled topping. The whipped cream was a great addition, but melted easily. Fortunately, it still tasted great. Would definitely recommend. Serving is fairly generous.
The Verdict: Our overall experience with Bombay to Goa was satisfying. It is nicely decorated and has reputable food. However, service is something they would need to work on crucially. Another important note, if you like your food spicy, reassure the waiter, or your water glass will still be full at the end!
Vansh A. Gupta is an intern with Siliconeer. He is an avid foodie and likes to explore world cuisine. He lives in Fremont, Calif.
Rohan Kumar is an intern with Siliconeer. He is an avid foodie and loves to try out new places to eat. He lives in Fremont, Calif.