I have visited Goa nine times in last twenty years. Goa is a family favourite destination. When we cant decide where to go, we end up in Goa. Each of my Goan sojourn has had one special memory and for the trip I took last week, the special memory was definitely eating the Masala Crab at Martin’s corner.
Goa being a coastal region, the availability of good seafood is no surprise. Goa has some great restaurants too. Martin’s corner is one of the most popular eateries in Goa for its crab and is also hailed by the India’s cricket legend – Sachin Tendulkar. It is a celebrity favoured restaurant for sure.
I tried to visit this place during my previous trips but couldn’t, as we didn’t get a reservation. However, this visit I was lucky and we managed to get a table. Generally, when a restaurant is hyped, the actual experience may turn out underwhelming as you have high expectations. I was about to find out.
The restaurant is located in interiors and its quite a drive to reach there. The atmosphere is quite lively and for a famous restaurant like this, it is not at all intimidating. Its quite casual and friendly and full of tourist having fun. At the entrance you get to see array of fish organised in a glass cabinet.
Once we were seated and ordered our drinks and were discussing what to order, my husband enquired about their famous crab. The steward attending advised us to go easy on appetisers if we were ordering crab and we went ahead with his suggestions. The restaurant charges for the fish as per the size and weight and he brought the crab to show us and let us know it weighed almost 900 grams. We had to ok it and then only he would cook. He also suggested to go for a preparation in Goan sauce called- reacheado ( pronounced re-sha-d-oh) For the sides he said he will be serving Goan pao- their local bread.
We were enjoying our drinks and chitchatting and the steward came back with 3 set of bibs and helped us to put on. Now that was new at least for me. My husband had visited this place before and he mentioned eating that crab is a very messy affair and you end up staining your clothes so everyone wears this. Then he set our table with crab cutter and the knife. Then he brought our cooked masala crab and oh what a site it was!!!! It was beauty on the plate and we just dug in.
It was a sensory experience. The sauce was sour, sweet and spicy. The crab sang with that sauce. It was served wth Goan pao and French fries, sautéed vegetables. It was just perfect! Eating a crab is tiring with all the cutting and getting the crab meat out but then because of it you are fully present while eating it. With our hands full of masala gravy, we couldn’t touch our phones and we were eating with all of our senses. It certainly was a lot of food for three of us and we were wise to order light appetisers. At the end of it frankly, I was exhausted. Eating that crab was a workout in itself. The picture of the crab mallet seems like it is tired too and needs rest!
Thats what made the entire experience memorable just not for me but even for the couple seating on our next table. The couple was on their honeymoon. On seeing the glorious looking crab served to us and the way we were eating and enjoying, the young lady couldn’t stop herself from asking me about it. “How was it? I think I am regretting not ordering it”. I told her very sincerely if she still has some more time in Goa, she must come back and eat. She looked at me and said “ I am sure I am coming back and eating that”
Incidentally we went back to the Martin’s corner after two days again!